Breastfeeding is the first and the most crucial step of parenting. This list of breastfeeding must haves will sure make the first stage of parenting a lot easier.
Many nursing moms feel extremely hungry and tired when they start breastfeeding. This is because breastfeeding burns a lot of calories – 500 calories in a day. That’s a lot and instead of indulging in cheat snacks all day, it’s better that you have some healthy snacks on hand. Don’t go hungry for a long time to lose the baby weight. Your body is still recovering from birth. And you will just slow down your recovery if you don’t get your macros and calories in.
Snack on some galactagogues (foods that maintain and increase breast milk production) like cookies made of oats, flaxseeds and brewer’s yeast. All the 3 are some great foods to increase breastmilk production. Also, include roasted chickpeas, nuts & seeds, papaya etc.
You might think that you don’t need a nursing bra and a regular bra would work just as well. Think again! Pulling up a regular bra 8-12 times a day, imagine how much stretch the middle of the bra has to bear. You would rip it off in no time. Therefore, stock up on some comfortable and right-size nursing bras. It’s very important to buy right cup size even if you feel that your breasts are gonna shrink down after breastfeeding. This is because wrong cup size puts pressure on your rib cage and would result in an increase in hand numbness and hand tingling – It’s a Postpartum side effect.
You might not feel that breast pumps are essential to the start of your breastfeeding journey but we will just list out some very important reasons that will make you purchase one right now. First, if you have breast pump on hand, then the engorgement can be relieved easily. This is because your baby might not feed as much as your breasts are making, so it’s better that you store the breast milk or donate extra. Second, a breast pump is an excellent way to increase breast milk production as they stimulate the breasts. Breastfeeding works on the principle of supply and demand so the more your body thinks there is demand for breast milk, more it will produce. Third, if you have breast pump in your hospital bag, you can consult a lactation consultant at the hospital itself about how to use the breast-pump correctly.
Read our complete guide on breast pump here.
Breast Leakage is very common in new mums. For some mothers, it can start during pregnancy too. You can leak anytime and it doesn’t matter if you have a high supply, low supply or normal supply. It’s just body’s way of regulating milk production. So, keeping some breast pads stocked up beforehand is a good solution to this not-so-uncommon nursing problem.
Try these disposable pads here.
Lanolin / Nipple Cream
Lanolin, nipple creams are best to heal those cracked, dry nipples. Dryness is a very common problem that all the mothers face. By applying it generously after every feeding will sure help keep the whole areola region moist and hydrated.
Why Lanolin creams?
It’s safe to say that whatever you apply on your breasts is going to reach to the baby. It doesn’t matter if you are cleaning nipples before feedings (which you should do). Lanolin is safe to use. It’s basically wax secreted by wool bearing animals and is used in many cosmetics. It has good absorption and thus heals quickly.
Sure, you can use coconut oil, olive oil or your own breast milk, but the results with lanolin cream have been proven to be most effective.
Try this 100% natural cream here.
Having a nursing pillow will make latching and holding your baby so much easier. Nursing pillows are of a great help especially in the first stages of breastfeeding when you are so clueless on how to position the baby during feedings. They are supportive and comfortable for you and the baby.
Try this one here.
Babies throw up a lot, especially during burping sessions. So, make sure that you always have a cloth across your shoulder or lap or just around you, in general after feedings.
Try these here.
A well-educated support system that includes some wise women like your mother, aunt who already know a lot about breastfeeding, some of your friends who have already had a child, a proper lactation/breastfeeding consultant (not your doctor), some books etc. can really help you on your journey. Also, make sure that you have help around you as and when you need it.