When baby is about to come, your shopping list is huge, and yes, probably you have a whole section for breastfeeding. There’re tons of products in the market and you don’t even know where to start. Here is a list of the items I believe are the basics for the beginning:
1. Lanolin cream or organic extra virgin coconut oil, to use to relieve the sore nipples of the first days.
2. A pump. Even if you’re staying home with your baby or going back to work, I think it’s a great tool to have (double, single or manual), in case of an occasional separation from the baby, or just to relieve engorged breasts.
3. Breast pads (disposable or washables), for occasional leaking. Not all women leak, but I think it’s good to have a few in advance, since the first weeks are the ones when you’re most likely to leak.
4. Breastfeeding bras, or regular bras, never too tight and please with no wires.
5. A breastfeeding pillow. This is not a must, but I find them really helpful especially for first-time moms. Just be careful not to buy one that is too high that could place the baby in a wrong position to breastfeed. I recommend “My Breast Friend”.
And that’s it! Were you expecting something longer? Well, this is the beauty of breastfeeding, you don’t need much. In fact, you don’t even need any of the things mentioned above. Women have been breastfeeding for thousands of years when none of these gadgets existed, and yes, humanity survived.
I know, the market is flooded with tons of products that surprise me every day, and I have to admit that some of them are really cool and helpful (such as those nipple shells that collect the milk and avoid friction from clothes, have you checked them?). But, please, please, please, don’t get crazy buying them “just in case”. Breastfeeding challenges are real, but each one requires an individual assessment, and different solutions. I can’t even count how many problems can be caused by the misuse of a nipple shield, or a “breastfeeding friendly” bottle.
The key is to keep things simple. That means, you start from the base that breastfeeding doesn’t need anything else than your breasts, and your will; and If you happen to experience any issue or challenge, please call your local lactation professional for help. Don’t compare yourself or your baby with your friends’, remember that you and your baby are unique in your breastfeeding dyad.