Before Osian was born I hadn't really prepared for breastfeeding. It was hard to know what I would need, I didn't think I'd need anything at all to be honest. 11 months down the line we have ended up with quite a few breastfeeding related products, so I thought I'd write this list to hopefully help anyone who's preparing or thinking about breastfeeding.
In no particular order
1. Nursing Pillow - I really regret not buying one of these. I always wanted one in the early days of breastfeeding but I never got around to buying one. I think it would have come in so handy for our evening cluster feeds. I love the prints from the two I have shown so thought I'd add links to where I found them the first is a Boppy pillow by Chicco and the second is a PreciousLittleOne Nursing Pillow.
2. Breast Pads - Breast pads are an essential. Until my milk came in I was convinced I wouldn't need them because I didn't seem to leak, but I didn't know how different colostrum and the milk was going to be. To start with I used disposable pads, which worked very well. I then decided to try out some reusable pads and I was really impressed with them and much preferred their feel. I do wish I had bought them a lot sooner and saved a bit of money from all the disposable pads. I think it's a personal preference which one would suit you better, for me it was defiantly the reusable.
3. Lanolin Nipple Cream - I loved this cream, it really is a life saver. It was recommended to me by a midwife in the hospital, my Mum kindly went to buy one for me and I was amazed by how well it worked. I used it before and after every feed for a few days, it really helped with the initial sensitivity. I continued to use it for a few weeks then stopped because I simply didn't need it any longer. It looks expensive for a tiny tub, but I can assure you it is so worth the money.
4. BelleBelly - I loved my BelleBelly. It's a band that you where under your clothes, turning any top into a nursing top. I really don't like my stretch marked flabby belly so felt more comfortable whilst wearing this band.
5. Freezer Storage Bags - If you only express milk that's to be used in the next few days days then you can simply keep it in the back of the fridge. If storing for any longer the milk will need freezing. Breast milk can last up to 6 months in the freezer. The bags are thick and will store the milk securely. You can also get a storage tray to go in the freezer and the bags fit nicely inside.
6. Breast Pump - One of my regrets was not expressing and freezing milk in the months I had a very good supply. I wish that in the first few months I had bought an electric pump and frozen a lot of milk. It would have been so much easier for when Osian started nursery. Having not personally used an electric pump I did a little research and saw a lot of really good reviews about the Medela Swing, so I wish I had bought this one!
7. Bottles - If you choose to express then bottles are handy for short term storing of milk in the fridge for also for feeding your baby. I have spoken to a few who chose to just use beakers but they tended to be for older babies. I'm really impressed with the Medela Calma Bottles and would highly recommend them.
I've just remembered about another thing, our Babybeads feeding necklace. Which was very handy when Osian had fiddly fingers, it's basically a beaded necklace that I'd wear and Osian would play with whilst feeding, it helped avoid a few hair pulls, pinches and scratches!
What about you? Have you got any handy breastfeeding product that I haven't mentioned?