Breastfeeding can cause many issues both in the early days & later along the journey. Here a my top 5 breastfeeding essentials that will help you to ease in to the swing of things.
- Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Cream RRP £9.99
This stuff is amazing. Apply it after liberally in those early days to help sore, cracked nipples. It wont completely prevent them but it goes a very long way to help. It’s safe for baby to ingest so you don’t have to worry about wiping it off before feeds. I had this stuff by my side for the first few weeks & occasionally get it out now. It’s also wonderful for chapped lips, dry hands, cracked heels… although it’s not marketed for that. It’s not cheap at £9.99 but a tube goes a long way & if you sign up for Amazon prime you can get it for £7.27.
2. Ana Wiz Washable Natural Bamboo Breast Pads, RRP £12.95
At 3am one morning I was so annoyed by my disposable breast pads as they folded up and stuck together for about the millionth time that i flung them across the bedroom. I ordered some washable ones & have never looked back. Make sure you buy plenty, I have 12 pairs, that way you haven’t got a rush to do the washing. Another top tip I learn through a friends mistake was to pop them in a laundry bag before washing them so they don’t get stuck in your machine & break it.
These bamboo pads are super absorbent, don’t irritate & don’t move around too much in your bra, although you will need to readjust after a feed but that’s normal.
3. Nursing Bras Hotmilk £34.99 / Marks & Spencer £30 for 2
I spent ages trying to find nursing bras that I liked. Before I’d given birth I was concerned about support from underwire. I basically wanted my normal bra put with fold down cups. Once you’re feeding you soon realise you don’t really need it. As long as your bra fits properly your boobs will be so big that they will fill the bra and stay ‘up’. I dread to think what I’m going to be left with after.
I bulk ordered loads & came back with these two styles as the best options. I highly recommend that you do the same so that you can decide what is right for you. I bought bras about a month before my due date & they fitted me fine after Ella’s birth. Most nursing bras have extra hooks for adjustment, often around 6 sets of hooks instead of the regular 3. Just remember to tighten the bras regularly as your shape will change in the weeks after birth.
The M&S bras are very soft & comfy, great under t-shirts & are what I choose to sleep in. They really help smooth out your chest covering the breast pad & nipple outlines. They’re good value at 2 for £30 & are my go to bra.
The Hotmilk bras are a little pricier but are what I choose to wear under nicer tops. They’re pretty & feminine with a bit of lace so help you feel like a normal woman and not a milk machine. They’re not as discreet as the Marks & Spencer’s bras so you have to be a bit more selective with what you wear them under. But once you’ve had a baby you don’t really give two hoots if you have peanuts in your bra.
4. Nursing Pillow by Thrupenny Bits from £33
A nursing pillow is essential in those early days when you’re tired, you’re sore & your little one wants to feed constantly. I started using sofa cushions but they kept moving about. That’s when I discovered the Thrupenny Bits nursing pillow, it ties around your waist so it doesn’t move at all. Baby is totally supported meaning you can relax a little bit more while feeding & almost go hands free. The pillow can be taken out with you to help with feeding out & about.
Once baby is bigger the pillow does become a little redundant, or that’s what i found anyway. Baby is bigger & I’m more practised at feeding but I would still highly recommend it for the first couple of months!
Drink loads of it. Like 3 litres a day loads of it. The one day i didn’t I woke with terrible night cramps in my legs due to dehydration. You need all this liquid not only for yourself but also for you baby, you’re providing their fluids as well. So drink!
A friend got busy with life & didn’t drink enough and after a year of breastfeeding now has kidney stones. I’ve learnt from her & make sure I drink plenty – she said the pain was worse than labour.
To make sure I get enough fluids in I bought a flask with a built-in straw, I think mine was £3.50 from Tesco, this means I can drink on the go & with my hands full!
So, those are my top 5 breastfeeding essentials, do you have anything that helps you through?