Motherhood is so often about adjusting your expectations. Like countless other things pre-baby, breastfeeding is something you may have imagined one way, and then, well... let's just say it may not pan out quite as planned. For so many of us, it can be a struggle; but if you end up deciding that it's right for you and your babe, it can also be an amazing journey and an incredible gift.
We're giving you one less thing to stress about with our list of the essential breastfeeding gear for 2017. From nursing covers to nipple cream, we've got your back...and your front ?.
If you're going to buy one breastfeeding accessory, this should be it. The Covered Goods Four-in-One-Nursing Cover is just that: a nursing cover that does quadruple-duty as a cover, a car seat cover, a (totally stylish) infinity scarf, and a shopping cart cover. We love the super soft and stretchy fabric, the all over coverage, and that it takes seconds to reconfigure.
Pro tip: We love any product that solves multiple problems with one solution-- especially one that helps you look effortlessly chic while doing so! We've even used it as a blanket for baby in a pinch!
Mamas, here at Motherly, we tell it like it is, and we're here to tell you that in the beginning, breastfeeding can = sore nipples. Really, really sore nipples. There are so many nipple creams out there, but Earth Mama is the one we keep coming back to time and time again. It's natural, it's moisturizing yet non-sticky, you don't have to wash it off before nursing, and, best of all, it really works.
Pro tip: If you're a pumping mama, rub some on the inside of your flanges to help make pumping more comfortable.
As a breastfeeding mom, “Am I producing enough milk?" is one of the most common—and most stress-inducing—questions you're going to ask yourself over, and over, and over again. Enter Milkmakers lactation products. Made with oats, brewer's yeast, and other proven natural ingredients traditionally used to boost milk supply, Milkmakers' line of cookies and lactation teas are delicious and effective. Finally, someone is giving you a reason to eat all the cookies!
Pro tip: We love that these cookies come in both pre-made grab and go packs and as cookie mixes to bake yourself. And if gluten isn't your friend, there are gluten-free mixes available, too!
Not only will this savvy little bottle remind you of, ahem, your milk's source, it's also designed to preserve breast milk nutrients essential to your baby's health. Plus, the unique shape heats and cools quickly (limiting bacteria growth) and makes it even easier for babies to hold and self-feed. Sounds like a little more free time for you, mama!
Pro tip: Use the included breast pump adapter to pump milk directly into the bottle for faster storage with less mess for you to clean.
A good nursing bra is an absolute essential throughout your nursing journey. We love Cake Lingerie's Cotton Candy Seamless Sleep & Yoga Nursing Bra, a double layered sleep and yoga bra that helps your girls feel supported without feeling restricted. It has a T-back design that ensures a snug fit, and comes in a ton of cute colors so you won't mind if your straps peek out. It also features adjustable hooks and eyes so you can buy it before you have your baby and not need to worry about getting a fitting right after you give birth.
Pro tip: These bras offer great support and style for DD+ cup mamas, which is a combo that can sometimes be tough to find.
You guys, go ahead and file this one under WHY DIDN'T WE THINK OF THAT? ROOLEE Mom dresses have the most genius breastfeeding #momhack: zippers on each side to make nursing super easy! No more weird flaps to lift or hiding in the car to nurse when you mayyybe forgot when you got dressed that morning and put on that pretty (not-nursing-friendly-whatsoever) dress that you actually had to, oh, feed your child. Oops!
Pro tip: We found that the dresses are flowy, so you can wear them while you're pregnant and then transition into nursing when baby comes.
Breastfeeding is awesome, but leaking through your shirt during your 9 am meeting is most certainly not. Bamboobies are super absorbent, ultra-soft nursing pads. They're also machine washable, which make them not only eco-friendly but economical, too. Less money on your boobs, more money for mama!
Pro tip: Wear them upside-down (the top, curved part of the heart facing down). We found this to be the best way to ensure they won't show through tighter-fitting shirts.
Are you a camel, or a breastfeeding mom? Hard to say. One of the things we think about most when we remember our breastfeeding journey is just how darn thirsty we were all.the.time. Stay hydrated and look awesome with a S'well water bottle. You'll be doing your part by saving the earth from one less plastic water bottle, and you'll get to sip a cool drink while doing it.
Pro tip: Did you know that S'well is the fastest growing woman-owned company in the country? We realize this isn't a necessarily a pro tip, but we just thought you should know.
The My Brest Friend nursing pillow is the #1 breastfeeding support pillow recommended by lactation consultants, and we know why. We love that it stays securely in place and that the firm cushion provides the perfect amount of support for baby and mom, helping with positioning and latch.
Pro tip: Breastfeeding, especially in the beginning, can be messy, so purchase an extra slipcover to have on hand.
Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.