Though all moms have the most important pair of “equipment” used for breast feeding, i.e, the breasts, still you might need some additional equipment (generally referred to as baby nursing products) to support this natural feeding process.
So, if you are a mom-to-be who is planning to breastfeed, you may want to include the following items in your newborn baby's shopping checklist.
Breast shells collect your precious breast milk, and this collected milk can later be used by your newborn. If you dread having leaking breasts, wear breast shells. They are made up of soft plastic which is specially designed to cover your nipples. This way, any dripping breast milk is stored in them instead of being wasted. If you have a problem of leaky nipples, make sure you read our article on breastfeeding problems to avoid the embarrassment leaking nipples cause in public.
Do not use breast shells if you are suffering from cracked or sore nipples.
They are also referred to as Nipple Protectors and are made of soft plastic or silicone. Nipple shields are used to protect and minimize cracks in the nipple region as they cover the nipple area and are used during the breast feeding process.
For mothers who experience sore nipples, nipple shields should be used to help in two ways:
Thank God for breast pads! If you have an untimely leakage of breast milk, breast pads come to the rescue. They are made of soft cloth that instantly absorbs the leaking milk. Make sure you have plenty of breast pads so that if one gets soaked up, you can quickly change it. Also, keep on changing your breast pads at frequent intervals. Prolong usage of a breast pad may end up creating itchiness and discomfort to the breast.
The main differences between a breast pad and a breast shell is that a breastpad is made up of absorbing material to wipe off the leakage, where as breast shells are made of soft plastic and they store the mother's milk.
A breast pump can be an important breast feeding equipment for mothers who plan to express and store their milk for later use. If you are a working mom and plan to resume office, and are worried about switching to formula milk, you don’t really have to.
You can squeeze your breast milk and your caregiver or nanny can feed your child this expressed breast milk from a bottle. The good news is that the breast milk (when hygienically expressed) can be stored in the fridge for 5-7 days and in the freezer from 5-7 months. You can also keep the expressed milk at room temperature for 5-6 hours. For important details and help, refer to the article on expressing and storing breast milk, effectively.
There are two types of breast pumps – manual and electric. A manual pump is inexpensive and requires pumping effort from you. The electric pump, on the other hand, is relatively expensive but the good part is that the machine does all the work - well most of it, at least.
Even if you are breast feeding, you will need a couple of sterilized bottles if you opt for expressing breast milk. If you plan to resume office and still breastfeed your baby, it is recommended that you buy a breast pump and couple of bottles to store this expressed milk.
To sterilize these bottles, you can opt for a machine sterilizer or a liquid one. If you have time and want to make it cost-effective, you can also boil these bottles by properly washing them using a mild detergent first and then boiling them for 15 minutes. For more information on how to sterilize your baby accessories, refer to our article on various sterilization techniques.
The nursing pillows are specifically designed to facilitate your nursing baby. Alternately, you can use a normal pillow or a couple of cushions to keep your baby comfortable and your breastfeeding position right.
A nursing chair is specifically designed to keep in mind the comfort and utility factor. Though it may add to your expense, a nursing chair is a good investment if you have designed a newborn nursery at your home.
Remember that an improper feeding position may not only cause latching issues (which may cause you sore nipples) but might also be the reason for your back pain.
Although normal bras will do, nursing bras (or maternity bras) are specifically designed to provide ease to your breastfeeding experience. You can feed your baby comfortably, even in public, without exposing yourself from weird angles! Furthermore, they provide additional support needed by your breasts when they get heavy with milk.
It is a general misconception that only bottle-feeding requires additional accessories. A wide range of baby nursing products are available in the market for your ease and comfort. Do not buy extra stuff that ends up giving you zero benefits and only occupies space in your house. Instead, if you find some nursing item that could really assist you in breast feeding your baby, it is definitely worth buying.