Our modern world has brought us lots of fun helpers like breastfeeding pillows, nursing tank tops, and nursing pads. Ultimately, all the extra gear makes it easy for moms to nurse their babies with ease. However, those that opt to can still effectively nurse their infants without any additional gears.
Parenthood is a journey that no one makes on their own, and breastfeeding is an important part of that journey for everyone, including the family—not just mother and baby. Having a reliable support team around you is just as important as (if not more important than) anything else you could learn from us through the various guides and tips we offer on this site. We strive to help mothers in getting the right nursing information that will help them through the journey to successfully nurse their infant as they build and maintain a healthy milk supply.
Here’s my take on how essential some common breastfeeding accessories are.
Breast pumps have become a staple of the breastfeeding experience for moms around the world. Many hospitals will have a hospital-grade pump waiting for you in your hospital room shortly after birth. Pumps are very helpful for working moms and training when you are ready for your first separation from your little one. We’ll analyze the ins and outs of using a breast pump, when to use one, and how to use one.
The key to getting motherhood right, if there is such a thing, is to not compare yourself to other mothers. Some mothers begin to leak colostrum weeks before their baby is born, while some never leak. Each woman in each scenario is normal. If you are a mother who is prone to leaking, it can be helpful to keep reusable nursing pads on standby. Bamboo fiber or cotton pads tend to provide the best protection, while disposable pads can be handy while traveling. If you do find yourself needing a nursing pad, chances are you won’t need one until your milk volume increases, which is not until three to seven days after the birth of your little one. So these aren’t hospital-bag essentials but rather something nice to have around the house just in case.
Nursing pillows have become the must-have gift at baby showers and a ubiquitous part of the Western nursing experience. While nursing pillows are a lovely creature comfort and can make nursing in the first few weeks more comfortable as you get accustomed to breastfeeding.
Nursing Bras and Tanks
Nursing bras can be handy for nursing mothers since they have snaps on the top of each cup that fold down to allow easy access to the breast for nursing.
Although also not 100 percent necessary, nursing tank tops and gowns can be nice to have. Many women find that using a nursing tank instead of a nursing bra is helpful, especially when nursing in public. Depending on the type of cloth you’re wearing, when nursing in public, your abdomen may be exposed for a short period of time while adjusting your baby. If this makes you feel uncomfortable, use a nursing tank under your shirt, so that your abdomen is never exposed while nursing in public.
At-Home Breast Milk Test
In addition to lactation supplements, smoothies, teas, and cookies, there’s a growing market of tests and monitors designed specifically with the breastfeeding mother in mind. Some tests analyze the nutritional content of your breast milk, at-home tests that give an approximation of the amount of alcohol in your breast milk, and even tests that claim to be able to measure the exact volume of milk you have in each breast.