Many of you may know me from my breastfeeding journey I documented for 22 days immediately after Lucky was born. Looking back on that experience, it was certainly one of the most challenging yet gratifying experiences in my life. I honestly did not know what to expect taking on the challenge of breastfeeding. While pregnant, many shared how gratifying the experience is, how incredible the bond can be, and how it’s indescribable. And I can certainly agree – it’s all those things but it also can be hard as hell.
Looking back, as a first time mom, I most definitely was not prepared for breastfeeding but over time I found a rhythm and things just started working. What especially helped was having an arsenal of tools to just make my life and Lucky’s easier. In honor of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, I’ve partnered with Walmart to share this sponsored blog post about my breastfeeding essentials. Walmart will be supporting this national event with deals on breast feeding items as well as feeding items such as breast pumps, bottles – who doesn’t love saving money, especially with a little one in tow!
Medela Sonata® Smart Double Electric Breast Pump
I’d say for sure that a breast pump is at the top of the lists for breastfeeding essentials. I’m a huge Medela fan and the Medela Sonata® Smart Double Electric Breast Pump was amazingly easy to use while nursing. This lightweight pump may be small but it is mighty. It’s super quiet, quick while pumping, comfortable on the breasts, and easy to operate. It also can connect to Medela’s app to keep track of how many ounces you are pumping which is helpful when you have mommy brain.
Medela Harmony Breast Pump
If you’d like to go the manual route, the Medela Harmony Breast Pump is great for that. While it may seem super simple, the Harmony provides two options in terms of pumping with just one handle that you can adjust with just a swivel. Using the long it, the pumps are more long whereas the short end are just that – short. I liked using it in conjunction with my Sonata, especially when I was first starting out breastfeeding. What I would do is after my pumping session with the Sonata, I would take the Harmony and do a few long and short pumps to get the rest of any milk available. I wanted to be sure to get every last drop to feed my hungry girl and this helped do the job.
Medela Quick Clean Breastmilk Removal Soap
To keep the Sonata and Harmony parts clean, I used the Medela Quick Clean Breastmilk Removal Soap. This did exactly as it states: quickly removed any breastmilk residue on any of the breast shields or tubes I was using to pump so I could easily turnaround and use them again to begin pumping.
This Angel Line Windsor Glider and Ottoman is the perfect affordable rocking chair to sooth your baby while nursing, whether it’s you, your partner, or someone else helping you out. Even though these babies are little, they can definitely get heavy so this chair helped give my arms some much needed support. Beyond being pary of my breastfeeding essentials, I still use it to this day to get Lucky down for a nap or for the night. It’s super comfy, fits both Zell and I and fitsour budget. Walmart also has an assortment of color options available to match your nursery.
Boppy Nursing Pillow
Before having Lucky, when I asked around the one thing I must have if I were to breastfeed, one of the most suggested items was a Boppy Nursing Pillow. I didn’t quite understand at first, but while in the hospital my nurse showed me how to use this and combined with the football hold it was life-changing. With my Boppy, I was able to get a good grip on tiny Lucky while allowing her to easily feed while I sat back and relaxed. Ultimately, I used it so much that when I was out an about, I really struggled to nurse without it. A primary piece of my breastfeeding essentials, I loved the Boppy so much that I bought two, one for downstairs and the other upstairs. It really is THAT good. Also a fun tip: you can change the slipcover on your Boppy to use later for a sibling or different nursery theme!
Nipple Cream & Pads
Medela Tender Care Lanolin
All that nursing and pumping can definitely take a toll on your breast, so I would recommend using a cream to sooth that like Medela Tender Care Lanolin. What’s great about this product is that is is derived from natural ingredients and safe for your little one when you need to nurse or pump again.
Medela Disposable Nursing Pads
Additionally in between nursing and pumping you can experience leakage, which can be not only embarrassing but a bit annoying. To help with that, definitely grab some nipple pads such as Medela Disposable Nursing Pads. These would ensure I would not have an leaking thru my bra to my shirt, which was helpful when I ventured out of the house to talk to adults, LOL.
To keep all the parts and pieces from my pumps as well as the bottles I was making clean, I used the Baby Brezza Electric Baby Bottle Sterilizer and Dryer Machine. When I tell you this thing cleans good – it’s REALLY good. You will seriously find such a difference between just washing your bottles and parts and boiling them versus using this amazing machine. Plus it even dries your bottles and keeps them nicely stored. Knowing it’s keeping nasty germs away from my little one make it worth every penny and more.
Medela Quick Clean MicroSteam Bags
While traveling, the Medela Quick Clean MicroSteam Bags have been great to use when in a pinch. All you have to do is add 2 ounces of filtered water, pop it in the microwave with your bottles and accessories, and within minutes your items are nice and sterilized. Each bag has 30 uses so they can last a long time.
I knew early on I wanted to make sure Lucky was not exclusive to nursing with me so I asked around in terms of what bottle were the best and hands down, Dr. Brown’s Baby Bottles always was suggested. And having used them for the past year I see why. These bottles are very different from others in that they help ensure less gas while eating which in turn is less fussiness for your baby. And less fussiness makes a happier mama. Walmart has a ton of different sizes, colors and other options available for Dr. Brown’s bottles so be sure to check them all out on their site!
Since I was not exclusive to solely nursing from me, a bottle warmer was much needed so that Zell and others could help me with feeding Lucky. We found that this Munchkin Bottle Warmer was a life saver: it’s very fast and easy to use multiple times a day and night. It was also lightweight enough for us to travel around with if needed.
Whew! Well that should cover all the breastfeeding essentials to help you at least get started on your breastfeeding journey. One last thing: as you embark on this uncharted territory, remember to be patient with yourself, fed is best and all things great breastfeeding essentials can be found at Walmart!