Breastfeeding babies has been a big part of the last decade for me. I've either been pregnant or nursing a baby for the past eight years. That's about 60 months of breastfeeding! So I figured I have enough experience to share some things that I consider nursing essentials. They're things that make nursing life just a little bit easier.
1. Highwaist postpartum + nursing Leggings- I just got a pair of these and I'm in love. I like that they provide a little support around my midsection and also cover me up if I need to lift my shirt to nurse.
2. Henley top- Nothing is more convenient than being able to pop open a couple of buttons to nurse. Henley tops are perfect for this. Another good (and cheaper) option is here.
3. Wrap dress- I've said it before and I'll say it again. Every nursing woman needs a wrap dress. Nursing is as easy as pulling down a bit of fabric. So I guess when I said nothing was more convenient than a henley top, I lied.
4. House dress- Perfect for sleeping in or for days when you're just hanging around at home. I lived in these for the first few couple of weeks after having Everett. They're super comfortable. The dress I linked to has a hidden zipper behind the buttons which is even better for quick nursing access. Another nice one is here and has snap buttons. Love me some snaps. Except on baby onesies. Then they're the worst.
5. Button down shirt- when you're ready to start wearing actual clothes after having a baby, cozy flannel button downs are a nice option (except in summer, obv.) I also love this button down here.
6. Nursing cami- I have mixed feelings with nursing camis. I sometimes find that they're just another annoying layer to unclip. Often I just wear a regular cami with some stretch that I can pull down. However, the cami I linked has some extra support throughout the midsection, so that benefit negates the clip bothersomeness.
7. Nursing bra- This one is a little pricey but has sooo many good reviews! It's worth the investment, especially if you have a larger chest. If you're looking for something much cheaper, this bra from Target is decent and comes in a wide range of sizes. This one is a good option if you don't need as much support and want to be comfortable.
8. Nipple shields- Oh, how I wish I had used these with all my children. They are invaluable in the first couple of weeks of nursing when you're a little tender (or in my case, when your nipples are bleeding.) They keep your clothes off your skin so your nipples don't get stuck to your clothes.
9. Nipple cream- You're definitely going to need some of this, at least for the first couple of weeks. They gave this type to me in the hospital and it works well. However, I have SUPER sensitive skin so even with using this, my nipples would be excrutiatingly sore and bleed for the first two weeks. It has happened with all four of my babies. My saving grace was a prescription for All Purpose Nipple Ointment by Dr. Jack Newman. If you're finding the regular ol' lanolin isn't doing it's stuff, ask your doctor for this prescription. It has antibiotics and antifungal agents in there as well as an anti-inflammatory.
10. Nursing cover- I love having a nursing cover. If I'm out with my baby, I like having the peace of mind that I can nurse him wherever without having to worry about exposing too much skin or feeling self-conscious. This is more of an issue when wearing a top that needs to be pulled down, thereby exposing a lot of chest, especially if you have a more ample chest. Obviously not everyone will want or need to wear a cover, and that's totally fine, but I love mine. This nursing cover can also be used as a car seat cover and a shopping cart cover. I also love this print here.