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Health & Baby

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Breastfeeding: 11 Things That May Help

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

4. A Pillow continued...

"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.

5. A Cover-Up

What if you're out in public when your baby needs to be fed? You might want some privacy while your baby latches onto your breast.

Options range from simple receiving blankets to specialty nursing covers with a strap that goes around your neck, so the baby can't kick it off and leave you exposed.

"Whatever you choose [as your cover-up], it needs to be out of your line of sight, so you can view your nipple and the baby's mouth and body," Knox says.

6. A Breast Pump

When you need to fill bottles for daycare, a high-quality electric pump can be a lifesaver. But don't buy it too soon.

"In the first couple of weeks, it's really wiser for women to work on learning the technique of breastfeeding and getting their milk supply established instead of getting -- and possibly using -- this expensive piece of equipment," Huggins says.

Before you buy, think about your situation.

For instance, are you working part-time or full-time? Can you visit the childcare center and breastfeed your baby during the workday? Is the baby breastfeeding exclusively? "There are lots of variables to consider," says Amy Spangler, RN, author of Breastfeeding: A Parent's Guide and president of

You'll also need milk storage bags and bottles. But before you buy them in bulk, try them out to see if you like them.

7. Space in Your Bedroom

Having your baby sleep in your room for the first several months can help make middle-of-the-night feedings go more smoothly.

"Infant feeding cues start out softly and accelerate," Knox says. "Feeding tends to go easier if you catch the baby at the beginning of the feeding cues. That will allow for the best emptying of the breast, so you can make milk more efficiently."

Baby's First Year Newsletter

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

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