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breastfeeding must haves

My Breastfeeding Journey {Plus Top Product Recommendations}

My breastfeeding journey was certainly an interesting one. For me, the instant I became a mom, I was determined to succeed at breastfeeding. I was in the headspace of wanting to provide the best possible nutrition for my baby. Even if I had to supplement with formula, it was important for me to breastfeed as long and as much as possible. And that’s when I realized breastfeeding is SO much easier with some handy tools, a.k.a. breastfeeding must haves!

My Most Recent Breastfeeding Journey

For the first 3 months of Leo’s life, I definitely struggled with some postpartum issues. Mentally, I felt all over the place. And with a newborn who had colic, life was extremely difficult some days.

Luckily, I felt I was successful in one area – producing a ton of milk!

But Leo was very finicky. Some days he liked the boob, and sometimes he preferred a bottle. He seemed to never really know what he wanted. And we struggled a bit.

To be honest, once he started using a bottle, I loved being able to pass off nighttime feeding to Daddy.

What a life saver!

I could store my breastmilk, and my husband could take a nighttime feed while I caught up on sleep.

Then at around 3 months postpartum, my supply decreased a bit. I decided to supplement with Enfamil Gentlease. Leo loved it, so we had no issues transitioning him to a mixture of breastmilk and formula.

My Ultimate List of Breastfeeding Must Haves

For me, breastfeeding was just easier with a few extra tools. I relied on great products that helped me throughout my breastfeeding journey! I highly recommend these products as nursery must haves. They’re even great registry must haves for when people ask what you need for the new baby!

So kick back and take note on these registry breastfeeding must haves and my tried and true top product recommendations.

1. Medela Sonata Breast Pump

I used this breast pump for the first 6 months of breastfeeding with Leo, and I loved it. The one I used with Jax was Medela’s Free Style version, but with Leo, I used the Sonata pump.

The best part about this pump is all of the smart features!

It delivers all your information directly to your smart phone via Bluetooth, meaning it collects all the data on your pumping sessions and has real time tracking of your baby’s growth! It also gives you unlimited access to important lactation information and personalized content designed to help you reach your breastfeeding goals.

I am a major believer in pumping – so Dad can get in there and help with the feedings, too – and this pump was amazing!

If you will be pumping, a hand-free pumping bra is also a MUST. Hands-free pumping worked well for me, and this strapless bra was my favorite!

I have also heard great things about the Willow Hands Free Breast Pump. If I ever have another baby, I will definitely give this pump a try.

2. Dr. Brown’s Bottles

All three of us have used Dr. Brown’s products for our babies. Their bottles are unparalleled to any other brand.

Their Options bottles are for sure my favorite!

You can use it with or without the vent system depending on what you prefer. I like using the vent system because it helps reduce any feeding problems, preserves vitamins, helps with digestion, and the vent/nipple combination create a vacuum free feeding!

Dr. Brown’s is an easy choice for the best baby bottles for breastfeeding in my opinion.

3. Milk Snob Covers

This company is one of my favorites ever.

Their covers are SO soft, and they also double as a nursing cover!

I have a few of their adorable prints, but I just really love their versatility. They are perfect for covering your carseat when your baby is sleeping. Then you can easily slip it off to cover yourself when you’re ready to feed!

4. Medela Nipple Shields

With Jax, I vividly remember the only way he would breastfeed was with these nipple shields. For some reason, he couldn’t latch without them.

And if that was the only way I was going to experience breastfeeding with him, that’s what I had to do.

I used them every time he nursed, and they worked really well! I highly recommend these nipple shields if you’re having any latch issues. They are definitely worth trying!

5. Lansinoh Breast Cold Packs

Yep, your nibbles are going to burn!

Especially in the beginning. And some nights, I just needed that cool relief. I loved these cold packs along with my Medela nipple cream.

Just keep them in the fridge or freezer and stick them right in your bra!

Relief…and they work so well when your boobs are engorged.

6. Medela Tender Care Nipple Cream

This cream is amazing for chapped nipples. I really think it’s the best nipple cream for breastfeeding.

And I used it daily!

Always such a relief to put this cream on after I breastfed. Definitely helps relieve any cracking and pain.

7. Bravado Nursing Bras

Target has the best nursing bras! Hands down.

I got most of my bras from Target. This brand seems to be new, but the reviews are amazing! And I had some just like them. Super comfortable and easy to use.

8. UpSpring Milkscreen Test Kit for Alcohol in Breast Milk

We all have those nights where Mama needs a glass of wine. With these test strips, I had peace of mind after I pumped knowing my milk was clear of alcohol in the morning.

If there was any detection of alcohol, I tossed the milk.

9. Haaka Breast Pump

I used this more often when I had leaks. Usually after I breastfed Leo, I’d have some excess.

This tool was a great way to catch any leaks!

No wasting any of that liquid gold! 🙂

10. The Best Nursing Pillow

Honestly, I used both the Boppy and the My Breast Friend. I’m on the fence about which was the best baby pillow for nursing. I always liked the Boppy, but the My Breast Friend was great as well!

I think the best breastfeeding pillow is really a personal choice. If you have a friend with either, test it out!

Final Thoughts on Breastfeeding Must Haves

The first few months of your baby’s life can be a bumpy road, especially when colic and adjusting to life with two little humans are thrown in! But hopefully my experiences will help YOU out! Enjoy my ultimate life-saving breastfeeding must haves.

Also, check out my list of first year survival tools for all my new baby must haves.

And let me know if you have anything you would add to either list!

XO, CG

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