Breastfeeding your new baby can be an incredibly rewarding and challenging journey for both mother and baby. A newborn baby can feed every two hours, for up to an hour each feed. This means that you could be spending anywhere from 8-12 hours a day breastfeeding.
Which is why setting yourself up with a supportive and practical breastfeeding station can do a world of good in fostering a healthy and positive feeding experience. Read on for our breastfeeding must-haves for 2023.
Breastfeeding Essentials for Babies
Truthfully, there are not many essentials that your baby needs to be able to breastfeed. And they’d be more than happy tucking into a meal without these! But to save yourself some hassle, we recommend havingwash clothes, burb cloths, and even bibs handy for feeding time.
Between baby learning how to latch, your milk regulating or leaking everywhere, and post-feed overflow vomits, things can get a little messy. Particularly in those early days whenbreastfeeding is being established. Having something to wipe up the mess on hand will help relieve unnecessary stress, as well as avoid extra outfit changes throughout the day (for you and babe!)
Here are a few breastfeeding accessories that might help:
Most of your breastfeeding essentials come down to taking care of you, mama, and making sure that you have everything you need to foster a successful and comfortablebreastfeeding journey. Especially when it comes to breast and nipple care.
Unfortunately, breastfeeding successfully doesn’t just happen. Those early days might be tough on your breasts and nipples as you and your little one work through new positions, establish a latch, and of course, feed a lot more frequently.
Having a nipple balm that works for you and your skin is essential for helping soothe painful nipples and help avoid any cracks or further damage down the line. Or, if you are feeling too tender or already have some damage, look at investing in a nipple shield to help protect your prized possessions when it comes to feeding time. Some mums even decide to feed through a nipple shield for their whole journey. At the end of the day, it’s what works for you and your babe.
For your breasts, which may feel swollen as your milk comes in and regulates, hot and cold packs or a soothing balm can also do wonders for your personal care. These can help stave off or ease painful conditions like clogged milk ducts, or worse, mastitis. Remember, you can only look after baby as well as you can look after yourself.
Finally, for those who are struggling with milk supply, you might find that essential oils or lactation-promoting tea are an essential addition to your breastfeeding station. These can help support healthy lactation, or at the very least, provide you with another way to stay hydrated.
And on that note, don’t forget to have a big water bottle or glass available when you feed mama! You should be trying to take in as much water as you are feeding to help keep up your supply, and keep yourself healthy and hydrated.
Here are some of our favourite breastfeeding products for Mum:
Breastfeeding essentials for mothers also come down to what you wear during your breastfeeding sessions. Your nursing wardrobe may not sit at your breastfeeding station all the time, but it’s an important part of the feeding ritual.
Comfortable breast pads, to catch leaks or the letdown as you feed from the other side, and a good maternity bra to support you during feeding and beyond, will be your two most used wardrobe accessories.
You may find that nursing without maternity clothes becomes all too hard as well, particularly when you’re feeding more frequently. So look into investment pieces that are easy to undo for both winter and summer.
If you’re expressing as well as breastfeeding, it can be useful to have your breastfeeding station set up to be flexible when you want to pump as well.
The first essential you’ll need is a good pump. There are so many different choices from manual pumps to electric, double, or even hands-free, so choose what is right for you and your lifestyle. You might also want to invest in a Haakaa, manual pump or milk collector, to help catch additional milk after feeding, or even catch the letdown from the other side while you breastfeed.
Once you know how you’re going to express your milk, it’s time to store it.Reusable silicone breastmilk storage bags are a great option here. Look at bags that are fridge, freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe, to make your life even easier. Our favourites are these:
Now you know what breastfeeding accessories are right for you, it’s time to think about where your breastfeeding station should be located. And how you can set it up to be as comfortable as possible for you.
Think about what sort of nursing chair you’re going to be using, whether it’s a specific chair for this purpose or just a space on the couch. Keeping correct posture while feeding is super important, so consider investing in afeeding and support pillow. A feeding pillow will help you hold baby up without straining your back, which from one mama to another, is going to get a workout very soon.
Remember that there is a world of support and resources at your fingertips, particularly from theAustralian Breastfeeding Association. There are also breastfeeding products that can help you to have a more successful breastfeeding journey. At the very least, keep yourself hydrated and make sure you invest in a good maternity bra, reusable breast pads, nipple balm, and wash cloths, to help begin what we hope will be a successful journey toward breastfeeding your baby.