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1. A good breast pump! I've tried a few...handheld, automatic, they run the gamut. My favorite (and a favorite of many moms!) was the Medela Pump In Style. I like things that work, and this pump does a GREAT job. I wasn't pumping to go to work, but my middle man seemed to have a significant lip tie and it physically hurt for weeks to nurse him. The pump really saved the day, I could nurse him once or twice a day and then pump and feed him that wonderful breast milk from a freshly pumped bottle to keep some of the pain at bay. It was a solution that worked well for us and probably kept our nursing relationship alive.
This is actually a wonderful deal on a fabulous pump, it includes all the essentials and $50 worth of accessories. You can find them all in one place and not worry about forgetting anything important!
o-cal-ette nursing cups so you can get the general idea, but Avent and Medela also offer similar versions. It all depends on what works for you.
natural nipple butter by Earth Mama Angel Baby that I think I'm going to try this time around. It says it's not sticky and that was a pitfall for the kind I used before.
4. Nursing Pillow. I've only had experience with a Boppy, but it made things so much easier for the first couple of months. There are a lot of varieties, it would probably be best to give them a try and see what works best for you!
5. Quality Nursing Bras and Tanks. It may seem obvious, but nursing tanks are great to take to the hospital. They're comfortable enough and you don't have to show off a bunch of skin if you're nursing with other people in the room. Nursing bras are pretty necessary too, it makes it so much easier to feed. Simple and easy to use, the variety seems to have grown significantly in the last couple of years!
What have you found to be the most useful in your nursing journey? Do you have anything to add to my list?