In theory all you need to breastfeed is a pair of breasts and a baby.Â In real life things don’t always work out that way and you may need a few bits and pieces to help you to start off on the right foot and to carry on for as long as possible.Â Here are my top ten essential items to help breastfeedingÂ be a happy and comfortable experience…
Lansinoh Cream – Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt and if you are getting cracked or sore nipples, you need to consult a breastfeeding counsellor to make sure your positioning and latch are correct.Â However, these things do happen and if they do then you will probably want some cream to help soothe and protect them.
Lansinoh is the crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me of nipple creams that most midwives recommend and is the one I’ve heard most mums recommend to others. Â It contains 100% pure lanolin, does not need to be removed prior to breastfeeding and it provides moisture to dry cracked nipples and creates a barrier to infection. Â Also when you have cracked your breastfeeding technique and don’t need the cream anymore any left over makes a fantastic lip balm or heel cream!Â Price is Â£9.50 available from John Lewis including delivery.
Tommee Tippee Freedom Disposable Breastpads – I have tried all the brands of breastpads in my time breastfeeding, and the best diposables by a mile are the Tommee Tippee Freedom pads. Â They are super absorbent and are so thin that no-one can tell that you are wearing them.Â Some of the other brands on the market are so thick that they can be seen through clothes and if you are wearing a fitted t-shirt it looks as though you are sporting two interesting circle motifs over your boobs…so not a good look! Â They come individually wrapped as well, so are perfect for popping in your changing bag.Â Priced at Â£9.78 for 150 from Tommee Tippee.
Medela Harmony Breastpump – If you need to express a lot or want to carry on breastfeeding once you have gone back to work, it’s probably a good idea to invest in an electric pump.Â If, however, you only need to express every so often, then a manual pump will do the job just fine. The Medela Harmony Breastpump is probably the best manual pump on the market as it utilises Medelaâ€™s breakthrough â€˜2 Phaseâ€™, Natural Expressionâ„¢ pumping which mimics your babyâ€™s natural nursing rhythm and results in a faster let-down and maximum milk flow.Â In English this means it allows you to pump faster for the first part of the feed, until your milk starts flowing, then you can pump more slowly and for longer, just like your baby’s sucking pattern.Â Priced at Â£20.97 from Babyworld.
Thrupenny Bits Breastfeeding Cushion – I love this cushion and have one myself, and although I no longer need it as my son is too big to fit on it now, I still get plenty of use from it.Â I run a breastfeeding drop in group and I take it along with me every week, I just sling it over the handlebars of my pushchair or over my shoulder and go.Â It is really firm, so it is great for helping a first time breastfeeding mumÂ to get her baby in the right position and because it is filled with beads it really supports baby, so mum can breastfeed hands free.Â I have no worries about using it time and time again at the group because it is made of such thick and high quality fabric. Â This means the cover washes like a dream and looks good as new after every wash. Â The bead sack can also be removed from the cover and the cover can be used as a bag on its own. Prices start from Â£30 for the Cute Corduroy range, available in pink, red and blue, and up to Â£55 for the Ultimate range.Â Check out the review on this fab cushion over at our sister site Bambino Goodies here.
Milk Bands – I have a set of these to demonstrate at my group and they always get a good reception.Â They are an ingenious little wrist band that helps keep track of when baby last fed and which side they fed from.Â Unfortunately, during the first few weeks of motherhood, ones brain becomes so fuddled with sleep deprivation and worry over this newborn you have full responsibilty for, that even a simple thing like remembering what side you last fed from becomes something of a struggle!Â A Milk Band can help with this as they have LEFT and RIGHT printed on each side of the bracelet, you just turn it over after every feed, and there are little markers to record the time of the last feed. They come in 5 colours and are Â£3.99 from Baby BuBu.
My Breast Friend Breastfeeding Cover – If you have a fear of breastfeeding in a public place you may want to invest in a breastfeeding cover. I love this Baby Blue Dotty cover, Â£14.99 from My Breast Friend, it’ll hide any bits you want hiding and allow you to relax and enjoy time out with your baby.
Breast Padz by Nappies by Minki – If you want to be a bit more eco-friendly you may want to try washable breastpads instead of disposable ones.Â Nappies by Minki make some fantastic nappies, so I was really pleased to see they had branched out into making washable breastpads too.Â The Breast Padz are Â£5.95 for a set of six and come in black, white or a mixed set.Â They are made from organic cotton jersey, so are soft against the skin, with a PUL backing to help stop leakages.
Leopard Print Bravado Nursing Bra – Nursing bras don’t have to be dowdy and unsexy, in fact they can be just as gorgeous as any regular bra.Â This Leopard Print Nursing Bra by Bravado is evidence of that! Â It is made from soft fabric for comfort and will give great support for those ever expanding boobs!Â It is available in a range of sizes from 32B to 42G. Best price I could find is Â£22.50 from From Here To Maternity.
Double Layer Nursing Top – If the idea of exposing your “mummy tummy” to the world fills you with dread, then a breastfeeding top is probably a wise purchase.Â This Double Layer Nursing Top from Mothercare is just Â£14, reduced from Â£16, and has some really stylish detailing, such as the little puff sleeves, gathering round the neck and striped under layer. It has a secret panel for discreet nursing, so no worries about revealing everything in front of all and sundry, and is available in sizes 8-20.
Yes! Super Baby Scarf – If, like me, you have aÂ baby who likes to pinch, scratch andÂ who has busy little hands when feeding then one of these Yes! Super Baby Scarves would be perfect.Â It can be worn around your neck and has lots of different textures and things to play for baby to play with, so they can be entertained when being fed and will stop pinching you! Best Price I could findÂ today is Â Â£9.99 from Baby Etc.
Holly, is a stay at home mum of 2.Â She loves shopping, especially on the internet as it savesÂ her having to haul out the double buggy and trek into town! Â Bargains areÂ her thing and sheÂ always stocks up in the sales for the coming year (or two…or three!).