Most women I know, including myself, start out with the intention of wanting to breastfeed their babies. While this indeed becomes a reality for many, for several others these intentions become challenging catalysts for disappointment and depression, and a post partum phase that should otherwise be joyous after the birth of one’s baby, becomes stressful, tearful, and needlessly agonizing as it was for me. Eventually, I made my peace with having to supplement J with formula (you can read my early posting about the agony and stress here).
As it turns out, Baby E refuses to take a bottle (thankfully she did take it the first two weeks when we really needed to raise her weight and when my own supply was still figuring itself out) and like Baby J, latched right away after birth and has always had a great one. Perhaps thanks to her determination and the fact that I have no work related stress anymore, I have been able to exclusively nurse her since her third week. As a result, I haven’t had to use some of the things I used with J. Anyway, the following are my recommendations for things to have on your registry as a first-time mom intending to breastfeed. Remember that most places allow you to return your registry purchases/gifts within a certain timeframe so you can always do that should you not need any of these items you get/buy.
Boppy + cover
This is an absolute must-have. I love this so much that I have recommended owning one to all my prego friends and in fact once they placed it on their registry, I actually bought this for them too.
I underestimated the need of a lap support for breastfeeding. I just assumed that I would use a pillow or two to support my baby when I nurse and buying a Boppy or something similar seemed just a waste of money. I was so wrong! After experiencing great ergonomic discomfort at the hospital after two days of trying to nurse J even as my milk hadn’t come yet, one of the first things I did upon returning home was to send Aaron to Target to buy me a Boppy.
He bought me the most expensive kinds with a plush cover (not the one above) that has a border along the edge that makes it easy to carry and adds to the width of the Boppy. He also bought an additional cover for the times when the first one would be in the wash which is frequent given the amount of spit ups, breast milk, and throw ups that the pillow has had to endure. So my recommendation is to buy a Boppy and buy at least one more additional cover to add to the original. I seriously regretted not placing these on my registry
Hands-free Pumping Bra
First of all, I don’t think I have ever looked this cool while pumping. This is, however, a great thing to have if you plan on pumping. I have watched movies, read e-books and e-magazines, and sent and read emails as well as browsed online while pumping. This is a product I couldn’t do without during both pregnancies, especially the first one. I bought one on Amazon. I have read that some people cut holes in the nipple areas of regular bras and that works for them. Maybe that will work for you too. If you don’t think that would work, definitely put this on your registry.
Milk storage bags
If you are going to pump, you are going to need milk storage bags. I have used the Lansinoh brand and switched to Dr. Brown’s this time. I actually prefer the former and wish I had stuck to it this time too. Essentially they all do the same thing so read the reviews and pick one.
Most insurance companies provide a breast pump for free under some new law. Please look this up. I got mine free through my insurance. I had a choice between two different pumps and I chose the Medela brand. The kit comes with the accessories on the left including a couple extra bottles. The funnels are standard at 24mm. After having trouble pumping enough milk, my research suggested that I might need larger size funnel/breast shields so I bought the 27mm ones and that really did help. So definitely read up on this and if you can’t figure out a good size for you, at least place some extra larger sized bottles on your registry. I always needed more but had enough given as hand-me-downs. I never needed extra connecting tubes or any of the extra accessories.
As a new mom venturing into breastfeeding for the first time, you WILL need nipple butter or cream. I liked this one a lot. It has a granular texture and has a cocoa smell. Note that I have read that the cocoa can add to the fussiness in babies who have gas/tummy issues so if you want to try a different brand, that’s cool too of course. Just have one, any brand nipple butter on your registry. Do your research.
I have never really needed to use these although I did have them on my registry and used a few, a few times to prevent any potential embarrassment. You may or may not end up using these but really great to have them handy just in case you do use them.
Nursing Bra and Nursing Tops
Definitely include at least a couple of nursing bras if not more in your registry. You will need at least two for nighttime and a couple good ones for when you go out.
You will need a few nursing tops. These are expensive so it is a good idea to have a few on the registry so you can avail of your discount in case you need to buy them yourself.
There are so many options for these. I got a hand-me-down so I just use that one. I do wish it was a longer but the one of the left (from Walmart) is a little too long for me. Do your research but if you plan on breastfeeding in public with a cover, you are definitely going to need one.