So many think that breastfeeding is simple. It is far from simple. This pregnancy with our third child was the longest that I have ever been able to breastfeed. Our son will be 10 months in two days and I was blessed to have had enough milk produced and stored to be able to still feed him breast milk throughout his first year.
Having multiple reoccurrences of mastitis, which is an inflammation of the breast tissue which leads to infection, commonly affecting breastfeeding mothers made it a greater challenge. Along my breastfeeding journey there were 5 top breastfeeding essentials that really contributed to my success and the convenience of breastfeeding.
Top 5 Breastfeeding Essentials & Product Reviews
1. Spectra S2
Selecting the perfect pump is extremely important whether you are deciding to exclusively pump or not. I have had multiple pumps including: Medela Pump in Style Advance and Ameda Finesse. Each had their pro’s and con’s.
The Medela Pump in Style Advance lasted 5 years and still works but I only would use it at this point as a back up pump. It’s a open system pump which means milk has the ability to flow back into the tubing which is not good at all. Also, the suction has lost its power over the years.
My Ameda Finesse is a closed system pump with decent suction but overheated on me after only 3 weeks of use, causing me to have to order a replacement. I also personally feel like the suction is not adequate enough to completely empty my breast with pumping, as a result I experienced mastitis which is a terrible experience to endure.
Having developed mastitis made me invest in a hospital grade pump and I read so many great reviews about the Spectra S1 and S2. The primary difference in the pump is price since the S1 is portable and the S2 is not. I decided to purchase the S2 for $50 cheaper and simply purchased a car charger for the pump so I can still pump on the go when traveling and/or commuting. This pump has been one of the best investments that I could have made. The suction is great and has various cycle and vacuum settings making it more custom to your body needs to remove milk efficiently.
2. Pacasso Handsfree Nursing & Pumping Bra
I purchased this particular pumping bra on Amazon and while a handsfree pumping bra is essential, I do not recommend this particular brand and design. If you are going to be pumping it is crucial to be handsfree. You will highly dread the experience if you have to sit up there and hold two flanges for 30+ minutes at a time. It gets old very quick and is a tiresome task. When I am pumping I need to be able to relax while pumping and a handsfree pumping bra makes it possible.
However, this brand is extremely uncomfortable. The design of the opening is very uncomfortable when it rubs against your breast. Also, the opening flaps overlap awkwardly and can irritate your nipples prior to and after pumping. I am not satisfied with this brand and will be researching another brand so I can order a new pumping bra that caters more to comfort.
3. Momcozy Breast Pump & Diaper Bag
I definitely needed a pump bag to tote around my breast pump when traveling and on the go. This particular bag had great reviews on Amazon 4.5/5 and looks great. Once I received it in the mail the quality was everything that I had hoped for. The material is durable and it is well designed with openings on each side of the bag that can be used to access your pump. This pump and diaper bag is very spacious and waterproof. It also is large enough to fit most breast pump brands.
I love the color (grey) as it looks very professional. This particular pump bag is great for those who are returning to work. Since it is discrete, no one would ever know what you have inside, making it perfect for the workplace setting. This tote also includes 3 insulated slots within the side of the bag that can be used to store bottles of milk. It even includes a laptop pocket. Overall, I am very impressed with this bag and it serves its purpose well.
4. LaVie Lactation Massage Roller
After being diagnosed with mastitis and dealing with chronic clogged milk ducts I needed something to help me improve my breast milk flow in order to prevent clogs. I was not the best at hand massaging prior to pumping and nursing. This tool has been a lifesaver! This lactation massage roller does exactly what it was intended to do: alleviate engorgement, and plugged milk ducts. It’s easier and more convenient to use this massage roller rather than use your hands, making it easier to empty both breast efficiently while giving your hands a break.
5. Sunflower Lecithin 1200 mg
This supplement was recommended to me by many other breast feeding mothers. This supplement is used to prevent and aid with clogged milk ducts. I take 2 pills daily at night before bed as a preventative and 4 pills a day if I suspect I have a clog. This supplement helped with thinning my fatty milk in order to remove clogged milk ducts and promote milk flow.
If you are struggling on your breastfeeding journey and are in need of breastfeeding support please reach out to you local La Leche League. This organization offers support all around the world. Some of my greatest friend and supporters I met through my local La Leche League.
DISCLAIMER: This is not a paid sponsorship. Before using any supplement please consult with your healthcare provider. What worked for me many not work for you.