As a nursing mom with some experience, I have gotten started two different times.
These are the must haves for breastfeeding:
You need a great nipple cream. You don’t need a gallon of it but you will need more than what the hospial provides.
Lansinoh Cream is not magic, but Motherlove Nipple Cream is. Buy that.
Request it in the hospital immediately after your golden hour.
A boppy pillow is hard to use in the beginning.
Don’t waste your money.
Instead stuff a pillow under the arm that supports the head.
Free and easy.
Breastfeeding Cover or Wrap
You will want a breastfeeding cover or wrap of some sort.
You may be the most crunchy, granola woman out there. And kudos if you are.
But there are times in the next year where it will be weird and you will want to cover. Like if your at a pool with a ton of teenage boys, go to wedding in a church, funeral, have to meet the Pope or are in front of your father-in-law.
There are just moments when you will want it.
For me, the infinity scarves are awesome. I wear them all the time and I can cover up when I feel weird, not cover when comfortable and it smells like my milk all the time so my daughter will fall asleep holding it.
You can also buy the big nursing blanket. I am not a huge fan, they look like a huge nursing blanket, they feel big and it gets hot under them.
But this is all based on your comfort level.
Water and Snacks
You will want water and snacks in the beginning.
So for the first month or so, never ever for any reason leave the house without a water bottle.
If you do, you will be stopping at the nearest fast food restaurant buying bottle water like you just survived a year in the desert.
Toys and Television
Something fun for your older child or great TV for you.
The first month is a lot of getting to know your baby. So nursing sessions take longer and you haven’t figure out how to nurse, cook dinner and put together a puzzle with your oldest yet. Don’t worry, you will.
This time will pass, enjoy it.
The nipple shield. Apparently, this is not as loved as it use to be. But it is also not evil!
You can wean your baby off it. Your baby will get plenty of milk and it can be a life saver if your baby isn’t latching right or if the pain is making nursing impossible.
Pro tip: get about five off the hospital nurses because these things seriously disappear all the time.
Oh and buy the case, the case is much easier to find in a diaper bag than a flimsy piece of plastic, especially when baby is screaming.
You’ll need a breast pump. Get your insurance to send you one.
Even if you think you will never use it, you don’t know.
Disposal pads for your bra
When your milk comes in, you will leak, when a baby cries, you will leak, when your full, tired, happy, sad, angry, sleeping, you will leak.
You will leak everywhere all the time.
Get the pads. It helps
You want them to be comfy and supportive. No wires and full coverage.
Even the smallest boobs become huge and uncomfortable in the beginning.
No matter how much you read, no matter how much you prepare and no matter what number baby this is.
Every nursing experience is unique.
Don’t panic before you baby comes and once he or she does, enjoy meeting your baby.
Work through each issue or moment as their own.
Don’t worry about weaning before you got started.
Don’t panic about pumping before you begin.
You will figure it out and give yourself grace. At some point, you will feel overwhelmed and that’s okay.
Whether you are a stay-at-home mom nursing on demand, a working mom pumping in a bathroom or a mom of twins (God save you) you can do this.
And if you can’t, God gave us formula and its okay. I promise.