I've now been around the block nursing and pumping for two babies and have gotten to try a bunch of nursing bras, pumping bras, nursing tanks, nursing pads and nursing covers. Below are my favorites! Nursing and pumping are a lot of work, having the right supplies helps!!
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Nursing Bra/Tank and Pumping Bra
For these items, I recommend against light colors as breast milk and nipple balms can stain. I generally layered the nursing tank over the bra for good support.
The Bamboobies nursing tank is really soft, lightweight and moves with you. It has some support, but if you want to be well-supported, layer it with a nursing bra. I had three because I inevitably wore one by day or night for months on end. It's available at Amazon and Target.
I've recommended this nursing bra to countless friends and members of my groups and many agree that it's the most comfortable item of clothing they ever owned! It's available at Amazon or Target (check both sites for best price in your size and color). I find that it runs small. I wear a large.
Pumping is infinitely easier when you can do it hands-free with the help of a pumping bra. This one is my favorite. It runs big, so size down.
Washable / Reusable
Bamboobies washable / reusable nursing pads are incredibly soft and comfortable to wear (more so than two other brands that are often recommended). The heart-shaped ones are less absorbent and recommended for day, while the round ones are more absorbent and recommended for night. If wearing a white shirt, they will show through unless you wear a molded bra.
The topic of nursing pads has come up many times in my now 2,000 member NYC moms of 2018 babies Facebook group. Most moms like them. Some moms said that they are prone to leaking a lot and they always feel wet, so they prefer disposable ones.
Disposable nursing pads
With my son I used Lansinoh disposable nursing pads exclusively and was happy with them. This time mainly used washable nursing pads but did try Lansinoh, Haakaa and Bamboobies disposable nursing pads. I really do prefer the softness of the washabl pads. I liked the Lansinoh and Haakaa pads equally but preferred the more eco-friendly packaging of Haakaa .
Speaking of sore nipples, nipple balm can alleviate discomfort. I tried a few nursing balms when my son was a baby. This one was my favorite (this one is popular too, but the smell doesn't agree with me).
This time around, when my nipples were sore, instead of nursing balm, I switched off between Silverette nursing cups and Medela Shells for Sore Nipples. While many nipple balms say that they don't need to be washed off, I'm not crazy about my newborn ingesting them. Silverette is made of silver, which the brand claims has healing properties. They recommend that you apply some breast milk to your nipples and then wear the Silverette nursing cups in your bra to alleviate or prevent discomfort. I also wanted my nipples to get some air, which is why I alternated.
I always feel more comfortable being covered up if nursing or pumping in public.
I mainly use this Bamboobies cover/shawl to cover up when nursing or pumping. It's super soft (like a favorite tee) and packs up small). I got it in black, which made it harder to find in my diaper bag or even a pile of clean laundry. If doing it over, I would get the blackberry color.
If you prefer to be able to see the baby easily, this is a popular cover with a flexible band, which allows you to peak in and make eye contact with baby without being exposed. I had the premium black eyelet one, which is thick and gets hot. I recommend the muslin one instead, even for a winter baby.
What have been your favorite items to help you on your nursing / pumping journey?
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