Now don’t get me wrong, I am very much a ‘all you really need to breastfeed is a boob’ kinda gal. However, I do often get asked about my tips for breastfeeding so I thought this post would be a good place to start. I was also inspired after reading this list of breastfeeding essentials from Smart Cells, to share my own. Expectant mums just love a list of things to buy, it helps us to feel prepared for the new baby. Breastfeeding is often a big scary unknown for a first time mum and so feeling prepared for it can really help you to feel less daunted by it all. I also want to say at this point, please don’t feel daunted or scared at the thought of breastfeeding! Yes, it can be a minefield but there is a lot of good support and advice out there so don’t be afraid to hunt it down. I’m currently three months into breastfeeding my second baby and I breastfed my first for sixteen months, so it ‘s fair to say I’ve been around the breastfeeding block. I’ve tried a lot of products throughout that time and these are my one hundred percent honest and unbiased recommendations for you.
This is an obvious place to begin but there are a million and one different brands out there so I’m going to give you the low down on my three favourite nursing bras. (For full disclosure some of these bras were gifted to me, but they all make the cut for this post through their own merit and not any agreement I have with the brands). I’ve included three bras because they are all at different places on the ‘slouching at home to trying to make an effort for the outside world’ scale. Whatever your jam is when it comes to bras, hopefully one of these will appeal to you.
This is the ultimate ‘chilling at home all day, don’t even need to change bra to take a nap’ kind of nursing bra. The design of it is clever as there are no clips to be dealing with, the super stretchy material just crosses over at the front meaning you can just pull the cups to the side when you need to feed the baby. The fabric it is made from is called ‘Petal Soft’ and I would have to agree. This is definitely my favourite nursing bra based on comfort alone.
I’ve written a full review of this nursing bra but here is the long and short of it. This for me is the medium bra of the three I am including in this post, it is comfy enough to sleep in but also has a little more structure than the Ballet Nursing Bra. The GelWire gives you the support needed to feel comfortable venturing outside the house and it has conventional nursing clips to feed rather than the more relaxed crossover style.
And now we get to the one I would say is most like the type of bra I would buy were I not breastfeeding. The Buttercup Bra has lightly padded cups so there’ll be no nips sticking through your tee in a cold day, but they are soft and easy enough to pull down and feed discreetly. There is no underwire which is pretty normal for a nursing bra but I would say it offers a good amount of support regardless. The clips are easy to open and close too.
I would definitely recommend you to try nursing bras on before you buy them as they can fit very differently to regular bras. You’re probably also going to want to have a good stash as a combination of leaky boobs and sicky babies could mean they spend a lot of time in the wash!
I’m sure I’ve raved about Lansinoh Nipple Cream either on here or on Instagram before. It is the best. No question about it. When I had Darcie I bought about three cheaper versions because I didn’t want to splash out £10 on a nipple cream, and they were all rubbish. Spend the £10, it’s worth it. Your nipples deserve it! It’s totally safe to feed with it on and will be your lifesaver in the early days. Contrary to some advice, breastfeeding generally is a bit sore in the early days because your nipples simply aren’t used to having a baby chomping away on them every hour of the day. This nipple cream is amazing for looking after and soothing your sensitive skin. It’s a must have!
Not everyone will need breast pads, but they are certainly good to have to hand just in case you do turn out to be a Leaky McLeakerson. You can buy disposable breast pads in most supermarkets or you can fork out for some pricier branded ones or even go for reusables. My favourites have always been from ASDA, they are super soft and only £1 a box, but you’ll probably want to try out a few different ones to find your own favourite. Even if you don’t leak much they can also be really good for adding a bit of extra padding and comfort to your bra in the beginning when your nipples might be a bit sore.
It has to be said that I breastfed Darcie for sixteen months without a boppy pillow, but now I have one – I couldn’t go back! I used to stack up piles of cushions around me and under Darcie to try to achieve ultimate comfort when feeding but it is just so much easier to have a breastfeeding pillow instead. Some women never use one and don’t feel the need for a million and one cushions, it must depend on your body shape and the design of the chair or sofa you are feeding on. But if you do find yourself uncomfortable when feeding, definitely invest in one of these.
It is SO important to stay hydrated when breastfeeding and I used to get so frustrated having a glass of water because it would always end up just out of reach or I would spill it all over the floor. It’s so much easier just to have a water bottle next to you on the sofa, that you can open one handed and drink from around the baby.
So there you have it, my ultimate breastfeeding products. If you are planning on pumping then of course a good breast pump is essential but I’ll cover that in another post. I hope this list is helpful to any expectant or new mums out there, and good luck on your breastfeeding journey! My inbox is always open on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter if you ever need someone to chat all things breastfeeding with.
*this is a collaborative post, with information provided in a press release by Smart Cells