Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Baby

Font Size
A
A
A

Breastfeeding: 11 Things That May Help

Planning to breastfeed your baby? These items may come in handy.
By
WebMD Feature

Have you decided to try breastfeeding, at least part of the time? Some items can make the process easier, more convenient, and more comfortable.

Here are 11 supplies that may help:

Did You Know?

Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will provide free children’s preventive care services, including checkups, vaccinations and screening tests. Learn more.

Health Insurance Center

1. Lanolin Cream

Many hospitals give new moms lanolin samples to help soothe sore, cracked nipples. It's safe for babies to ingest, too, so there's no need to wipe it off before nursing.

"You want to apply moisture," says Kathleen Huggins, RN, author of The Nursing Mother's Companion. "That will help it heal quickly."

When you have sore nipples, your baby isn't latching onto your breasts properly. Rather than apply lanolin around the clock, work to improve the latch, so your nipples heal.

2. Breast Pads

Breast pads are thin inserts that go inside your bra. They are a barrier between your breasts and clothing to prevent milk stains. They can help prevent wet spots on your shirt.

There are disposable breast pads and washable, reusable ones.

"I like the washable ones best," Huggins says. "They're more eco-friendly, and they feel nice next to your skin."

Replace pads often when you leak breast milk.

"You need to change wet pads to avoid moisture getting trapped between the pad and nipple, which could lead to skin irritation or skin infections," says pediatrician Ann M. Witt, MD. She's the coordinator of Breastfeeding Medicine of Northeast Ohio.

3. Nursing Bras

Forget squeezing into your pre-pregnancy bras. Even if they fit, they won't give your baby easy access.

"A bra that's too tight and form-fitting can put a mom at risk for plugged milk ducts," Witt says. Her advice: Get fitted for nursing bras during your last month of pregnancy. "Make sure the bra is comfortable and your breast tissue fits in with support."

"Particularly in the early weeks of nursing, wearing a [nursing] bra allows you to use breast pads," Huggins says. "This is especially useful at night, so your breasts aren't leaking all over the sheets."

4. A Pillow

Using a pillow when you nurse will minimize back and nipple pain, because you are not leaning down to your baby every time he needs to eat.

"The general idea is: You bring the baby to the breast, not the breast to the baby," says neonatologist Isabella Knox, MD, EdM, of the University of Washington and Seattle Children's Hospital. That way, "Mom doesn't have to contort herself to get into the baby's mouth."

Before buying a new pillow, try using one you have. If you shop for a breastfeeding pillow, keep in mind that some of them wrap around the waist and may not fit everyone.

1 | 2 | 3

Baby's First Year Newsletter

Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

Today on WebMD

baby standing in crib
Slideshow
changing baby in nursery
Article
 
baby acne
Tool
baby being fed
Slideshow
 

mother holding baby at night
ARTICLE
mother with sick child
QUIZ
 
baby with pacifier
VIDEO
Track Your Babys Vaccines
TOOL
 
Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
Slideshow
Woman holding feet up to camera
Article
 
Father kissing newborn baby
Article
baby gear slideshow
Slideshow