8 Breastfeeding Must Haves

When I was pregnant I was determined to breastfeed. I had my own, pretty selfish reasons, and they were enough to make me persevere. It wasn’t easy, in fact it was pretty damn hard for 8 weeks. We kept going though, and in the end Piglet was breastfed until his first birthday.

It has gotten me thinking about what I used to make breastfeeding easier for me. Everyone is different, and their preferences will vary. Any of the products that suit me may have the complete opposite effect for others, and that’s ok. But these are my top 8 must have items for breastfeeding.

8 Breastfeeding Must Haves | After nursing for a year I have a few favourite items that I couldn't do without. A great resource for new moms to give their baby the best start with breastfeeding

1. A Nursing Bra (that fits!)

This might seem a bit obvious, but finding the right bra can be quite tough. When your baby is first born and your milk comes in they will be massive – really obnoxiously huge. There is no point buying loads of nursing bras when you’re that size because they go down again pretty quickly!

At night you’re not going to want to leave your boobs to roam free, you really need to be wearing a nursing bra even if it does nothing more than keep the breast pads in place! I liked these super soft wireless bras (which are also available in the USA) as they were so comfortable to sleep in, but I could still feed Piglet easily.

Day to day I preferred a nursing bra that was more like my pre-pregnancy bras. A good fitting underwired bra that folds down to allow for comfortable breastfeeding is just what I needed! They don’t have to be ugly either, you can feel feminine in a pretty but functional bra too.

2. Milk Catchers

Especially in the early days, when you’re feeding baby from one breast the other one can start leaking. My view is there is no point is wasting perfectly good milk! Medela have these milk collection shells (again, also available in the USA) which you can just pop in your bra to capture the milk, and then you can freeze it for later.

Even if you’re not expressing, having some expressed milk stored in the freezer can be really useful for weaning. So you might as well take advantage!

3. Breast Pump

I have used 3 different breast pumps, 4 if you include the one at the hospital too. Even if you’re not planning on expressing to bottle feed, sometimes you need a bit of relief! I had a few occasions where I was without Piglet and my boobs sure knew about it! A simple manual pump does the job, I had an Avent one (also available in the USA) which did the job nicely.

4. Nipple Shield

This is not one for everyone, but nipple shields (also available in the USA) really helped me. They not only helped Piglet latch, but they helped to prevent sore and cracked nipples from regular feeding. It was first suggested to me by the neonatal nurses – otherwise I don’t think I ever would have known about them.

5. Breast Pads

There’s no point skirting around the topic – you’re going to leak milk. I used disposable breast pads (also available in the USA) for out and about as they are easy to quickly change in the loos and carry on.

At home though and overnight I preferred a reusable bamboo pad (again, also available in the USA). They were less synthetic and better for the environment. You just pop them in the washing machine to clean them 🙂

6. Milk Storage Bags

Pretty self explanatory, these Tommee Tippee milk storage bags (also available in the USA) meant I could easily store milk in the freezer. Whether it was small amounts from the milk catchers, or from a full pumping session the bags held it well.

7. Nursing Pillow

I had a Widgey Nursing Pillow (also available in the USA) which I loved…. still kind of do. When Piglet was really small he would feed for a long time. I used to get myself comfortable and have him resting on the pillow, as it meant I didn’t get a dead arm!

8. Nipple Cream

This one is kind of a given! I used the Bennetts cream (can be purchased in the USA), but others swear by the Lanisoh (again, can be purchased in the USA). There are loads of other brands out there, but I really think you need to use something! I only needed it for the first month or so and haven’t touched it since – but there’s no way I could have been without it!

Is there anything else you would add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!

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  1. // Reply

    Great post, I had a lot of these things. All helped out so much in the early days. I however was one of the worlds worst breast feeders with both of my little ones. However hard I tried I just rubbish……..

    1. // Reply

      It’s not for everyone, and each baby makes it different too. We really struggled at first but did get there in the end!

    1. // Reply

      I wasn’t aware of them at first but put them to good use once I had them!

  2. // Reply

    I could never figure out how to get my nursing pillow to work right with my daughter. I’m sure it would have helped a ton…but yea…nursing pillow, regular pillow, maybe I’m crooked in a weird way. #KCACOLS
    Paula from Her Life Is Love recently posted…Veggie Pizza BitesMy Profile

  3. // Reply

    My breast pump was my best friend when I fed the twins. I spent as much time with that thing as I did my children!


  4. // Reply

    Unfortunately, I didn’t succeed at breastfeeding naturally. I had to rely on my breast pump and like Kristin McCarthy, it was my best friend!

    Happy #KCACOLS Sunday, Kimberly!

    1. // Reply

      I pumped exclusively for 8 weeks before Piglet latched – it’s tough going!

  5. // Reply

    This is such a fab post! Breastfeeding is so tough and mum’s need all the help and support they can get. I failed miserably at it so I applaud those of you that keep it up 🙂 #KCACOLS

    1. // Reply

      Thank you – its tough at the start but gets easier

  6. // Reply

    The nursing pillow was a revelation for me. With my first, my feeding was so awkward and I just assumed it was because I was young and thick. My mum got me an amazing nursing pillow for my second and it totally changed my life!


    1. // Reply

      They are all different so finding the right one can be a game changer

  7. // Reply

    A really good list of stuff you need! Even if you only breastfeed for a short amount of time, all these things will come in handy. Well done on reaching a year of breastfeeding. It’s not an easy thing to achieve!

    Nicola | Mummy to Dex recently posted…2017 // MarchMy Profile

    1. // Reply

      Thank you – it’s tough but it was worth it for me!

  8. // Reply

    Yes to all of this (I actually have a similar post written in my drafts!). I could not have coped without Lansinoh cream in those early days xx #kcacols

    1. // Reply

      Pumping is really tough. I did 8 weeks before he latched but I wasn’t going to last much longer

  9. // Reply

    I wish I’d had this list when I was breastdfeedling the first time. I’d forgotten about those nursing bras – man, they were unattractive and mine all seemed to go grey – even more attractive! And none of mine fitted properly. I’d also forgotten about breast pads – I remember these falling out in the most inopportune moments. It’s amazing what you forget over time, when it’s all so consuming at the time. A very useful llist for those embarking on breastfeeding #kcacols

    1. // Reply

      Thankfully I never had a breast pad fall out – that could be really embarrassing!

  10. // Reply

    It’s fascinating how unique everyone’s breastfeeding journey is. I was very different in some ways – my boobs didn’t leak pretty much at all as long as I hadn’t missed a feed, and I would never be able to stand wearing any sort of bra at night! But nipple cream was definitely important for me and nipple shields saved me with my first as well. Really interesting post! #kcacols

    1. // Reply

      I only wore one at night in the early days of feeding – I didn’t do it more than a month or so. I needed it though!

  11. // Reply

    I never used to use milk catchers but I really should have! I must have wasted so much! I remember going through SO MANY breast pads too! #KCACOLS

    1. // Reply

      Such a simple idea aren’t they!

  12. // Reply

    Nearly 6 years of breastfeeding (between my 3 children), and I’ve never had a milk catcher, and I didn’t even know they existed! Totally shocked! What a cool idea though, and agree, you’ve got to have it! Thanks for sharing – I’ve learnt something new! #KCACOLS

    1. // Reply

      such a simple concept but so effective

  13. // Reply

    I also took a while getting breastfeeding established with no 1 and the breast pump was essential kit! Couldn’t have managed without an electric one!
    I’ve never heard of a milk catcher – fab idea!
    Great list #KCACOLS

  14. // Reply

    As a Breastfeeding Counsellor reading this, these are great tips and I love that you say that they worked for you but might not for everyone #KCACOLS

    1. // Reply

      Oh great I’m glad you like it!

  15. // Reply

    Super ideas and a great resource for mums who want to breastfeed! Essential reading! #KCACOLSt

  16. // Reply

    Milk catchers were so useful! I expressed for my kids (they wouldn’t latch on) and would often get several ml from the opposite side while pumping one! #kcacols

    1. // Reply

      If you’re not storing milk then the storage bags obviously aren’t necessary 🙂

  17. // Reply

    These are definately all necessary! I only managed to breast feed one of my three but used all of the things you have mentioned!! #kcacols xx

  18. // Reply

    Definitely, although I would add to your list loads and loads and loads of food and drink. A breastfeeding baby gets 500 calories a day. That’s 500 calories a day that we get to eat – yipeee.

    I really really really struggle with breastfeeding, but I am really stubborn and refused to give up. I pumped like a demon. I took fenugreek. Cygnet had reflux which made things really tough, but I persevered. I ended up breastfeeding him until he was 2. I still haven’t up drinking a pint of full fat milk a day. I drank it whilst I was feeding but now really have the taste for it. Hey ho. Thanks for your tips.

    Pen x #KCACOLS
    Pen recently posted…Women cannot have it allMy Profile

    1. // Reply

      Go you!! I really struggled too and he wasn’t actually breastfed until he was 8 weeks old as we just couldn’t get to grips with it.

  19. // Reply

    I didn’t breastfeed for a plethora of reasons, but many of these are still needed for non-breastfeeders as well! Good job for sticking with it. #KCACOLS

  20. // Reply

    I’ve been breastfeeding for 8 months and agree with the majority of these! #KCACOLS

  21. // Reply

    Before my children I bought a lot of the things necessary for breastfeeding. Sadly it just didn’t come together for us. #KCACOLS

    1. // Reply

      You can’t force it, if it’s not going to happen then it’s best to just shake it off and move on 🙂

  22. // Reply

    This is a brilliant list, an electric breast pump was a revelation for me and I couldn’t have done without the pillow! #kcacols

  23. // Reply

    I had almost all of these at the ready but sadly breastfeeding didn’t work out. I actually loaned a breast pump from my local Breastfeeding support which was great. Thanks for sharing #KCACOLS

  24. // Reply

    I have never heard about milk catchers. That would have come in handy. I was quite surprised when the other boob started leaking while I was nursing Peachy. It took me a little while to realize why I was soaked every time I fed her. My body must have thought we had twins. #KCACOLS

    1. // Reply

      I think that’s super common – it’s a bit bizarre using them at first but they work!

  25. // Reply

    I would have been lost without the breast pump when I had the twins, meant hubby could help out when they struggled to feed at the same time x #KCACOLS

  26. // Reply

    A great list, I think I’ve got all of these goodies! I feel so sad knowing that we’re nearing the end of our BF time, it’s making me a little broody for number two, then I can get all these bits out again! Love the idea of milk catchers, I didnt even know they existed! #kcacols
    Devon Mama recently posted…Working Part-Time: A Never-Ending CompromiseMy Profile

  27. // Reply

    agree with all of these.I’ve just stopped breastfeeding Arthur at 26 months and I’ll have to start all over again in August….I will def get some milk catchers next time – when i was at home i used to sit with a little pot to catch the otherside but it wasnt easy! #kcacols
    Sarah – Arthurwears (@arthurwears) recently posted…The most Advanced Facial in West Yorkshire? – Ilkley Beauty Clinic introduces the new CACI Synergy (plus giveaway)My Profile

    1. // Reply

      Oh my goodness using a little pot would have been so fiddly – definitely try these instead! They just pop into your bra

  28. // Reply

    I think the best thing I had was Kamillosan nipple cream that was recommended to me with my first child. It really was a lifesaver! I used a breast pump briefly with my son but never bothered with my second child. A good list of useful items though! #KCACOLS

    1. // Reply

      Oh I’ve never heard of that cream

  29. // Reply

    This is a great list. I had a manual breast pump but I really wish I’d got an electric one. My nursing pillow was amazing, and really helpful when I struggled in the first few days with getting into the correct position.

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