If you are planning to breastfeed, then it's time to get acquainted with the clever products which will make the whole experience easier (and enjoyable!) for both of you.
We aren't saying you need to splash out on the entire list, but there are some buys that can really help your nursing game. Sore nipples? Try a nipple balm. Need a break? Invest in a breast pump. And it goes without saying that every parent needs a muslin cloth (lifesaver, right?).
Have some of these to hand when breastfeeding your baby to help make life a little bit easier...
Breastfeeding essentials checklist
If you need to relieve engorged breasts, or are stashing milk for a night feed, you’ll need a breast pump.
Whether you opt for a hand pump (cheaper) or go for an electric version (quicker), it’s a useful item for your breastfeeding kit.
We love the Elvie Pump, which is the world's first silent wearable breast pump. When it was first released, the product sold out quickly due to high demand but it has recently been restocked. Take a look at M&B's review of the Elvie Pump, here.
Check out our full guide to the best breast pumps, here.
Soothe sore nipples with a moisturising balm that will help you avoid the dryness that can cause cracked nipples and irritated skin.
We recommend the Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Nipple Cream. It’s 100 per cent pure lanolin with no other ingredients and it's safe to feed your baby after it has been applied.
Read our full review of Lansinoh Breastfeeding Salve here.
If you want to wear your pre-baby clothes (or have discovered all of your breastfeeding tops are in the wash), you can convert a top or t-shirt into a breastfeeding friendly top by wearing a Breastvest underneath.
The specially shaped vest covers up your post natal tummy, but stops just underneath your bust so you can lift up your t-shirt easily to feed and don’t have to worry about trying to pull your top down low.
Read our full Breastvest review here.
While it’s not imperative to cover up while you’re breastfeeding, if you'd feel more relaxed by being a little covered, you can drape a cardigan, large muslin or even a special breastfeeding cover over you. Try the BebeChic.UK Breastfeeding Cover for lighter, looser, and more comfortable coverage.
To help with night feeds, a bedside cot is ideal. It means you can slide your baby across without having to get out of bed, so it’s also handy if you’re not particularly mobile after birth or have had a c-section. This bedside crib sits flush with your mattress and one side drops away, making a safe extension bed for you and your baby. It’s also available to rent with a new mattress and fabric panels.
Check out M&B's guide to the best bedside cots for co-sleeping.
Ideal for resting your baby on while you feed, a breastfeeding pillow can be a great support and ensures your baby is at the right height so he can feed well. The pillow can also be used to support your baby so he can sit up unaided.
For badly cracked nipples that are stopping you from breastfeeding, nipple shields can provide temporary relief. However, they shouldn’t be used in the long-term as they can prevent your baby suckling correctly, which could affect your milk supply.
We're huge fans of the Medela Contact Nipple Shields. They are made from soft silicone which is odourless and tasteless for your baby.
If you’re breast pumping to keep milk for later, you can store them in plastic bottles (that have been pre-sterilised) or breast milk bags. They need to be strong, durable and leak-proof.
Try Vital Baby NURTURE™ easy pour breast milk storage bags from John Lewis.
Ideal for mopping any dribbles from your baby, leaks from you or for draping over your shoulder when you’re burping your baby, a good supply of Muslin cloths are a must.
We like the JoJo Maman Bebe White Muslin Squares for a simple and practical solution.
For engorged breasts that feel sore, or to soothe pain if you have plugged ducts or mastitis, try a hot or cold breast compress. You can create your own using a muslin soaked in warm or cold water, or you can buy a specially shaped gel compress.
Try the Lansinoh Therapearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy.