For me, breastfeeding was a BEAST. I dealt with lingering open wounds, Reynaud’s Syndrome, thrush, engorgement, inverted/flat nipples, mastitis and a tongue-tied baby. When clients ask about breastfeeding support, I’m always so happy to say, “I’ve been there, and survived! If breastfeeding is important to you, we’ll find a way to make it work!”

How did I keep going? I made short term goals that were as attainable as possible. “Can I make it to tomorrow? Can I make it to next week?”

…AND I checked in with myself at the end of those goals to see if it was something I still felt passionate about.

Why did I keep going? The biggest motivator for me what the lack of control I felt in my birth story. I had two unexpected caesarians, and I’d be damned if I couldn’t breastfeed too!

When preparing for my second baby, I swore things would be different. AND THEY WERE!

I loved breastfeeding the second time through, and more than half of that was due to the fact that I made breastfeeding stations around the house.

Breastfeeding is a labor of love, emphasis on LABOR. It’s work. And to make work feel more fun, I had some incentives for success!

Without further ado, I present:

15 Uncommon Breastfeeding Essentials:

  1. Wireless headphones. Breastfeeding occupies ALOT of time. Like, alot, alot. The best way to pass the time is by listening to music, books, podcasts, or by watching shows. Without the cords present, you can do something for you, while doing something for baby. We love these affordable and cute headphones from JBL, but also recommend Beats or Airpods.

2. Extra-Long Phone Cable. Keeping with the electronics theme, there is nothing more frustrating than being nap trapped and dead on the line. These are relatively cheap for how much joy they spark. This one will fit iPhones, and comes in a two pack. This one will fit Androids and comes in a three pack!

3. A great lil’ notebook. When sitting in solitary, it might insight a time of self-reflection. If you find yourself coming up with poop tracking, to-do lists, lyrics, poems, or wordy frustrations (sayyyy, for the lack of changing tables in public places), then having an outlet close-by comes in real handy. You want it somewhat small, since most your scrawling will be one-handed. Anything from Rhodia has our hearts, but this one is pictured above!

4. Pen, duh! If you give a mouse a cookies…. but really, these pens are THE TITS. Some pun intended. Le Pen makes a variety of fine-tip markers that rarely bleed through. They’re a writers delight. Here’s the link the these ones.

5. Night Light. Sleep experts all agree that when it’s night time, you want to treat it as such, meaning, NO OVERHEAD LIGHT WHATSOEVER. This little light is rechargeable, so you can take it from your breastfeeding station to your changing table and back. It’s touch to turn on and has different features like dimming, and a self-timer for turn off. It’s also not stark white, so you and baby can stay in the dream-like, nighttime state.

6. A little Foot Stool. Do you know the most important physical recovery area of postpartum? The pelvic floor. You know what’s the most damaging to its recovery? Being ill-positioned while breastfeeding. We need many gidgets to breastfeed, but this is bare non-the one that will serve your pelvic floor best in the long run. This foot stool is a registry essential in my opinion.

7. A Water Bottle. Ok, in all honesty, a water bottle with a straw is better, but it’s hard to find cute water bottles with straws, amiright? Here’s the deal, breastfeeding sucks the every-living daylights out of you. To keep that milk supply up, you need some H20, bb. Hydrate, and if you’re hydrating, MAKE IT FASHION. Anything from Swell is well… swell.

8. Lip Balm. Again, breastfeeding is dehydrating, soooo your lips might start looking like a bitten croissant. Dionis makes goat milk lip balm that is to die for. It’s creamy, long-lasting, and this flavor is even peppermint to mask the fact that you still haven’t had time to brush your teeth!

9. Nipple Butter. Y’all, it works. If you’re a first time, or even second time breastfeeding parent, the first two weeks are a test of endurance. You’re both fish out of water trying to learn the gig you signed up for. This can help ease some of the discomforts of breastfeeding. Is it 100% necessary for everyone? No. But is it nice to have on hand? Absolutely. Everyone has the one that works for them. Having a couple of different brands couldn’t hurt, but off the top of my head, Earth Mama’s Nipple Butter seems to be the most universally loved.

10. Breast Pads. Ok, so this is a common breastfeeding item, but it’s also essential, y’all. Everyone loves to have the bamboo reusable breast pads, but until your supply stabilizes, you might be doing more harm than good. When using reusable breast pads, it’s imperative to wash them quickly, and frequently in order to reduce the risk of thrush. In the first six weeks, I’d recommend going the disposable route. For that, Lansinoh does a great one!

11. The Haaka is a new guy on the block, but let me tell you, it’s worth its weight in gold. While breastfeeding one one breast, this little guy attaches with suction to the other side collecting the let down that would’ve otherwise gone to waste in a breast pad. It’s one piece, so it’s easy to clean, and it’s cheap enough that you can get a few to use throughout the day.

12. Burp Clothes. Ok, so again this is another common item to have lying around, but seriously, how many of y’all have the cloths right there at your station? These versatile burp clothes can be used for burping/spit ups, but can also wipe a nose, dry a tear, and wipe up that mustard you dropped on the baby’s head. BOOM, ESSENTIAL.

13. SNACKS! SNACKS! SNACKS! These Bobo’s bars are gluten free, and vegan. They’re made from oatmeal and are a powerhouse for filling and boosting supply. (My fav is the maple, but to each their own!) Best of all, they qualify as being a “one-handed” snack.

14. Wishgarden Tinctures. Let me assure you, you don’t want to be in a place of desperation without these tinctures. Milk Rich boosts your supply by using herbs such as Raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus), Goat’s Rue aerials (Galega officinalis), Fenugreek seed (Trigonella foenum-graecum), Fennel seed (Foeniculum Vulgare), Nettle leaf (Urtica dioica), Blessed Thistle aerials (Cnicus benedictus).

Happy Ducts helps promote healthy, non-clogged ducts. If you have a lump appearing, or are prone to clogged ducts, this is your girl!

NOTE: Always speak with your doctor before adding in new supplements.

15. A Place to Put it all. Now that you have all this stuff, where you gonna put it? Marie Kondo says that everything needs a home, and your breastfeeding essentials are no exception to that rule. Target, and Amazon have no shortage on cute storage. This is the one pictured above.

Whether you breast feed for a month, a year, or five years, we see you. We see all that you do to keep baby fed. We see the sacrifice of your time, your emotions, and sometimes, your sanity.

Those who have breastfed/chest-fed before, did you find anything helpful that’s a bit out of the ordinary? Let us know.