Breastfeeding & Pumping Must-Haves

Why did I think breastfeeding would be a breeze?

I am currently pregnant with my 4th baby and have struggled with breastfeeding for each one! Each baby is different, and with each child, you have to relearn so much. By the time I would have another baby, I would be so used to nursing a one-year-old, my muscle memory would kick in on how to nurse a baby that can sit up rather than an infant.

With all the information we have today, I know each of you mamas out there are doing what is best for your baby and you. Whether it is formula or breastfeeding, I am not here to make judgments or tell you what to do. We all want what is best for our babies! In fact, I have reached out to several moms who exclusively formula feed to get their take on what items they found helpful. That blog post will be up shortly! But for this post, I will focus on breastfeeding and pumping and the things that helped so many other moms and me!

Pinterest Pin-Breastfeeding and pumping must haves To shop these items, click the number that correlates to the products you want

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1. Haakaa Breast Pump

Wow, wow, WOW, was this a game-changer for me when I had my third! My friend, who is a lactation nurse, got me this $12 life-changing device! I always try to build up a frozen milk supply in the first few weeks after giving birth. That is when my milk supply is highest while my body learns how much I need to produce. Some may argue with this method as it makes more milk than my baby needs, but that is the goal for me within those first few weeks while I build up a supply to keep on hand for times I may have to be away from the baby. Once I build up a stash, I slowly wean out the pumping.

Now you can imagine how much time I was spending sitting there feeling like a cow. I would breastfeed my baby then hook up my pump to pump more milk for an emergency stash. It began to take a toll on my mental health. The Haakaa changed all of that.

It is made with food-grade silicone and suctions onto your breast. See this video here on how to attach it. You don't need to be hooked up to anything!

While you feed your baby on one breast, milk will naturally leak from the other. The Haakaa not only catches this milk, but it pumps out milk at the same time! While I fed my baby on one breast, I could get 5oz out of the other simultaneously when using the Haaka! I was able to get my freezer stocked quickly due to this device by exclusively using it when feeding my baby. No more extra pumping sessions!

Get it on Amazon

2. My Breastfriend Pillow

This pillow is SUPERIOR when it comes to feeding your baby over any other boppy, and let me tell you why.

It has a foam insert making it sturdy. Unlike a soft cushioned boppy, this keeps a firm shape making it easy to adjust baby and have them stay in a comfortable position.

It straps onto you. With my first, I had a traditional boppy that everyone loved and recommended to me. However, when it was time to feed my baby, I found myself needing my husband to hold him while I adjusted the boppy and the pillows to make feeding more comfortable. This method wouldn't work when he went back to work. That's where the breast friend pillow comes in and makes life so much easier! I could set my baby down, strap on the feeding pillow, pick up the baby to feed, and automatically be in a comfortable position! It also has a slot to hold your water bottle, making it even easier to have everything you need right there!

You can walk around while feeding your baby. Because it straps onto you and holds its shape, it was easy for me to continue feeding my baby while getting up and going into another room. There were times where I would be feeding my daughter in one room, and my boys would be asking for me in another. Because the pillow is firm and attached to me, I could smoothly transition without disrupting her feeding!

It makes it easier on your arms if they fall asleep while feeding. Now once you have more than one, the luxury of letting the baby sleep in your arms after feeding is few and far between, BUT when it's your first, you can enjoy those moments all day long! With the traditional boppy, I would have to move my arms and readjust the pillow, but with the "my breast friend', I could move my arms and hands more freely as the pillow offered more support.

Get it on Amazon

3. Nipple Cream

I have tried the organic stuff, the natural stuff, coconut oil, and every other holistic remedy out there, and for me, NOTHING beats Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream! This cream is the only stuff that helped my sore nipples. Your nipples will hurt at first, given they aren't used to being used so often. This cream helped me tremendously! I have it in a travel size as well to keep in my diaper bag.

Get it on Amazon

4. Nursing bras

I have a whole blog post dedicated to my favorite nursing bras for every occasion. Head here to get the list and see what bra would work for you!

5. Nursing Pads

I have tried all sorts of nursing pads because I leak so much in those first few weeks after birth, and these) have been the best ones in my experience. Out of all the brands I have tried, these are the softest, which is crucial! A tip when washing them in the washer, be sure to put them in a washer bag, or you will end up like me with a pipe clogged from one of these bad boys slipping through!

Get it on Amazon

6. Stainless steel water bottle

You are going to need to hydrate! Producing milk takes a lot of work, so make sure you are well hydrated and fed. For me, I always wanted ice water; that's where the stainless steel water bottle comes in to make sure my water always stayed cold! Make sure to get one with a straw, as it is much easier to drink while feeding your precious baby! This one is my favorite!

Get it on Amazon

7. Button up sleep tops

Breastfeeding-friendly clothes. I have a whole section on my website dedicated to my favorite breastfeeding-friendly tops and dresses. Click here!

I also have a whole post dedicated to must-have sleep and lounge items for moms after having a baby. There, I link all my favorite button-up pajama tops to make breastfeeding easy! Click here!

8. Lactation Support

Most hospitals have a lactation nurse available to answer all your questions and help you get baby latching correctly before leaving the hospital. Take advantage of these services. Many times hospitals will even offer lactation support groups. Personally, I pay to have a lactation nurse come to my home that first week.

10. Milk Storage Bags

These storage bags were recommended to me by my lactation nurse, and I love them. Easy to store and pour.

Get it on Amazon

11. Nursing Cover

Now, I am all for breastfeeding in public and doing it without a cover, given it is what our breasts were designed to do and it is only natural, BUT I know not everyone is as comfortable with this. Heck, even though I am a full supporter of this, I still find myself reaching for a nursing cover when out in public. So if you are looking for a great nursing cover, this is the one I recommend. It is light, and unlike traditional covers, this one is stretchy, stays in place, and the opening is big enough to where you (and only you) can see the baby! With traditional covers, you are feeding them under a blanket which can get hot for them, and you have to lift the cover to see how they were doing. With this stretchy one, you can get your own head in there to get the baby to latch correctly without your breasts being exposed.

Check out my TikTok video where I demonstrate if you need a better idea!

Get it on Amazon

12. On the Go Pump

Now, any pump is technically "on the go" as long as you can plug it in somewhere. I got this battery charging pack for when I would pump in the car. BUT if you are looking for something that doesn't require you to be hooked up to anything, may I suggest this manual hand pump and this wearable pump that slips into your bra. I do not have any personal experience with these wearable pumps and have heard mixed reviews about them. Some women LOVED it while others said they didn't get enough milk with these. They are very expensive but your insurance may cover some of it!

Get it on Amazon

13. Hands-Free Pumping Bra

If you are going to pump with a traditional pump such as the Medela, you will need a hands-free pumping bra as well. This one I used for my first two babies (before I discovered the Haaka) and loved it. Easy to put on and adjust to any size. I also love that straps are optional. Having it strapless made it easier for me to take on and off.

Get it on Amazon

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