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  • 10 Items You Need before Beginning to Breastfeed
10 Items You Need before Beginning to Breastfeed

Many parents, either new or continuing, plan to take on breastfeeding their children throughout the entire period of infancy to form a special bond between mother and child, among other benefits. Those especially new to breastfeeding may get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of products on the market for taking care of an infant and storing breast milk, but preparing to nurse a child does not have to be scary, daunting, or frustrating. Instead, there are some tried and true products that have risen up as some of the best options for the price that parents will never regret purchasing.

Breastfeeding mothers should first and foremost invest in a trustworthy breast pump with high reviews by real customers. The market’s leading breast pump that is both affordable and long-lasting is the Evenflo Feeding Hospital Strength Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump, which will lead both new and continuing mothers to success during breastfeeding with few issues during this tender time.

Breastfeeding moms may struggle at times with embarrassing or painful problems during this journey, and the only way to make it through nursing comfortably is to invest in products that care for both the mother and baby. Some of those products include disposable breast pads like the highly favored Lansinoh Disposable Breast Pads that protect from leakage or stains on clothing, and soothing creams like the Motherlove Nipple Cream for Cracked Nursing Nipples.

There are a number of products also on the market that are favored by parents who prefer products that are all natural, all organic, USDA approved, or BPA free. One of the most trusted childhood brands on the market, Playtex, has developed a variety of baby bottle sets, like the Playtex Ventaire Advanced Wide Baby Bottles or the Playtex Drop-Ins Nurser 8 oz. Baby Bottles Set of 3 BPA-Free, which are trusted by many generations to provide nutrition to infants safely.

Of course, a successful nursing family tends to the needs and desires of both mother and child, so there are also a number of accessories that the majority of customers say are essential to have through the nursing process. Below are 10 essential items for a mother or family to have during the breastfeeding process that are sure to stand up to their important role.

 
10 Items You Need before Beginning to Breastfeed
Pros & Cons

    Pros

  • 32 different suction and speed settings to tailor breastfeeding to a mothers needs.
  • Backup-free safety design for no contamination issues.
  • Gentle for new mothers, but strong enough for regular breastfeeding.
  • Removable and adjustable flanges for comfort.
  • Easy to use while holding baby.

    Cons

  • Suction may lose speed or strength after many uses.
  • Numerous pieces require constant cleaning after every pumping.
Where to Buy
Review Summary

Whether you are a new mom, an experienced mom, or a mom-to-be, breastfeeding can prove to be an incredibly valuable tool to feed a child throughout their first critical weeks of life while on the go. However, not all breastfeeding machines are as versatile and custom fit to the individual quite like the Evenflo Feeding Hospital Strength Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump. With the ability to pump with two suction tubes at a time, it is easier than ever for a mother to pump milk in half the time it would normally take. Reviewers rave that this breast pump is unlike any other, with dozens of settings to cater the pumping experience to the individual, like changing the pumping speed or changing the strength of the suction. This makes not only a more pleasurable experience but also is a one-stop shop for mothers whose needs may change over time and with more children in the future. The product also features a unique design to prevent milk back up, so parents can rest assured that their newborn will not be exposed to bacterial infections.

Some customers say that the suction strength loses strength over time, and it even may become difficult to pump after a few dozen uses. Others say it is inconvenient to have two pumps going on at the same time all while trying to hold a child.

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Pros & Cons

    Pros

  • Two gentle adhesive strips that keep the pad in place night and day.
  • Individually packaged breast pads for sterile usage.
  • One-time use pads that save the user time cleaning in the long run.
  • Withstands and retains moderate to heavy flow during light to moderate movement throughout the daytime and nighttime hours.
  • Keeps undergarments and shirts completely dry.
  • Leak free guards protect from embarrassing stains.

    Cons

  • One-time use requires frequent purchase of new pads.
  • Pads have trouble sticking to wet skin.
  • Adhesive backing struggles to cling to dry or cracked skin.
Where to Buy
Review Summary

Day or night, the Lansinoh Nursing Disposable Breast Pads are a reliable choice for breastfeeding mothers who want to avoid embarrassing stains or leakage in public. Instead of having to worry about doing more laundry or cleaning as with typical milking bras or other support, these disposable and individually-wrapped pads are easy to open, stick, and toss when done. Customers praise the double adhesive backing that stays in place longer than other products on the market and says it retains more milk or leakage than any other product they have tried. At a low price, breastfeeding mothers can be confident they are not staining shirts or leaking through undergarments and can toss and re-stick a new one quickly after full saturation.

Some mothers say they prefer a washable and reusable milking bra option because it saves money in the long run. Others say the pads may not be as durable for all body types, and depending on the size of the user, it may leak, especially during the overnight hours.

If you are looking for a trustworthy and customer-backed breast pad that is sure to withstand any amount of leaking throughout the day, this product is for you.

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Pros & Cons

    Pros

  • Double zipper seal ensures zero leakage when stored in fridge or freezer.
  • Flat bottom design allows for easy storing, stacking, and packing.
  • 6oz size holds a more than sufficient amount of breastmilk for a nursing child.
  • Label design on front of bags leave room for writing dates or notes so parents can keep breast milk organized.
  • Thick plastic material protects breast milk from getting freezer burned.
  • Connects directly to some breast pumps, offering a direct pump and go option for busy moms.

    Cons

  • Measurements labeled on the side of the pouch may be slightly inaccurate.
  • Some breast pumps do not fit these bags, so user may have to transfer milk into glass first before into the bag.
  • Milk may leak when warmed up after being frozen.
Where to Buy
Review Summary

Busy breastfeeding mothers will appreciate the efficiency and organization that the Medela Breast Milk Storage Bags Provide, whether while traveling on the road, storing breastmilk for future baby meals, or freezing for use at a later date. While some breastmilk bags are known to rip or tear easily, wasting precious mother’s milk, customers say this product is durable and nearly rip-free, with few if any reviews saying the product had ever broken. The bag is suited with a double ziplock seal that prevents any leakage, even when the bags are being taken on the go, and is a safe and secure option when tossed in the fridge or freezer. This storage bag also has a flat bottom, which makes stacking or standing easy, and allows for parents or caretakers to read dates or instructions off the front of the pouch simple.

Some users believe that the measurement in ounces on the sides of the bag are misleading, and suggest users should actually measure their milk outside of the pouch before pouring it in for storage. Some customers say the measurement could be off as much as 2 oz.

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Pros & Cons

    Pros

  • A good investment for first-time mothers or mothers who experience pain during breastfeeding
  • Protects a mother from baby chewing, painful sucking, or dry and cracked nipples after long durations of breastfeeding
  • An affordable nipple shield option recommended by doctors
  • Easy to clean and reuse
  • Helps baby latch on to mother and find milk faster and more efficiently

    Cons

  • Clear and small nipple shield is easy to lose if not stored properly
  • May lead to a baby learning a weak or lazy suckle
  • May stretch or become deformed over time
Where to Buy
Review Summary

The Medela Contact Nipple Shield comes highly recommended by doctors and lactation consultants, along with mothers, who suggest this product for someone who is experiencing pain from breastfeeding or have a child who struggles with latching. This incredibly affordable nipple shield option is reusable and easy to clean, so mothers can breastfeed throughout the day without having to worry about painful, dry, cracked, or chewed nipples. Some mothers even say this product helped them restore the health of their body while still breastfeeding their child, and say it also made nursing for the first time a breeze.

While the nipple shield is washable and reusable, some say it stretches out or deforms over numerous times being washed. Others also say the clear translucent design of the product is difficult to find and easy to lose.

First time nursing mothers are encouraged to give this product a try to help their newborn get the right amount of milk easily, while also not putting too much stress on the body of a woman who just gave birth.

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Pros & Cons

    Pros

  • USDA certified safe product for infants.
  • All natural and organic ingredients.
  • Light smell.
  • Non-harmful ingredients made for possible ingestion by infants and children.
  • Versatile, multi-function cream clears any and all areas of cracked, dry skin in a few days.
  • Easy-to-travel container.

    Cons

  • Some containers may hold more moisture than one user needs at one given time.
  • Smell may bother some users who are sensitive.
Where to Buy
Review Summary

While some customers say they have tried numerous kinds of nipple creams on the market, the Motherlove Nipple Cream stands out among the rest for being a multi-function, all organic and natural cream that can be used for any and all dry and cracked skin. From dry elbows to dry baby skin, and cracked lips to cracked post-breastfeeding nipples, mothers rave about this cream for protecting sensitive body areas and providing plenty of moisture that rejuvenates the skin in a short amount of time. The cream is also incredibly spreadable and nourishing, so a little drop of the product goes a long way, making for something that will last a long time to go along with its long shelf life.

Some customers say the smell, that some call similar to that of olive oil, is not as pleasant as they had hoped. Others say the product is a little too oily and may even stain clothing as a result. But overall, customers rave about the versatility of this cream, and how long it lasts them through the breastfeeding process and beyond.

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Pros & Cons

    Pros

  • Soft, light, and stretchy material makes for a versatile scarf that can be used in a number of ways.
  • Breathable material allows for a comfortable experience for the infant.
  • Non-see-through, even when stretched to the limit.
  • Doubles as a women's scarf accessory.
  • Black and white pattern makes a fashion-forward mom comfortable stepping outside while breastfeeding.

    Cons

  • Lightweight polyester material does not provide much warmth in cold winter months.
  • Fabric may pill, stretch, and fade after multiple washes.
  • Wearing the shawl as a scarf is difficult to shape, especially after being stretched out.
Where to Buy
Review Summary

From a trendy scarf to a baby seat cover, the Nursing Breastfeeding Cover Scarf - Baby Car Seat Canopy - Best Multi-Use Infinity Stretchy Shawl can do it all. Customers say this product is the ultimate baby shower gift for an expecting mother who wants to look good while breastfeeding in public or taking the newborn out of the house. The incredibly versatile product can be used in a number of ways, from being used as a sling to hold the baby, using as a swaddle during breastfeeding, stretching over a car seat on long drives, covering up shopping carts for a soft and germ-free seat for the baby, and much more. The lightweight and breathable material are good for moms who live in hotter climates, or for those who have infants during warmer months of the year.

Some customers say that the product does not withstand many washes through the washer machine, and recommend hand washing the shawl for longer use over time. Others say the lightweight material is impractical for those who live in naturally colder climates or are having a baby during colder winter months, as it does not provide much warmth to the sensitive infant.

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Pros & Cons

    Pros

  • Multi-purpose pillow, that doubles as a breastfeeding tool, burping rest, a comfortable chair for an infant, and more.
  • Removable and washable double cover allows for easy and sanitary cleaning.
  • Machine washer safe.
  • Fits any Boppy brand pillow cover for changing patterns.
  • An affordable gift for expecting parents.
  • Does not lose shape.
  • Fits any adult's neck and shoulders.

    Cons

  • May not be suitable for underweight infants who could be too small for the pillow shape.
  • More expensive than other neck pillows on the market.
Where to Buy
Review Summary

The Boppy brand carries much weight in the parenting community, and this product is no different. The Original Boppy Nursing Pillow and Positioner have withstood the tests of time, and are used for a variety of purposes in the life of new parents, infants, and growing babies. The pillow provides support along the neck, back, and shoulders of a parent while nursing a baby or releasing a baby’s gas after meals. The pillow is also a comfortable rest for an infant who enjoys relaxing over a parent’s shoulder. This pillow is designed for any body shape or type, making it useful for both mothers and fathers. It also is easy to clean and has two zippered covers that keep the pillow sanitary but easy to remove and throw in the washer machine before being used again.

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Pros & Cons

    Pros

  • Helps some consumers increase breast milk production after taking for as little has a few days.
  • Free of gluten, dairy, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, or preservatives.
  • Offers natural solution to minor stomach and digestion issues.

    Cons

  • Warning label suggests women should consult doctor if they plan on taking fenugreek during pregnancy or while nursing.
  • Some say the dietary supplement does not help increase breast milk production over time.
  • Supplement has odd smell challenging for some to swallow.
  • May give some users gas or stomach issues.
Where to Buy
Review Summary

As with many dietary supplements, the Spring Valley Fenugreek Dietary Supplement Capsules come with mixed results from users, some of whom say the herbal supplement has significantly increased their ability to produce milk and breastfeed. Those who have used it while trying to increase breast milk production say the product not only is reliable, all organic and free of preservatives or artificial ingredients, and makes one’s milk smell sweet and pleasant, but it has successfully increased milk production over time. Others say it helps regulate other bodily concerns that arise during pregnancy and post-partum, including stomach pains, regulatory issues, and blood sugar regulation.

This supplement does not work for everyone, and some say it actually worked the reverse of what some mothers say. Some customers say they actually saw milk production decrease as a result of using this supplement. However, it is difficult to monitor how one supplement is affecting the body compared to any other number of changes happening to the body.

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Pros & Cons

    Pros

  • Increases & maintains nursing mother's milk supply
  • Herbal product so no side effect
  • Tastes good
  • Results are visible fast
  • Can be prepared hot or cold

    Cons

  • Acquired taste
  • May not be suitable for working nursing mothers
Review Summary

Traditional Medicinals Organic Mother's Milk Herbal Tea promotes healthy lactation and is traditionally used to increase breast milk production for nursing mothers. This traditional herbal tea is often recommended by lactation counselors and medical doctors. Reviewers recommend to drink one cup of freshly prepared tea 3 to 5 times daily throughout the nursing experience or as per prescription. The tea tastes good and reviewers describe the taste as pleasant with aromatic balance of sweet, spicy and slightly bitter. It can be prepared hot or cold.

Some nursing mother's say that it may not be suitable for working mothers because it can increase the milk supply a lot.

Overall, this herbal tea is found effective by most lactating and nursing mother in increasing the milk supply to feed their kids.

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Pros & Cons

    Pros

  • Easy to clean; Comes completely apart for cleaning
  • Great for colic babies; Prevents air bubbles in the milk
  • Very durable and long lasting bottle
  • Easy for babies to hold
  • Wide nipple great for babies switching between breast and bottle feeding
  • Comes in many colors
  • Reasonable price for good quality bottle

    Cons

  • Some users complain about leaks
Review Summary

The Playtex VentAire Advanced Wide Baby Bottles use Micro Channel Vent Technology to prevent air bubbles from mixing with liquid and going into baby's tummy. With its narrower shape, the VentAire Advanced standard bottle is perfect for babies to hold. VentAire Advanced bottles are easy to clean and come with a leak-proof, break-proof guarantee. A clinical study confirms that babies using new Playtex VentAire Advanced Bottles had less gas, spit up, colic and other discomforts than with other leading bottles. These BPA free bottles are durable and long lasting. Also the smell of milk does not stick in these bottles. The wide silicone nipple is great for babies switching between breast and bottle feeding or babies transitioning from breast feeding to bottle feeding.

However, some use reviews complain about leaks in these bottles.

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