I wanted to share the items that I have found most helpful while breastfeeding.
Medela Pump In Style. I LOVE my Medela Pump In Style. At work I use a Medela Hospital Grade pump that it located in our lactation rooms but for home and travel I would not have lasted this long without this WONDERFUL pump! Thank you Virginia! I was lucky enough not to have to purchase the pump myself as I'm currently able to borrow it from a great friend. All I needed to do was purchase my own hoses, shields, and bottles and I've been set. The pump retails for 299.99 and I was able to purchase attachments for under $50.00 at Amazon. (your milk does not actually flow into the machine... nothing goes though the valves) I would also recommend investing in a 9 volt power adapter for the pump so that you do not BLOW through batteries. (Suction is also more powerful when plugged into the wall). Medela makes an adapter but save your money and just get one from Amazon... they are no different. ANOTHER, thing that I have loved about this pump is that there is a SMALL black pouch that can be easily removed from the backpack... because it just isn't my style. When I've needed to travel with my pump I remove the pouch and take that in a cute bag with all of my gear.
2. Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads. These were great to have on hand especially in the beginning as I would start leaking the second Hunter would start to cry... or even when I would think about him. Well worth the $12.99 to save yourself the embarrassment of leaking through your top!
3. Lansinoh Breastmilk storage bags. I absolutely love these storage bags! I've tried out ALL of the milk storage bags and these are top on my list with Medela bags being a far second. I pump into the Medela bottles and once I have 5 oz I pour the milk into these bags and lay flat in the freezer. I like that they are longer, lay flat, and have a very convenient location to write info on.
Lansinoh HPA Lanolin. This is a MUST buy for the first few weeks of breastfeeding. It gets VERY uncomfortable to the point that you might want to cry (just being honest) but this really does help and it is safe for baby.
5. Burp Clothes. I'm a huge fan of making your own burp cloths. But in case you don't have the time or don't like to DIY the Swaddle Designs brand makes a GREAT burp cloth. We have a few and I feel like they are a great quality and they come in SUPER CUTE designs! Highly recommend.
6. aden+anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets. These are the ultimate item that EVERYONE needs to have on hand. Not only are they great as swaddle blankets but I use them all the time as a cover when I am feeding Hunter in public! I'm not a fan of the whole "nursing cover" it makes me feel like I'm wearing a smock! I like that these blankets are large so they provide great coverage AND they are lightweight and provide great ventilation for baby! Another plus is that they come in such cute designs!
7. AVENT Thermal Gel packs. Another necessity for those sore nipples when you first start feeding. I love that you can both warm and cool these gel packs. Warm use to stimulate milk flow before feeding and cold use to soothe sore or engorged breasts. In fact I would recommend purchasing two (packs of 2) so that you can keep one set in the freezer at all times.
8. Medela Breastpump Accessory Set. Always good to have additional shields and bottles for use when others are in the dishwasher! I've also enjoyed having the microwave Cleaning bags. Steam cleaning eliminates germs on breast pump, accessories, bottles, nipples, and more. I use them in my office frequently because the water at the pumping room doesn't get warm enough to really sanitize my equipment. I also like that they have 20 uses per bag!
9. Fenugreek. As my supply has decreased I started taking these Fenugreek tablets to assist with my milk production. I also took Mothers Milk Tea and MotherLove - More Milk Plus from Whole Foods. The MotherLove Drops taste HORRIBLE but I was willing to do anything to get my milk supply back up.
10. My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow. Now for full disclosure I do not actually own one of these pillows but I have heard GREAT things about them and plan to get one for the next child that we have. I just have to say that I HATE the boppy! Do not buy one.