Breastfeeding Essentials for Your Hospital Bag

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Breastfeeding is professed to be the most natural thing in the world and for some people it is. The fact is that it might take a while for you to establish breastfeeding. Your milk might not come in straight away; at times, your boobs won't feel like your own, they may hurt, they might even leak when someone else's baby cries!

Be patient and do what works for you and your family.

With these breastfeeding essentials you should have all bases covered to make your breastfeeding journey easier:

Breastfeeding Pillow

A feeding pillow gives the baby and your arms some support. Your midwife will happily show you some good positions for the pillow during those first feeds, and you'll work out what works for you and your little one over time.

We recommend: The Widgey 5-in-1 Multi-Function Nursing and Pregnancy Pillow from Amazon, which can be also be used as a pregnancy pillow and a support when your little one is learning to sit unaided.

Nipple Cream

Always have this to hand so that you can soothe and prevent your nipples from becoming sore or cracked.

We recommend: My Expert Midwife No Harm Nipple Balm from Amazon, which is 100% natural. This nipple cream is also tasteless and odourless.

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Water Bottle and Snacks

While you'll be thinking A LOT about your new arrival make sure you don't forget about your needs!

You'll be burning up to 500 calories a day while breastfeeding, so it's essential to keep hydrated and topped up on healthy snacks to help with milk production.

Breast Pads

It's a well-known fact that your boobs will leak milk when you're not feeding your baby. Breast pads protect your clothes from leaking milk, and you have a choice of disposable or washable ones. Disposable ones are probably easier if you have a more extended stay in the hospital.

We recommend: Lil-Lets Maternity Breast Pads from Amazon.

Cooling breast pads are heaven if you have any breast or nipple discomfort between feeds. There is usually a fridge on the ward where you can store them.

We recommend: Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads from Amazon.

Nipple Shields

Nipple shields are thin, silicone teats that can be placed over your nipple to help a baby with difficulty breastfeeding.

If you have issues with tongue-tie, baby latching, inverted nipples or sore nipples, then nipple shields can be a godsend.

We recommend: MAM Nipple Shields from Amazon, which comes with a sterilisable travel case.

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Breastfeeding Clothing

We recommend getting some nursing nightwear and comfy tops for during the day. In those early days, it's all about comfort.

A good breastfeeding bra is essential for easy access when feeding your little one. Get something without an underwire and preferably seamless for comfort.

Mobile Phone App

Baby brain is a thing, and it's easy to forget which breast your baby fed from and for how long last time they had a feed. An app is so helpful and takes the stress of remembering these things out of the equation. An app will, for example, tell you how many feeds your baby had on each breast or the time/average time spent per breast. The app below has options for bottle feeding, expressing, nappy changing and sleep too!

We recommend: The Baby Feed Timer app, available on the app store and recommended by NHS midwives across the UK.

Breastfeeding Cover

Some people are confident about openly breastfeeding from the start, and some aren't. A breastfeeding cover gives you the freedom to choose to cover up or not when your husband's sister's cousin is visiting!

We recommend: The BebeChic Breastfeeding Cover from Amazon, which is 100% cotton and boned so that you can maintain good eye contact with your newborn.

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