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My Breastfeeding Must Haves

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One of the toughest things I have done in my kids' first year of life was breastfeed.  Confession: I had a total love-hate relationship with nursing.  While I enjoyed the cuddles and bonding time, I felt like it was time consuming and as a self proclaimed introvert, by the end of the day, I just wanted my own personal space.  I say this to point out that it is OK if you don't have a magical feeling toward nursing...I never did...but you can still do it if you want!  Thankfully, I had supportive friends and a husband who encouraged me to push through the pain and frustration and it got MUCH easier over time.  I am proud to say I breastfed Ryan for 11 months and Ava for a year. 

I figured it might be helpful to list some of my "must have" suggestions for nursing mamas.  I am by no means a breastfeeding expert, just a mom who breastfed, but here are the products that helped get me through:

Boppy Pillow- I loved this thing.  It helped so much with positioning when the kids were newborns and I was still on a nursing learning curve.  Plus, I was able to buy cute covers for it.  Win-win.
TL Care Nursing Pads made with Organic Cotton- I was a big leaker the first couple months and these nursing pads were my go to pads.  They were comfortable and I much preferred them to the disposable kind.


Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags- I pumped with both kids from the beginning (Ryan was in the NICU and with Ava I wanted the flexibility of my husband being able to give her a bottle).  I loved these steam bags for sanitizing my pump parts!  Just stick them in the microwave for a few minutes and you are good to go!  They were a lifesaver when I was pumping at work with Ryan.


Water- no link to this one because it is easy and free!!! I drank SO much water when nursing.  Make sure you are staying hydrated because I definitely saw a correlation between my water intake and milk production.

Simple Wishes Hands-Free Breastpump Bra- I am not one to just sit and relax while pumping, especially after I went back to work and time was of the essence.  The hands free bra was a game changer!  I was able to pump and do work, mess around on my phone/computer, etc!  Mom win!!!

When you put this baby on, you can't help but think "isn't being a mom so glamorous?!?" LOL
Pull Down Nursing Tanks- I had a bunch of different nursing tanks/shirts but I LOVED these pull down nursing tanks from Motherhood.  You simply pull the elastic neckline down to nurse- amazing!  Easy access and I much preferred them to the clip down ones.  
  I would usually pair them with a cardigan.
Also, how small was Ryan?!?! Fresh out of the NICU & not even 5lbs here!!

Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags- I feel like every pumping mom has her go to storage bags and Lansinoh was my favorite.  Easy to use/store and I had no issues with leaking.


Brewer's Yeast- I ran into supply issues with both kids around the 6 month mark and I lived on Brewer's Yeast.  I would make lactation cookies (I will do a post about that one day but in the meantime, google will get you a recipe) and also put it in oatmeal every morning.  I absolutely think it helped increase my milk production!


Lansinoh Breastfeeding Salve - HPA Lanolin- My SAVIOR the first couple weeks!  I would put this on after nursing for relief from the pain and soreness.  I always give this as part of a breastfeeding care package to new mama friends!


SUPPORT!!!!!!!!!!!- Another one you can't but online but I strongly believe every nursing mom needs a support system!  I found mine through an online birth month group, friends and a breastfeeding support group at the hospital I delivered at.  I think mom friends become close so fast because it is totally normal and acceptable to ask questions about your nipple at 1:30am in a fit of panic!

So, that is my list of breastfeeding must haves!  Hope this helps a fellow nursing mama out!  Any others you would add??

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