Top 5 Breastfeeding Must-Haves
by michelle clookie
Let’s face it, breastfeeding can be as simple as just you and your baby, but for most Mamas, it can take a bit of support. This support can be in the form of knowledgeable friends, working with a lactation consultant like myself, and some of the tools below. I have listed my top 5 favorites, and the ones I recommend the most to Mamas.
I have read a lot about breastfeeding in my education, and in my own journey as a mother of 2 (soon to be 3), and this is my absolute favorite! This book covers all you need to know from the first two weeks after birth, to weening. Author, Robin Kaplan, truly does a remarkable job presenting information in a way anyone can understand, and with a tone that conveys nothing but support. You will not find an ounce of judgement in this book, so if I could buy you one for your baby shower, I would! Another perk is you can flip to the chapters that make most sense for your journey at that time, baby brain is real, and we need the most underwhelming trustworthy advice we can get, am I right?
2. Nutritious Food
Ok ok, I get that this isn’t a thing you can buy on amazon, but if you are going to feed a baby, you need to be fed. It has nothing to do with what you are passing through to your milk, you could eat In n Out 10 times in a row and your baby will be just fine with your milk. This has everything to do with YOU, your energy, your healthy mindset and taking care of the body who just birthed a baby. When we are armed with healing, nutrient-dense foods, we will be much more equipped to handle this new journey, and our bodies will heal much faster. Preparing freezer meals in the weeks and months before baby, and asking people to bring meals that can be frozen, is a great idea. I mean, maybe even ask everyone who comes to your baby shower to bring a meal that you can freeze until baby is born!
3. Haakaa Pump
This little silicon sucker is amazing! Some moms, especially in the first few weeks, can leak or may find that they have an abundance of milk. We recommend holding off on pumping unless recommended by medical professional such as a lactation consultant, but this “pump” is not an electric pump. It is best used to help catch (and add a little draw) to that leaking liquid gold from one side, while nursing on the other. This can be a huge perk to those planning on returning to work, or foresee wanting to step out for some free time once baby is taking a bottle. For more information on proper milk storage and handling guidelines check out this handy little handout from Kellymom.com (all her stuff is great!)
4. Clothes You Can Nurse In
It is not super convenient to have to completely undress in order to feed your baby, so I highly suggest stocking up on some breastfeeding-friendly clothing that you feel good in. Investing in some favorite pieces during pregnancy that can used for nursing is always a win, and throw in several nursing tanks and nursing bras! My favorites are anything with zippers or buttons, stretchy nursing bras (we want to avoid anything that is too tight, or with an underwire in those first few weeks/months), flowy breathable clothing because that amazing postpartum body is shifting, and those hormones may have you feeling a bit warm.
5. A Firm and Supportive Breastfeeding Pillow
A breastfeeding pillow can be really helpful for moms, both new and seasoned, feel comfortable latching. At times, it may feel like we need 3 arms to help a baby get a good latch in those first few days/weeks, and a supportive breastfeeding pillow can help. My favorite is the My Brestfriend. I really love the firm service, the strap that helps keep the pillow in pace, and that it aids in keeping baby high to breast level, and takes pressure of C-section incisions sites…the cover is also washable!
Michelle Clookie is a Lactation Consultant, and also works for the Postpartum Health Alliance supporting families in their parenting journey. As a Lactation Consultant, Michelle works to help families reach their unique goals for feeding their babies, and is passionate about normalizing all things motherhood. Michelle also works to provide Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder (PMADs) awareness by providing families, and clinicians with education through the work she does with the San Diego Postpartum Health Alliance. Before shifting her work focus after her first born, Michelle spent 9 years in non-profit working as a Training and Development Director. Michelle, along with her husband Jeremy, live in San Diego with their daughter Charlotte (4 years), son Beckett (2 years), and baby number 3 due this Fall!
You can follow on Instagram or visit her website www.michelleclookie.co