Breastfeeding is very important in the development of a baby. The mother’s first milk has antibodies that help in developing the immune system of the baby. It also helps in developing a bond between the mom and the baby. The breast milk contains almost all the much-needed nutrients required for the baby’s early mental and physical development. Most of the women believe that you just need your boobs and the baby to breastfeed. But, no this is not right. Depending on the circumstances and other factors there are various breastfeeding accessories that a lactating mother should have in order to breastfeed comfortably and establish a good connection between the mother and the baby.
Importance of breastfeeding accessories
Breastfeeding accessories play a really important role in the entire process of breastfeeding very easy and keeps the mother and the baby very comfortable. Here is the list of breastfeeding accessories that a nursing mom should possess
- Nipple shields
- Breast shells
- Breast pump
- Breast milk storage bags
- Feeding bottles
- Breastfeeding pillow
- Nursing Bra
- Nursing pads
- Herbal fenugreek supplement for milk flow
- Breast therapy pads
- Breastfeeding clothes
- Cream or Ointment for nipples
- Breast therapy gel pads
Nipple shields are very helpful for breastfeeding in a lot of circumstances. Nipple shields are not required for all the mothers but, many moms require it. Nipple shields are required to feed premies when they are learning to latch on, for babies who are not a premie but find difficulty in latching and for infants who are tongue-tied
Image Source: Phillips Avent
They are mainly used to correct flattened, retracted or inverted nipples. The breast shells cover the areola and not the nipples. Wearing the breast shells in between feeds will help in bringing the inverted or flattened nipples out. If your nipples are cracked and bleeding then the breast shells help in healing them as they prevent the nursing clothes and bra to rub against them.
Breast pumps remove milk from the breasts and you can store it in bottles. It is helpful in a lot of ways. Even if you are breastfeeding sometimes your kid might not wake up for the feed. At that time you can use the breast pump to pump the milk and store it. This will help relieve the pain and engorgement and you can provide the stored milk to your baby when you go out for some time. It is also helpful for those mothers who want to return back to work post delivery and also helps in increasing your milk supply.
Breast milk storage bags and containers
Breastmilk storage bags and containers are one of the most important breastfeeding accessories, that you want to possess. These help in storing breast milk. If you want to feed the baby in just a few hours then you can store it in a breast milk bag or directly pump it in the bottle. But, if you want to store it for a longer period of time, then if you use storage bags then check that these bags are properly sterilized and label them with dates.
You can also use BPA free freezer safe plastic bottles. These bottles are reusable and make sure you sterilize them properly before using them again. Freezer safe glass containers are also a good option.
Good feeding bottles
You should keep a set of good BPA free feeding bottles in handy. Even if you are breastfeeding, sometimes when you are outside and want to feed the pumped milk, then these come in handy. These also come in handy while weaning your baby off breastfeeding.
A comfortable and supportive breastfeeding pillow
A breastfeeding pillow is a must-have for all the nursing moms. The pillows help the baby in reaching to your breasts and help in developing a good latch. It also reduces the strain on the mother’s back, shoulders and neck and prevents the baby’s legs to hit the stitches if you have a c-section. Breastfeeding pillow helps the mother also to relax a bit.
A good nursing bra will provide great support to your breasts filled with milk. It prevents your breasts from sagging and your shoulders and back from getting strained. These nursing bras come with very soft material and have cups that can be opened with the help of hooks to easily breastfeed your baby.
The disc-shaped pads absorb the extra milk that is leaked from your breasts. These are disc-shaped pads that can be worn inside your bra. Most woman leak during the initial few months of breastfeeding. Some women who have heavy milk flow leak milk constantly during their entire period of breastfeeding. These nursing pads soak all the leaked milk and prevent your clothes from getting wet.
Herbal supplements for better milk flow
If your milk supply is not up to the mark then, you must talk to your gynecologist or to a lactation consultant. Also, discuss with them about various herbal supplements. Herbal supplements like Fenugreek are a great source for increased milk supply. They have worked as an excellent galactagogue for most women. As a herbal supplement Fenugreek does not have any side effects.
Breast therapy gel packs
The Lansinoh 3-in-1 breast therapy gel packs are really very useful. The hot and the cold therapy gel packs can be worn inside the bra and help relieve pain due to breast engorgement, mastitis and clogged milk ducts. And also helps during the time when you are weaning your baby.
There are a variety of nursing clothes available in the market. These clothes are highly trendy and are very useful as you do not need to pull up your clothes completely or remove them to breastfeed. These clothes are very comfortable.
Image Source: Medela
According to your doctor’s advice, you can use these medicated or entirely herbal nipple creams to soothe your dry and cracked nipples. Sometimes, as your kid grows the teeth also hurt and cause a crack in the nipples. It is at this time that the nipple creams come in handy.
So, these are the few breastfeeding accessories that should be in your bucket list if you are a nursing mom. If we are missing out on something do let us know in the comment section below.