The decision to breastfeed my two youngest daughters was an exciting one. We wouldn’t need all the bottles, nipples, pacifiers, and formula we had with my oldest. However, we were quick to find that though one of the enticements of breastfeeding was the fact that it was less expensive and didn’t require as much gear, there were a few breastfeeding products we needed to have.
Comfortable, well-fitting nursing bra in several sizes
I waited to buy a nursing bra until after I gave birth, unsure about what size I would need. However, then it was difficult to get to the store and get sized properly. I ended up just buying bras in a variety of sizes and hoping for the best.
I got smarter with my youngest daughter. I bought a nursing bra towards the end of pregnancy in the current “right size.” In addition, I picked up a less expensive bra in a larger size to help me cope with the period right after labor and delivery. Several months later, I needed a smaller nursing bra and went back for another fitting.
Manual or electric breast pump
A breast pump was another item that I thought would be unnecessary, since I was a stay at home mom. However, it was very helpful in the early days if baby would skip a feeding and I was engorged. After my initial supply was established, I used my breast pump to pump if I needed to be separated from baby.
The type of breast pump you’ll need (manual or electric) can be determined by the regularity with which you expect to pump. A full-time working and breastfeeding mom will do best with an electric or double-electric breast pump, but a mom who is rarely away from baby can survive with an inexpensive manual pump.
Breastmilk storage bags & at least one bottle and nipple
You’ll need to store your breast milk after pumping, so keeping a small supply of breast milk storage bags on hand is a good idea. A bottle and nipple for nursing (at least one) is necessary for the chance that you are separated from baby and he or she needs a bottle.
A large water bottle
Nursing moms need to consume a large quantity of liquid (preferably water) on a daily basis. A large water bottle that you bring with you everywhere is convenient and serves as a good reminder to breastfeeding moms to drink up!