As most new parents can attest to, the world of baby gear is a vast one. Baby accessories aren’t really something you pay much attention to until it’s time for you to start stocking up, and once you dip into that world, all those choices can be a little overwhelming.
Even parents with multiple kids can get a little overwhelmed with the ever-changing stock of baby gear. You may have had a gadget or gizmo that your firstborn couldn’t live without, only to realize that an all-important product has been recalled, or replaced with an updated version that just doesn’t cut it. Or you start perusing the baby section and see 10 or more brands of each product. When there seems to be a gazillion options to choose from, how do you do it?
Fear not! In this article, we’ve curated a list of our favorite breastfeeding accessories for new moms, aiming to streamline your decision-making process and enhance your breastfeeding experience.
12 Must-Have Breastfeeding Accessories for New Moms
Some of the top items we think will improve the breastfeeding experience for new moms:
- Nursing Pillows
- Breast Pumps
- Nursing Bras and Tops
- Nipple Creams
- Nursing Covers
- Feeding Bottles
- Pump Bags
- Breast Pump Cushions
- Lactation Massagers
- Nipple Shield
- Pumping Spray
- Breast Milk Cooler
1. Nursing Pillows: Essential for Comfortable Breastfeeding
A nursing pillow is a great way to get a little extra support while you’re nursing your baby. Babies can rest comfortably on a nursing pillow and give your back and neck a break from holding them up. They're great for all moms, but maybe especially great for moms who have had a cesarean section. Nursing pillows are also helpful when bottle feeding, getting babies into a good position either in a lap or someplace like a couch. They can also double as a soft space for tummy time!
2. Breast Pumps: A Must-Have for Nursing Moms
Breast pumps are a necessary product for almost all nursing mamas. There are lots to choose from, so think about what you want most from a breast pump and start there. You can choose anything from hands-free, wearable, or portable. Even if you don’t think you’ll be away from your baby enough to warrant getting a breast pump, a handheld manual pump is a good thing to have on hand for the occasional date night or emergency that might unexpectedly take you away from your little one.
3. Nursing Bras and Tops: For Easy and Comfortable Access
Nursing bras and tops are another of the must-have items for nursing moms. If comfort is your top priority, look for something made from soft, lightweight fabric. If you’re looking for something that gives you good support and coverage, look for something with thicker straps or flexi-wire.
4. Nipple Creams: Soothing Relief for Nursing Mothers
Nipple cream offers much-needed relief for nursing mamas experiencing dry or cracked nipples. When searching for a nipple cream, you want to make sure that the nipple cream you use is safe for your baby to ingest. We suggest something that’s made from natural, organic ingredients.
5. Nursing Covers: Privacy and Comfort While Feeding
While it’s perfectly legal for women to nurse their babies in public, some women feel more comfortable doing so with a little discretion. Wearing something like a nursing cover can give some women the privacy they need to publicly nurse. Now, we know that outings with little ones can often feel like you’re packing enough gear to trek through the wilderness for a week, so why add a nursing cover to your bag if you don’t have to? We love these chic nursing covers from We Are Amma. They come in a variety of colors, are breathable, knit fabric, and can be worn as part of your outfit.
6. Feeding Bottles: Essential for Bottle-Feeding Moments
It’s no secret that we think borosilicate glass is the superior product for baby bottles. The slightly higher cost of investing in good, quality glass feeding bottles is well worth it when you take into consideration the potentially harmful chemicals babies can be exposed to through plastic bottles. If you’re looking to make the change from plastic to glass, or are buying glass bottles as a gift for a new mama, keep in mind that our glass baby bottles are compatible with many of the popular breast pumps and nipples. This way you can conveniently transition to glass bottles without having to invest in a new pump too.
7. Pump Bags: Make Pumping on the Go More Stylish
Any mama who has pumped and used the standard-issued pump bag has probably looked at it and wished for something a little more “her”. It’s hard enough to feel like yourself after having a baby, let alone when you have to lug equipment to and from work in a bag that doesn’t look like something you would typically choose for yourself. Enter Mimi and Pal, and their variety of pumping bags to match your aesthetic. Not only are these bags great for getting your liquid gold from point A to point B, but their original bag was created to make the pumping process easier on you by providing a safe spot for your pump to sit for convenient hands-free pumping.
8. Breast Pump Cushions: Additional Comfort
Breast pump cushions are maybe one of those things that you don't realize you need until you try them. According to BeauGen, their Breast Pump Cushions are “like a thin layer of pillowy clouds between you and the hard plastic of your pump.” Who wouldn’t want pillowy cloud softness while pumping?
9. Lactation Massagers: Increasing Breast Milk Flow
Another recommendation nursing moms get to help with milk flow is to try a breast massage. Breast massages can help to increase circulation in the breast, which can help to increase breast milk production. While you can absolutely do a breast milk massage by hand, there are nifty gadgets available to make it easier and maybe even more effective. The warming lactation massagers by LaVie combine “heat and vibration to improve your pumping and nursing experience, and reduce discomfort.”
10. Nipple Shield: Easing Discomfort and Pain
Breastfeeding moms experiencing discomfort like cracked nipples will sometimes be guided toward nipple shields. Nipple shields are a barrier between you and your nursing baby, making breastfeeding more comfortable for some mamas. Haakaa Nipple Shields are made from 100% soft silicone and are BPA, PVC and Phthalate-free, making them a good choice for mamas looking for natural, non-toxic products.
11. Pumping Spray: Lubrication for Breast Pumps
This pumping spray by CoBoo is made from 100% organic food-grade ingredients that you spray directly onto breast pump flanges to reduce friction. Pumping spray will add moisture for a more comfortable pumping experience- something most nursing mamas want. This is one of those products that can make such a difference that you wish you had found it earlier.
12. Breast Milk Cooler: Keep Your Breast Milk Cool Wherever You Are
Any nursing mama who’s on the go a lot can make life a little easier by getting a good breast milk cooler. You can pump directly into our Plastic-free Glass Breast Milk Storage Bottle which can then be placed into our Insulated Breast Milk Cooler to keep your milk safe for up to 20 hours. This versatile cooler can also double as a milk warmer, making it a practical and efficient choice!
Choosing the Best Breastfeeding Accessories: What to Look For
Like with most things, you have a lot of options when it comes to purchasing breastfeeding accessories. However, unlike some purchases you make in life, quality really matters here. When it comes to products that you purchase for use when breastfeeding, make sure you’re purchasing from a company that you can trust. These products will be some of the first that your baby will interact with in their life- get them on the right track by choosing reusable, eco-friendly options from small, trusted businesses when you can.
Also, keep in mind that many of the breastfeeding accessories we’ve talked about here should be eligible for purchase using your HSA/FSA account. If you’re unsure whether or not something is covered, reach out to your HSA/FSA administrator or insurance provider to confirm.
Shop Portable Nursing Accessories from Mila’s Keeper
We know how busy life can be when you’re a nursing mom. We want our products to help make your life a little easier, so you can have a little more time in your day to do the things that matter most to you.
At Mila’s Keeper, we’re here to support you, offering portable nursing accessories to simplify your daily routine!
Keep Reading related blog: 13 WAYS TO SUPPORT BREASTFEEDING MOMS AND PARENTS
A female-designed and female-run company, Mila's Keeper is on a mission to empower women to thrive during their breastfeeding journey by offering reusable, eco-friendly breast milk storage solutions for their day-to-day needs. Get the latest tips and info on Mila's Keeper products by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.