The Ultimate Guide: Breastfeeding Essentials

It was another busy and hectic morning. As I went to grab my milk bag I came to see that it had leaked…again. The milk had mixed in with the warm water it was sitting in, and I had to toss it out.

Whoever came up with the saying “don’t cry over spilled milk CLEARLY wasn’t talking about breast milk.

Frustrated, I thought to myself, “that’s it.” You see, I don’t want any other mama to go through this. That breast milk bag was horrible! Us Mamas know the hard work we put into breastfeeding and pumping for our babies.

Every oz counts.

So I wanted to gather a list of breastfeeding must haves that are my go-to’s and I wanted to share them with you.

Breast Milk Bags

First things first. The reason for this post! The Lansinoh bags are the WORST bags. I have recently switched to the Medela ones and so far I haven’t had any leak issues. But I still have (for a few months now) a bunch of these from months back and they have leaked over and over again.

I’ve put them in the fridge over night and then next morning when it’s time to defrost, I discover the leaks. I ended up having to throw away a LOT of breast milk because I usually heat up the bags in a cup of warm water. When there’s a hole, I don’t know how much water gets into the bag contaminating the milk, so I don’t chance it and end up throwing the whole thing out.

Spectra S2 Breast Pump

I’ve used the Medela with AJ and Mila and decided with Keira I was going to try something different. I read rave reviews about the Spectra S2 so I decided to try it out. I think the Medela did its job, but I pretty much love this pump in comparison.

Here are the pros:

  • It’s smaller and lighter. Some people who see it don’t even know what it is because it doesn’t look like a normal breast pump (unless you got your breast pump parts hooked up). And honestly, it’s prettier.
  • It’s quiet. If and when you have to pump when your kids are asleep, this is a lifesaver. There is no comparison in the noise factor with the Medela.
  • There is a nightlight and timer built into the display. You don’t have to look at your phone or the clock to keep track which is just something that makes things so much easier. The light on the display also helps if you’re pumping in the weird am hours of the morning.
  • Probably my favorite thing about this pump is that it is a closed system pump. That basically means that your milk never reaches the actual pump motor, which decreases the possibility of mold growth. That makes it super easy to clean because those tubes that connect your breast pump parts will never get milk in them.
  • I find this pump awesome and the only cons that I would mention is not having it come with a bag. Sometimes it is also hard to find replacement parts since it’s a newer brand.

Don’t forget to contact your insurance for free breast pump options. Insurances will usually cover a portion if not all of the cost.

My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow

I have tried both the Boppy and My Brest friend and I will say that I prefer the my breast friend. The main reason is because of the adjustable belt buckle. You can adjust it to your waist like a seat belt which essentially makes it hands free for feedings.

With the Boppy I had to use other pillows to prop it in place and it still didn’t stay on 100%. The breast friend is a foam like material so it really is a good platform to keep your baby in place especially for those first few months. The bonus is the little pocket that is on the pillow where I would put my Lansinoh cream and extra hair ties.

Milk Snob Nursing Cover

This nursing cover is amazing. It’s thin and very stretchy, and the designs don’t look so boring. When you put it on it looks like a pretty shaw and the stretchy material make it easy for baby to be completely hidden. Because the material is so thin its very easy to fit in any diaper bag.

The best part about it is that it doubles as a car seat cover. Because Keira was born in the Las Vegas summer, it did a good job of blocking out the sun without being too heavy to not have any air go through. I’d recommend this cover to any nursing mama.

Other must haves

There are a few other items that I think are great.

  • Lansinoh Nipple Cream– This was a lifesaver, especially in the first few weeks of breastfeeding. Your nipples really take a beating as they get accustomed to feedings and these help. I had cracked nipples at one point and this helped soothe the soreness.
  • Medela Nipple Shield– Because of my period of cracked nipples, I wasn’t able to breastfeed without pain. I did a lot of research and finally tried this nipple shield. I had to correct my latch while trying to heal at the same time. This shield helps baby to get a good latch and breast feed properly, while shielding your nipples because they are not directly on it. I only had to use it for a couple weeks before Keira got the hang of things and was able to feed without them.
  • Lansinoh Gel Pads- When your milk comes in, your breasts will become hard as a ROCK and it will HURT. If you place them in the fridge to get them cold it can relieve pain and swelling. Or it can have a double use and be warmed. I would pop these babies in the microwave and place them on while I pumped. The warm sensation felt great and it encourages your letdown.
  • Lansinoh Stay Dry Nursing Pads– You will definitely need a lot of these in your nursing life time. These are so helpful, because trust me, you WILL leak. I didn’t like wearing a bra at night (it took too much effort when you are running off of 2 hours of sleep) so I’d stick this in my tank top and that would be enough. You will need to change them out quite a bit as it will get heavy and uncomfortable absorbing all that milk.

Things I wished I bought

There are a couple of items that I did NOT buy with any of my kids that I wished I did.

Nursing Bra-About a few months in I realize how helpful it would’ve been to have a nursing bra, especially when I went back to work. I would sit in my little pumping room using my hands to hold it up. And I’m still doing that till now. I just never took the time to go shop for one and I will start weaning her so there is no point in buying one now. But if you plan to pump, this is probably something that will make your pumping experience a little more comfortable.

Milkies Milk-Saver Cups– This is something that I never got around to buying but I should’ve! This is a little cup that can go in your bra and catch the milk from your other breast during a feeding after a letdown. Again every drop is is liquid gold and I think this is such a great invention.

Thank you for reading my mommy feeding go to items. Is there something during your breastfeeding journey that you couldn’t live without? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Please don’t forget to hit the share button if you liked this post.


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