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Preparing for Baby: Breastfeeding Essentials for Your Registry

Registering for your baby shower can be an exciting process as you discover all kinds of things that you never knew you needed. How do you figure out which breastfeeding essentials are right for you? Learn about the different breastfeeding products so you can make educated decisions about what to add to your baby shower registry.

A Breastfeeding Pillow (or two or three)

This is one of the most important necessities when it comes to breastfeeding because it will give you and your baby the most comfortable position when feeding and encourage the baby to latch on correctly. My Brest Friend is the number one choice recommended by lactation consultants (and there are several others on the market to choose from). Make sure that whichever one you choose is comfortable for you and provides the support your baby needs while you’re feeding. Register for more than one of these because you may want to keep one in different rooms, at different places you frequent, in the car, and any other place you believe you’ll go to often. It’s the one thing you never want to be without while you’re breastfeeding.

Nursing Covers

This is one of those breastfeeding essentials that is optional but many woman choose to cover their babies while breastfeeding in public. There are many controversies about breastfeeding in public and whatever you choose to do, don’t let those opinions get to you! Hooter Hiders, My Brest Friend, Bebe Au Lait, and several other manufacturers offer nursing covers in many different patterns, textures, and sizes. Have fun shopping for these if you choose to use them and picking out patterns with which you’ll love to cover your baby when you nurse outside the home.

Breast Shells

These are cups worn over the breast that catch leaked milk to be saved and stored. When you’re feeding from one breast, milk still lets down into both and may leak a good deal. Breast shells allow the breastfeeding mother to save what leaks whether she is breastfeeding at the time of the leaking or not. Avent Comfort is a brand that many mothers love and they can be bought at virtually any baby specialty store or where baby supplies are sold.

Nursing Pads

When working breastfeeding mothers return to the office, it might seem like most of her breastfeeding accessories will stay at home unless she has to pump while she’s out. However, there is one piece that is essential to the breastfeeding mom when she goes back to the world of adults and that is a good pair of nursing pads. These are disposable pads worn inside the bra against the nipple to keep leaking milk from bleeding through the bra and leaving marks on a garment. They can save a mother a lot of embarrassment and discomfort! Lansinoh is a popular brand for comfort and functionality but there are several others, all available at your favorite specialty baby supply store and many types are even available at your local pharmacy, supermarket, big box store, or online outlet.

Nipple Cream

In the beginning (and sometimes later on), it is common for nipples to become sore [interlink to article ‘What can I do to prevent sore nipples], chafed, crack, or bleed and a good nipple cream can prevent the issue from becoming too uncomfortable as well as soothe these symptoms as they occur. Motherlove makes a good all natural cream and My Brest Friend, Lansinoh, and other brands also offer creams that work just as well. When it comes to registering for a specific nipple cream, you should check the ingredients to see if there’s something you’ll know you’ll react badly to and ask other breastfeeding moms about which one worked best for them. In the end, this is one of the breastfeeding essentials that make take a bit of trial and error before you find the brand you love.

Warm/Cold Packs

Too much supply or not enough milk flow are common problems for the breastfeeding mom and warm and cold packs can help both issues. When you have too much milk, your baby doesn’t want to nurse enough, or you can’t pump enough to keep up with your supply, your breasts will become engorged and cold packs will soothe the aching and pain that comes with this issue as well as assist with swelling in general. Warm packs encourage milk flow in breastfeeding mothers that have trouble making enough milk or letting down when they need to. Gerber Breast Therapy makes a brand that many breastfeeding mothers love but there are several others to choose from, all available at baby supply stores.

Sleep Nursing Bra

You’ll probably go through several nursing bras and it’s one of the most important breastfeeding accessories you can keep in your arsenal. Taking care of your breasts is crucial for maintaining healthy flow and making it easy for your baby to latch on correctly. A sleep nursing bra allows you to have the support you need as well as the comfort you want while you’re sleeping so you can take care of your breasts well day and night. Medela makes a number of nursing bras and sleep nursing bras in several sizes and comfort levels available at baby supplies stores and clothing stores alike. It is recommended that you try on a few before you decide which one you are most comfortable with so when you add this item to your registry, you’re sure that what you get is what will work for you.

Other Breastfeeding Essentials for Your Registry

The items listed above will give you many of the necessary essentials to get you started on your breastfeeding adventure but there are a few others you may also want to add to your registry, especially if this isn’t your first baby and you’re a seasoned breastfeeding mom. A nursing tank top is excellent for sans bra nursing, allowing the mother to simply pull down her shirt to nurse and there are vitamins, supplements, and teas that all help encourage milk flow and keep mom’s energy up during breastfeeding. Make sure you educate yourself on each item before adding it to your registry and visit the stores to try out clothing items to ensure their comfort and fit. With a little bit of research, you can have a breastfeeding essentials arsenal that makes sure you’re always ready to nurse every time your baby is hungry!