Last Updated on December 5, 2023 by Jada Glover
Although breastfeeding offers a wide range of health benefits to your infant, it is not always easy, especially for new moms. If you are a new breastfeeding mom who wants a seamless nursing experience, then it’s vital to have the right supplies.
As a mom of two who exclusively breastfed both of my children and a certified lactation consultant, I have created a list of my top ten breastfeeding must haves. So, let’s get started discussing why breastfeeding is a great choice and then review the top breastfeeding products to invest in.
Please note that this article contains affiliate links, and that means that I may earn a commission if you buy something (at no additional cost to you). Read my full disclosure here. I only recommend products I use and love and recommend to my clients.
Why Should You Choose To Breastfeed?
Breast milk is the best food for newborns, infants, and toddlers. It provides your baby with essential nutrients, enzymes, and antioxidants, leading to improved overall physical and mental development. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), breast milk also has strong immune properties, providing your baby with live antibodies that fight external pathogens and allergens.
Breastfed babies have a reduced risk of developing eczema, allergies, asthma, and cancers, including lymphomas and leukemia. It also protects your newborn from colitis, Crohn’s disease, respiratory conditions, cavities, and childhood obesity.
Besides, breastfeeding your child improves the brain maturation process and boosts immunity. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), mothers should exclusively breastfeed their infants for about six months and continue breastfeeding with complementary foods for 1-2 years. Most children will naturally wean themselves when they are ready. Breast milk contains essential hormones, such as:
- Oxytocin: Reduces the risk of hypertension and heart diseases
- Leptin: Controls appetite and weight and promotes gut microbiome
- Thyroxine: Streamlines metabolism and maintains healthy homeostasis
- Endorphins: Reduces inflammation, promotes healing, and relieves pain
- Melatonin: Promotes healthy sleep patterns and relaxes your baby’s brain
>>For even more reasons checkout my Top 10 Reasons To Breastfeed article<<
Breastfeeding Must Haves for New Moms
Breastfeeding supplies make it easy for new moms to breastfeed their babies, making the process more comfortable, easy, and effective. However, choosing the right products that are also high-quality is a daunting task for new mothers.
That’s why I am sharing my choices for the most important items breastfeeding moms need to have. Be sure to get all these breastfeeding must haves to make your life as a breastfeeding mama much easier.
1 – Bravado Snap-Down Nursing Bras
If you’re looking for the number one item that I couldn’t live without during my nursing journey, it would be these Bravado snap-down nursing bras. I wear them everywhere- even to bed. They are that comfortable!
2 – Earthley Products
I can’t live without my Earthley products. Here’s an Earthley New Mama Product Bundle, which has a few of the best products for a mom that just had a baby. It includes herbal baby powder, infant tummy relief, no more yeast salve, and baby balm.
The only other must have Earthley product (but they are all great!), that I would add to this new mama/baby bundle is the Earthley Teeth Tamer for teething babies. It really calms them down and soothes their gums,
I have 3 bottles for my daughter in various places for when we need them. This worked better than anything I purchased from Amazon.
3 – Double Electric Breast Pump
If you’re a working mom, like I am, then I’d also recommend the Spectra double electric breast pump. This was the biggest timesaver because I could wear a hands-free pumping bra and use my hands to do other things- like type or even eat a real meal (see my recommendation for a hands-free bra below). I do a deep dive in this post about the key benefits of the Spectra S2Plus over the Medela Pump In Style with Max Flow.
4 – Breastfeeding or Nursing Pillow
A nursing pillow is an excellent breastfeeding accessory that lifts your baby to the breast level and provides support. A breastfeeding pillow is an essential product for new moms with large breasts and those who underwent C-sections. A pillow helps in breastfeeding your newborn in the side-lying position and prevents you from exhaustion.
Besides, it reduces strain on your neck, shoulders, spine, and arms. The purpose is to stay comfortable and get the most out of your breastfeeding. I recommend choosing a pillow that is not too soft or hard.
The My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow is a baby-friendly product, offering a wide range of benefits. It maintains your posture during breastfeeding to prevent stiffness and soreness in your neck and spine. It has a large, attached pocket where you can keep nursing supplies and accessories.
The reason I have chosen this nursing pillow is due to its comfortable, wrap-around design that secures your body during breastfeeding and allows your baby to maintain an excellent latch-on position. Besides, this is an ideal product for new moms with stiff elbows and arms because it reduces stress on these parts of the body and maintains comfort. The product is made of 100% cotton material and comes at an affordable price.
5 – Nursing Bra
New mothers often find it challenging to cope with fuller and heavy breasts, especially within the 3-4 weeks after birth. The good news is that a nursing bra can support your breasts and provide comfort. A nursing bra has cups that you unhook and pulls down, allowing you to access your breast easily when it is time to feed your baby.
Make sure you choose a nursing bra that fits your breasts and relieve strain on your shoulders and spine. Remember, a constrictive or too tight bra can lead to mastitis or plugged ducts. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a comfortable and supportive bra.
I recommend the Kindred Bravely nursing bra. This is a reputable brand that makes high-quality and comfortable nursing bras for new mothers.
This nursing bra is made of French terry material that keeps your breasts comfortable and soft even when you are asleep. The price is well worth the investment in this bra.
Besides, this nursing bra is lighter, thinner, and elastic than other nursing bras available on the market. The bra relieves pressure on your chest because it has no underwire and clasps. You can put it on and take it off easily without any problems.
It is a crossover bra with a central stitched area that you can cut to streamline breastfeeding your baby. The product is available in different sizes, from small to extra-large. If you are looking for something supportive, reliable, and affordable, look no further than this nursing bra.
6 – Nursing Pads
Nursing pads, also known as breast pads, are essential for new moms with breastfeeding problems. You can place these disc-like pads inside your bra to soak up the leaking milk. If your breasts produce more milk, they can stain your clothes, but you can stay comfortable and dry for a long time after nursing your baby thanks to the nursing pads.
As the number one bestseller on Amazon for disposable nursing pads, Lansinoh nursing pads are made of high-quality material and free from toxic compounds, such as BPA, BPS, and gluten. It collects moisture from your skin and disperses it away, keeping you dry for a long time. The product comes in two boxes with 100 pads in each.
Besides, it has dermatologist-tested and approved inner lining with waterproofing properties. These pads have adhesive strips, allowing them to remain anchored. Lansinoh is equipped with a new Invisi-Lock Core that captures moisture quickly and keeps it away from your breasts.
If you prefer to wash and reuse, these are my absolute favorite nursing pads. They are very absorbent, and you just swap them out for clean and dry ones as needed. It comes with a laundry bag to wash them in also. These are the exact ones I used with my babies and they worked out so well.
7 – Manual Breast Pump
You can use a manual breast pump to collect milk from your breasts and store it in a feeder. Your husband or any other family member can use it to feed your baby, especially when you are asleep or not at home. It also relieves engorgement and increases milk supply.
I recommend Haakaa’s manual breast pump. Unlike electronic breast pumps that are noisier, expensive, weighty, and require more maintenance, Haakaa is a manual breast pump made of high-quality silicone material.
It is an award-winning product and offers natural suction capabilities. You attach it to the breast and squeeze it to remove milk. The product does not require assembly, additional accessories, cords, etc. It has a smooth internal structure, and you can clean it within 2-3 minutes using boiling water.
8 – Nursing Covers
Multipurpose nursing covers offer a wide range of benefits to new moms with fussy babies. A nursing cover can minimize distractions and provides a soothing environment for your baby to latch on your breasts. If you are a shy mom and need some privacy, I recommend purchasing a nursing cover. It is a perfect accessory when you have to feed your baby in a public place.
This sweet nursing cover is made of high-quality and soft fabric that provides a calm environment for your baby to latch on your breast. Not only does it protect your baby from sunlight and wind, but it also creates a cozy and safe environment for your little one.
It is a custom-made product with a unique style, and you can also use it as a car seat cover. It is spacious enough for mothers, allowing them to wear it easily with one arm out of the cover. However, you can also keep your arms inside.
Moreover, the product offers 360-degree protection, breathability, softness, and 100% privacy. It is a suitable nursing cover for male and female infants. Plus, it is an affordable product that does not break the bank.
9 – Nipple Cream or Ointment
New mothers often experience sore nipples while breastfeeding their babies, especially as they’re learning to breastfeed in the first few days to weeks. This is a breastfeeding must have, and in my top three for new moms.
It is essential to moisturize your nipples and protect them against soreness, cracking, and dryness. You can use an over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription nipple cream or ointment to keep your nipple soothed. Although lanolin-based creams are popular products available on the market, I recommend a product that comes with natural ingredients.
The organic nipple breastfeeding cream by Earth Mama is a USDA-certified product. The company uses organic compounds and essential nutrients, including beeswax, which soothe your nipples by maintaining enough moisture levels.
The product is free from parabens, lanolin, and petroleum. It is a clinically tested and approved cream that reduces itchiness, dryness, irritation, and redness on your nipples. Moreover, this cream has excellent anti-bacterial, anti-ulcerative, and antioxidant properties, preventing your nipples from cracks and soreness.
10 – Breastfeeding Clothes
Although nursing covers offer various benefits, you can’t ignore the efficacy of breastfeeding clothes because they have slits or flaps in the front, allowing you to breastfeed your baby without pulling up anything. You can find nursing clothes in various styles, ranging from casual, professional to formal wear.
Breastfeeding clothes, also known as nursing tanks, provides discreet access because you wear them under your shirt. Although there are many products available on the market, I recommend Ekouaer maternity clothes.
As the number one bestseller in maternity shirts, these nursing tops are an excellent accessory and a must have for new moms. The product is made of high-quality materials, including 95% rayon and 5% spandex, making it lightweight, comfortable, and breathable for new moms.
Using these allows you to have comfortable, discreet, and convenient nursing access. It is spacious enough and multi-functional, allowing women to use it during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and breastfeeding.
11 – Breast Shells
Breast shells are lightweight and circular shaped discs that you can wear inside your bra between feeding sessions. They also offer various uses and benefits, including correction of inverted or flat nipples.
Besides, these shells protect your nipples from rubbing against your clothes. Some breast shells also catch breast milk that leaks from your breasts between feedings.
The Mommyz breast shell is an excellent accessory for new moms with sore nipples. The shell relieves pain and speeds up the healing time between pumping and nursing sessions. It reduces friction between your breasts and bra, leading to decreased irritation, redness, and itchiness.
The primary purpose of using the Mommyz breast shell is to prevent milk from dropping and wasting. It is a comfortable product and fits any bra size. Not only does this product boost the healing process, but it also prevents yeast infection by providing enough breathability to your breasts.
Mommyz breast shells are made of high-quality, food-grade silicone material and do not contain harmful compounds or toxic chemicals, making them a safe product for your baby. Remember, this eco-friendly product will streamline your breastfeeding experience.
12 – Nipple Shields
Most new moms do not use a nipple shield, and this is not a breastfeeding must have unless it becomes a last resort. Health professionals recommend it if your little one finds it difficult to latch on your breast.
There may be many reasons why your baby is having a hard time latching, so be sure to work with a lactation professional who can help diagnose and assess. Nipple shields allow you to breastfeed your baby easily, even when you have inverted or flat nipples. These come in different shapes and sizes.
This is a nipple shield for breastfeeding mothers, especially new moms with inverted or flat nipples. It is an excellent product to ease the “latching on” for your little one. It has a unique cut-out shape, allowing you to maintain skin-to-skin contact with your body.
The nipple shield is made of high-quality silicone material, allowing for softness, flexibility, and comfort. It is a safe and eco-friendly product that comes with a protective case, allowing you to store it conveniently and maintain hygiene.
If your baby has latching issues due to your inverted or flat nipples, the nipple shield is a recommended product to optimize the nursing process. Always work with a lactation consultant to help you wean off a shield and learn when it is truly necessary to use.
13 – Breastfeeding Books
Breastfeeding is a natural process, but most new moms find it difficult to feed their babies. It becomes even more challenging for working moms, leading to difficulty creating a balance between personal, working, and breastfeeding life.
At the same time, a new mom with a lack of knowledge on breastfeeding and essential accessories can harm the baby unintentionally. For instance, if you can’t choose the right breast pump, nursing pillow, nursing cover, or dealing with problems like a low milk supply, your baby may experience problems, such as acid reflux and overfeeding.
Therefore, it is wise to get essential, easy-to-understand, and evidence-based information to ensure an effective and reliable breastfeeding process. There are thousands of breastfeeding books available online, but making sure you find one that is a valid source is important.
Choosing the right one with enough information is not easy. I have conducted thorough research and reviewed hundreds of books, but I recommend the following one.
The Nursing Mother’s Companion is the best-selling book available on the market for three decades and is a breastfeeding must have. Over one million people have purchased this book because the International Lactation Consultant Association, The American Academy of Pediatrics, and other reputable organizations recommend it for breastfeeding moms.
The author of the book, Kathleen Huggins, provides evidence-based and easy-to-grasp information for mothers. The book offers information on overcoming breastfeeding or nursing difficulties, understanding the basics of nursing, and how to streamline the overall process right from the beginning to the toddler years.
The 7th edition of the book covers a wide range of topics, including breastfeeding benefits, coping with nursing challenges, establishing and implementing a good routine, balancing work and breastfeeding routines, and treating health conditions, such as nausea and headaches.
Besides, it also provides information on nutritional supplements to treat depression or anxiety after childbirth. It is an excellent book for new moms who want to protect their babies from complications, SIDS risks, and other diseases. It gives you step-by-step guidelines on how to express, store, and feed breast milk.
Now you know which breastfeeding items are must haves, it’s time to shop!
Breastfeeding offers a wide range of physical and mental health benefits to your baby. It is the best food for your little one with no parallel or alternative. Although formula milk contains vitamins, antioxidants, and essential minerals, a growing body of research evidence has proven that there is nothing like breast milk for babies.
Breast milk lowers the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer for mothers. At the same time, it reduces the risk of lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, endometriosis, hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular conditions. Therefore, breastfeeding offers a win-win situation for the mother and her baby.
Although breastfeeding is an exciting time for new mothers, complications can occur due to many reasons. Some breastfeeding must haves, such as a breast pump, shells, ointment, and cover, can optimize the overall process and support your child.
If you have non-medical problems, you can fix them with the breastfeeding must haves reviewed above. Not only do these accessories reduce stress, but they also give you an amazing nursing experience.
Finally, before you go you might find this FREE food shopping guide to help you lose weight while breastfeeding helpful. Just fill in the form below to get it.
Other breastfeeding articles that might interest you: