Top 10 Nursin’ Mama Must Haves

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As a new mom, I have been pretty open to the opinions of other moms (and dads and people who haven’t had kids but are willing to listen). In the end, like every good mom, I do what I feel is best for my kids and me. One of those “bests” I have chosen is to nurse our son. I almost failed at this time around, but am proud I’ve been able to keep it up. During this time, I have come across some things I really couldn’t live without. Perhaps you have something to add to the list? If so, comment below!

*Disclaimer*: I am going to name drop on several products; however, I am not getting any benefit from these reviews. My opinions on these products are based off my personal experiences and purchases of these goods. This is a post I have decided to do on my own without prompting from the companies. They are not sponsoring this blog and have not provided me with products.

Here is my list (in no particular order):
1. Nursing Support Pillow. Currently, my pillow of choice is the Boppy; however, I recently won a nursing support from My Brest Friend during a Twitter chat (#bfing and you will find ‘em!). These pillows definitely help keep baby close, and are a lifesaver post C-Section (and I am sure any birth!). Words cannot express how glad I am to have a great pillow that keeps his face close to me and helps my tired arms during the nighttime feedings! Plus, both companies have a lot of great fabrics to match your style, always a bonus.

2. Nursing Bra and Tank. Well, obviously this makes sense. With Ari, I had lost a lot of weight during my pregnancy and was able to get away with sports bras. With Evan, I didn’t have to eat food to gain weight (and uh, that’s definitely what happened since I was sicker with him and lost weight then ended up gaining 2 pounds above my pre-preg weight—yes, that’s it). Since that happened, the ladies need all the help they can get. I did some quick research and found a great line that Target carries, Gilligan & O’Malley. My favorites are the full sling nursing tanks; however, I also picked up a great nursing bra from them. Highly suggest these because if they can hold my ladies up and keep me from leaking on shirts, they are well worth it.

3. Nursing Pads. Speaking of leaking, nursing pads are a MUST. Let me tell you that I absolutely HATED the pads the hospital supplied. They rubbed me badly and I needed to ask for some Medela SoftShells to relieve the rubbing (ok, I didn’t know what they were, but my nurse suggested them). As soon as I got out of the hospital, I was glad to have my own pads. (Ok, so you don’t have to take the hospitals’ offerings, but I figured I was paying for them anyways, go for it.) After trying a few brands, I have liked Medela, Lansinoh, and Playtex. There are some I don’t like, but that’s life. I couldn’t go out in public without ‘em. When nursing Arianna, I bought a pair of washable pads from Motherhood Maternity; however, the disposables have been working for me this time (uh…I can’t find those washable ones and am too lazy to expect my husband to wash them all the time).

4. Gel Pads. Another must have for the soreness is a good gel pad. I bought a great set, the First Years’ Nursing Instant Relief System. It has 2 gel pads and 20 sleeves to go over them. After 3 hours in the fridge, they are ready to go and truly cool the ladies. I can’t even tell you how blissful I felt when wearing these gel pads. Honestly, I’ve never tried another gel pad; however, I am pushing this one!

5. Lanolin. Speaking of relief, I was given Lansinoh’s Lanolin at the hospital and it has been my tried and true friend throughout the nursing process. Definitely a must. They will give you teeny trial tubes at the hospital, but have some full sized ones ready at the house!

6. Water and Nivea Lip Care. You MUST stay hydrated. Pumping water is essential and keeping my lips dry was number one.

7. Milk Bands. This awesome band helped me keep sane and remember what time and side I had last nursed on. They are similar to the Livestrong bracelets and are fine to sleep in or type while wearing (one of the reasons I don’t wear much jewelry is the typing discomfort). I love that I didn’t have to write anything down or access an app on my phone to remember what was what. They flip inside out and have one side raised so you don’t even need a light to tell you which side to feed on in the middle of the night. Win.

8. Nursing Cover. Ok, a blanket works fine, I am sure; however, I took a plunge and went after a “get it for free when you pay shipping” offer from Udder Covers while pregnant. I could tell I would love this “apron-style” cover and immediately ordered a second. (I have “Jones” and “Porter”—for those fancier occasions.) This cover has helped me nurse at family functions and pump in the car while flying down the highway. Absolute love.

9. Pumping Bra. Ok, I am going to admit that this item is not something I have yet tried, but mine is in the mail from PumpEase and I can’t wait to get it! This will help me be hands-free while pumping (I forgot how tough it is to pump both) when I go back to work. That means more time to get things done in my busy life! Yay!

10. A good pump. When I was pregnant with Ari, I was a single mother trying to make it on a teacher’s salary (plus, I didn’t get a paid leave). Buying a pump was not going to be a possibility for me. Luckily, I have a great family support system, and my cousin offered me her pump. Now before you all jump and get grossed out, know this. She gave me the pump itself, not the tubing and horns. Plus, she was a pumping machine and this was like the 3rd or 4th pump (thank goodness for the replacement plans) and it had barely been used before her little one weaned. So, I got new attachments and pumped a few times when I was trying to nurse Ari. Well, after quitting, I put it away for the next kid. During that time, parts deteriorated, leaving me with only one working side. After a few good pumps, it started growling and shaking, a sign that death was near. I kept putting off getting a new pump because this Playtex model isn’t made anymore and I couldn’t bear to spend money on something if it was just gonna die on me to. Finally, a week before returning to work, I realized it was time to get out there and get one! I had my heart set on a Lansinoh Affinity pump; however, Babies R Us was out of stock and I really needed a pump. So, I start looking at a Philip’s pump and researching left and right on my cell. I did NOT want a Medela because I thought they were expensive. Well, the associate couldn’t really tell me not to buy that pump, but pretty much told me they didn’t sell a lot of them. A kind stranger overheard my conversation and told me to go with the Medela. She works for a Children’s Hospital and that pump was highly recommended. Well, I glance at where she’s pointing and realize it is only $20 more and there is a special that you also got Pads, storage bags, lanolin, and accessory wipes. Uh, I was sold. So out I walked with an under $300 Medela Pump in Style Advanced. Although I haven’t had it long, I am sold. The other day, I was riding in the car and pumped 5 ounces in less than 2 miles—incredible! And as a “10a”, yes, I got that replacement plan, too! (Just a note—I originally walked out with a more expensive bag model; however, I don’t see it necessary. I wanted the Tote that came with the pump built in (but can be removed later), 4 bottles, 1 nipple/cover, cooler, ice pack, adaptor, and battery adaptor. This simple style is what worked for me, and I didn’t need to spend $60 extra for other accessories.)

Phew, that was quite a list! Hopefully it helps other #bfing mamas! What are your must haves?

3 thoughts on “Top 10 Nursin’ Mama Must Haves”

  1. I tried to go the cheap pump route. I ended up first killing an Evenflo manual, and then a single electric. At that point I gave up on pumps. I had been supplementing one bottle of formula a day since my little guy was born per his doctor’s recommendation and was only working 4 hour shifts at work since that’s all I had a babysitter for, so it was not a huge necessity for me. If I had been working more, I would have definitely needed the expensive one.

    Props to you for being brave enough to feed in public, I was too scared. Of course, I was also trying to juggle a breast shield underneath the cover up because of latching problems. My medela breast shield was my nursing must-have for about 10 weeks before we could nurse without it!

    I bought some of the rewashable pads from etsy. They were cute designs, but I wouldn’t recommend. They looked lumpy through my bra and shirt and I didn’t realize that when I was throwing them in the laundry with my clothes, the lasinoh that had gotten on them was getting all over my shirts and making grease stains!

    A product that I learned about in my birthing classes that I’ve bought as shower gifts for a lot of friends is a moisturizer stick that is made by Gerber that comes in a tube kind of like a glue stick. I didn’t try it because I got a free full size tube of Lasinoh from the hospital, but my instructor and my friends that I’ve given it to said it was great because you can just roll it on and not get anything on your hands. Around here you can only get it at Kmart and Martin’s.

  2. Wow, I can’t even imagine having to use a manual pump. I had a horrible day when the Playtex pump was about at its death and I had to manually express which took forever and I only got about an ounce before I gave up. Sadly, with work, I can’t go the cheap pump route or it’s off to formula for Lil Man. 🙁

    Oh, the breast shield! With Ari, I needed one too. Makes sense that you didn’t want to deal with that in public because they are slippery and crazy.

    When I’m getting low on my Lanolin, might have to find me some of that moisturizer stick.

    Thanks for your comments!!!

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