As the birth of my first baby approached, I remember one of the thoughts that occupied my head the most was not what labor would be like or when I was going to find time to sleep. No, I was more concerned about breastfeeding. Would I know how? What are the breastfeeding essentials? So, after trial and error, these became my 10 must-have items for breastfeeding.

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Breastfeeding Essentials for Every Nursing Mom


boppy pillow

1. Boppy Pillow 

This is definitely on my list of breastfeeding essentials, especially when baby is so tiny. At the beginning of nursing, your focus is on trying to get a good latch. This Boppy Pillow allows you to be hands free since this can sometimes take a few minutes and both hands. This pillow really saved my arms and allowed me to focus on latch while my little 9 lb angel, rested on a soft pillow.  Also, once your baby is latched, you can rest a little while they nurse.

For the next stages, they are also great support when your baby is learning how to sit up. Here is the one we have for our little girl but honestly, there are several ADORABLE designs.

nursing bras

2. Quality Nursing Bras

Your girls are going to need some serious support through this journey. Don’t forget they were made to do this but the more you love em’ now, the more they will love you later. These bras not only give fabulous support and help you not look saggy, they are also very easy to use so when its feeding time and don’t break the bank! I had 3 nursing bras plus a couple nursing tanks and that seemed to be a good amount. I didn’t do laundry as often after my baby was born so having a few in reserves was a godsend. 

3. Nursing Tank Tops

Not just nursing bras, nursing tank tops are a breastfeeding essentials. Why? Because they keep your back and tummy covered while you are getting baby latched. These kept me more confident especially as my baby and I learned; less exposure and it kept me warmer in cooler temps too. I had two nursing tank tops and got one in black and one in white so that I could wear them with different outfits. These are a MUST!

lanolin cream

4. Lanolin Cream or Motherlove Nipple Cream

Stop right here. If you take nothing else from this list…. you have to have a nipple cream while beginning breastfeeding. Both of these did wonders for me. Sadly, I didn’t start using it until I was already having a lot of pain from cracking and bleeding. Glory be though, it brought me back to normal in SUCH a short time. I only wish I had been caking this stuff on from day one. This miracle, lotion-y goodness was literally what kept me from giving up. I would have at least two bottles of this gem at home. But, by far this is one of my must-have breastfeeding essentials.

This is also one of those “pack in the hospital bag items.”

You can read more about that here: What’s in my Hospital Bag: Second Time Mom

nursing pads

5. Nursing Pads

Disposable Pads- These are by far the best disposable pads that I have tried. I remember once the few free trials of disposable pads I got from the hospital were gone, I went to Walmart and got the cheapest pads I could find. I figured, “a pad is just a pad, right?!” WRONG. Life with a newborn is hard enough, let’s not put scratchy, sandpaper pads on our ridiculously tender nipples. Before I even finished that box, I bought these and loved them.

Washable- I am a huge fan of reusing pads if possible. These organic, washable pads are super comfortable and economical (you don’t have to keep blowing through disposables.) Keeping both (disposable and washable) on hand is great and I loved having a backup but these were legit. Whenever they were clean (sometimes I was behind on laundry), they were the most comfortable and worked fabulously.

6. Manual Breast-pump 

I’ma be real honest, ladies. I did NOT have one of these during my first breastfeeding journey and I SO wish I would have. These are literally perfect for whenever you are feeling engorged and need some relief and they also allow you the opportunity to pump while in the car or anywhere else you may not have a plugin for your electric pump! Instead of doing one more pump before you leave work, pump on the drive.

RELATED: Preparing for Labor: Mentally and Physically

7. Breast Milk Storage, Bottles, and Supplies

Raise your hand if you have ever cried over spilled breast milk! Well maybe for you first-time moms, it hasn’t come yet…but seriously, pouring, measuring and freezing milk can be stressful and time-consuming. This revolutionary bottle and milk storage supply starter kit are ALL you need.

It works with almost every breast pump on the market. Literally, hook up the bag and pump directly into the bag. Measurements on the bag make labeling and freezing easy and no more spilling milk. These really are a no-brainer! You can find extra breast milk storage bags here.

nursing cover

8. Nursing Cover 

This is one of my favorite items on this list of breastfeeding must-haves. To this day, I use this for SO many things. The obvious use is a cover for breastfeeding, but it does so much more. You can use it as a car seat cover, a cover for booster/high chairs in public, grocery cart seat cover…it literally does it all! And once again, a million CUTE designs.

Here is my current favorite boy cover and this is the cover we got for our baby girl!


9. Fenugreek Supplement

My little man ended up getting a bad cold around the time I got pregnant and miscarried our second and between the two, my milk just seemed to disappear out of mid-air. I started taking fenugreek and it kept me going and increased my supply enough to keep him happy a little longer. Always consult your physician before adding a supplement into your daily regime though. It’s great at the beginning to encourage milk to come in, during breastfeeding to keep the milk there and for whenever supply seems to drop off a little.

10. Breast Therapy Pads 

These are a beautiful creation. Some women overproduce, some under produce, some produce just enough but encounter a glitch when unexpected mastitis (yuck!) creeps up! These pads are basically hot and cold therapy for your girls no matter what they are going through. Between encouraging let down, helping a clogged duct, relieving engorgement or soothing sore breasts that can happen in the early days of breastfeeding…these are your solution! As a bonus, they also can aid let down with almost any breast pump on the market. 

No matter what your breastfeeding story is or will be, I hope these 10 must-have items for breastfeeding will help you on your nursing journey.

What Breastfeeding Products are your Must-Haves?

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breastfeeding essentials

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