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As my second year of nursing (and pumping for) a baby comes to an end, I can’t help but
be a little sad want to throw a party because I’ll be free with so much extra time on my hands. Just kidding. But #truth.
Nursing and pumping for both my babies has been an incredibly rewarding experience but it is a serious job and commitment. Nursing is indeed natural but it doesn’t always come naturally and I am a person who needs lots of help in the beginning to establish a good nursing relationship.
In honor of my time being up, here are the 10 nursing and pumping essentials I couldn’t have made it a year of exclusively feeding my babies breastmilk without:
- Nursing Bra: I wasted a lot of money on nursing bras that were unflattering or just didn’t work with my clothing. I have worn a nursing bra nonstop for the past 12 months – even at night while sleeping. My new favorite is called the Coobie – it’s one size fits all, stretchy, has detachable straps, and is padded enough to cover all the lumps and bumps that come with breastfeeding.
- Lansinoh TheraPearl 3 in 1 Breast Therapy Packs: I have big issues with engorgement and pain when my milk comes in. These little gems can be hot or cold; heat helps with pain and clogs, cold helps with swelling. These were a Godsend the first weeks home with Cooper.
- Waterbottle: The thirst a new nursing mom experiences is unparalleled. It would be like being stuck in the Sahara desert with the worst hangover you’ve ever had. Get a cute waterbottle that will keep the water cold and carry it everywhere.
- Lansinoh Breastpads: Some people never leak, others do. I’m one of the lucky ones ;). These are disposable and absorbent and thin enough to not add a bunch of bulk or odd shaping.
- Milkies MilkSaver: In the beginning, my supply takes a while to regulate; in the meantime, there is tons of leaking. This little device catches the milk from the side you aren’t feeding on (you only wear it while you’re feeding baby) and then you can store it. Every ounce counts!
- Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads: Store these guys in the fridge until you need them. The cold is refreshing on your nipples and will help to heal up and soothe any cracks.
- Medela Lanolin: The first month or so necessitates extra protection and healing – Lanolin from day 1 is a must-have. I like Medela’s brand best because it’s a thinner consistency and goes on easily.
- Boon Drying Rack: There are tons of little pump parts and bottles to be washed; this drying rack can be used for all those parts and looks cute on your counter. We also dry wine glasses and knives on this bad boy.
- Lansinoh Storage Bags: These work better than bottles or any other container. Read more about breastmilk storage here.
- A GOOD Breastpump: If you’re going back to work or want to spend any real time away from your baby, get a good double electric breast pump. I use the Medela Pump In Style Advanced and have nothing but good things to say about it. Insurance covers pumps so check to see and take advantage if the option is available.
Things I Didn’t Need:
- Special nursing pillows: I could never get the hang of using these and they were bulky and expensive. I just used regular pillows.
- Nursing tanks: I never had any luck finding one that was flattering or comfortable. Nursing bras coupled with my favorite regular tees made more sense for me.
- Medela Steam Clean Bags: Save yourself the time and money by skipping these. Just store your used parts in the fridge during the day and wash them well at night.