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Sore nipples? Painful latch? Leaky breasts? These nursing accessories can help.
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Medela Contact Nipple Shield, 2-Pack
They say breastfeeding shouldn't hurt, but a lot of moms in the nursing trenches will tell you it can — at least at first. If you’ve tried all the tricks for getting a better latch without luck — giving baby the whole areola, both lips turned out — a silicone nipple shield can give you some relief. A nipple shield helps create a stronger latch, especially for mamas with inverted or flat nipples, and provides a barrier between you and your babe's mouth. The Medela nipple shield comes in different sizes for different nipple shapes, so make sure you buy accordingly.
Medela SoftShells for Inverted Nipples
Boobs come in all shapes and sizes, and for some mamas that means flat or inverted nipples, which might be hard for baby's mouth to grab on to. The aforementioned nipple shields can help here, but these breast shells are designed specifically for flat and inverted nipples. Wear them when you're not nursing — even before you have the baby — to pull the nipples out. They’re also designed to help protect sore nipples and alleviate engorgement later in the breastfeeding process, and the shells catch leaking colostrum and milk for you to store. That’s what we call a breastfeeding must have!
Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream
Junior's been feeding away, and you've got the cracked nipples to prove it. Applying Lansinoh topical treatment will help the girls heal faster, and since there are no preservatives or additives, you don't have to wash it off before putting baby back on the breast. Word of warning, though: This breastfeeding product is meant to help dry and cracked nipples, but some nipple soreness comes from constant moisture. Adding this creme to nipples that have been exposed to too much moisture will only make the problem worse. In that case, letting your nipples dry before putting them back in your bra should do the trick just fine.
NatureBond Silicone Breast Pump with Milk Saver
This “milk saver” is marketed as a manual breast pump, but its most practical use is catching all of that letdown, especially in the beginning months of nursing. When you’re nursing baby on one side, both breasts often react to the nipple stimulation, and your baby-free side can leak tons of milk. That’s where this super-practical breastfeeding aid comes in handy: You just suction it to the other side when you’re nursing your little one and let it collect all of the milk that would otherwise be wasted. You’ll be surprised how much extra milk you can save in just one nursing session. Soon your storage supply will be in excellent shape, and you didn’t even have to set aside time to pump.
Boppy Nursing Pillow and Positioner
It's easy to hunch over when you nurse, but it might not be as easy to sit back up after a while. Considering you're doing it every two hours (or more), it can really do a number on your back. The Boppy props baby up to your level, so you don't have to bend at all. For lower-back aches, you can also try putting a stack of books or a low stool under your feet to help you sit tall.
Salter Electronic Baby and Toddler Scale
Breastfeeding accessories should provide peace of mind. You think you're doing it right, but how can you be sure? Count wet diapers (6 to 8 a day is normal for newborns) and check in with your pediatrician at those well-baby visits to make sure baby's gaining weight. But if you're worried in between appointments, it might make sense to invest in a scale so you can weigh baby as often as your neurotic new-mom heart desires. This model also converts to a toddler scale when you remove the tray.
Spectra Baby S2 Double Electric Breast Pump
A breast pump is obviously one of the best breastfeeding products. Sleep deprivation can be torture, making it really hard to cope with all the changes in your life. Pumps aren't just for when you’re ready to head back to work or start having date nights again, they're also for new moms about to lose their sanity. Extract some milk during the day and let Daddy have a turn with a bottle, preferably at 3am. This Spectra electric breast pump can be used as a single or double pump and comes with all the parts you need, plus two bottles.
Joovy Boob 5-Ounce Glass Bottle and Sleeve
You're dying to get a break by trying a bottle, but won't your babe get nipple confusion? Talk to your pediatrician first, but if you plan to introduce a bottle (conventional wisdom suggests between four and six weeks, although many moms use them from the start), we recommend Joovy’s aptly named Boob model, which is a breastfeeding aid designed to avoid nipple confusion. These bottles are made of glass, so you don’t have to worry about BPA or other toxic chemicals, and this one comes with a silicone sleeve, so it’s comfortable for you (and eventually baby) to hold.
Milk Snob Infant Car Seat and Nursing Cover
It’s important to know that you’re legally allowed to nurse anywhere in public or private, with or without a cover, and nobody is allowed to ask you to leave or put your boob away. But if you’re not quite comfortable nursing while out and about or you want to shield your baby from the elements and onlookers, a nursing cover can give you some privacy. This Milk Snob cover cocoons baby while he eats and lets you peek in from above. This super-soft and airy cover also does triple-duty as a car seat and shopping seat cover.
KeaBabies Organic Bamboo Nursing Pads
Your cups runneth over — sometimes way over, which is where breastfeeding accessories come into play. Avoid an embarrassing wet spot on your shirt by using nursing pads in your bra to absorb any leakage. These cloth ones can be thrown in the wash and used over and over. ($13 for 10-pack; amazon.com)
LilyPadz Reusable Nursing Pads Starter Kit
You've got a fancy event, and the telltale outline of your nursing pads just won't work in a slinky dress. These silicone pads don't absorb but they do claim to put enough pressure on your nipples to keep them from leaking. They will remain invisible all night, even under something clingy, and they’re reusable — so it’s one less thing to worry about for every date night or holiday party from now until the end of your breastfeeding journey. This starter kit comes with a pair of pads and the special wipes and spray you need to keep them in tip-top condition.
UpSpring Milkflow Fenugreek Gummies
If it seems like your body's not making enough milk, talk to your doctor or a lactation consultant about ways to build up your supply. You can also ask about trying the herbal supplement fenugreek, which some moms say can stimulate milk production. And it's rumored to make you smell like maple syrup — anyone feel like pancakes?
Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy Packs
The good news: Baby's sleeping through the night! The bad news: Your boobs feel painfully full now that you're nursing less. Gel pads, which can be used warm or cold, can be stuck in your bra for relief. Save them for later — they also come in handy when you're weaning baby off the breast. This is definitely on our list of must-have breastfeeding supplies.
Motherhood Maternity Clip Down Nursing Cami
Not exactly thrilled about choosing between wearing easy-access shirts or constantly showing your tummy when you lift your top to nurse or pump? Comfy nursing camis, available in several colors, provide support and coverage. Layer them under any shirt or wear them alone and take advantage of their convenient clip release.
Gilligan & O’Malley Seamless Nursing Bras
If you slept braless before baby, get ready for some hard news: You’re going to need to sleep in a bra. It will not only offer some support and comfort to sore and engorged breasts but also hold your nursing pads in place for the inevitable overnight leakage. These seamless bras are super comfy, designed to make middle-of-the-night nursing easy (just pull the bra down, no clasps!), and although they’re great for sleeping, they can be worn any time of day, even after you’re done nursing.