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8 Essential Breastfeeding Accessories

8 Essential Breastfeeding Accessories

Breastfeeding can sometimes be a tiring and painful experience for some women, especially during the initial months after childbirth. To ease the process and make breastfeeding comfortable, there are many products and accessories that a new mom can use.
AptParenting Staff
Quick Tip
If the breasts are swollen and engorged due to breastfeeding, then cold compresses can help reduce the swelling and pain.

Every mother knows that breastfeeding is the best way to feed the baby. It helps the child get the right nutrition to help him/her grow into a healthy toddler. Unfortunately, for many mothers, breastfeeding does not come naturally. Moreover, there are many babies that have difficulty in latching on. This results in sore nipples and pain in the breasts. Thankfully, there are a number of products in the market that make breastfeeding easier for a new mom.

Whether you are exclusively breastfeeding, or combining it with pumping breast milk, there are a number of accessories that can make breastfeeding easier and more comfortable for you and the baby. In this AptParenting article, we provide a list of must-have breastfeeding accessories for a new mom.

Nursing Pads
Leakages during breastfeeding are quite normal. With nursing pads, however, you can avoid the embarrassment. Nursing pads have a breathable waterproof layer that protects against leakages, thus providing discrete and comfortable protection. There are disposable as well as reusable nursing pads available in the market. Most of them have multiple layers for enhanced protection along with adhesive strips at the back to keep the pads in place. Usually, the breast pads are made of 100% cotton to ensure adequate airflow to the nipples and breasts.

Some good choices include:

★ Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads
★ JOHNSON'S Nursing Pads
★ Evenflo Disposable Nursing Pads
★ Bamboobies Super-Soft Bamboo Washable Nursing Pads

Nursing Bra and Tank Tops
Nursing bras provide special support for breastfeeding women, and enables easy breastfeeding. Features such as drop-down clips make feeding the baby pretty easy. These bras feature fuller cups and soft, comfortable fabric. Some of them have panels or flaps that can be folded down or unclipped when feeding the baby. Not only do they facilitate feeding, but well-fitting nursing bras also prevent problems such as plugged milk ducts and mastitis. There are many types of nursing bras available in the market such as softcup, underwire, seamless, and sports bra styles. Apart from bras, nursing tank tops and camisoles, such as the Gilligan & O'Malley Nursing Cami, can be worn over or under another piece of clothing, and this provides easy access for feeding.

Some excellent nursing bras in the market include:

★ Motherhood Wrap Nursing Sleep Bra
★ Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra
★ Medela Sleep Bra

Nursing Cover
Until and unless you plan to stay in the house for months, you definitely need this breastfeeding accessory. Nursing covers are discreet and comfortable covers that allow mothers to breastfeed in public areas without feeling embarrassed about it. Most of them are large with bold prints and colors that allow you to feed the baby with ease.

Some excellent nursing covers are:

★ Itzy Ritzy - Ritzy Nurser Fully-Lined Nursing Cover
★ Boppy Nursing Cover
★ Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover

Breastfeeding Pillow
Using a breastfeeding pillow is not only comfortable for the mother and the child, but it also helps in positioning and latch of the baby. It supports the baby's neck and back while feeding. The pillows are shaped such that they conform to a mother's waist, and hold the baby while he/she feeds. This prevents back pain which is caused due to constant hunching over when feeding the baby. The angled feeding also prevents acid reflux and helps in digestion. Some pillows have belts that allow you to tighten them around the waist.

Some good breastfeeding pillows in the market include:

★ Gia Angled Breastfeeding Pillow
★ Boppy Two-Sided Nursing Pillow
★ My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow

Nipple Shields
Nipple shields are thin, flexible silicone covers that are placed on the nipples while breastfeeding. They have tiny holes at the end of the nipple section that allows the milk to flow through. These shields are great for women who have inverted nipples or have sore and cracked nipples due to breastfeeding. Moreover, the nipple shields work well for babies who have difficulty latching on or have been bottle fed from birth.

Some excellent nipple shields in the market include:

★ Medela Contact Nipple Shields
★ Philips AVENT Nipple Protectors

Lanolin Cream
The first few months of breastfeeding can leave you with painful, sore nipples. An absolute must-have in this case is a lanolin cream which soothes sore nipples. It also prevents chafing, and works as an excellent moisturizer. Apart from lanolin, you can also use natural oils, such as coconut oil, for soothing sore nipples. Nipple creams, such as the Earth Mama-Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter, which is made of cocoa butter, olive oil, and calendula extract, work well to heal and lubricate the skin.

Some excellent lanolin creams in the market include:

★ Lansinoh HPA Lanolin
★ Medela Tender Care Lanolin

Breast Pump
Breast pumps are a lifesavers for working mothers. It allows mothers to store milk while they are away at work. So, the baby receives essential breast milk even when the mother is not there. Moreover, for all those women who stay back at home, breast pumps allow you to store milk overnight so you can get a good night's sleep after a tiring day, while the daddy feeds the child at night. You can opt for manual or electric breast pumps based on your comfort and needs. For infrequent pumping, inexpensive manual pumps work well. However, if you are planning to return to work, then do invest in a pricier and efficient electric breast pump.

Some good breast pumps in the market are:

★ Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breastpump
★ Dr. Brown's Double Electric Breast Pump
★ tommee tippee Closer to Nature Electric Breast Pump

Breast Milk Storage Bags and Bottles
Whether you need to leave it at your child's daycare or use it later, expressed breast milk needs to be stored properly to ensure that it stays good for a long period of time. There are a variety of containers for storing breast milk. These include glass or plastic bottles or special storage bags. While glass is clearly the best choice for storing breast milk, as it is BPA-free and preserves the components of the milk better, it does possess the disadvantages of being quite heavy and prone to breakage. BPA-free plastic bottles, on the other hand, are convenient and easy to use.

Sterilized breast milk storage bags are excellent for storing expressed milk. These BPA-free plastic bags are thick and have zipper closure to seal in the milk. The best part about these bags are they are great space savers and can be easily stored flat in freezers.

Some great storage bags and bottles include:

★ Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags
★ Medela Pump & Save Breastmilk Bags
★ Medela Breastmilk Bottles
★ Snappies Breast Milk Containers

Apart from these essentials, it is a good idea to get in touch with a good lactation consultant, especially if you are struggling with breastfeeding. These consultants can assist you in learning proper breastfeeding techniques that can make breastfeeding a comfortable experience. Lactating mothers should eat healthy foods and drink lots of water to promote milk production.

Initially, breastfeeding can seem a tiring experience; however, with a little help, some patience, and these essentials in place, breastfeeding will soon become easier and a fun, bonding experience with your child.