All parents remember that “now what?” moment when they bring their first infant home, swaddle them up and place them on their backs in the crib. Moms committed to breastfeeding can experience frustration, painful breasts, and cracked nipples. These essential breastfeeding accessories relieve some of the stress and make breastfeeding the special bonding experience moms and their infants deserve.
A good nursing pillow provides support and comfort for both the baby and the nursing mother. These maintain the closeness between mother and child while relieving some of the strain of holding and positioning the baby.
Breast Pump and Storage Bags
Sometimes, breasts work overtime. They can become painfully swollen when the baby is unavailable or uninterested in nursing. A portable pump allows a mom to relieve the pressure. Coordinated bottles or bags that can be refrigerated or even frozen provide safe storage until the baby is hungry.
Bras and Pads
Bras that make breasts accessible without having to remove the entire garment are necessary to have for nursing moms. Leaks can happen, so to prevent embarrassment and reduce the laundry load, try washable breast pads made to go inside the bra and soak up the drops until the baby nurses next.
While it may not happen in the first few weeks, eventually, a nursing mother will need or want to take the baby out in the stroller or for a sleep-inducing ride in the car, safely strapped into the infant seat. Nursing covers provide privacy and style if the baby decides it is time for a snack before nodding off to sleep. Think about convenience, fabric, and versatility to help you choose the right nursing cover. Some of these also work as tops and car seat or carrier covers.
Hydration is critical for nursing mothers, and a water bottle is near the top of the list of essential breastfeeding accessories. Keep several water bottles chilled and ready in the fridge. Many bottles made specifically for nursing mothers feature measurements to gauge how much a mom consumes in a day.
A hungry infant with frequent feeding demands and breast pumps can contribute to cracked, sore nipples. Nipple creams that use gentle, baby-safe ingredients can speed healing and relieve discomfort.
Nursing mothers can experience clogged milk ducts and sometimes mastitis, a painful condition that causes redness and swelling and may indicate an infection. Mothers experiencing those symptoms should contact their doctor immediately. In the meantime, pads filled with gel that can cool in the fridge or with seeds that heat up in the microwave can provide some relief for sore nipples and clogged ducts.