I’ll start with a disclaimer: how you feed your baby is up to you, and I would never try and say it’s wrong to formula feed. If that’s what you want or need to do then good for you.
But I have to admit, I am a big breastfeeding advocate. I feel it creates such a special bond between you and your baby, and I’m always amazed that I am able to make him grow so much by feeding him myself. I’ll admit it’s not been an easy journey for us – see my ‘Breastfeeding: It’s Not As Easy As It Looks’ post – but I’m glad I’ve persevered. There’s also plenty of information out there about how breastfeeding is giving your baby the best start in life. I love this and believe the research, mainly because no one is profiting through it: formula makers can tell you they offer everything for your baby, but they’re trying to make you buy it and make money for themselves.
One of my favourite things about breastfeeding is that it’s free – aside from your breast, you don’t really need anything else. Still, there’s accessory and things to go with everything, so I’ve done a post about my breastfeeding essentials.
So this is probably one of the obvious ones but a good nursing bra makes breastfeeding a lot easier. You know the deal: they unclip at the top so it’s super easy to get your breast out. There’s plenty everywhere but I got mine from Vertbaudet.co.uk – they’re comfy and supportive and come in a variety of colours.
Another fairly essential piece of equipment, especially in the beginning when your milk supplies are sorting themselves out and can be a bit all over the place! I’d recommend disposable ones to start with as I find them more absorbent – I used Boots own brand – and then washable ones when your flow has sorted – again, I use the Boots brand.
Easy Access Clothes
It’s not easy to pop a breast out in a tight high necked dress, so getting the right clothes is important. While I was pregnant I bought a couple of nursing tops, but I’m not overly keen on these now. I prefer wearing normal loose tops or dresses, or a strap top with a loose t-shirt over the top – these provide a discreet way to feed and you can still look good too! I also bought a couple of nursing strap tops from H and M which are great to wear at night.
Breastfeeding makes me crazy thirsty – pretty much as soon as the let down starts I want to guzzle down a gallon! I struggled in the first few days trying to drink from glasses: once you’re settles in position it’s hard to reach out and grab things, especially if your glass is away from your free hand! I now have a Contigo water bottle with a safety clip to prevent leakages. Now before I feed I make sure I have a full bottle on the right side for drinking!
This is an essential one for me! As an avid reader I knew my reading time would be cut down once Little Moore came along. Enter the Kindle reading app. I use it on my phone so I can hold it in one hand and read while I feed, which is great for those late night sleepy feeds! I get a lot of review e-books from NetGalley so I’ve been able to catch up on these while feeding.
These are some of my breastfeeding essentials – I’d love to hear if you have any to recommend!