Breastfeeding Essentials – Things that Make Breastfeeding Easier
It’s now about three months since I stopped breastfeeding my youngest daughter when she was nearly 12 months old. I also breastfed my eldest for a year and am planning to do it all again when we have a third baby in the future. Breastfeeding isn’t always easy and comfortable but there are definitely things that help make it easier. Here are my favourite breastfeeding essentials:
Without hydration, you cannot produce enough milk so drinking plenty of water or sugar-free squash is essential to ensure your supply is good. Always have a large glass available at home and take a water bottle with you when you go out or go to bed.
Breastfeeding is very hungry work and I easily feel very faint when I’m hungry so I need to have snacks available. Cereal bars or Nakd bars are great to have in your hand bag ready for when hunger strikes. At home, I’m partial to some biscuits!
As well as snacks, you need to eat a lot of healthy food to keep the milk nutritious and you healthy. Some foods increase your milk supply — check out my list here. It’s a good idea to batch cook and fill up your freezer with healthy meals so that you always have something available even if your baby decides to cluster feed all day and all night…
- Breastfeeding Friendly Bras
You need quite a few bras as you’ll have to change them more often as you’ll most likely leak milk onto them quite a lot. A wireless nursing bra that’s supportive and easy to open is great to have to make feeds easier and you more comfortable. I also like stretchy seamless low impact sports bras for sleeping in as you don’t feel them at all.
You don’t need lots of expensive breastfeeding specific clothes but you do need things that give you easy access to your boobs! I like t-shirts with stretchy necklines that I can just pull down, shirts with buttons or a stretchy tank top with a loose cropped top over that you can lift up. I mainly used a muslin cloth as a cover-up in public for some privacy.
You might not need it but it might save you a lot of pain so it’s a good idea to have a great nipple cream available at home to use if needed. You can usually get samples from your midwife or health visitor.
Breast pads are definitely a must-have unless you want to change your bra and top all the time, all day and night. When it’s time for a feed, you’ll usually leak a bit and it’s very common to leak from the breast not in use when you’re breastfeeding from the other. There are lots to choose from whether you want reusable breast pads or disposable ones.
If you want to express milk for your baby, a breast pump is a good investment. Electric ones are less effort which is great for sleep-deprived mums! I used a Medela Swing Electric Breast Pump loads with Baby No. 2.
What are your breastfeeding essentials?