Breastfeeding :: The Essentials

Breastfeeding Series (1){Click image above for more stories of inspiration, encouragement, and support.}

With my first, I exclusively pumped for 9 months.  With my second, I almost exclusively nursed her for the first 4 months with a bottle here and there, and then I nursed and pumped for a couple months after that – especially as I transitioned back to work. I remember feeling so overwhelmed about 3.5 years ago, right after my son was born.  I also remember going straight to our series sponsor A Woman’s Work and spending hours there one morning while the lovely gals there walked me through the whole breastfeeding / pumping thing.

Over the 15 months that I spent nursing and/or pumping, I definitely have some favorites that I absolutely loved and that I now consider essentials for all breastfeeding moms…

Breastfeeding Essentials

1. A Pump & Accessories

An electronic pump with a car adapter.  Even if you plan to only nurse your baby, I still highly recommend snagging a breast pump.  Having a pump allows nursing moms to have some flexibility with a young, nursing baby at home.  Date nights, nursing strikes, engorgement, traveling, or whatever the case may be, it’s nice to have that pump as a back up.  See also :: mastitis is no fun. Most insurance plans cover all or a portion of breast pumps now too.  If you’re a mom on the go or a mom who works out of the home, I must let you know that many pumps sell car adapters so that one can pump while on the move!  When I was exclusively pumping for my oldest, I would pump on the way home and mostly while navigating through this crazy Houston traffic {with the help of no. 3 below}.  I love this option because it allowed for me to kill two birds with one stone and let me get my hands on my son quicker when I got home.

2. Nursing Pads

Sometimes a crying baby or thoughts of our own babies can trigger let down of breast milk.  Trust me when I say, that can certainly be embarrassing.  There are many types of nursing pads available to help prevent leaking onto our clothing.  You can get the disposable kind or the washable pads.  They also come in a variety of materials. And although I never tried them, I have many friends who raved about LilyPadz nursing pads.

3. Hands-free Nursing Bra

Definitely topping off my list of must-haves would be a hands-free pumping bra. Having your hands free while pumping is so essential and will literally change your life if you have yet to use one.

4. Milkies Milk-Saver

I’ve shared my love for the Milkies Milk-Saver here before, but I have to include it again now.  It helped me save ounces and ounces of breast milk that would have otherwise been soaked up by the above mentioned nursing pads!

5. Nursing Bras

Finding the right size bra and all of the best accessories can be difficult – especially as a nursing mother’s size and needs change steadily and, sometimes, quite drastically.  We’re fortunate to have A Woman’s Work right here in our own backyard!  I truly do consider them breastfeeding experts.  No need to order your bras online and hope they fit.  It’s easy to go in and get fitted with someone there helping and encouraging you along the way. With their large large selection of styles, brands, and sizes {with band sizes ranging from 32 to 44 and cup sizes up to M cups}, you should be able to find something that fits your needs.

I’m sure that my list just barely grazed the surface of all the breastfeeding essentials out there, so we would love to hear if you have your own that didn’t make this list!


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3 Responses to Breastfeeding :: The Essentials

  1. Mary August 26, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

    Just wanted to thank you guys for advertising A Womans Work. I have been wanting new nursing bras, but I wasnt sure where to go. I went to A Womans Work today, and they were great! I bought 2 nursing bras and feel like a whole new woman! And good thing my kids were waiting for me, or I would have walked out with a whole lot more, haha. Very cute store.


  1. A Step-By-Step Guide to Pumping | Houston Moms Blog - August 4, 2015

    […] To get started, I highly recommend purchasing a hands free pump bra. It’ll change your life. Trust me. Some people take an old sports bra and cut holes in it around the nipple area, about the size of a quarter. That also works; just make sure the band of the bra gives you a snug fit.  {And be sure to check out these other breastfeeding/pumping essentials too!} […]

  2. How I Exceeded My Breastfeeding Goals {& How I’m Planning to Do It Again!} | Houston Moms Blog - August 5, 2015

    […] reach out to should I need help.  I bought a breast pump and a few other supplies that were deemed “must-haves” like lanolin cream and breast pads.  I didn’t think much of any of it and just shoved it all […]

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