28 Must-Haves Every New Breastfeeding Mama Needs

by Avital Norman Nathman
Aug 15, 2017 at 4:00 a.m. ET
Breastfeeding essentials
Image: KidStock/Getty Images

We probably don't have to tell you this, but breastfeeding is one tough job. It can be frustrating, painful, and a downright crazy adventure — one brave mama even told us she breastfed her baby while running a half-marathon! ("My son Bodie has latched on everywhere. Literally," she said.)

But through all the hectic realities that come with breastfeeding, the truth of the matter is that it's also a beautiful act that helps connect mother and child. Yes, breastfeeding helps create bonding moments we wouldn't trade for the world, but between nipple chafage and soreness, things can get a little cray.

But luckily there are some products out there that help. Pick up one of these (or all of them!) for a breastfeeding mother, and she'll love you forever.

Originally published February 2016. Updated August 2017.

1 /28: TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy

1/28 :TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy

These little rings can be popped in the microwave or freezer and then right in your bra to help relieve soreness, swelling, mastitis and plugged ducts — and can even help reduce the amount of time spent pumping when used warm.

They're BPA free, fairly inexpensive and totally reusable. (Amazon, $13)


2 /28: Milkscreen strips

2/28 :Milkscreen strips

It's been nine months (or more) since you've had any alcohol and you're dying for a glass of wine, but you don't want any to get in your baby's system. Cue this amazing little box of test strips that are basically boob breathalyzers. 

Milkscreen strips help you figure out exactly when the alcohol is all out of your system, so you can safely feed your child. (Amazon, $20)

3 /28: Nipple balm/cream

3/28 :Nipple balm/cream

Nipple balm is excellent for sore nipples. Make sure to get one that will heal sore and chapped nipples but is also safe to use while nursing, like this one from the Honest Company. (The Honest Company, $14)

4 /28: Lactation tea

4/28 :Lactation tea

Two important aspects of successful breastfeeding are staying hydrated and ensuring you're producing enough milk. Lactation teas, like Mother's Milk, can help take care of both those things. Enjoy this tea either hot or cold! (Biovea, $5)

5 /28: Manual breast pump

5/28 :Manual breast pump

A manual breast pump is a great choice for those who need to stimulate production between feedings or to fill an occasional bottle or two. (Medela, $42)

6 /28: Electric breast pump

6/28 :Electric breast pump

For mothers who need to pump and store a large quantity of milk, an electric pump is the way to go. This advanced Pump in Style set from Medela is a crowd favorite of pumping moms. (Medela, $270)

7 /28: Bottle dryer rack

7/28 :Bottle dryer rack

For those parents who will use bottles along with breastfeeding, this "grassy" drying rack is not only super functional, it's also super cute. (Amazon, $15)

8 /28: Breastfeeding support pillow

8/28 :Breastfeeding support pillow

A breastfeeding support pillow, like this adorable jungle-print Boppy, can be incredibly helpful, especially in the beginning when you're just figuring it all out. (Boppy, $40)

9 /28: Ring sling

9/28 :Ring sling

Babywearing and breastfeeding seem to go hand-in-hand. Carrying your baby in a sling can allow you to nurse virtually hands-free! We love the ring sling from Sakura Bloom, and the chambray works well for the transition from summer to fall (Sakura Bloom, $160)

10 /28: Pro-breastfeeding T-shirt

10/28 :Pro-breastfeeding T-shirt

Show your support for breastfeeding (and stop all the "haters" in their tracks) with this fabulous T-shirt. (Lucky Elephant 9/Etsy, $16)

11 /28: Reusable breast pads

11/28 :Reusable breast pads

Reusable breastpads aren't just great for the environment; they're also more gentle for sore nipples. These days, you can get breastpads in a variety of materials, sizes and styles. (Breastpads, $7)

12 /28: Nursing necklace

12/28 :Nursing necklace

Nursing necklaces are both fashionable and functional these days. These innovative pieces of jewelry can help your baby focus on the task at hand, while adding another piece to your collection. Win-win! (designML/Etsy, $16)

13 /28: A quality nursing bra

13/28 :A quality nursing bra

A good nursing bra is worth its weight in gold. You want to feel supported but comfortable, and it should open and close easily. (Bravado, $35)

14 /28: A stylish nursing bra

14/28 :A stylish nursing bra

On the other hand, a pretty nursing bra can be worth its weight in gold if you want to feel like your old self again — or possibly "get back on the horse" after the six-week no-sex postpartum waiting period. (H&M, $25 for a 2-pack)

15 /28: Breast pump bra

15/28 :Breast pump bra

This freaky, futuristic contraption is nothing short of genius. Yes, you can pump while you type, brush your teeth or just waste time on Facebook. Talk about multitasking. (Amazon, $28)

16 /28: Nursing pajamas

16/28 :Nursing pajamas

A cute nightie that also allows you to nurse? Yes, please. Belabumbum nighties are the perfect mix of comfortable, breastfeeding-friendly and chic. (Belabumbum, $59)

17 /28: Nursing-friendly sweatshirt

17/28 :Nursing-friendly sweatshirt

Stay warm while still being able to breastfeed. This nursing-friendly sweatshirt allows you to stay comfy and cozy while still having easy access to your breasts for when it's time to nurse. (AliExpress, $27)

18 /28: Cute kids' T-shirts

18/28 :Cute kids' T-shirts

Who doesn't love a baby in a cute T-shirt? Even better when it has an adorable pro-breastfeeding message. Show your support for breastfeeding with this adorable shirt. (Sweet Little Kids/Etsy, $15) 

19 /28: Boobie beanie hat

19/28 :Boobie beanie hat

These hilarious (and adorable) beanie hats let others know what you think of their "issues" with your breastfeeding in public — without even saying a word. (Peaces by Cortney/Etsy, $19) 

20 /28: Adorable onesie

20/28 :Adorable onesie

Show off your strength with this perfect onesie. (Little Bundle Co, $18)

21 /28: Reusable water bottle

21/28 :Reusable water bottle

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things when it comes to breastfeeding. It helps promote milk production and can make you feel better too. Fill up a few bottles in the fridge so there's always one to grab. (Amazon, $20)

22 /28: Burp cloths

22/28 :Burp cloths

It's no secret that babies need burp cloths, so why not get one that gives you a chuckle? (NewbeesShop/Etsy, $12)

23 /28: Baby swaddle blanket

23/28 :Baby swaddle blanket

Baby swaddle blankets can make newborn nursing much easier. Plus, they can be used as burp cloths when your baby grows out of the swaddling stage! (Etsy, $20)

24 /28: Breastfeeding awareness keychain

24/28 :Breastfeeding awareness keychain

A subtle way to promote breastfeeding awareness, this adorable keychain lets folks know you're all about breastfeeding. (RottenOlive/Etsy, $15)

25 /28: Breastfeeding decal

25/28 :Breastfeeding decal

Show your support for breastfeeding with this adorable (and funny!) decal that you can put on your car window, fridge or anywhere else you can think of. (Southern Miss Vinyl/Etsy, $3)

26 /28: Breastfeeding pins

26/28 :Breastfeeding pins

Buttons are a fun way to show your support. These pro-breastfeeding buttons can be easily slipped onto a purse, diaper bag or shirt to show you are a fan of nursing. (Misplaced Talents/Etsy, $5)

27 /28: Boob-Ease therapy pillows

27/28 :Boob-Ease therapy pillows

We don't want to scare you, but when the tenth feeding of the day is done, you're going to be glad you have these babies waiting for you. Boob-Ease therapy pillows use warming and cooling temperatures to calm down irritated nips that have seen better days. (Amazon, $23)


28 /28: Pin it!

Breastfeeding essentials
Image: Gabriela Arellano/SheKnows;Image Via Getty Images

28/28 :Pin it!

Pin it now and do your shopping later.