10 Essential Items For Breastfeeding Mums
Published on August 5, 2022 at 9:19:58 AM PDT August 5, 2022 at 9:19:58 AM PDTth, August 5, 2022 at 9:19:58 AM PDT
10 Essential Items For Breastfeeding Mums
August is National Breastfeeding Month, and it's a great time to learn more about nursing! For centuries, breastfeeding has been the preferred method of feeding newborns and infants. Not only is it the best way to provide nutrition, but it also helps to foster a strong bond between mother and child.
However, breastfeeding can also be challenging, especially for new mums. To make the experience as smooth as possible, here are ten nursing essentials and breastfeeding items from Mothercare Singapore that every breastfeeding mama should have on hand.
Important Items To Get When Pumping Or Expressing Milk
When it comes to pumping or expressing milk, you will need a few essential items to have a successful and comfortable experience. Even if you plan to breastfeed junior exclusively, they are still recommended to help relieve engorgement, express milk when the baby is unavailable, or build up a milk stash for bottle feeding later.
1. Breast pump and accessories
Any breastfeeding mother will tell you that a good pump is an essential piece of equipment. There are two types of breast pumps— manual and electric.
Manual breast pumps are typically more lightweight, making them easy to transport for mothers who travel often. They are also very quiet, so you can pump discreetly, even while your baby is sleeping nearby. As they don’t require batteries or power cords, they are also much less likely to break down. Try the popular Pigeon Manual Breast Pump that comes with a handle to stimulate milk flow. Alternatively, you may also consider the Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump with Suction Base & Silicone Cap 150ml, whereby you can simply squeeze the base of the pump to stimulate milk supply.
Meanwhile, electric breast pumps like the hospital-grade Spectra S1 Plus Double Breastpump are more efficient. They can extract milk faster and with less effort, making them an excellent choice for mothers who have trouble expressing milk or need to pump frequently. When paired with a pumping bra like the Pret-a-Pregger Prolacta 3-in-1 Handsfree Pumping Bra, electric pumps can also be used hands-free so you can continue with your day-to-day activities.
Other breastfeeding accessories to get along with your pumps include flanges, tubings, steriliser, and spare parts. To learn more about getting the correct breast pump and accessories, read our guide to choosing the right breast pump for your unique breastfeeding needs.
2. Breastmilk storage bags or bottles
After pumping your breast milk, properly storing your liquid gold is important, so your efforts do not go down the drain.
Here’s what you need to know regarding keeping your breast milk fresh in Singapore’s hot and humid weather:
- Storing your breast milk at room temperature in Singapore is not possible. If you’re outside, you can put your breast milk in a cooler or insulated cooler pack for up to 24 hours after pumping.
- You can refrigerate your breast milk for up to four days. Be sure to place it at the back of the refrigerator where the temperature is the coolest.
- If you aren’t going to use the refrigerated breast milk within four days, you should freeze it in a freezer or deep freezer for up to 12 months. However, using the frozen milk within six months is recommended.
When storing breast milk, it’s best to use proper storage bags made with food-grade material that is safe for both mother and baby. Usually, the breast milk bags will have a double-zip seal to prevent leaks, and they are marked with measurements so that you can easily track how much milk you have stored. Regular plastic bags are not recommended as they are not leak-proof and may contain chemicals that can leach into the milk.
Alternatively, you can also store your breast milk in BPA-free plastic bottles with tight-fitting covers. Consider getting the Hegen PCTO™ Express Store Feed Starter Kit that grows with your child. Simply store your milk in a single container and swap the lids to feed bub when needed.
3. Nursing/Breast pads
Breast pads are designed to absorb leaks from breasts during breastfeeding or pumping. They are usually round or crescent-shaped and fit inside a bra cup. These are necessary for any nursing mother as they keep your garments dry, preventing any embarrassing wet spots from showing through clothing. While you may not need to use breastfeeding pads all the time, they can be a lifesaver during those early weeks and months when your body adjusts to nursing.
Important Items To Get When Nursing Your Baby
Nursing your baby is one of the most intimate and bonding experiences you can share. When it comes to breastfeeding your bub, here are a few essential items you will need to have on hand.
4. Nursing bras
Nursing bras are designed to make breastfeeding easier and more comfortable for both mum and baby. Unlike regular bras, nursing bras have special features that allow easy access when feeding your little one. They often have cups that can be opened with one hand, so you can position the baby to nurse without removing the entire bra.
Breastfeeding bras also tend to be less stiff and more comfortable, with softer fabrics and wider straps that distribute weight more evenly. It is recommended to buy more than one nursing bra as you’ll likely experience changing breast sizes.
5. Breastfeeding-friendly clothes
Many women feel self-conscious about nursing in public and worry about finding maternity clothes that will allow them to feed their baby discreetly. Breastfeeding-friendly clothes are designed to make nursing easier and more convenient, whether it’s at home or on the go. They often have built-in support panels that lift and hold the breasts and discreet access panels that allow the baby to nurse without being exposed. These garments often also provide coverage for the stomach and back, keeping mummies comfortable.
6. Maternity breastfeeding pillow
It is important to have a comfortable place to breastfeed. A maternity nursing pillow can help to support both mum and baby, making it easier to maintain proper positioning and prevent back pain. For mamas who struggle with nursing, a nursing pillow like the My Brest Friend Original Nursing Pillow - Sage Dotted Daisies helps raise your little one to the breast level, making it easier for him to latch on.
Look for maternity breastfeeding pillows that are made of soft materials like cotton or velour, which can be easily machine-washed. Some even come with removable covers for added convenience. Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, a nursing pillow can be a helpful way to ensure that both you and your baby are comfortable during feeding time.
Some mums also prefer getting a nursing chair on top of their breastfeeding pillow. Nursing chairs have broader, padded seats that offer ample support to rest your arms and back. Many nursing chairs like the Babyhood Vogue Glider Chair - Charcoal Fabric also come with a footrest, which helps to take the strain off your achy legs and back.
7. Nursing cover
A nursing cover is a cloth that provides privacy for the mother and baby while also allowing the mother to see her baby while nursing. Besides being a nursing cover, the Pupsik Peek 'n' Drink Nursing Cover - Retrobaby is extremely versatile and can double up as a weather shade, light blanket, or even a swaddle.
8. Nipple shields
Nipple shields can be used to help breastfeeding mothers who have inverted or flat nipples. These shields, like the Pigeon Natural-Fit Silicone Nipple Shield, can effectively draw out the nipple so the baby can latch on and nurse properly. They also provide pain relief and protection when the baby latches on for mummies with sore or cracked nipples. Before using these shields, seek help from a lactation consultant or physician as they may affect your breastfeeding if not used correctly.
Important Items To Combat Breast And Nipple Soreness
For many new nursing mothers or even existing mamas, breast and nipple soreness is a common occurrence. There are several possible causes:
- Engorgement: This happens when bub doesn't nurse often enough or if mummy is producing more milk than the baby can consume. The breasts become filled with milk and feel stiff, swollen, and painful to the touch.
- Plugged milk ducts: They occur when milk accumulates in a duct and is unable to flow out.
- Sore or cracked nipples: Several factors that can cause nipples to become sore, including poor latch and incorrect feeding position.
Below are some items to tackle these problems.
9. Cooling gel pads and nipple cream
Breastfeeding gel pads can help to alleviate the discomfort by soothing sore nipples and promoting healing. They also provide relief from friction and help to protect the nipple from further irritation. A tip is to put the gel pads into the refrigerator before use to get that extra cooling relief.
Alternatively, get the respite you need from your aching nips with nipple cream. The main ingredients in most nipple creams are lanolin and petroleum jelly, which form a barrier on the skin to help protect it from friction and moisture. Nipple cream is typically applied after each feeding, and you can also use it before pumping or breastfeeding to prevent chafing.
Be sure to read the ingredients label carefully and choose one that is safe for both mother and baby. Made from three natural, food-safe ingredients, the Tommee Tippee Made For Me Nipple Cream 40ml can be a lifesaver for any mum dealing with sore or cracked nipples.
10. Warm towels or massage pads
Warm towels can be a welcome relief for breastfeeding mothers who experience discomforts, such as engorged breasts or blocked ducts. The warmth helps to relax the muscles, increase blood flow, and reduce swelling.
If preparing the towels is a hassle, consider massage pads like the Lavie Warming Massage Pads 2pc. They come in two pre-set heat modes and can be used with or without vibrations.
Experiencing severe pain? You may want to book a breast massage with a specialist or consult a healthcare provider to relieve the symptoms.
Get All You Need Under One Platform At Mothercare Singapore
When it comes to breastfeeding, preparation is key. Every nursing mama should have the above essential items to enjoy a smooth and successful experience. Be sure to read our blog for more information, check out our breastfeeding FAQs to get your queries answered, or receive free parenting and product advice from our friendly Digital Nursing Advisors (DNA) via WhatsApp.
Shop leading mother and baby brands, including ClevaMama, Haakaa, Hegen, and Philips Avent on our online store and enjoy free next-day delivery when you spend over $60. Alternatively, you can visit our nearest Mothercare outlet in Singapore to view all our breastfeeding products in person.