Well, most of them anyway. Because the thing that most influences a woman’s breastfeeding success (for want of a better word), is support; and much though I wish I could offer that in spades, I can’t provide an encouraging partner or family. I sincerely hope everyone reading this already has some fabulous cheerleaders, in which case these items will complete your cache of essentials for breastfeeding and products to make nursing easier.
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I’ve breastfed two children and I’d say I’ve experienced most of the issues you can expect to encounter. I may have avoided an abscess (thank Christ because they honestly sound like hell), but I’ve had pretty much everything else going. The products below, my personal essentials for breastfeeding, have helped me with:
- Expressing/increasing yield;
- Establishing latch;
- Cracked nipples;
- Eczema of the nipples;
- Blocked ducts;
- Detached nipple.
In fairness, that last one is less medical term, more descriptive – I made it up both as an explanation and for emphasis. Suffice to say it was grim, and some of these products helped me to heal. I had actually never been aware of them prior to my issue when a couple of ladies I know kindly took pity and offered to lend me theirs. I bought them the next day and ten days later – ta-da – I was good as new. Phew!
So, whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned pro, there’s probably something here that will be beneficial for you.
Edited to add…
That said, somebody has pointed out that for some women these so-called breastfeeding essentials will be a waste of hard-earned cash. So I’m making my implicit caveat explicit:
That’s true. Not all women will need these items. Not all nursing mums will want or need to express and not everybody will endure the hell that is nipple eczema/blocked ducts/mastitis/detached nipples.
For those women who master breastfeeding with no difficulties; never encounter associated issues at any point in their breastfeeding journey; and never intend to express – you do not need these items. You may, however, wish to purchase a nursing bra and pads to make your life more comfortable.
For many women, at least some of these products will be useful. Bear in mind I’ve only just discovered some of them myself and I managed without. But I’ve been very glad to add them to my bathroom cupboard.
So, hopefully it’s clear that this post is intended to be informative, specifically for those mums who may be suffering and looking for relief. It is not designed to recommend that every nursing mother must purchase every item on the list, which is probably not necessary unless you’re as unlucky as I’ve been!
Essentials for Breastfeeding, and Products to Make Nursing Easier
This post contains affiliate links. If you follow my links and make any purchases I will receive a few pennies, at no extra cost to you.
- Lansinoh Therapearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy Soothing
These have proved wonderfully comforting when I’ve been suffering with blocked ducts. Just be careful not to heat them too long as they will explode (this knowledge may or may not come from personal experience.)
- Philips Avent Premium Quality Comfort Breast Shells
When the underside of my nipple recently detached and I literally had to peel my breastpad off my bleeding mess, these were an absolute godsend. You may rarely need to use them, but when you do you’ll be so glad of them. Worth every penny.
- Lansinoh 2-in1 Double Electric Breast Pump
Read my full review for why I really rated this pump.
- Nighttime nursing bra
Because unfortunately it’s a necessity for as long as you leak and need to use pads.
- Carriwell Nursing Bra
The best nursing bra I’ve worn, I’ve never looked back. Read my full review for why I’m a big fan.
- Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Nipple Cream
The only one I’ve ever used. Seems pricey until you need it and then you appreciate its value.
- Medela Contact Nipple Shields with Case
My princess didn’t take to these because she was too old to not notice them! However, if you’re having issues early on with a newborn, I have heard they can be the difference between sticking with it or giving up.
- Carriwell Silk Breast Pads (6 Pieces)
Because silk makes you feel a tiny bit less bovine when your jugs are overflowing.
- Multi-Mam Compresses – 12 Sachets
Oh. My. Lord. Sorry to harp on about my detached nipple, but these were one of the most incredible items I’ve ever spent my cash on. Instant relief.
- The No Bullsh*t Breastfeeding Bible
I said I couldn’t deliver on the supportive partner front and I can’t – but here’s some support I can offer.
I hope these essentials for breastfeeding prove useful for all you rockstar ladies feeding your babies in spite of the sometimes horrific pain entailed! But don’t forget that though these products may make your life more comfortable in specific circumstances, the only equipment that’s critical for breastfeeding, is your boobs.
For more breastfeeding posts, head over to Breastfeeding – Help, Advice, Support.