Menu

This year's best breastfeeding gear: Let’s hear it for the girls

Breastfeeding is a beautiful sacrifice—these products make it easier. 

This year's best breastfeeding gear: Let’s hear it for the girls

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 ?.

FEATURED VIDEO

1. Covered Goods Four-in-One Nursing Cover

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!

2. Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter

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.

3. Milkmakers lactation products

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!

4. Nanobebe Breastmilk Bottle

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.

5. Cake Lingerie's Cotton Candy Seamless Sleep & Yoga Nursing Bra

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.

6. ROOLEE Mom dress

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.

7. Bamboobies

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.

8. S'well water bottle

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.

9. My Brest Friend

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.

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Life

Becoming a mother has been life-changing. It's been hard, tiring, gratifying, beautiful, challenging, scary and a thousand other things that only a parent would ever understand.

It is these life-changing experiences that have inspired me to draw my everyday life as a stay at home mom. Whether it's the mundane tasks like doing laundry or the exciting moments of James', my baby boy's, first steps, I want to put it down on paper so that I can better cherish these fleeting moments that are often overlooked.

Being a stay-at-home-mom can be incredibly lonely. I like to think that by drawing life's simple moments, I can connect with other mothers and help them feel less alone. By doing this, I feel less alone, too. It's a win-win situation and I have been able to connect with many lovely parents and fellow parent-illustrators through my Instagram account.

Keep reading Show less
Work + Money