Thursday, October 13, 2011

Breastfeeding Supplies and Accessories you'll need!

Guest Post by Bert

Whether or not you’re new to breastfeeding or you’re looking for some great ideas for a breastfeeding mom, this list is sure to inspire you. Using my own experience and the experience of the fans on my Facebook page I think you’ll see that we have quite the helpful list for you!
  1. Nursing Tanks are a must, according to quite a few moms on my fan page. Kelsey said, “…so much easier than shirts!” And Mary Katherine suggests using bikini tops during the summer, “Bathing suit tops were my go – to bra during the summer for nursing. They easily slide, are relatively cheap, can be thrown in the wash, and [they] don’t look bulky under tank tops.” Now, I do have to add that I don’t think I could use a bikini top for my rather full girls but if they were smaller I would totally use Mary Katherine’s tip!
  2. Good Nursing Bras is something that I cannot emphasize enough! Your breasts will be heavy and you need good support. Also, you can buy bras to sleep in too if it’s uncomfortable to go unsupported at night.
  3. Nursing Pads are on my list of must haves as well as the majority of the breastfeeding fans on my page. I prefer the reusable kind because I don’t really see a need to create more waste when I have to wash clothes anyway. Nursing pads are especially important in those beginning weeks as your milk supply is being established and you will likely be engorged right after your milk comes in.
  4. A Nursing Basket is something that my home health nurse suggested to me after my son, Buggie, was born. I loved the idea. Basically what you’ll want to do is put everything that you think you might need in the basket next to your preferred nursing spot so that you won’t have to get up to do anything while you’re feeding your baby. This is so important during the first weeks when it can take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour to nurse. Dena said, “…a good book or magazine – you will spend lots of time sitting! Oooh and a good water bottle, nursing makes you oddly thirsty.” I could agree with her more.
  5. Lanolin cream or coconut oil is something that you could put in your nursing basket as you might experience dry, cracked or sore nipples in the beginning. Rebecca, from the fan page, suggested using Soothies, a gel pad that prevents leaks as well as soothes sore nipples.
  6. An electric breast pump and/or a manual breast pump were practically unanimously in every suggestion on the page and I couldn’t agree more. You want your baby to receive the best and no one can deny that breast milk is the best thing for your baby. The only wait to ensure this is to buy a pump. Erica also suggested using a bra that promotes hands free pumping. Pumping helps keep infection and mastitis away.
  7. Green cabbage keeps mastitis away according to five time breastfeeding mom, Miranda. (I know! I’ve never heard of this but what a great tip!) Miranda said to, “Take a leaf, slice open the veins, and apply directly to your breast inside your bra.” She swears it works.
  8. A good support system. You need this. It’s a must. My mom came to my house for two weeks after my first child was born. Why? I didn’t know until I had him but she anticipated that I would need the support, encouragement and extra help because she needed it after she had me. (I’m the firstborn in my family.) Breastfeeding can be really easy or it can be quite the challenge. My son did not know how to breastfeed until he was 12 weeks old. The only reason I stuck it out was because of the people who surrounded me and supported me. An experienced mom, a lactation consultant (I LOVE mine) or a spouse or significant other is a great support system for you during this sometimes trying time. Don’t give up, keep at it and it’ll eventually come naturally. Trust me.
Like I said whether you’re new on this path of breastfeeding or you needed a few ideas on how to help a mother on her breastfeeding path, I hope this has helped you and given you a few tips. Green cabbage. Green cabbage?! Amazing.

Elizabeth (aka Bert) Anderson married her college sweetheart in 2005, and started her journey into motherhood in 2008 with the birth of her son.  She started blogging in 2009 as a way to keep track of her thoughts on being a first time mom, especially her struggle with postpartum depression, and as a way of reaching out to other moms who are struggling with the same things.  This June, Bert had another first in her motherhood travels - a little girl!  Even though she's newly a mother of two, Bert maintains that no matter how many children you have you will always be a "first time mom" because there's a first time for everything!  Visit her blog, at FTM. Bert is a contributor for She Thinks Media.


  1. Green cabbage can also decrease your supply! Be careful not to over-use it.

  2. I found that reusable nursing pads were not absorbent enough for me for the first few months, especially at night! I would seriously leak through the reusable in less than an hour. The disposables are way more absorbent if you are a major leaker like I was at the beginning! I know it seems wasteful and can be expensive but I didn't know what else to do, I tried the Lilly pad things also and they would do okay for a short period but didn't work as well as I thought they would.