List of Products for Breastfeeding You Should Consider Purchasing

Breastfeeding is a natural process, but sometimes nature needs a little help. Up to 96% of breastfeeding mothers experience some degree of nipple pain or nipple trauma during the early weeks of breastfeeding. There are some fantastic breastfeeding products on the market that will make breastfeeding your baby easier. Here’s a list of some great products for breastfeeding you may want to consider…

1. Quality breast pump. If you’re going to be breastfeeding for a while, you’ll want to purchase a breast pump so your little one can have breastmilk when you’re apart. This is especially important if you’ll be starting back at work. (Note: It’s best not to offer a bottle to your baby for at least 4 weeks after your baby’s born — unless, of course, it’s medically necessary. Otherwise, you may cause “nipple confusion”. Check with your doctor or pediatrician for more information.)

If you’re going back to work, it’s essential that you purchase a double electric breast pump. You’ll be pumping around 3 times per day, so you want to be as efficient as possible. Since I breastfed all three of my kids (one boy, and twin girls), and run my own website, http://www.breastmilk.com, I’ve been lucky to test out almost all of the breast pumps on the market.

My favorite breast pump is the Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump. One of the great things about the Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump is that the motor is small — so it can easily be taken out of the case (most other pumps make it difficult to take the motor out, so you basically have to put the WHOLE bag on your desk or table while pumping.) The other thing I LOVE is that you can plug the Ameda Breast Pump in and use it as an electric pump, put batteries in and it’s portable, and it also can run off the (optional) vehicle car adapter. The Ameda Purely Yours Pump’s flexibility has saved me on more than one occasion. First, it’s convenient to use in the office or at home, but because the motor is so portable, it’s great to use in the car as well. (I can tell you that it saved my boobies on more than one occasion when my husband and I decided to go out on a “date”. After a few hours out without nursing I really, really, really needed to pump, and the Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump allowed me to express milk easily in the car. Whew!!!)

If you’re looking for a more affordable double electric pump that’s compact, quiet, and efficient, check out the Bailey Nurture III Breast Pump. We hear from a lot of women that their lactation consultants recommend the Bailey Nurture III Breast Pump.

If you’re not going back to work and just need a simple, easy-to-use hand pump, check out the Avent ISIS. If you want a relatively inexpensive — yet extremely high-quality — hand pump, the Avent Isis Breast Pump is effective, quiet, comfortable and natural. The Avent Isis breast pump is perfect if you’re not going to be doing a lot of pumping. I bought the Avent Isis breast pump to have on hand — just in case I was in a place where getting to an electric outlet was an issue (or for power failures.) It was also great to take on overnight business trips because it’s so compact!

Word of caution: stay away from the cheap/inexpensive breast pumps. When it comes to breast pumps, you really do get what you pay for. If you buy cheap breast pumps, you’ll be sorely disappointed – sometimes quite literally — and you might as well have thrown your money away. Plus, some of the cheap breast pumps can actually damage your nipple. Stick with the top breast pump brands like Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump, Bailey Nurture III Breast Pump or Avent Isis.

If you’re using a double breast pump and want to be able to multi-task — for instance, be productive at work by pumping AND typing on the computer at the same time — check out the Made by Moms Hands Free Pumping Band. Now pumping doesn’t mean you have to stop everything else you’re doing. With the Hands Free Pumping Band from Made by Moms you can do other things — like read a book to your child, work on your computer, read and respond to e-mail, etc.

2. Milk Storage bags/containers. This is a tricky one. You need milk storage bags or milk storage containers that are reliable, easy to use, and most of all don’t leak. The worst thing is getting home after a hard day’s work — and pumping — only to find that your valuable, precious milk has leaked! (It happened to me several times until I found the BEST milk storage bags on the market.) Read on….

The best breast milk storage bag I found is the Bailey Milk Storage Bags. It has a fantastic design and is really easy to seal. The Bailey Milk Storage Bags are a little hard to find, so stock up!

Ranking right up there with the Bailey Milk Storage Bags are the Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags. Breastfeeding mothers LOVE these bags! Their easy-to-zip seal make milk storage a snap!

Another option is to use breast milk storage containers — which are perfect to use while you’re pumping. You simply pump directly into the containers, put on the lid, and you’re good to go. (I’ve also pumped and poured the milk directly into your baby’s bottles — it helps to save you a step later.)

You may also want to check out the Mother’s Milk Mate Breast Milk Storage System and Bottles, a nifty dad-invented milk storage system.

3. Nursing stool. Many people don’t know about nursing stools. They’re basically footrests created especially to facilitate breastfeeding. It’s something about the way the footrest is angled that makes it extremely comfortable for nursing mothers. I wouldn’t breastfeed without a nursing stool.

4. Nursing Pads. Okay. Leaks happen…it’s just part of the nursing process. Over 85% of new mothers leak heavily enough to soak through their breast pads and clothing. You can choose either disposable or washable nursing pads. Either way, you may need nursing pads to help prevent those embarrassing spots.

Clinically proven safer than absorbent nursing pads, LilyPadz Nursing Pads are a revolutionary alternative to traditional nursing pads. No more uncomfortable, bulky, leaky nursing pads! These thin, flexible, self-adhesive silicone nursing pads provide incredible leakage protection for breastfeeding moms. LilyPadz Breastfeeding Pads are special soft, flexible and non-absorbent material conform to your breast for a secure fit that actually helps to prevent breast milk leaks — and they’re invisible under your clothing!

LilyPadz unique design provides you with a layer of protection that helps to prevent breast milk leakage, so there’s nothing to absorb — you and your clothes stay dry. Made of pure silicone rubber (the same material in baby bottle nipples), LilyPadz “breathe” and keep you comfortable all day and night. BONUS: Because they’re non-absorbent, you can even SWIM while wearing them. Great for the summer time!!!

5. Breast Creams/Treatment Most breastfeeding mothers experience some sort of nipple soreness or pain at some point during their breastfeeding experience — usually when you and your baby are getting adjusted to the breastfeeding process. PLEASE STICK WITH IT! Most of the time the discomfort and pain is temporary, but it can be painful in the beginning.

Plan ahead: you may want to have some pain relief treatments on hand BEFORE you deliver your baby. One product that is absolutely amazing is the Lansinoh Lanolin Cream for Breastfeeding Mothers is the only topical endorsed by La Leche League International. This is one breastfeeding product that I would have at the hospital — just in case…

Another GREAT product for sore breasts are the Ameda ComfortGel HydroGel Pads. Ameda ComfortGel HydroGel Pads helps cool, soothe, and heal tender nipples. In a recent study, results show that the Ameda ComfortGel Hydrogel Pads provide cool, soothing relief for breastfeeding mothers with nipple pain or nipple trauma associated with breastfeeding.

Designed for women experiencing nipple discomfort due to breastfeeding, the Ameda ComfortGel HydroGel Pads provide a healing environment – and at the same time help absorb breast milk leakage to keep your breast skin healthy and the nipple area dry between feedings.

One other breastfeeding product that may seem a little odd — but I really wish it was around when I was breastfeeding — is the Nipple Nurture Cleansing Pads for Breastfeeding Mothers and Babies. The soft Nipple Nurture Cleansing Pads can be used anywhere you need the security of gentle, safe cleansing without worrying about stinging, burning, or irritation.

THINK ABOUT IT: When it’s 90 degrees outside in the summer and you’re sweating (okay, maybe you don’t want to admit that you’re sweating…), do you really want to offer your baby a sweaty breast? With the Nipple Nurture Cleansing Pads you can always offer your baby a “fresh” breast.

6. Nursing Bras. I’ve spent literally hundreds of dollars (ask my husband) on nursing bras. The only one that I really, really liked was the Bravado! Nursing Bras. No matter which nursing bra you choose, when you find a bra you like, take it from me, buy several of them! (There’s nothing worse than finding the perfect nursing bra and you go back to the store only to find that they’re sold out, discontinued, or they’ve been moved to a different location in store — a hidden place where even the store manager can’t find!)

7. Baby sling and nursing pillow. If you’re breastfeeding your baby, a carrier is nice because they allow you to discreetly nurse your baby. Check out the Ultimate Baby Wrap. This is a carrier that will get you through the long-haul — it accommodates toddlers, too!

You should also consider a nursing pillow. Nursing pillows are used to help you properly position the baby while you breastfeed. If you’re having twins, you should definitely check out the EZ-2-Nurse Twins Nursing Pillow. The Kozy Kushion and Nurse-N-Glow Nursing Pillows are great for singletons!

8. Bottles. The word “bottle” may seem like a bad word to mention in a list of products for breastfeeding, but if you’re using a breast pump, bottles are a necessity. (After all, what comes out, must go in!) Before you go hog wild purchasing a dozen bottles, I recommend you find one brand you’re interested in, buy 3 or 4 bottles, and then test them out on your baby. (You may want to buy some of your next favorite brands to have on hand, keep them sealed — and hang on to the receipt so you can return if you don’t use them.) If your little one rejects your top brand choice, then you’re only out a few dollars, and you can then move on to your next choice…and so on, and so on, until you find a bottle that your baby “latches” on to. Nipple shapes, flow, etc. vary, so it’s sometimes a process of trial and error before you find the right bottle for your little one.

I was very happy with the Avent line of bottles — they have some pretty innovative products that grow with your child (for instance, their bottles can eventually turn into sippy cups!)

Another note about choosing bottles: be sure and read the packages carefully. Most bottles/nipples (and pacifiers, for that matter) specify age ranges (i.e. newborn, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, etc.) When you have a newborn baby, make sure you buy the newborn bottle/nipples. The newborn nipples have smaller holes so that your baby has to work a little harder to get the milk out — which is especially important when you’re breastfeeding. If you buy the wrong nipple (one with larger holes), your baby will find it so much easier to drink from a bottle that he might start rejecting your breast. You don’t want to make the bottle the easy-out for your baby. Read the package labels and buy age-appropriate nipples.