happy mother breast feeding her baby infant

Breast Feeding Essentials

Breastfeeding a baby has a lot of benefits over bottle feeding but many women find it more difficult and may resort to bottle feeding.

Some of the substantial benefits of breastfeeding are that it requires a lot less equipment and supplies as well as much less planning than bottle feeding. There are still some items that may be required though to breastfeed.

Types of Breastfeeding Essentials

While breastfeeding does not require anywhere close to the equipment and supplies that bottle feeding requires, there are still some products that are helpful and convenient to make feeding a little easier. Having a good nursing pillow is something that many new moms find important. These pillows typically surround the mother’s waist and the baby lies on the pillow to feed. Along with nursing pillows are pillow covers that come in many colors and designs. Nursing pads can help prevent nipples from leaking through clothes and therefore many moms like to wear these. In addition to leakage, many new moms experience sore and possibly cracked nipples. Breast and nipple creams such as lanolin are often a must-have on hand.

young mother breast feeding her infantFor moms who cannot breastfeed or who are going to be absent from their baby, a breast pump is extremely important to have. Breast pumps are devices that can extract milk into a bottle. There are manual pumps that use hand movements or electrical devices that run on electricity or batteries. When choosing the type of pump to buy it is important to consider how often and where the pump will be used.

Breast milk storage is another sub-category of breastfeeding essentials. There are some bottles specifically designed for storing breast milk as they attach to the breast pump. A lock tight lid can then be placed on the bottle and stored in a cooler pack or in the refrigerator. Breast milk can also be frozen for a few months. Often when freezing breast milk it is better to use milk storage bags that are pre-sterilized.

Brand Names of Breastfeeding Essentials

There are many brands of items for breastfeeding with a few that are well known for their reputation. Medela, Ameda and Lansinoh are all such brand names. Medela is a recognized brand name of breast pumps however they also produce other breastfeeding items. Other breastfeeding essentials Medela manufacturers are: milk storage bags, breastmilk bottles, cleansing wipes for pump and bottles, nursing pads, nursing bra and nipple shields. The Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breastpump – On-the-Go Tote allows a mother to pump several times a day when absent from her baby. This is a daily use pump that mimics how babies feed but is also very portable. This pack includes four bottles, an ice pack, a nipple, a travel cap, a battery as well as all the parts required to pump.

Ameda is also a well-known brand name in the category of breastfeeding essentials. Ameda’s products include: breastmilk storage bottles, breast pumps and parts, nursing pad and nipple shields. Ameda has a “Cool N Carry Breast Milk Storage System” which stores breast milk in a cooled and portable fashion. The ice packs keep milk cool about 10 hours. This set includes the tote bag, six bottles that have lids that are lock tight.

Lansinoh has made a name for itself as well in the breastfeeding market. Their line includes items such as breastmilk storage bags, nursing pads, breast and nipple cream and breast pumps. They are most well-known for their Lanolin Breast Cream for sore nipples. This cream helps to soothe and heal cracked nipples and provides some protection as well. This is a cream that is safe for babies and does not need to be taken off prior to feeding.

Price of Breastfeeding Essentials

Breastfeeding essentials, similar to bottle accessories, vary significantly in price depending on what items are purchased. Nursing pads are probably the cheapest item out of all the breastfeeding essentials as they are only a few dollars for a couple of pairs. By far, the most expensive items would be breast pumps. Manual breast pumps are much less costly than electric ones however; typically electric ones have better features and are more preferred. Some electric pumps are over $300. Nursing pillows and covers are around $15-20. Breast and nipple creams can start at about $5 and go up from there. The pricing of storage systems depends entirely on how simple the system is and what is included. For just milk storage bags, they start at about $5 whereas for a cooling system with tote bag and reusable ice packs they can cost anywhere from $15 and upwards.