BREASTFEEDING KIT LIST – THINGS YOU’LL NEED
Did you know that your NHS midwife is not allowed to recommend specific products or endorse brands to help you breastfeed.
But I am!
So here is my list of must-haves for all breastfeeding mums to make the whole experience as comfortable as possible.
These gadgets are here to make life easier in the very early stages and to help you get over the hump of the first two weeks. It’s much easier to get organised before the baby comes and have all the kit to hand in the hospital.
It will save your husband going out and trying to get it right after the birth (if you’ve ever sent him out to buy tampons, you’ll know what I mean!). Good luck!
Get a bucket load of this!
It is brilliant and will really help your nipples if they get sore. The best lanolin is Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Nipple Cream which you can buy in Boots. The beauty of this product is that you don’t have to wipe it off your breast before your baby latches on. At the very least, buy a 40ml tube to have at home, and a 10ml tube to pop in your bag so you always have it to hand. It also has a myriad of extra uses such as easing cracked skin on baby, soothing any hives from general anesthetic, as well as being the best lip gloss you’ll ever use.
It is inevitable that your breasts will leak at some point while breastfeeding. I recommend buying a supply of nursing pads to pop into your bra to prevent any signs of leaking. A great brand is Bamboobies who make a variety of washable, reusable breast pads with a leak-proof backing.
These are ultra-thin, super-soft shells of silicone that rest over the nipple to make breast feeding more comfortable. There are holes at the tip so milk can flow through into the baby’s mouth. I recommend buying one in each size to take to the hospital because who knows what size their nipples are! This way, you have all your basis covered. I like Medela Shields – you can get them at Boots or Amazon.
If you plan to express, make sure you purchase an electric breast pump with a silicon insert. The manual ones take far too long and are, quite frankly, a pain to use. Trust me, the electric ones are worth every penny. Take a look at the Medela Breast Pump; easily available from Boots and Amazon.
My favourite brand of milk collector is Haakaa. It’s a one-piece design that attaches securely to your breast and collects any precious breast milk that would otherwise be lost. Don’t forget you can store breast milk in the fridge for 24 hours and up to three months in the freezer (and remember to label any expressed milk with a date and time of expressing so Dad doesn’t use it for his cuppa by mistake!).
I prefer a V Pillow (rather than a standard nursing pillow) along with some small extra cushions. That way you’ll be able to find the most comfortable position regardless of your shape and size, and it also works if you’ve had a C-section because it doesn’t get in the way of your stitches and allows for a variety of feeding positions. V pillows are easy to find in Marks and Spencer, John Lewis and Dunelm. And if your child is like mine, it will be their special snuggle pillow for the rest of their lives!
You’ll need loads! Great for mopping up any leaking milk or dribbles. Also excellent for tucking into your bra strap and helping you to feed discreetly. I prefer to use muslins instead of nursing covers as they are so lightweight and breathable and easy to bung in the wash. If you prefer a dedicated nursing cover, take care not to buy anything that is too thick that might make you and baby too hot and bothered.
If you suffer from very cracked nipples, the worst thing you can do is put them up against a cotton breast pad and stick yourself to the pad…ouch! These fantastic silver cups will provide a safe place for tender nipples. Silverette are a great brand - you can get them from Amazon.
Just because you’re feeding doesn’t mean you have to wear frumpy, horrible granny pants! Whenever us girls are feeling less than our best, a good makeover is always a guaranteed way to pick us up. A good pair of maternity bras and pants, with the added bonus of decent support, will make you look and feel great (and also prevent you getting granny titties once it’s all said and done!).
We highly recommend spending a little bit of money, making yourself a priority and getting a couple of excellent ‘Hot Milk’ underwear sets. Hot Milk specialise in beautifully designed, supportive maternity underwear.
10. Glass Bottles for Expressed Milk
Buy glass bottles instead of plastic ones for freezing your expressed milk. (Tommee Tippee do a good range.) There will be less opportunity for anything toxic that might be in the plastic to leach into the milk. Milk expands a bit as it freezes so don’t fill it more than 2/3 full.
11. Water Bottles
Nothing will more directly impact your ability to feed than not being fully hydrated. Breastfeeding is thirsty work! I suggest having three really big water bottles ready. Take one or two with you in your hospital bag as you’ll need to drink 4-6 litres of water a day while breastfeeding, and trust me you only want to get up once or bother the midwives once to get you water.
When you are home, keep a water bottle by your bed, one near the sofa and one that you take out and about with you. There is nothing worse then being trapped, dying of thirst, while you are holding a sleeping baby that will wake the minute you move.
Don’t add anything to the water – plain is best. The biggest no no's are peppermint tea (which will dry you up) and drinks with artificial sweetener in them such as Coke and other fizzy drinks (this is like giving your baby a cup of coffee).
And remember, if you're thirsty your body has already started prioritising your need for water over your baby's need for milk.
So drink girl, drink.