The breastfeeding essentials explained
What are the different types of breastfeeding accessories, and what do they do?
There are a lot of breastfeeding accessories. Some can make the difference between a happy and comfortable experience and some you may find aren't needed. This list should help you figure out what accessories would work for you. So let’s take a closer look;
Not only do you need a good pillow to lift your baby to your breast level so you don’t have to hunch over and hurt your back, you will need cushions to support your arms, back, and legs. You may find that you prefer one pillow over the other depending on your body type, torso size, lifestyle — and even your little one.
Nursing tanks and bras
Nursing bras and tanks have cups that can unsnap and fold down for easier access to your breasts. Check for enough support to relieve strain on your back and shoulders, straps that don’t cut into you, and coverage in both cup style and optional lining.
Nipple cream, ointment, or lotion
Many breastfeeding parents will experience cracked, sore, or even bleeding nipples during breastfeeding — especially at the beginning. There are many types of nipple creams, ointments, and lotions that can help promote healing.
Breast pump and pumping bra
Do a little research for what type of pump will work best for you, and whether you need one only for home, or for on the go. A pumping bra will allow you to use your pump hands-free, and has openings in the fabric over the nipples to better hold the breast shields of your breast pump secure and against your skin while you pump.
Types of breast pumps
Electric pumps use a motor powered by mains, USB cord or batteries to create suction. They look similar to a manual pump with a breast shell and milk collection bottle but there’s no handle because you don’t need to pump with your hand.
Manual pumps need the user to pump with a handle to create suction and express breast milk. It can take some time and effort to pump a substantial volume of milk and it’s not always possible to adjust the level of suction.
Manual pumps are only available as singles as it's designed to operate with two hands – one to hold the breast shield in place, the other to pull the handle.
Electric pumps are either sold as singles or doubles – which enable you to express milk from both breasts simultaneously. While double pumping cuts expressing time in half, double pumps are typically more expensive.