Mom & Baby
This is the page where I recommend products that are useful for breastfeeding moms.
My aim is to help you decide what to buy according to your needs but also separate the real breastfeeding-friendly products from the ones who are marketed this way but actually aim to jeopardise breastfeeding.
There are so many baby and breastfeeding related products out there. As a mom-to-be, you may feel lost or think you actually need all this. The truth is that a breastfeeding mom needs very little.
You know those silicone nipple shields that have been advised to you by moms who were in pain when breastfeeding? These shields are distributed by the same companies that sell bottles. Guess what their aim is... There you go. Their main goal is to make you switch to formula and bottle feeding, not help you breastfeeding. Silicone shields are VERY rarely needed. They can be a tool for moms with a tongue-tied baby in the beginning but most of the time they are completely avoidable.
How about these breastfeeding friendly bottles with a natural flow? Big lie! No single bottle can mimic the breast and it is actually against the WHO code, (also known as International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes) to mention anything like that when marketing a bottle. Any company that will go against these rules is definitely not helping you breastfeeding. Bottles ALWAYS carry a risk for nipple confusion.
The companies who DO respect the WHO code are:
Spectra Baby USA ? (OK in the US, however Spectra companies in other countries have violations.)
Cottonwood Kids (as long as they are not including any Code violating products in their bags)
So what about all the other brands that are available in most shops? Shall we boycott them all?
This might be a noble idea and I respect the lactivist who do. However, I personally prefer to help moms to meet their needs.
And I know that most of them buy online and are often in a hurry.
For example, I will say Ameda is my favourite but if they want to buy an Avent pump, their pumps are great too! I will however explain how their bottles are NOT close to the breast and how using them will probably lead to baby refusing the breast.
The following products are for ME the MUST-haves to facilitate your job as a breastfeeding mom. It does not mean you need them all but you can definitely find in here what suits your needs. I put different brands as everybody has their own personal preferences.
I recommend them as a Breastfeeding Counselor but also as a mom to another mom.
I wish you a happy, breastfeeding-friendly shopping!
Have a lovely day!
PS: As an Amazon Associate I earn a small percentage from Amazon purchases. By clicking on 'Buy on Amazon', you will always be redirected to the latest and best Amazon price.
A hand pump is handy when you do not have to pump very often. It is a good choice for a mom who has no specific breastfeeding issues. It is a very effective option because the best pump is the pump that mimics YOUR baby's sucking patterns.
Ex. some babies suck and swallow, others suck-suck then swallow, some suck-suck-suck-pause then swallow... as a mom you know your baby best and with a hand pump you can recreate the exact pattern and this way get more milk out then with an electric pump with just one or two sucking rhythms.
Respects the WHO code
These pumps are single or double electric pumps. They are a good choice for stay-at-home moms who need to pump from time to time. Let's say because you have an errand to run or a friend to meet and you wish to leave baby with your mother or a babysitter, or because you have a romantic night planned with your partner. Or because you work from home but need someone else to feed baby from time to time in order to stay focused on your work for more then 3 hour straight.
The double electric pump may be enough for certain working moms but not for others. Usually full time working moms prefer a more powerful pump like the ones here below.
Respects the WHO code
A double hospital-grade pump is what you need if you have a baby in NICU, a very preterm infant, if you need to build up your supply after breastfeeding issues. Let's say you are supplementing with formula but want to wean of formala to go back to exclusive breastfeeding, then you need one of those pumps. Full time working moms may also prefer this kind of pump to express breastmilk at their work place.
It is also the right pump to if you wish to relactate after a break or even if your aim is to induce lactation to feed an adopted baby or give your breastmilk to a person in need.
You do NOT need to buy a steriliser. You can throw your pump parts in a saucepan for 10 min instead, it does the exact same job. However, if you need to pump often, you may be looking for a more practical option. A Steam sterilizer allows you to sterilize many items together and reduces your water use a lot. The downside of this option is that it takes a lot of space in the kitchen.
If you have a microwave at home, you may prefer the second option. It does the same job but does not take a lot of space.
A breastfeeding mother does NOT need a bottle warmer neither. If you need to warm up expressed breastmilk, passing the recipient under warm water or let it sit in a bowl of warm water for 5 min is enough. Some moms, however, prefer a bottle warmer as it is a guarantee to heat up the breastmilk at an exact temperature. It may put you at ease if another caregiver is going to feed your baby.
A breastfeeding mom may have some breast challenges from time to time. On day 3-5, you may experience engorgment. Using a hot gel pad will help you to trigger a let-down and get the milk out. After the feed/pumping, if the breast is still too tense, using a frozen pad will bring you relief.
You may have plugged ducts, mastitis, oversupply... if you experience any of these issues, you WILL also use these pads.
Of course, you can also use a hot/cold wet towel instead but it takes more time to prepare and only stays hot or cold for a very short time. The gel pads come in two pieces which is handy because you can leave one in the freezer and keep the other one out to throw in boiling water or in the microwave oven.
The last product here above, called Soothies Gel pads, are to use on sore nipples. If you have sore nipples, it is probably because the latch is not good. While working on the latch, you can use breastmilk compresses and soothies to help you heal quicker.
A Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) is a wonderful tool. It allows you to supplement your baby with breastmilk (or formula) straight at the breast. Thanks to this tool, you can stay away from the bottle which, especially for the first 4-6 weeks, can create nipple confusion and jeopardise breastfeeding.
SNS are used with babies who need supplementing. If your baby did not gain enough weight, has sucking or latch issues, has jaundice or if your baby has been used to the bottle and now is fussy on the breast, ... this is the tool you need.
Thanks to this, baby will spend more time on the breast, stimulate your production and get used to the breast again.
You can also make a SNS yourself using a feeding tube number 5 and a 50 ml sterile syringe.
The pillow on the right is a classic breastfeeding pillow. You are going to live it at times and think it is useless at others. That is because your baby keeps growing and your body keeps changing in the first postpartum weeks. I think it is useful but you should not rely on this one only. Use different cushions, pillows and a rolled towel too to make yourself comfortable when nursing. Baby needs to feel secure in order to nurse and he can only do that if you sit comfortably.
Some moms dislike classic nursing pillows because its thickness does not suit their baby at all ages. I really like this İnfantino nursing pillow because of its layers. You can use up to 4 layers according to your needs. It is a pillow you can use in any position too: cradle, cross cradle, football hold... it works with all of them. What a brilliant invention!
I also chose to add a Breastfeeding chair. Not that you NEED one, I never had one but I would have loved to! The one you buy should have enough padding on the side arms and be large enough to breastfeeding in football hold. The moms who used this one said they loved its comfort and that it was also handy to rock their baby to sleep. Win-win for everyone!
A co-sleeper bassinet is another must-have in my opinion. I wished we had one. It makes co-sleeping so much easier and stress free. You can roll baby out of it to breastfeed in the side-lying down position and roll baby back into it when you are done. How handy!
I also added ergonomic baby carriers which are amazing for breastfeeding, putting baby to sleep and go through growing spurts, during travelling or for every day use at home.
We used the Ergobaby from newborn stage with the İnfant insert, till toddlerhood. We were huge fans of this product!
The red LED night lamp is for me a must because red is the only color that does not interfere with melatonine, the sleep hormone. Most night lamps come in all colors but all colors, except red, will cancel sleep hormone and actually keep you or your child awake. When you breastfeed at night or during bedtime routine, using a red light makes a big difference.
We also used soft muslin/swaddles as a burp cloth, a blanket, a breastfeeding cover or to swaddle baby. It is so versatile you can use it for anything and that means you do not need a separate product for each of these. Just one or two muslins in your mom bag and you are covered. This way you don't carry unnecessary weight.