Breastfeeding is a beautiful & natural way to provide vital nutrients, comfort, and a strong emotional & intuitive bond between mother and baby.

There are endless benefits to breastfeeding.. Some include supporting your baby’s immune system, promoting healthy brain development, and reducing the risk of certain health issues for both mom and baby. However, as rewarding as breastfeeding can be, it can also present challenges for mothers.

I remember as a new, first-time mother, those challenges started right away while I was still in the hospital. Getting our baby to latch comfortably did not come naturally for either of us. So much so, that within the first week of her life I was dealing with engorgement, chapped bleeding nipples and a blocked duct the size of a golf ball all the way up into my armpit. 

Navigating these challenges can feel so overwhelming, but having the right nursing essentials and support can make the breastfeeding journey much more comfortable and gratifying. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the must-have items that can assist you and your baby during this special time and will also provide you with information to help you feel confident and at ease as you embark on your breastfeeding journey.

Must-Have Nursing Essentials for Breastfeeding Moms

To ensure a smooth breastfeeding experience, it’s crucial to have some essential items on hand. 

Nursing Pillow

A nursing pillow is designed to provide support and comfort for both mom and baby during breastfeeding. By helping you maintain proper positioning, a nursing pillow can alleviate strain on your body while also creating a better position for your baby to latch comfortably.  

There are several types and styles of nursing pillows available, all of which are dependent on your unique needs.

Here’s a link to my favorite pillow:

Comfortable Nursing Bras & Clothing

Comfortable and functional nursing bras and clothing can make a huge difference in your breastfeeding journey. I have found over time EASY is key. Look for bras with easy-to-use clasps, adjustable straps, and soft, stretchy fabric to accommodate fluctuations in breast size. 

Here are a couple that I have found to be supportive, functional and cozy:

When selecting nursing clothes, the same rule applies.. make sure it’s EASY! I cannot express how many times I have tangled myself with clothing trying to make my breasts available to nurse, creating frustration and an even hungrier, screaming baby. Clothes with easy to maneuver openings, soft stretchy fabrics, and uncomplicated buttons or clasps make the world of a difference.

Here’s one of my favorite nursing dresses:

Water and Snack Station

There’s nothing worse when you sit down with your baby to nurse and get them situated at the breast, and all of a sudden you realize your water bottle and snacks are across the room. Having a prepared water and snack station where you nurse is a huge helper for your comfort and well-being. Breastfeeding can be a physically demanding process, so staying properly hydrated and nourished is imperative to maintain a healthy milk supply. Keeping a water bottle within reach ensures you can easily quench your thirst without interrupting the feeding session. A couple nutritious and yummy snacks readily available is also helpful. A few of my favorite snacks are: granola bars, honey sticks, dried or fresh fruits, and nut mixtures.

Catch the let down

As a new mama to my little girl I mentioned above, I dealt with serious engorgement. During our nursing sessions, the side I wasn’t breastfeeding on would just pour into a breast pad during the let down. It wasn’t until years and two children later that I found one of my favorite and most useful breastfeeding products, the Haaka. Using natural suction, it latches on to your breast and catches that liquid gold so that you can use it for a future feed, milk baths, make soaps or even beautiful breastfeeding jewelry!

Get Supported!

If you’re finding difficulty breastfeeding, turn to your support! There are so many knowledgeable lactation consultants, doulas, your midwife, and even other mothers around you that could be invaluable to you as you navigate through this journey. They can help address issues you are experiencing and provide different personalized solutions to help build confidence and create a positive, nurturing experience for both you and your baby.

Being well-prepared with nursing essentials can make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable and peaceful, allowing you to focus on the bond between you and your baby. Don’t hesitate to seek further information and support, as each breastfeeding experience is unique. Remember that Womankind Midwifery is here to support you every step of the way in your journey through motherhood, providing guidance and resources to help you and your baby thrive.

By: Ashley Jacobs