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If you are a Latina, breastfeeding is expected, yet no one really tells you what to do. The only advice (if you can even call it that) I received was “Just let baby latch.” Well, my first little one was born a little early and could not latch properly. Safe to say my new journey was not as easy as I thought it would be.
I could write all day about common breastfeeding misconceptions and my journeys, but for now I just wanted to make sure I put out a list that named my breastfeeding holy grails. I do not want you to go through what I went through by feeling lost and unprepared. Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing and you should be able to enjoy it thoroughly Mami!
First things first, if you are in the US, by law you are entitled to a FREE breast pump. Please make sure to check with your insurance provider or whoever you get your prenatal care through, they can provide more information. I know there are many ads on social media promoting their services to get you your pump, but you really do not need that middleman. Go directly to your provider. When I called our insurance they informed me I was entitled to one breast pump of my choice. All I had to do was purchase the pump on my own and fax over the receipt so that I could be reimbursed. It was very simple and easy! I purchased a Medela pump, but it was not of my liking. Unfortunately, since some stores deem pumps as medical devices, you cannot return them once opened. So, I was back to square one.
I met with a lactation consultant and she said she highly recommended the Spectra pump. She mentioned how all her customers raved and loved it. I had to purchase it out of pocket since my insurance only covered one pump, but I am so glad I did! It is one of the best investments ever! It makes pumping so easy and effortless. I purchased it through Amazon Prime so it was at my doorstep in no time! The two most popular Spectra pumps are both wonderful, the only difference is one needs to be plugged in to a power source while the other one is wireless. I opted for the one that needs to be plugged in.
I did not even know nipple cream existed, but it is definitely needed. Some women have extreme nipple sensitivity during pregnancy, so you can use the lanolin then too. For my first baby I used the Medela brand one. For my second baby I used Lansinoh. Both creams are amazing! I received a couple sample-sized tubes in different baby welcome bags like the ones Babies R Us would give out when they were open. They came in very handy because I kept them in different places around the house and in the car in case we were out.
As if nipple cream isn’t sexy enough, you will also need to add breast pads to your arsenal. At first I thought “Why in the world do I need pads if my boobs will already be pretty big?” I found out pretty quickly, even before baby came, that my breast would leak, not a whole lot, but enough to show through my shirt. Medela and Lansinoh for the win again! Pretty absorbent, convenient, and you can’t even tell you are wearing them!
I wish I could have found out about these sooner! They are small shells that you put inside your bra and against your breast to collect milk. You can wear them throughout the day or only when you feed. For example, when I feed from one side, the other breast also lets down a lot of milk. Milk would go to waste on a breast pad if it wasn’t for these amazing shells. I can easily collect about 2 ounces of milk per feeding without any work! I know a lot of people recommend one of those silicone suction pumps like the Haakaa, but I personally hate it because it is too bulky and in the way whereas these shells are completely unnoticeable!
Hands Free Pumping Bra
No matter if you pump a couple times a day, or pump exclusively, you NEED this bra. It makes pumping a breeze and lets you be hands free so you can sit back and sip on some tea or scroll through your phone while you have a minute. The bra is fully adjustable so you can easily accommodate the pump’s flanges.
Of course you can continue using your regular bra, but chances are, your cup size has changed and your old bras are not always nursing friendly. I used to buy my nursing bras at Walmart and loved them SO freaking much, but one day Walmart decided to not be nice anymore and stopped carrying the bras. I tried out others they sold, but disliked all of them. I had to resort to Amazon in hopes of finding similar and thankfully I did! These bras keep everything in place and help making nursing an easy task.
My first baby was not picky at all when it came to bottles as long as he had his mommy’s milk; he didn’t care what I served it in. He did spit up a lot so we found Dr. Browns bottles extremely helpful. The green insert is optional, but for us it was heaven sent!
I was a nervous wreck when I would think about nursing in public. I always felt like all eyes were on me, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone is in their own little world and will probably never even notice you. Yes there are plenty of cute and adorable nursing covers, but most come with a not-so-pretty price tag. Instead, I opted for this lightweight muslin blanket that I use as a cover-up when I’m out and about but also as an actual blanket when needed. It takes up almost no space in the diaper bag, so that is definitely a plus!
There you have it Mamis, a list of my breastfeeding holy grails! Of course there are plenty of other accessories and nursing items out there, but these are my absolute must haves! What about you? What are your fave nursing items?