When I first decided to breastfeed, I envisioned cuddling a warm, ruddy-faced, milk-drunk baby. I didn’t plan for leaky boobs and messy burpings. But I was determined to breastfeed, so I put together an arsenal of tools to get us through our 10-12 times of nursing daily:
1. Nursing Pillow
Bloom Nursing Pillow, gift from baby shower
A lifesaver during the first two weeks when I felt so sore I could hardly lift my baby. It saved me from doing a lot of heavy baby lifting and allows for cuddling for hours without resulting to muscle pain.
2. Breastfeeding Bras
Soen Nursing Bras, bought at SM Department Store for P300-P400 a piece.
I got about a dozen. When I was pregnant and I grew bigger, I bought a lot of bigger regular undergarments. In retrospect I should’ve gone straight to nursing bras. They’re cheap good support, and when your breasts are sore and you need to feed at 2am, it makes things a whole lot easier.
They have 2 designs, a simple one I use for pambahay and another with better design, padding and support. Too bad though because they don’t have much stocks of the latter in my size, so I might go looking for other brands soon.
3. Nipple Cream
Medela Pure Lanolin, bought from Medela House @ P700-ish
I only use it now occasionally when I get sore from too much pumping, but on my first two weeks I applied it almost every after feeding to soothe my raw chafed nipples. It kept the soreness at bay and doesn’t need to be wiped off for feeding. My mom joked that my baby might have been kept full by lanolin when my white milk still hasn’t made its debut.
4. Breastfeeding Supplement
Fenugreek, bought at Healthy Options for P600-ish per bottle
My OB said it worked better than malunggay capsules. At first I didn’t think it was effective, but then I realized its only because I took only one daily. Take 2 tabs 3x a day and it worked its magic. Though of course at that same period I also had lots of tinola with malunggay, salabat, fried misua with ginger, and other lactation-inducing foodstuffs.
6. Breast Shells
AVENT Comfort Breast Shell Set, bought at Baby Company @ P1500-ish
When I noticed how much my breasts were dripping, I bought these as milk savers. They’re quite pricey, but with the amount of milk I’ve saved and stored for my baby so far, I’ll get a return for my money in no time.
You can also check them on sale – I was at the MommyMundo bazaar last month and they were at 50% off!!! The package was ruined but it was totally brand new. Too bad it didn’t happen earlier *sigh*
7.1 Washable Breast Pads
Tiny Tots Washable Breast Pads, bought from TinyTots online @ P100 a pair
The Avent breast shells are quite comfy and easy to use during daytime, but for bedtime they are quite uncomfortable plus my milk tends to overflow and spill out. Thus, I got these washable breast pads. When I’m too lazy to pump before sleeping they get soaked through and I’d need 2 pairs for the night, but otherwise a pair does the job. And have I mentioned that they come on cute designs?
7.2 Disposable Breast Pads
Pigeon Disposable Breast Pads, at Baby Center SM @ P369 for 16pairs
It is quite pricey at P20 per pair, but if you don’t want to be bothered by either breast shells or washable pads, these are the way to go. I use them when going out for more than 4 hours. They are very, very reliably absorbent.
8. Breast Pump
Medela Freestyle, bought at Medela House for P19,000-ish and already comes w/ a carry-on tote, 4 150ml bottles, blue ice pack, cooler bag, 2 bottle stands, a pair of disposable bra pads and a free Calma teat.
A big buy, but it was what everyone was recommending, and it didn’t hurt that Nestle has a breastfeeding package covering 20k worth of pump. Ain’t that sweet?
So far I easily express 4-10 ounce per session depending on my letdown & breast fullness per 10-15min sessions, no mess and no pain. Sometimes I wonder how other pumps are like since whenever I tell someone that I pump, they would automatically ask, “Di ba masakit?”
9. Breastmilk Containers
Medela 2.5oz bottles
Pigeon Pre-Sterilized Milk Bags @P599/25pcs
Mom&Baby Pre-Sterilized Milk Bags @ P299/25pcs
I have a dozen 2.5oz Medela bottles which is ideal since I need to thaw only one at a time per feed (I’m bottle-training my baby now). The milk bags are for when I no longer have bottles left, which is a signal I already have enough for a day or two, thus the rest of my milk I freeze.
Pigeon milk bags are double-sealed and convenient, and when stored flat are easy to thaw. Only downside is they’re a bit pricey. Just last week I found these Mom&Baby milk bags at Baby Company in SM Megamall at half the price, and they’re also good so far.
10. Feeding Bottle
Pigeon Peristaltic Plus @P599
In a perfect world I can directfeed my baby until he’s two. But nothing is perfect, and as much as I want to do cup feeding, I don’t think it’s thats feasible with my yaya.
The journey to finding a bottle that Oreo is willing to accept was epic and deserved a post of its own – I’ll just say when he finished 2ounces for the first time without fuss, I jumped up and down for a long time.
So there’s my ten must-haves as a breastfeeding mommy. Of course add to that a reliable Chicco sterilizer and plenty of towels, and I’m all set to breastfeed!
I realize that these things are quite pricey initially, but the benefits and savings to be had from breastfeeding baby in the long run will surely be worth it.
*I wasn’t given any free product or payment to write this post ( aww, sad). This is written completely out of love, ahem.