Ergobaby Natural Curve Nursing Pillow: A good support pillow is crucial when you’re nursing a newborn. I had the Boppy pillow and I was less than thrilled with it; it would never stay around my waist, leaving a gap into which the baby would always sink. This put strain on my back, neck and arms–and you don’t need that kind of discomfort when trying to get a new baby to breastfeed! While I’m not crazy about Ergo carriers (as I mentioned in this post), this new pillow they designed is pretty awesome. It also comes with a cover whereas other brands sell them separately. I have a friend who uses this pillow so I got to see it in action, and I will be getting one for myself whenever we have baby #2, unless something better comes out by then (stay tuned).
Lansinoh Lanolin: Lanolin (“You mean like sheep’s wool?”) soothes the aching nips. This particular brand had a smoother consistency than others and didn’t feel sticky or gross.
aden + anais Classic Burpy Bib: This is my favorite burp cloth next to basic cloth diapers. It’s so soft and absorbent—not to mention adorable with all the pattern choices. It also multitasks as a bib.
Bebe au Lait Nursing Cover: A stylish nursing cover is a must, and don’t be afraid to use it everywhere! Bebe au Lait makes some pretty ones in premium lightweight cotton with nice features like a sturdy neckline for easy baby viewing (for you, not strangers), terry cloth corners to clean up messes, pockets, and an adjustable neck strap.
“Stay Dry” Nursing Pads: Other than peeing in your pants, there’s nothing quite as uncomfortable as wearing a milk-soaked bra. I thought I would only need to wear these during the night, but I ended up wearing them all day, every day for the first few months due to engorgement from oversupply. I tried alllll different kinds of nursing pads, and these were the most comfortable on sore nipples and the most natural looking under clothes. Pads I absolutely hated: Medela (rough on skin and crinkly sounding when you move) and Nuk (leaked everywhere—no thank you).
Henley Nursing Cami: I struggled to find postpartum nursing clothes that fit well. Many nursing camis are fitted in the bust and loose or ruched in the waist to accommodate a still-large tummy, but this looks all wrong once you lose some baby weight. I’m still wearing his particular henley style over a year later because it is so comfortable and doesn’t really look like a nursing top. It does have a looser fit overall, but that’s part of the style. It’s great for lounging but also looks good with shorts or jeans.
Nursing Sleep Bras: When I wasn’t sleeping in a nursing tank (when I needed a break from fumbling with plastic clips in the dark), I wore these cotton sleep bras which are very easy to pull to the side for feedings.
Milk Storage Bags: These hold a lot of milk and freeze/thaw very well because of the bag strength. I had to transport about 100 ounces of breastmilk from New Jersey to Tennessee, and these bags kept the milk safe during the thousand mile road trip (more about transporting pumped milk long distances coming soon!)
Medela Contact Nipple Shield: If you have problems with latching or anticipate that you might, I highly recommend keeping several of these on hand. I was given one by a lactation consultant in the hospital, and I couldn’t feed Nina without it for the first few weeks. One day it got lost, and we were beside ourselves rushing to the store to buy another so that she could eat. I bought three after that ordeal in case they got lost again. I prefer the cutout shape of this type because it allows for better skin-to-skin contact. Here is more information about how to use it and how to eventually wean baby off of it.
Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump: It has “2-Phase Expression Technology,” which means there is a two-minute “let down” cycle mimicking baby’s natural sucking action when she first latches on (faster and shorter). After two minutes, it automatically switches to the “expression” cycle (longer, slower pulses), but if you feel your milk let down sooner, you can manually change the cycles with the push of a button. There is a knob you can turn to adjust the strength of the pump to your needs, and you can tweak it throughout your pumping session. The Pump in Style comes with an A/C adaptor and a battery pack. I’ve used it in the car with just the battery pack, but you can purchase a car adaptor separately if you need to use it on the go for extended periods of time. I love the sleek black microfiber material of the bag. Since the tote style did not resemble any bag I would normally carry, I liked the backpack because it felt more like my “gear” than a fashion statement gone wrong.