Before we get into the essential products, let’s talk about the Real Essential tool… I strongly encourage all mama’s who are wanting to breastfeed to get a good lactation consultant and meet with her BEFORE you have baby. They do offer this service in the hospital but having the knowledge beforehand really decreases stress and that is worth it’s weight in gold. Also the ones in the hospital don’t have near enough time to spend with you if you have issues or questions. They are rushed by the patient load and aren’t available 24/7. Even though I was an L&D nurse and myself had educated new mom’s on breastfeeding techniques, I still learned a lot and felt better prepared going into my first day with baby. I firmly believe that my success with breastfeeding baby B was because I had a great support system and had all my questions and concerns addressed prior to my baby’s birth. I wasn’t worried that he wasn’t getting enough, I knew skin to skin was key and that just having baby suckle for a few minutes was OK! All these things and more are important details that will make you better prepared for the breastfeeding journey. You can easily find consultants by doing a google search or asking your provider. Make sure to read reviews, just like anything there are amazing consultants, and some that may not provide you with all the information you need. Also this book by Ina May Gaskin is a WEALTH of information. It is also available on Audible. https://amzn.to/3ehcaiC
Medela Manual Pump : https://rstyle.me/+LPUsTTi4fzdppDs3Y-W0qw
I had a lot of success using the manual pump, there are some studies that say doing one breast at a time is actually optimal for supply. I think it’s really personal preference. I loved that this pump is super easy to clean and travel with. No batteries required. To start you will push the pump lever on the top quickly for a few minutes for stimulation, then switch the bottom of the pump for the rest of the pumping session. (see video for more info on use)
Medela Freestyle Flex with Accessories : https://rstyle.me/+7_FewzvySxVsOXHs-CCS8g
This fantastic little thing, is my electric pump. It is roughly the size of my cell phone. weighing in at less than a pound. It integrates with an app if you are into that kind of thing but you don’t have to use it, I don’t. Just one touch and it’s off – starts with the stimulation setting and switches after a few minutes promoting more milk flow. You can increase the strength if you want to. My absolute favorite part of this pump is the flanges though. They are the most comfortable ones I have tried and I have tried several. They have a silicon type material on them that makes it hard to believe you could be as comfortable as you are and be attached to a pump. Super easy to clean as well. This particular one came with a cooler and a bag as well as extra parts.
- Breast pump with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries
- 4 breast shields (21 mm. and 24 mm.)
- 2-connector sets
- Four 5 oz. (150 ml.) bottles with lids
- 2 bottle stands
- 1 tubing
- 1 carry bag
- 1 cooler with cooling element
- 1 power adapter with USB charging cable
Handsfree Nursing Bra : https://rstyle.me/+SaU9LgMugNva-m4LiWAV-A
I promise you want one of these if you are going to pump. You can play on your phone, read a book or whatever you want since this bra holds your pump in place for you. Best thing ever invented for pumping mamas.
Advent Glass Bottles : https://rstyle.me/+ExPU9ryx_OdXONpDRvlZEg
Bottles are tricky for breastfeed babies. You should introduce a bottle at around 3-4 weeks old or you risk your baby refusing a bottle forever, which is fine if you don’t care to ever leave your baby for more than a few hours till he or she is weaned. I like date nights and I also like being able to write a blog or make a video or have a meeting without thinking my baby is starving without me. We chose these because we wanted to stay away from plastic. Not all babies will take to a bottle the same and you may need to buy a few different ones to see which one he will adjust to best. We got lucky because Beckett like the ones we chose.
Hydro Flask with Straw Lid : https://amzn.to/2XAsqoh
Hydro Flask Dupe from Walmart : https://rstyle.me/+MiBIgj0kTf1aXBjzplNDiA
This hydro flask was my life saver. I carried it EVERYWHERE with me and Ken was forever filling it back up all day long. Drinking plenty of water is so important for nursing moms. Hydration is key and not just water, ELECTROLYTES!!! I use Redmond’s because it feel like they are the best for me. They have way more sodium, taste delicious but not too sweet and have dehydrated coconut water in them which is like magic for lactation. The Lemon Lime is my favorite flavor but they are all good. You can use discount code DRBERRY and purchase them HERE https://shop.redmond.life/products/re-lyte-electrolyte-mix?afmc=es
VITAMIN D : You and your baby need vitamin D3. If you take plenty your baby will get it through your breastmilk. I take 5000 IU – 10,000 IU a day! Plus I get out in the sun and so does baby B. https://amzn.to/3c6mf0f
Here is the link to the study Dr. Berry references in his video – as always this is not medical advice, speak with your pediatrician. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17661565/
Mother Love Nipple Cream : https://rstyle.me/+FcF_p_ve_XV_megycG_bNQ
Caring for this particular area of you breast is SO important. It will keep you from being uncomfortable which will keep you from being stressed which will help you relax, which will help you make milk. There are several different kinds on the market but I found this to work the best, it’s also great lip balm LOL. I applied it after every SINGLE nursing session. I only was a tad bit raw in the first week and after that I never had any issues. Applying expressed breastmilk to the area is also wonderful! Breastmilk is magic. It really is.
Bamboo Nursing Pads : https://rstyle.me/+oq2SR7l-tsvw-WQuuPW2Ng
This is pretty self-explanatory, you don’t want to leak everywhere and sometimes you will anyways… it’s fine. These are so soft and they are reusable. Just wash as needed.
Supportive Nursing Tank : https://rstyle.me/+vzGdNCoHx0J1BJ_a02DICA
SIMPLY, these just make life easier. I had about 10 of these and I literally wore them everyday for 5 months under sweaters, t-shirts, button ups… basically they were my bra and they worked very well. Since they are pretty snug, you may want to size up if you don’t like tight clothes. I loved the support and the ease of which I could nurse in them.
Nursing Bra : https://rstyle.me/+dNz1Sa5MEf4qmXQCJrHytA
If you want just a bra and not a tank top, this is the one I used. Comfy, functional.
Milk Snob nursing cover/carseat cover : https://rstyle.me/+d3Ran87OgvED9cjhMnJ5pg
There are plenty of nursing cover ups out there but this one is the SOFTEST material ever. I wish I had a blanket made out of it. It also doubles as a carseat cover. Cover up, don’t cover up, I don’t care. It’s your prerogative. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. It really depends on where I am, who I am with etc. But I only use this brand because it is the least annoying. It comes in so many patterns including DISNEY!!
Hatch Changing Pad/Scale for weight : https://rstyle.me/+WFyGsbG7gYeNL_y62EA_Mg
One of the main things that stress out a breastfeeding mom is being scared that her supply is too low. CONTRARY to popular belief, the amount you pump is not always equivalent to the amount you produce when baby latches and it is for sure NOT the way you should measure success. How much your baby weighs is the best way to feel confident that you are making enough milk for baby. This changing pad makes weighing your baby a breeze and logs it on an app so you can watch the growth pattern and report to your baby’s pediatrician if need be. It’s also SUPER easy to clean. Just wipe it down. It comes in white and grey. If you find you aren’t getting a lot during pumping sessions, start power pumping and make sure that you are getting plenty of fluids and electrolytes as well as LOTS of skin to skin snuggle time with baby.
Here is a power pumping schedule below. I suggest doing this in the early a.m. (5 am-6 am )after baby has been fed already.
- 20 minutes on
- 10 minutes off
- 10 minutes on
- 10 minutes off
- 10 minutes on
So, you would pump 3 times within a 60 minute time period.
Baby K’tan Carrier : https://rstyle.me/+aoU1ZVQvTz7QWMIl4TwQ7w
Simple to use, no fancy tying of things. Goes on kind of like a t-shirt. Very breathable and lots of cute patterns. Beckett LOVED it. Make sure to give your baby a minute to adjust. They may cry and wiggle at first but if you walk around and hum they may just decide it’s their favorite spot to be. Watch the video to see how easy it is to get on!
Milk storage bags with container : https://rstyle.me/+rWsA0n4MyTeE2oUqDftt9A
If you are wanting to have a stash you will need these. Really, brand is just personal preference. To save space freeze them on their side and then once frozen store them standing up.
Belli Lotion : https://rstyle.me/+V9uFSSAgmZfrav38ibimZw
Jojoba Oil : https://amzn.to/3en7Zls
Even before delivery you skin may itch from all the stretching. Try not to scratch but apply a quality moisturizer. Coconut oil or jojoba oil are great or you can try one specifically made for mamas like the one linked here.
Pump Spray Cleaner : https://rstyle.me/+whGiqS334KRn5q8sPRVkBg
Makes for easy clean up on the go for you breast-pump.
Hair Tie : https://rstyle.me/+9cJ6dTeURz45SP1zpeLzxQ
One of the things I stressed about was remembering which breast I had already fed the baby on. Super easy fix, put the hair tie on the one you need to start with next session. Cheap, easy, and effective.