Nursing & Pumping Essentials

*This post contains affiliate links*
Happy Tuesday! Welcome to all my new followers on Instagram! Thank you for stopping by! A little over a year ago, I started this blog because I have a huge passion for maternal and child health. When I became a mother, it blossomed even more. I especially grew a bigger interest with lactation support. During the early days of my blog, I mostly wrote about pumping tips. 
Please check out the links above if you haven’t done so already! What I didn’t add to my tips in my previous posts were the breastfeeding and pumping essentials. Most of the items I am presenting are optional to use, but greatly help in aiding nursing and pumping mommas. 
1. Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads  — It is quite embarrassing to have leaky breasts when you’re out in public! The first 3 months of breastfeeding, it was so difficult to control my “leaking” breasts. I depended on these nursing pads to handle that problem! Also, sometimes breast milk stains your clothes and it doesn’t go away 😦
PROS: 
-They are absorbent. 
-They have 2 adhesives  to keep them in place (don’t have to worry about them moving around)
-Individually packed, so you can take pack them in your bag without worrying it will get dirty.
-Personally did not irritate my breasts or became itchy while wearing them.
-Very affordable
2. Honest Co. Organic Nipple Balm — I wish I would have known to apply this balm while I was pregnant. The first couple of weeks of breastfeeding was extremely painful due to cracked or chapped nipples. This balm deeply healed and hydrated my skin and soothed my discomfort. You don’t even need to wash it off before nursing, because it is made with organic and non-toxic ingredients. Which are safe for you and your baby. 
3. Medela Contact Nipple Shield –Like what I have mentioned above, the first couple weeks of breastfeeding was painful, and I was also having latching problems. Sometimes, I would tear up from the pain! Because my nipples were sore, I would tense my muscles every time I nursed, which made it harder for me to grasp a good latch with my baby. My lactation consultant recommended me this product to use in the meantime until my nipples healed. The nipple shield helped ease the pain, and allowed my skin to heal while nursing. Only thing I did not like about this product was having to moisten the shield first before applying onto my breasts, and after a while it would dry up and fall off while my son was still nursing. 
4. Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads –after I applied the nipple balm, I applied these gel pads. Which are AMAZING! Really soothed and alleviated my discomfort. Also, I loved the fact that after application of the nipple balm, the gel pads served as a barrier so the balm does not stain your clothes.  It’s also absorbent, and prevents leakage. Quick tip to really soothe your pain: refrigerate these pads when you’re not using them, it feels really good and cool when applied.
5. Nursing Bra   –One of the things that made pumping and nursing easier was investing in a good nursing bra and tank. No need to take off your entire top and bra. I praise whoever invented these! Makes nursing life easier! It’s also very comfortable!
6. Nursing Tank –Tank tops and yoga pants. What I lived in during my postpartum days! Gotta have a good nursing tank to make breast feeding and pumping quick and easy. Like what I’ve mentioned above, no need to take off all your clothes to nurse! Especially, if you’re out in public, wearing a nursing tank is so convenient and easy! You can attend to your baby faster!
7. Earth Mama Angel Baby Booby Tubes –I always rave about Earth Mama products because they are simply the best and affordable too! I love these booby tubes because it is so painful when you’re dealing with engorgement or mastitis. These heating pads comforts the pain, encourages “let-downs”, and aids in healing mastitis. If you are lucky to not have mastitis, these pads are great because it will maintain open milk ducts to prevent clogging. They are made with 100% organic cotton and filled with all-natural flaxseed. They are also gel free, so they it is safe to use when microwaved. If you don’t have one of these, using any other heating pads or placing a warm damp towel over your breasts will work. Quick tip when if you’re pumping: placing a heating pad or a warm towel while pumping help encourage milk flow and increases milk output!
8. Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover — I didn’t use this very often because I was pumping most of the time, and I was always home too. But, for those who are not comfortable nursing in public, using a nursing cover or blanket will give you some privacy.
9. Boppy Pillow –I preferred using pillows more than the Boppy when I’m nursing on my glider, but when I am nursing on the bed, I preferred the Boppy. As my baby got bigger, he used this during tummy time 🙂 The Boppy is easy to clean, and has a wide selection of covers to choose from. I had 2 of these, one for home and the other for traveling! It’s best to use this when nursing newborns, because as my son got bigger, he was getting too long to place on top of the Boppy. Thus, the Breast Friend may be a better choice for some.
10. Organic Mother’s Milk Herbal Tea or Motherlove More Milk Plus — this is also optional. For those who feel they need to increase their supply can try using these supplements to boost it. Personally, I like the taste of the tea better than the More Milk Plus drops. However, in my opinion the More Milk Plus is more potent and works better than the tea in increasing milk supply, but it tastes so bitter! I couldn’t stand the flavor, but I still kept taking it for its benefits. You know it’s working if you and your milk smells like maple syrup! Personally, I wish I took fenugreek capsules instead of these products because I heard that it works the best and is more affordable. But, if you do not have access to buy fenugreek capsules, the tea is easier to find at many stores like Target, Babies R Us, and even Ralph’s Supermarket. 
11. Medela Easy Expression Hands-Free Bustier –THIS IS MY TOP pumping must have!! I used this til the end of my pumping days! Moms, if you feel like you need more hands and would like to multi-task while pumping, this is for you! I used to be able to get ready for work in the morning and pump at the same time with this hands-free bustier.  Never had to be late for work again! I’ve seen many DIY posts on Pinterest too, which I will try next time. I’ve heard of a mom using this when she was pumping and driving! That’s crazy! For those who have the Medela Freestyle Hands-Free Breast Pump, this would be great for you so you can multi-task around the house. 
12. Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On the Go Tote  — I raved about this pump in my last post The M.O.M.’s Top Must-Haves! I stated that I am so thankful that I had this pump. I really wanted to offer Nathan breastmilk for his first year, and since we had latching problems, I dedicated to pump until his 1st birthday. Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to meet my goal! 
This photo is from Medela’s website about Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump:
I hope you ladies found this post helpful! If you’re a first-time mom, or if you’re pregnant and looking into breastfeeding or pumping please feel free to ask questions! I’d love to answer your questions! All of these products are optional to use, you don’t necessarily need to use or buy these products while nursing. However, they do help! Have you tried any of these products before? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear! 
Thank you for stopping by! Leave a comment below to say hi or ask any questions! Have a great rest of the week!
Til Next Time,

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