I have now spent 3 years of my life breastfeeding every 2-3 hours and we are not done! The first 2 years were breastfeeding my twins, and I tandem fed most of the time! While I am not an expert (and I honestly struggle when helping new moms learn to breastfeed), I do know what things I needed on hand to make my life a lot easier when breastfeeding. Of course you can live without some of these, but these are all items I used and loved and made my breastfeeding journey so much easier!
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First, Find a Support System.
Whether you’re starting out with twins like I did, or one baby at a time – breastfeeding is no joke! You’ll want to make sure you are as prepared as you can be. Make sure you have a good support system in place! Our hospital offers a free breastfeeding clinic if you deliver there. Check with your hospital to see what they have to offer! I made use of the clinic several times when the twins were newborn. I also went to see a LLLC who had twins herself, and she offered me lots of great advice.
Once you’ve got your support system in place, you’ll want to make sure you have the items you need to be successful when you bring your little one home for the first time. Here are the 8 (or so) items I feel are most important when breastfeeding!
1. Nursing Bra or Cami.
Make sure you start out with a good nursing bra or cami. I have used both and love both. My favorite camis were from Target, Motherhood Maternity, & Old Navy and these are my favorite nursing bras! They’re comfy and they last.
2. Nursing pads.
Then, you need nursing pads. I like to start out with disposable nursing pads until my supply regulates. Then, after a few months these Bamboobies Washable Nursing Pads are absolutely my favorite. This is a great starter set if you need some! Mine have been through lots of washings and are still going strong! My cousin Hunter introduced these to me, and I’m so thankful! They’re a ton better than the other kinds I tried!
4. Lanolin or Nipple Cream.
Don’t forget to make sure you have some lanolin or nipple cream on hand! This is a necessity for when maybe baby has had a bad latch and you need some relief. They also make these cooling pads for breastfeeding that I found very helpful a few times!
5. Nursing Pillow.
The next most important thing for me was a good breastfeeding pillow. I have a long torso and it hurts my back to hunch over, so I definitely need a pillow! For our current baby I have loved the Boppy. I also have a knock off brand, and while it works okay in a pinch, the Boppy brings her up high enough that I can sit comfortably and saves my back. Target has some adorable covers, too! For the twins, I preferred the “Twin Z” breastfeeding pillow. It went with me everywhere! I did use an extra pillow behind it and under it on my lap, but the shape of it helped place the twins so easily I just couldn’t live without it. You can get it in almost any color now!
The other option that seems to be the favorite is the “My Brest Friend” twin nursing pillow. This one didn’t work well for me, but a lot of twin moms like the flat shelf and how it straps on behind you, so they say it feels more secure. And it’s definitely a lot less money (though I’d say the Twin Z is totally worth it!).
6. A Good Pump & Supplies.
The Haakaa is a lifesaver as well as a milk-saver. It goes on the opposite side from where you’re nursing and collects the milk that would otherwise just be lost. I saved quite a bit with the Haakaa, especially when my milk was first coming in. Make sure you get one with a good, wide, base (you don’t want to be able to knock it over easily!) and a lid. I found this one on sale, and if you follow my page Fun2Find Deals I’ll post when I see it again. It’s the best!
If you plan to pump some, you will need a couple more things. You should be able to get your pump from your insurance company for free. You can contact your OB for more info! But there are a few more things you’ll need beside the pump. First, bottles to pump into. For mamas that pump several times a day you will want to make sure you either have a place to wash and reuse the bottles after you put the milk into storage bags, or that you have enough clean ones to get through the day. This bottle drying rack is super nice for countertop space! You will also need milk storage bags for the freezer. A quick storage tip is to lay the bags flat to freeze! Then you can store them easily when they’re flat! These storage organizers are super helpful!
Since I don’t pump very often as I am home a lot of the time, I preferred my manual breast pump rather than setting up an electric pump each time. The hands free of the electric is nice, but seeing as I only pump for a few minutes and really rarely, the manual is my go-to. This is the one I use. My hospital was able to send me home with one, so you may ask about that! Otherwise, Amazon has them for not too expensive.
7. Snacks and Water.
Your breastfeeding station needs to be well stocked with healthy snacks! And make sure you have a favorite water bottle, as you should be drinking a lot of water! I absolutely love this water bottle. It’s cute and encouraging! With the twins I always got nauseated if I didn’t eat and drink while nursing, so I had a basket of granola bars by all my nursing spots, and I carried my water bottle with me every time. You don’t want to be stuck holding a sleeping baby without anything to eat and drink! These are my favorite granola bar because they’re full of protein. My SIL gave me this tumbler, and I just love it!
I never had issues with my milk supply, but I’ve picked up a couple of tips along the way for boosting your supply if needed. Oatmeal works really well. I ate a bowl every morning for the twins’ whole first year of life. It was just easy and I knew it was helping my supply. If you add this box to your subscribe and save you’ll never run out!
8. Chair & Footstool.
I couldn’t write this post without mentioning a good chair and a foot stool! This rocking recliner is the same brand and pretty similar to ours. I love it. There are more great options here! So good for pregnancy and post party and so comfy! Remember, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the chair, so make sure it’s comfortable! If I’m not in my recliner I really like a footstool to bring my knees up a little. It saves your back from leaning forward.
I hope you found this list helpful to get you started! I share more thoughts and daily deals on Facebook, I’d love for you to come join me there!
What other items did you find helpful when breastfeeding? I’d love to know!