Breastfeeding. It’s supposed to be the most natural thing for a new mother, right?

Not always. It’s a practice and patience makes perfect-process.

If you are lucky enough to have the time, the support and the resources to breastfeed your baby, then let me make it easier for you by sharing the 5 essentials that helped my daughter and I find our on-the-teet groove.

First things first: nipple cream. Trying to nurse without lanolin is like trying to drive a car without oil.

Here are a few of my favorite options:

NUK Care Soothing Lanolin Cream $5.99

Zoe Organic Nipple Cream $18

Mama Mio Pregnancy Boob Tube $44.99

Secondly—you have to get out of your jammies and robe at some point. Going topless is frowned upon in our society outside of a Vegas adult-only pool. It’s best to stock up on some easy access tops and elastic waist pants to keep you comfortable and able to take on the day. (At BURU, I created the Hello Baby Bag to solve this very problem which consists of the essentials that will get you through the first month in style and with ease).

You may also want to pick up a LBND—little black nursing dress. Leggings really aren’t appropriate for every occasion. I know. It’s a rough blow post birth.

Here are a couple of easy options:

Rachel Pally’s Yahaira Dress

H&M’s MAMA nursing dress

DKNY’s classic shirt dress

Thirdly, you can have all the tubes of lanolin in the world, but if your baby is not latching properly you are going to be in pain. Though you will eventually be able to nurse without the help of a breastfeeding pillow, it’s crucial in the beginning when your baby is so tiny and inexperienced. I tried them all, but in the end, my favorite was the Travel Nursing Pillow by My Brest Friend. I also had the full size, but the travel worked just as well with added perks. It’s inflatable which also means it’s easy to clean (no spongy pillow to absorb the spit up!)

If you are not into “strapping” something on, then I suggest either of these

ErgoBaby’s Natural Curve Nursing Pillow

Bliss Nursing Pillow

The fourth essential that you will need (if you plan to ever leave your home during feeding time—and I highly recommend that you do!) is a nursing cover.

The truth is that you don’t have to buy anything other than a giant safety or diaper pin. Your muslin swaddle blanket with a pin to hold it in place becomes the perfect shield.

Elevate your swaddle game with this chic bundle of swaddles from babies4babies.

If you prefer a more official cover, then I suggest the Born Free Nursing Scarf. Buy multiple. Keep one in your car, in your baby bag, and at your desk. Always best to be prepared!

Finally, don’t forget about your foundation—aka your nursing bra. It’s important to give your girls the support they need with a comfort and ease level that encourages you to keep nursing. And let’s not discount beauty. There is no need to buy an ugly bra. Ever.

Cake Lingerie, an Australian brand has married functionality and femininity in their line of beautiful nursing and maternity bras. A few of my personal favorites are here, here and here.

I know I was supposed to stop at 5 essentials, but I have a sixth. It is essential that you cut yourself some slack. It’s going to be hard and you are not always going to get it right. But you’re trying your best. Be kind to yourself and know that your baby is loved. You matter, too.

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