8 Breastfeeding Essentials
To celebrate Breastfeeding Awareness Month and World Breastfeeding Week ( August 1st - August 7th )
I've put together a list of 8 breastfeeding brands, products and a few recipes that have truly made my breastfeeding experience comfortable and easier than I imagined it would be. I found many of these products on my own from research I did prior to giving birth to my son. Some I came across more recently as my needs have changed throughout this journey. These are the products, brands and recipes that have worked best for me and may not be a good fit for every momma. But if you are able to find one thing about this post helpful I think sometimes that’s all we need to make all the difference.
#1 Intentional Eating
I always knew I wanted to breastfeed my child but I was definitely scared of how my experience would be after doing far too much reading on other women’s difficulties on this journey while I was pregnant. I had only read stories of struggle and pain however my experience for the most part has not only been relatively easy but one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had. I’m happy that I can provide my son with not only nourishment but comfort in a way nobody else can for him. Personally I have struggled to maintain a healthy weight my whole life so I was always concerned I would lose too much weight and not be able to produce enough milk to fill my son’s belly. But I did my research and decided not to care about “bouncing back in time for summer” or anything else except being a healthy mother for my baby. I have not lost any weight since my son was born and that’s just fine with me. Reading that it takes 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day to maintain a healthy milk supply, I was super nervous I would not be able to maintain. But though more research I found more important than counting calories was which foods I chose to eat. Being an adult who never particularly liked any vegetables, I had to get creative in how I would consume the right foods. I focused on foods that already seemed to be a part of my diet that are known to support and even increase milk supply such as: old fashioned oats, spinach, garlic, carrots, chickpeas, sesame seeds, and ginger root. These are the foods I knew I could make a large part of my everyday life. You’d be amazed at how many things you can throw some spinach in and not even notice, and I mean who doesn’t love hummus – it’s loaded with chickpeas and sesame seed. Also oatmeal cookies and banana oatmeal muffins became my breakfast.
You can check out my blog for recipes packed with the foods mentioned above.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oatmeal Banana Muffins
Creamy Spinach/Basil Pesto Pasta with Raspberry Balsamic Chicken Thighs
Classic Super Creamy Hummus
Cheesy Spinach Sundried Tomato Pasta with Meatballs
#2 Belly Bandit - The Mother Tucker® Nursing Tank
Of course, I needed to still look and feel good once I got into the flow of mommyhood and began to slowly become a human again and get out of the house. With my new body came the need for new clothes that I could feel confident feeding my son while in public. Just like anyone else, no matter how content you are with yourself or your choices, it’s still human nature to feel uncomfortable with judgmental eyes all around. Just like any new mom I bought myself one of those cute cover-ups and thought I was set, nope. My son hates it, won’t feed under it and is constantly pulling it off his head, especially in the summer heat. So that didn’t work. During my pregnancy my husband stumbled across Belly Bandit, we were both drawn to the belly wrap compression products they offered, which are great but after purchasing the popular Viscose from Bamboo belly wrap I quickly realized that though it was great for the days following birth it was not practical for me to continue wearing daily. It worked perfectly as it should post-delivery, flattening my tummy and helping my body contract back into place. It worked so well in fact I was selected as “Bandita of the Month” for March 2019 but a few weeks later I just wanted to be more comfortable and enjoy skin to skin with my son without constantly removing my belly wrap. Because I liked the belly wraps results so much I decided to give other products in their line a try. I found several options that suited my needs but The Mother Tucker® Nursing Tank was by far my favorite. It provided compression support for my belly as well as convenient discrete nursing. I also enjoyed the Belly Bandit Perfect Nursing Tank, Belly Bandit Perfect Nursing Dress, and Mother Tucker Scoop Neck
#3 Kindred Bravely - The Marvella Luxe Maternity & Nursing Underwire Free Bra
One of the most important things my nurses and lactation consultant suggested for self-care was to get myself a very supportive and comfortable bra with no underwire. Because we are on a tight budget I didn’t listen and went on Amazon and purchased what was probably the cheapest nursing bra 4-pack I could find. Needless to say they fell apart after a few washes and were just the frumpiest bras you could ever image and none of my tops or dresses looked good with them. I guess you could say they were at least comfortable but I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel on nice looking bras just yet. Funny enough while scrolling on Instagram I saw a sponsored post for Kindred Bravely and the girl in the picture was wearing a super normal and comfortable looking nursing bra, interest officially sparked. I checked out the site, used the signup coupon and purchased two bras, black and nude. These bras are soft, supportive, comfortable and the best part is they offer different styles to suit my various needs. The Sublime Hands-Free Pumping & Nursing Bra was such a good investment so that I could pump and continue to work on my computer at the same time. My favorite is The Marvella Luxe Maternity & Nursing Underwire Free Bra. This one looks beautiful under all my cute tops and dresses and I can’t wait to purchase their new Lace Nursing Bralette. They always have a bundle and save discount and run sales pretty often. (currently you can use code BRAVE20 for 20% off)
I will say one thing I didn’t like was The Organic Cotton Maternity & Nursing Tank. I received this free because I won a giveaway on Instagram, I don’t know about the rest of their clothing line because I have not tried it yet but this tank was too thick, stiff and just not comfortable.
#4 Lansinoh Nursing Pads
Lansinoh Nursing Pads have not let me down once. I had a lot of trouble with leakage my first month or two, along with a painful let down so I always had a feeling of dread the moment I felt that flush of pain. After a little online searching it looks like everyone can agree these nursing pads are prime. I have been able to find them on Amazon, Target, Walmart, just about everywhere. I felt a little wasteful using disposable nursing pads but washing reusable ones just didn’t fit my lifestyle with how often I needed them, I choose to save the planet other ways and indulge in this convenience. Plus because they has a stick on application I have be able to use them when wearing backless strapless dresses and tops without fear
Above photo: Jennifer Lynn Photography
#5 Milkies Milk-Saver Breast Milk Collectors
Going through all these disposable nursing pads brought me to find Milkies Milk-Saver Breast Milk Collectors. Talk about a game changer! I wear these around the house and every time I nurse or pump. I can collect an extra 4-6oz a day just by wearing these. For weeks I was obsessed with filling up those 8oz freezer bags to build up a stash and these made the whole effort practically effortless. I grab mine off Amazon but I’ve seen them at Target too.
#6 Earth Mama Organics Milkmaid Tea
Because I’m always anxious about my supply, I drink Earth Mama Organics Milkmaid Tea every morning. Now this I have heard is truly not for every mom or their babes, but for me and my son it works great! It’s loaded with fenugreek, fennel, milk thistle and Red Raspberry leaves. I drink it to give myself peace of mind that I’m doing all I can to support healthy milk production and the cute little notes on each tea bag makes me smile every morning.
#7 Earth Mama Organics Nipple Butter
I have yet to have a single issue with painful/sore nipples and I credit that all to this lovely nipple butter. 100% organic and you don’t need to wash it off before baby nurses. I actually don’t even remember to use it every day and it still keeps my nipples happy and healthy
#8 The Jones Market – Nursing Necklaces
These necklaces saved my skin! Literally! My baby boy loves to pinch, tear and scratch at my skin when he nurses but the moment I bought a couple of these he now has something else to do with his hand while he nurses. No more frustration for him while I’m constantly trying to grab his hand and no more pain for my poor skin! They’re also great for teething. We don’t have to carry around a toy that inevitably gets dirty or dropped on the floor, and since I’m not wearing expensive chains for him to tug on anymore anyways this is a cute replacement for me. I bought a couple in different shapes, sizes and colors to match whatever I’m wearing. The best part is they aren’t silicone so they won’t collect every piece of lint in a hundred mile radius like the one I got from the baby store.
That's my top 8 breastfeeding essentials! I hope I have highlighted at least one brand, product or recipe that will help another momma on her journey. Advice, questions and comments are welcome as I'm new to this experience and hope to continue for another 6-9 months!
Happy breastfeeding month ladies!
Some links in this post are affiliate links which means I earn a commission if you purchase through them at no extra cost to you. I only recommend brands and products that I 100% like and enjoy using. Thank you in advance for your support!