You don't need special gadgets & clothes to breastfeed. But, speciality clothing, nursing bra's, and the extra's can help you have a better experience and be more comfortable. For some of us, the gadget was a life changer, and for others it was an added expense. You have to find your story, and I know it's hard. I know you have a million decisions, but you can do this.
Here's a few of our favourite must-haves for breastfeeding parents who want to be comfortable and successful in defining their breastfeeding journey.
Breastfeeding Essentials for the Nursing Mom
Many of us have been successful in our breastfeeding goals using what we have - regular shirts, extra pillows, and a few tissues for the extra milk. This list of essentials can be easily hacked to find a lower cost, or repurposed item in your home.
- Support System
- A Nursing Bra or Tank/Camisole
- Breast pads & Nipple Cream
- Comfortable Clothing
- Comfortable Space
A support system looks like someone who can support you in achieving YOUR GOALS through encouragement, helping you find an answer, and providing what you need. This might be a partner who supports you with breastfeeding, a postpartum doula to help you sleep, or finding a breastfeeding support group or lactation support nurse.
Find someone who can help you find good answers that support you in your journey. Pick up a breastfeeding book, join a support group like the Prince George Breastfeeding Support Group.
Attending support groups was a game changer for my postpartum experience, it helped normalize the variety of different experiences happening to me, and helped prepare me for future challenges. Learning from other mothers wanting to achieve the same goal as you can be incredibly supportive. It wont be for everyone, but it might be for you.
A Nursing Bra
Give your breasts the comfort to grow, change shapes, and feed your baby with a nursing bra. There are many different styles and sizes available, but we recommend the My Necessity Multifit from HotMilk as a starting point. This bra will grow three sizes and give you that flexibility post birth. It's also comfortable for maternity as your rib cage grows with growing baby.
Nursing bra's with clip downs provide better breast access, and the lack of an underwire helps ensure you stay comfortable and free of mastitis. Available in full cup and regular cup, the My Necessity is a go-to choice for parents, but it's just one of many choices. You could go with a tank top or camisole for full body coverage.
Breast pads & Nipple Cream
Give your nipples comfort - you're going to leak, you're going to feel sore, these are experiences that come with the territory of learning to nurser you baby. But you can help provide comfort with reusable nursing pads and a solid nipple cream.
Lanolin - the purple tube at the Pharamacy is a classic go-to choice. But if you want to level up the experience try the nipple cream from Canadian-brand Anointment. A little goes a long way and is vegan and safe for babe.
My go-to gift for friends planning to nurse is a nursing hoodie because they really add the comfort back into your life. Sometimes, being a breastfeeding mom means your entire wardrobe changes in favour of accessibility. That doesn't have to be the case, you can find styles you love with discreet access that provides you the comfort you loved before.
Pick out a few pieces for yourself. Most breastfeeding clothes are designed for bumps to help you feel comfortable from 9 months pregnant to 9 months postpartum and beyond.
A comfortable space can mean just about anything... it can be a special pillow to support baby, it can be a special cover to help you feel safe, or it can be a special chair to nurse in comfort.
Whatever your space, make it yours and include things like softness, warmth, and plenty of water. You need water, snacks, and more. Stay hydrated and stay relaxed.
You'll find your must-haves as you go
As you navigate through your breastfeeding journey more items will become evident from towels to let off the letdown to soothers for the cranky baby. Every breastfeeding journey is a little different, and many mothers find they need different resources, and supplies.
Take time to care for yourself, to find comfort, and most importantly eat.
Once your boobs feel like they've settled out, and your body begins to feel like it wants a new bra, come visit us for a Hot Milk bra that was mean to be scene, and gives you back that seductive love for your body.