There really isn’t a whole lot you need to have, unlike what the marketers would have you believe. Since everyone’s situation is different, some may need more than others, but again you really don’t know for sure until the time comes. The following is a potential wish list, along with who may benefit from the item.
BREASTPADS: Occasionally, I come across a woman who does not leak – THERE IS NOTHING WRONG! Not leaking is entirely within the realm of normal, but if you’re like me, breast pads are essential. There are disposable ones & non-disposable ones. Disposable ones should wick moisture away from the skin, so you don’t end up with breakdown; washable ones would feel more comfortable for sore nips.
LACTATION CONSULT: The best gift you or someone else can give you is a prenatal or initial lactation consult if there are any issues whatsoever. The BEST way to rid of sore nipples is to get hand’s on help to correct a latch! If something else is needed, your lactation consultant would best know how to manage, such as doing soaks or using topicals (GELS, OILS, HONEY, LOTIONS). Also, nipple SHIELDS are usually given out by hospital staff or lactation consultants in the hospital, so need to purchase one ahead of time! Breast SHELLS are used only in specific circumstances, so again a lactation consult would be in order.
BREASTFEEDING CLOTHES: Although, there are some cute items you may want, it isn’t necessary to purchase anything. Button down shirts, especially with a tank top, suffices for modest breastfeeding.
SUPPORTIVE BRA: You don’t necessarily need a breastfeeding bra, which I personally found awkward. Rather, I chose a hook in the front bra, which served my purpose. One side would stay in place, while I fed from the other side.
PUMPING BRA: Again, you don’t necessarily need one. I was able to hold both flanges in place & eat a sandwich at the same time during my work breaks. You will be surprised what you will be able to handle – you can do this mama! So, who would need a pumping bra? Those women having challenges pumping a sufficient volume of milk for their little one will benefit from being able to do breast massage & compressions while the breast pump does its job – up to double the amount for some women!
BREAST PUMP: There are parents who exclusively breastfeed at the breast. But for those who foresee the need for a bottle, it is entirely possible to hand express a bottle of milk for your baby, if you needed to. In other countries, hand expression may be the norm, but in the United States, women usually prefer a device. But what this device looks like will differ from woman to woman. Some mothers can let down more milk with a manual pump rather than an electric, or a manual pump just may be more convenient. If you prefer the ease of an electric pump, double pumping would be quicker, but there are women who have an aversion to letting down to a machine. Then, there’s the question of which pump do you get? I strongly suggest you speak to a lactation consultant about your unique situation, because there are a ginormous number of different pumps, with various FLANGES to attach to the pumps (sometimes with a hack!), BAGS or specific BOTTLES that will fit a particular pump, AND new pumps are constantly being added to the market.
BOTTLE NIPPLES: If you will be giving the baby a bottle, you will want to stay away from any nipple that looks like they’re wearing shoulder pads, as it promotes a shallow latch!
BABY CARRIERS/WRAPS: Although not a breastfeeding item per se, they certainly come in handy for calming babies & those who like to snack a lot.
It is easy to understand the head spinning, overwhelming feelings that the baby market produces. If you have any questions, shoot me an email @ Info@SolutionsForBreastfeeding.com.