The Inspired Hive

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Breastfeeding Must Haves

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I can't even pretend to be a breastfeeding expert. I truly thought my background in postpartum nursing would provide me with all the knowledge I needed for breastfeeding. It certainly did make it much easier in the beginning, but I still had a lot to learn!!! Breastfeeding is truly tougher than it looks, and I give major props to all the breastfeeding mommas out there! Today I'm telling you about thirteen helpful breastfeeding products. Some come from my postpartum nurse knowledge, some from recommendations I received from friends, and some from research I did to solve problems I was having. I hope something here might help you out! Good luck on your journey to nourish your baby!

13 Must-Have Breastfeeding Products. Items to make breastfeeding easier... some you might not have heard of before!

Lansinoh Therapearl*- These nifty little gel pads are actually meant for pumping to help letdown, however I found them really helpful when I was engorged in the beginning. When your milk comes in, your breasts can become really firm and painful because your supply and demand hasn't quite balanced out yet. That can be super uncomfortable and make it difficult for baby to latch on. If your lactation consultant suggests heat or cold, try these. You can warm them to apply before feeds to allow easier milk flow, or you can cool them to apply after feeds to help with discomfort. These can also be useful in the event of plugged ducts or mastitis. Just remember that heat and cold can affect your milk supply, so use in moderation.

Milkies Milk Saver*- Once your milk comes in, three or so days after delivery, you might find that you leak a LOT of milk from the opposite breast you are feeding on. It's disappointing when you start to realize how much milk is being wasted. Enter the Milkies Milk Saver! One of my friends told me about this thing. I will say it is huge and certainly not something you can wear all day, but it's definitely helpful at feeding time when you know you will have a big let down. You can store this milk for later or for when baby is older to add to infant cereals.
Lansinoh Latch Assist*- I learned about this tool when I worked as a postpartum nurse. This suction tool is meant for women with flat or inverted nipples to help draw the nipple out for baby to latch onto. If you do have flat or inverted nipples, I also recommend seeing a lactation consultant. They can show you positions and techniques to help baby latch on correctly. 

Breast Shells*- These were actually a life saver for me. Breastfeeding can definitely be painful the first couple of weeks while you work on getting a perfect latch. If your nipples are sore for a while, it can be tough to tell if your latch is still incorrect or if you're still just sore from when it was incorrect before! Put these shells into your bra after feedings to give your nipples some breathing room. This gives them time to heal without rubbing against nursing pads. After three days of wearing the Avent Comfort Shells* off and on, I felt like a new person!

Bamboobies*- Speaking of nursing pads... I was using disposable nursing pads in the beginning. Until your let down is under control, you are changing them too constantly to use anything else. Once things stabilized, I needed something else because those disposable pads are SO itchy! I did some research and ran across Bamboobies*! They are bamboo velour nursing pads that are so soft! If you buy a set, it includes thin pads for during the day and thicker pads to wear over night. 
Hydrogels*- Another aid for sore nipples. The cooling feeling of hydrogel pads gives you so much relief! Medela's hydrogel pads are reusable and perfect for helping your discomfort. Many hospitals carry these, so ask before you are discharged home!

Coconut oil*- I tried several different nipple creams in the beginning. They were all so sticky! I couldn't stand it. I ended up trying coconut oil and fell in love. It goes on smoothly and isn't sticky at all. It's perfectly safe for baby without having to wipe it off before feeds. It also has antifungal properties which might help reduce your chances of thrush, a common and painful yeast infection of the breast that affects breastfeeding moms.

Nipple shield*- Another tool I encountered in my postpartum nursing job. This is a tool I absolutely do not recommend using without the advice of a lactation consultant. It can be extremely helpful in cases of flat or inverted nipples when all else fails. It can also be a temporary solution for pain relief in the case of tongue tie while awaiting the corrective procedure. However, nipple shields can seriously affect milk supply and can also be very difficult to wean later on, so definitely seek advice before using.
Boppy*- I think I've said to my husband countless times, "I don't know how women breastfed before the boppy was invented!" Ha! Women back then just must have been stronger than I am! I've discovered that, although tiny and cute, babies are heavy! And they get heavier as time goes on. My Boppy nursing pillow makes breastfeeding so much easier!

Burp cloths*- I've also learned that breastfeeding can be messy. Some people don't have this problem at all, but I do! Personally, I find it super helpful to lay a burp cloth on the Boppy before each feeding in order to avoid having to wash the Boppy cover over and over. I actually use the Gerber cloth diapers* as burp cloths because they hold a lot without soaking through, and they come in cute colors!

Nursing cover*- In the first few weeks, when everyone is visiting you, and the baby is eating constantly, it's helpful to have a nursing cover. You might not use it any other time, but I was so glad I had it during those initial weeks! The one I have from Bebe Au Lait* has a piece of wire at the top that is angled away from you to allow you to be able to see your baby without having to lift the nursing cover. 
Nursing camisole*- Who knew it would be so difficult to find clothes conducive to breastfeeding! There are plenty of nursing tops... they all happen to also be maternity tops! Hello, I don't want people thinking I'm pregnant anymore! My friend recommended these nursing tanks from Target. They're skin tight, making it easy to wear under your regular shirts. Then, you can easily pull up your shirt without showing your stomach and unlatch the nursing tank for feeding. I ordered a couple and love them so far! They're slimming and comfy!

Water bottle*- You thought you needed to drink a lot during pregnancy? Now you need to drink even more to keep you and baby hydrated and your milk suppy up! I'm recommending this again because I love it so much... The Daily 8* water bottle contains eight 8 ounce servings of water. Perfect!

Hope you found this helpful! Let me know if you have any breastfeeding essentials that I didn't include!!
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  1. Those milk saver things are so cool! I remember being so disappointed any time I leaked, especially because I was having a hard time breastfeeding and was having to supplement. Wish I had known about these!

    1. They were definitely helpful in those first couple of weeks! Thanks for stopping by! :)