Breastfeeding is one of the most natural things you can do for your baby, but it doesn't always come easy for everyone. I've nursed two children now and had my fair share of struggles, sore nipples, bad latch, low milk supply, refusal to nurse, etc. with all the troubles I've had I've gone down various avenues and spent hundreds of dollars to try and correct each problem.
I've tried numerous products designed to make breastfeeding easier for both mom and baby and I've come up with a list of products that have really helped me make it through my breastfeeding journey.
1.) My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow: I used the Boppy pillow with my first child but this pillow in my opinion really is superior. It buckles around your waist which helps you keep your back straight while nursing, has a pocket for your water bottle, phone, whatever else you want to store while you nurse, and has two grooves on each side to keep your babies head comfortable while you nurse. I had a c-section and was worried about irritating my incision but it really didn't. I really prefer this to my boppy pillow. It retails at Target for $34.99
2.) Medela Freestyle Hands Free Double Electric Breast Pump: This is probably the one product I use more than anything else, and although it is rather pricey (it retails for about $350-$400 depending on where buy it) it's worth it. With my first child I hardly ever pumped because I didn't have a very good pump the suction wasn't great and it only worked when plugged into the wall. With the Medela Freestyle it comes with a kit that connects to your bra and makes the pump completely hands free so you can work, cook, read, feed your baby, etc. all while pumping. I've personally never used the kit because I have a hands free pumping bra I purchased for $4 that I'll mention later, but it you don't want to spend extra money it's a nice extra. What I really love about this pump is how small it is, and I don't have to run through 6 batteries at a time because this pump has a rechargable battery built in so you can literally pump anywhere at any time without worrying about your batteries dying while you use it. Other features it includes a very large tote, 4 bottles with caps, an small bag with an resuable ice pack and two different size breast shields. This is one item I would say splurge on.
3.) Simple Wishes D Lite Hands Free Breastpump Bra: This is the hands free pumping bra I mentioned above, this company simple wishes offers a few different varieties of hands free pumping bras, but during the holidays they usually have contests and coupons for free bras you just pay for shipping. This is the less expensive model but it works just as well, it ties in the back and also comes with removal straps. I use this bra every day several times a day, it's comfortable, affordable, easy to use, and works with any breast pump. It also comes in two sizes that will literally fit everyone no matter how blessed you were in that particular department. Without this bra I probably would have gave up on pumping a long time ago. This particular bra retails for $26.99 on Amazon.
4.) Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags: I've been a huge fan of these storage bags since I had my first child in 2011. They come in four different size boxes: 25, 50, 75, or 100. I usually buy a box of 50 which lasts about a month and half if pump 2-3 times a day and lately each box of 50 comes with 10 extra bags making the total 60. These bags are great for freezing and each one has the date, time, and volume labeled on it so you can easily figure out how long its good for and how much your baby will getting. With these breastmilk storage bags you never have to worry about your precious milk leaking out because we all know how disappointing it is to lose that liquid gold you worked so hard to pump. A box of 50 retails for between $5.99-8.99 depending on where you buy them.
5.) Bamboobies Resuable Nursing Pads: Nobody likes leaks and it can be really expensive to constantly buy disposable nursing pads. Bamboobies are heart shaped washable nursing pads for your bra. They are made from super soft bamboo material that doesn't scratch or irritate your skin, they also absorb more milk than any other nursing pad I've ever used. The best part about them is if you join their mailing list they are always giving away freebies throughout the year so you can score a free pair you just pay $2.95 for shipping. A pack of 3 plus one overnight pair retails for $24.99 on their website Bamboobies
6.) Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Milkmaid Tea: building and maintaining a healthy milk supply for your baby can be tough. I've been drinking this tea since I brought my son home. I drink anywhere from 3-5 cups a day. It's made with fennel seed, fenugreek, milk thisle seed, anise seed, caraway seed, nettle, and red raspberry leaf. All ingredients are 100% USDA organic and non-gmo verified. This tea tastes great too. The best part you can buy a box of 3 that contains 48 tea bags for $7.89 on Amazon.
7.) Motherlove More Milk Plus: For breastfeeding has been kind of a roller coaster there have been highs and lows. One of the lows occurred when my son struggled with latching and my milk supply took a hit, I'm lucky enough that my son's pediatrician's office has a lactation consultant in house, she recommended this to help boost my milk supply. I call these my miracle pills because they really have saved me. If you follow the directions correctly on the bottle you should see an increase in your milk supply within 48 hours. These pills are also a little pricey but they work and if you do a little googling you can find deals on them. The best part about them is they don't have a nasty after taste. Drugstore.com has them for $17.99 for a bottle of 60.
8.) Milkmakers lactation cookies: These cookies are AMAZING! They are made with ingredients that have been known to boost milk supply in lactating women like oats, flax seed, and brewers yeast. They are nice because not only are they delicious but Milkmakers also sells a box of individually wrapped cookies that you can grab and take with you on the go. You're getting a delicious healthy snack that is not only benefiting you but your baby too. They offer already made cookies or you can buy the cookie mix and make them yourself just by adding a few ingredients from your pantry. Prices vary depending on product. Milkmakers Lactation Cookies
9.) Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Cream: The first two weeks of breastfeeding were brutal for me personally, my nipples were chapped and sore as if someone had rubbed them with sand paper. Sounds awful I know, but this nipple cream from Lansinoh was an absolute life saver. You just dab a little on your nipples and it soothes cracked, dry, and sore nipples. It also protects your nipples from further "breastfeeding pains." It's also safe for baby but don't use it more than three times a day or you run the risk of your baby getting thrush. You can purchase it from Target for $7.19
10.) iBaby Feed Timer: This last one is an app for your phone. It logs feedings on each breast, dirty diapers, solid foods, sleep patterns, bottle feedings, even growth all conveniently on one application. I've been using this since my son was born, the thing I love most about it is it charts his activity so if there is a problem feeding or pooping and peeing I can easily pinpoint it, and by logging his sleep I can figure out his sleep patterns. You can find it in the Apple store for $3.99 I'm not sure if this app is on Android phones though.
Photo Credit: Google, Target, Amazon, Bamboobies, Milkmakers, Medela, Lansinoh