Best nursing items for every breastfeeding mama

By RIO ROSE RIBAYA
As the original was published in edamama in August 2020

A woman’s body is amazing. After growing a tiny human inside your tummy, your body now produces milk to sustain their first months (or years) of life. It might seem completely natural, but it doesn’t guarantee that your own breastfeeding journey will go smoothly. Fortunately, there’s a plethora of products out there to help you worry less when it comes to nursing your little one.

Electric breast pumps

In earlier days, only stay-at-home mamas had the luxury of time to breastfeed their babies. But today, it’s possible for your little one to thrive in the care of trusted caregivers and still be nourished by your breastmilk. A pair of breast pumps makes building a stash of expressed breastmilk easier without letting you lose a lot of time or getting your hands tired. It’s a definite must-have if you can’t avoid to spend some time away from your baby – whether it’s for work, travel, or that much-needed “me time”.

Check these out, mama: Combi Double Electric Pump, and Bebeta Electric breast pump

Storage bags

Every pumping mom has cried over spilt milk at one time or another. To keep even a drop of your precious liquid gold from going to waste again, it’s important to store pumped breastmilk correctly for later consumption. Remember to keep them in sterilized storage bags that are resealable. Keeping your milk in BPO-free bags rather than other bulky milk containers also saves a lot more space in your fridge or freezer.

Check out these two leading brands for breastmilk storage bags, mama: K-Mom and Dr. Brown’s

Disposable breast pads

The early days of breastfeeding will more likely see you leaking as your body adjusts with the amount of milk your little one needs. You might even leak for weeks or for the duration of your entire breastfeeding journey. Don’t worry: breast pads are here to save you from such embarrassment, especially when leaks happen in public! These can also shield your clothes from stains.

Check this out, mama: Dr. Brown’s Rachel’s Remedy natural breast relief packs

Nipple creams

Breastfeeding often causes sore nipples. They develop from a wide range of reasons – a poor latch, a thrush in your baby’s mouth, mastitis, blebs, even using a breast pump incorrectly. You’ll find that applying nipple creams and balms may help soothe and relieve the pain. Just make sure these creams and balms contain natural ingredients.

Check these out, mama: Orange & Peach Nipple Balm, and Biolane Nursing balm

Hands-free nursing bra

Pumping milk is hard work, even if you have the right electric breast pump. Not being able to do something else while pumping is, perhaps, even more difficult. With the right pumping bra, you’ll feel free and more relaxed, helping your body to produce more milk. Because it holds the pump in place for you, it’s possible for you to express your breastmilk AND use your hands to eat, read a book, finish a task for work, or shop online!

Check this out, mama: Milk Easy Nurse and Pump Easy Bra

Breastfeeding clothes

You don’t have to buy special breastfeeding clothes to be able to breastfeed comfortably. But sometimes, layering a shirt over a tank top may get too hot for our tropical climate. Or you may be too tired of wearing your button-down blouses and simply want to dress up for a change. Luckily, there are plenty of nursing-friendly outfits to choose from today. With a slit, flap, or zipper on the side or in front of the garment, the clothes can make breastfeeding on-the-go less of a hassle.

Check these out, mama: MUM Dina breastfeeding dress, and Mamaway Maternity and Nursing dresses with built-in bra

Supplements to increase your breastmilk can be taken in drinks, in lactation cookies, or as capsules.

Galactagogues

If you’re worried that your breastmilk supply is low, the easiest way to increase it is by taking galactagogues. These are herbal supplements that boost milk production. The most commonly used herbal galactagogues are fenugreek, moringa (or malunggay) and alfalfa. You can take these as capsules, in tea, and in lactation cookies. Remember to consult your doctor before taking any of these supplements.

Check these out, mama: FDA-approved Herbilogy Fenugreek, Herbilogy Breastfeeding tea

Nursing pillow

Sure, mamas have been successfully breastfeeding their babies long before nursing pillows were invented. It may not be an essential item, but it can definitely be a big help especially in your first few weeks as a new mama. Using it can help you settle into a comfortable position confidently, let you rest your arms for long nursing sessions, especially in the wee hours of the night. (Pro tip: Find a flat-ish one to keep your baby from rolling into or away from you.)

Check this out, mama: Mamaway Nursing and baby pillow

Nursing cover

For first-time mamas, breastfeeding away from home is a big deal. While there’s no shame in nursing a hangry baby in public, there’s also no problem if you want to do it discreetly – unless it bothers your baby, of course! Great for bringing on the go, using a nursing cover will keep other people from staring.

Check out these multi-purpose pieces, mama: Next9 Infinity Scarf and LouLou Lollipop muslin swaddle

UV sterilizer

Germs and bacteria develop rapidly in milk. And because breast pumps have a lot of small parts with nooks and crannies where milk tends to build up, cleaning them thoroughly can be a nightmare. A UV sterilizer actually makes drying and sterilizing your pump parts easier. Just put them in the compartment and you’re good to go. No need to add water.

Check this out, mama: Ecomom 100 Dual UV sterilizer

Lactation massagers

If it’s done properly, a lactation massage can help increase breastmilk supply. It can also ease the discomfort brought about by plugged milk ducts and engorgement. Forget the old-fashioned manghihilot (you can’t pack her in your laptop case when you go to work, anyway). Portable lactation massagers are the way to go!

Check this out, mama: LaVie Lactation massager

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