If you’re breastfeeding, you know that nursing your baby can be a beautiful bonding experience. You get to provide essential nutrients to your littlest family member right from your own body, which is truly amazing. But as natural a process as breastfeeding is, it’s not simple — and every nursing mom can use some accessories to make it easier and more comfortable.
Trying to position baby for a proper latch while in a comfortable position yourself can be a bit of a challenge. Plus, you’ll probably experience some discomfort on occasion as frequent nursing (or pumping or postpartum skin changes) can cause nipples to become dry, tender, sore — even cracked and raw (ouch!).
Fortunately, there are lots of nursing pillows, breast pumps, nipple pads, and nipple creams on the market to help you navigate breastfeeding issues. The best nursing pillows provide a comfortable and secure position for both baby and parent, while breast pumps and nipple pads and creams can help relieve pain and soreness.
We’ve rounded up the best breastfeeding products every nursing mom needs to make this bonding experience even better. If you’re planning to breastfeed and aren’t sure where to start, check out the items below — and begin feeding sessions with everything you need.
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1. My Brest Friend Original Nursing Posture Pillow
A nursing pillow really is a breastfeeding necessity, and this one is designed to give you the comfort and confidence you need to position yourself and your baby for safe and secure breastfeeding. The firm and flat pillow has a unique shape that fits snugly against the wearer; plus, its wraparound design has a supportive backrest that encourages good posture during breastfeeding — and prevents neck and shoulder strain. Clever silent-release straps unlatch without waking the baby to let you slip away quietly if your baby nods off during a feeding. Plus, you can keep supplies and accessories easily within reach in the convenient side pocket.
2. Lansinoh Soothies Breast Gel Pads
These comfortable pads provide instant cooling relief from cracked, painful or sore nipples with a safe, absorbent hydrogel made from glycerin. A soft cotton backing helps protect from bra friction. Each gel breast pad comes with a reusable tray for storing in between use, and you can even store the pads on the tray inside your refrigerator to enhance cooling. Plus: Each pad can be reused for up to 72 hours.
3. Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump
You won’t lose a precious drop of breast milk with this compact and discrete manual breast pump and milk catcher. It fits perfectly into any handbag or diaper bag so you can use it on-to-go. Pump when you’re away from baby, or even when you’re nursing: You can attach the pump to your breast while your child is feeding on the other side and collect any milk that would be released thanks to letdown. It’s dishwasher safe, BPA- PVC- and phthalate-free, made of 100% food-grade silicone, and designed to fit all breast sizes.
4. Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter
Designed to soothe the dry skin caused by breastfeeding, this lanolin-free, non-sticky organic nipple cream is buttery and botanical-rich. Made with ethically sourced organic beeswax, it moisturizes dry skin and brings your nipples back to their happy place. Plus, it’s non-GMO Project Verified, and free of petroleum, parabens, and artificial fragrance, so you don’t need to wash it off before nursing.