The Lifestlye Blog of "HaM"
First of all, I just want to let everyone know that I am not in any way paid by any product or manufacturer on the following product list and reviews. My Type A personality made me do TONS of research on the best products available to moms and I chose what I thought was the best choices for me and my family. This is not an all inclusive list and what may be wonderful for me may not be wonderful for you so please take this post as an informational post.
My friends and family know how much time I spend reading product reviews before buying a specific item and have always asked me to share my thoughts on products. I realized that if my friends are asking me, I am sure there are many other moms who may want to read this as well! I can make a super long post on ALL the baby products out there but boy do those little boogers need SO many products! This list ONLY has items that I felt are/were needed to be a breastfeeding mom.
I have never used a manual pump and although I can see a use for one, the efficiency of an electric pump is my main reason why I think it is necessary to own one. If you are a working mom, this is a MUST have. The top 2 products I recommend are the Ameda Truly Yours or the Medela Freestlye.
I own the Ameda Truly yours and the only reason why I chose this over the more popular Medela is because of the tubing that is a self contained/ closed system so it does NOT have to be washed and cleaned. I knew that time was an important factor for me and washing tubing is not something I wanted to do. The only downside of the Ameda is that it does not have the 2 phase expression technology that mimics a baby’s sucking motion, but I was okay with that. Either choice you make is a fine choice. Many insurance companies even pay for an electric pump so definitely worth it.
Most moms do not get this important necessity during their baby shower, but it is OH SO IMPORTANT especially the first week of breastfeeding! Nipple cream is a must because it soothes any irritation, soreness, dryness, and pain that you will experience when your baby first latches. I even put it on my son’s drying lips as a newborn and it worked wonders for him as well.
The only product I have ever used was Lansinoh’s HPA Lanolin Cream and it was recommended to me by the lactation nurse at the hospital and during my breastfeeding class. I am sure there are other products out there but this is the one I would recommend getting BEFORE the baby even comes home from the hospital.
Friends and family will be visiting you after your baby is born and for many women, whipping out a breast and feeding your baby is not exactly the most comfortable thing. I know there are mothers who are not embarrassed and all the power to you, but I for one did not feel comfortable nursing my first son in front of my people without a cover! With a cover, I felt like I could go anywhere and do anything. I have nursed at the mall, in a restaurant, in a courtyard, in the car, etc (You name it and I’ve probably nursed there) and it was all made possible by my nursing cover. I did not stop going out and enjoying my life because I had a baby attached to my breast every couple hours. I even used my nursing cover when I exclusively pumped with my second son in my car so I would not be exposed.
The #1 product that most new moms purchase is the Boppy. However, my breastfeeding class I took at the hospital recommended the My Brest Friend. I owned both of these products and would say that they each have their pros and cons. The Brest Friend is great at the first stages of breastfeeding because it truly supports the back, encourages proper sitting positions, and helps prop the baby in the right positions for latching. However, as your baby grows, the Brest Friend becomes unnecessary and the inconvenience of having to buckle it on and off were not working for me. The Boppy was not very useful to me at the beginning and I felt like it was much more helpful as the baby gets older. I used it for multiple different reasons other than nursing. It can be used for support as your baby learns how to sit. It is great for tummy time in the early months. I find that I used the Boppy much more than the Brest Friend and it is still in use as of today!
The following picture is of my first son Hunter as a 2 week old baby using his Boppy.
I have no idea how I survived my first child without this following product! I bought some cheap nursing bras at Target after I had my son Hunter and never had an issue with their discomfort, but after having my second son, those bras did not feel the same and were so uncomfortable! Thank goodness I decided to buy the Bravado! Seemless Nursing Bra. This bra is AH-MAZING! It is OH SO comfortable and it allowed room for my breasts to grow yet feel comfortable! It is breathable, the clips are very easy to snap on and off, and it does not show underneath your clothing. I loved it so much, I went back and bought more. It is pricy but worth every single penny! You do not want to be at work tugging at your bra because it gets uncomfortable. I know as a teacher, I would not want students staring at me pulling at my bra because my boobs were filling up with milk. I honestly have no idea how I ever wore anything else and survived that first child!
Ok, I’ll admit, I was not much of a leaker but did use breast pads occasionally when I still was trying to regulate my milk supply and would randomly let down. I used the Lansinoh Disposable Pads and they served their purpose but I did not love them. The did not stick very well to the bras I had on, but I never leaked with them on so that was all I cared about.
Some things to think about are if you want disposable or washable nursing pads. It is a matter of preference. I heard great things about Lily Padz silicon reusable nursing pads, but never tried them because I never needed them. Let me know in the comments if you have tried these before.
I have previously written about how I personally store my milk using the Playtex Drop In Liner System (See my previous post here.) If this is not the syste you want to be using, my best recommendation would be the Lansinoh Storage Bags. I have used these before on occasion when I forgot my bottles. I read many reviews that said these do a great job storing milk and save a lot of space as well. I am sure there are many other options out there as well, but I recommend having proper bags to freeze in order to build a stash of milk for your baby especially if you are a working mom!
The following are a list of items you MAY need but are NOT necessary.
* Nipple Shield – This is only needed if you are having latch issue with the baby. I was recommended one prior to even breastfeeding because I had inverted nipples. I am glad I waited to
* Hands-free Bra – This is purely for comfort reasons. I actually own a Simply Wishes hands free bra and really liked it. I literally look like a walking ad for the company because I would pump and have my hands free to type on my laptop and work on lesson plans. I enjoyed the freedom it gave me for those 15-30 minutes I was pumping and I really made use of that time. I even learned how to coupon internet surfing with this bra on! I would say the only downfall are the times I would nurse and pump at the same time and this bra did not work. I find myself being lazy and just holding the pump sometimes.
* Nursing Tanks – I actually own none and never needed it but I know many friends who had them and loved them. I think this is personal preference. I can understand wanting to wear a nursing tank when you are at home and lounging in your PJs. I just found them to be expensive and I just wore tank tops I already owned over my nursing bras.
* Sterilizer Bags – Hot water and soap are the best ways to clean a pump, but having a sterilizer bag, especially at work can save so much time and give you piece of mind! I used Medela’s Quick Steam Bag and they worked perfectly every time. I have had no issues with any of my pump parts warping. not sure what else is out there, but the majority of moms I know use this brand.