Updated: Aug 28, 2018
I'm not the sort of mother that believes "BREAST IS BEST" in the sense that EVERY mama has to choose to breastfeed their baby..but for me, it was super important.
It can be SUPER hard getting started, and after scouring Pinterest forEVER, I realized the internet was flooded with TOO MANY excessive, long, expensive posts.
Through trial and error, these are the products that have GENUINELY worked for me. I am super cheap when it comes to anything, so spending lots of money was not an option.
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO GET EXPENSIVE WHEN YOU BREASTFEED!
1. Silicone Milk Pump/Catcher: $9.99 for Two
This inexpensive, magical LIFESAVER was my go-to. I started out as a pretty heavy leaker in the beginning, and when I discovered this, it INSTANTLY became a staple. You just pop it on the opposite side while breastfeeding and it catches all that milk that would otherwise be lost! I only wish I had discovered it sooner! Seriously, in times that I need to pump because I'm miserable, I CAN! No matter WHERE I am! Plus, I HATE cleaning all those pump parts and I HATE having to be stuck in one place because of power cords. This is a MUST. For real. You need it. Trust me.
It's always great to have a portable breast pump when you need to encourage let-down. Carrying that HUGE pump bag and searching for an outlet can be freaking annoying. With my luck, once I find a spot to camp out and get hooked up, Eloise starts screaming. Happens. Every. Time. Yes, manual pumps can be a little pricey, though.
No fear, I've got an awesome deal for you! Right now, Udder Covers is having a sale on their manual breastpump. With my $35 OFF code "ELOJANE", you will get it for FREE!
3. Target Portion Control Bags: $1.79 per box of 64!
Now, don't get me wrong. Those expensive milk storage bags are pretty great, but they freaking EAT A HOLE outta my bank account.
These Target brand bags do the job for me. NOW, when you thaw them, make sure to do so carefully. I have yet to have any problems, but I'm not sure these babies were meant to be submerged in BOILING WATER.
YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.
At any rate, these are SUPER affordable, and I personally like to store only 6 oz in them at a time.
I had NO IDEA I would need these things...but I did. Having washable pads to soak all that leakage from let-downs SAVED me so many shirts.
I never had to worry about going out to buy more pads, because they were sturdy and well-made. One quick wash & dry is all they need.
5. Earth Mama Nipple Butter: $12.99 for 60 ml
I bought two containers of this magical stuff, and after nearly a year of breastfeeding, they're each only half-empty (or half full...whatever). No lie, this natural nipple butter is HEAVEN SENT. All you need is a small amount, and the healing effects are fast-acting and long lasting. I seriously love it. COULD NOT GO WITHOUT IT.
Also, the hospital gave me a trial size of the traditional Lanolin nipple cream, and I HATED putting it on. My freshly milked nipples were SO tender, I couldn't bare to put on that thick, goopy oinment. Each time I applied it, my sore, cracked nipples were pulled and tugged around.
PLUS, do you know what lanolin is?! HERE is a link all about it. Long story short: it's sheered sheep skin goop that's "cleaned" with chemicals.
YUP. AND THAT'S SUPPOSEDLY SAFE FOR YOUR NIPPLES AND BABY'S MOUTH
6. Upspring Milkflow: $14.99 per box of 18 servings
Personally, I had a HARD time remembering to take supplements. They worked, but only when I took them as directed. Most of the time, I really needed something quick.
I know, this drink mix isn't the cheapest, but for the suggested serving intake, it works fairly well. Plus, the flavors aren't half bad. I REALLY love the chocolate best.
Here are two things I LOVED, but aren't super necessary:
That's seriously it. No joke.
Do YOU have any breastfeeding hacks/items you can't live without? Please share below!