If you plan to breastfeed, really all you need are breasts. But pumps, pillows, special nursing shirts and milk storage can make breastfeeding more convenient and comfortable. If you plan to pump at home it’s also helpful to figure out where you’ll do it ahead of time: you’ll need a chair to sit in, an electrical outlet and a flat surface near chest level for the pump, and a place to store the pump and tubing.
Pumping or feeding can take as long as 40 minutes, though it’ll take less and less time as your milk supply gets well established and baby gets more efficient at nursing. Give your breasts at least 20 minutes to recover between a feeding or pumping session, or feed on one side and pump on the other. If you keep breastfeeding after baby is six months old and eating solids you may find you’re nursing for as little as 10 minutes a feed and only two or three times a day.
|Item||Description||How many you'll need|
|Breast pads||Breast pads are like sanitary napkins for leaky nipples. In fact, you can cut sanitary napkins in two and stick them inside your bra, but round disposable or washable pads will look more natural.||one box and/or at least two pairs of washable pads.|
|Breastfeeding pillow||You can use a couple of bed bed pillows, but breastfeeding pillows are ones designed specifically to help boost the baby's mouth up to nipple level, giving your arms a break. Check product reviews to find a model rated highly by nursing moms.||At least one with a washable cover.|
|Breast pump||They come in one- and -two horned versions, the double will help you pump twice as fast.||At least one. It's fine to re-use a used one, just replace tubing and the parts that touch milk. Pumps can also be rented from hospitals, and used to stimulate nipples to make contractions more regular. Be sure to bring home any tubing or horns (also called flanges, or honky parts) from the hospital, hospitals can't re-use them.|
|Bottles, rings, nipples and caps||For storing and feeding pumped milk.||3-6, at first|
|Nursing bras||A nursing bra has a special "trapdoor" to expose your nipple. Buy the size you'd usually wear pre-pregnancy.||at least 2-3|
|Nursing shirts and/or tanks||Nursing shirts have special panels, flaps and drapes that, when used with a nursing bra, will let you feed baby with little to no nipple exposure. Motherwear is a great brand. Nursing tanks will let you convert any shirt to a nursing shirt when worn underneath, by doubling as a nursing bra and belly cover.||At least a few shirts and tanks. Nursing dresses, bathing suits and nightgowns are also available. It's worthwhile to check thrift shops and ask moms for hand-me-downs.|
|Breast milk storage||If you plan to pump milk after you go back to work, you'll want a storage bags and a cooler to keep milk fresh until you get home. Pumping and storing will also let you leave the house without the baby (someday).||Usually breast pumps will come with a few storage bags, buy more as needed.|
|Nipple cream||You really only need to buy nipple cream if you have rough or irritated nipples. If you do have nipple pain, cracking or bleeding, talk to your OB or midwife or a lactation consultant to rule out thrush or latch-on issues.||Optional|