Breast feeding/pumping favorites.


Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra- This is hands down my favorite nursing bra....and if you don't mind the granny-esque look of it, its a pretty good wear-around-the-house type of bra too. The Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra is crazy comfortable and made of super soft material. The snaps hold up well to the rigors of breastfeeding (or in my case exclusive pumping) and as long as you hang it to dry after washing and don't accidentally slip it into the dryer, it holds its shape nicely as well. When Navi was 6 months old or so I packed this bra away and switched to using sports bras since my pump sessions were getting farther and farther apart and there was no sign of a latching baby anywhere in sight.

Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Milkmaid Tea- Around the second and fourth months of my exclusive breast pumping experience my milk supply began to significantly decrease. In those first few months of breastfeeding (or pumping for that matter) your milk supply is so sensitive. Skipping a feeding around nine months? No problem. Skip a feeding around nine weeks and you could be looking at a decreased supply as soon as the following day. Boobs are crazy. I found Earth Mama Angel Baby Milkmaid Tea (along with a daily helping of oatmeal) to be instrumental in helping to bring my milk supply back to its full potential during a time when I was really struggling to produce more milk. It smells like licorice, makes you smell like maple syrup and tastes somewhere in between the two. I drank about two cups a day for a week straight and increased my amount of pumping sessions (or nursing sessions if you're breastfeeding)  and at the end of the week I was back in business, in all of my lactating glory.

Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic No More Milk Tea- I started drinking a few cups a day starting right after my last pump session. Its not the best tasting tea in the world but my weaning process was relatively uneventful so I would say that its worth a try.

Lansinoh Milk Storage Bags- I used the Medela bags at first and I have to say that these bags are so.much.better. They hold more, seal better and are easier to open/close without spillage. I pumped into Medela bottles and then transferred the milk into these bags.
 
Reusable Nursing Pads- For the first two months or so of nursing (my pump that is...) I used disposable nursing pads and absolutely HATED them! Unwrapping each pad when I needed to use them, buying box after box and don't even get me started on the fact that they feel like sandpaper. One day while browsing Etsy, I came across these reusable nursing pads and had to try them out. They were the best thing to happen to my boobies since nipple cream ;-). Super soft, wash up great and dare I say they're even a little cute. I would start off with at least five sets and then go from there if you decide you need more. Yes, the initial investment seems a bit steep...but if you calculate how much you would spend in the long run on the sandpaper disposables it will only take you a few months before you will end up ahead. These are truly a must. You're nipples will thank you. Update: THESE are a great reusable option too!

Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter- During my first few months of pumping I used Lansinoh's HPA Lanolin nipple cream and it was terrible! It was so sticky and messy to put on and it felt like my nipple was getting rubbed off every time I had to apply it. Nice visual. Not really the feel you want from something that is supposed to be soothing. Thankfully, I stumbled across Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter and it was like a jar of pure nipple bliss. Not at all messy to apply, super soothing, no need to wash off before a feed and moisturized well to the next feed/pump time...really couldn't ask for a better performing product. It's only downside is that it is pretty pricey - about 12 bucks a jar, which for me, lasted about two months.

Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm- So I use this stuff as diaper cream... and technically, that's what it is. However, it can also be used as a nipple cream in the case of mild thrush. For those times when  your nips just aren't having the best of days and you're having extreme pain during the letdown phase, and you just know that something is amiss with your tatas, this is the stuff to use. Just make sure you wash it off before nursing/pumping.

Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump- Its with great agony that I include this on my list of "favorites". Technically it is a "must have" (at least it was for me)... but anyone who has used a breast pump knows that you really develop a love/hate (or hate/hate) feeling towards the pump. Love it for allowing you to breastfeed when you otherwise could not, or because it allows you that date night with your man without complicating your supply (or turning you into Dolly Parton for the night). Yet hate it because, well, it sucks. Literally and figuratively ;-). Its uncomfortable, its annoying and its inconvenient. All complaining aside, the pump of choice for me for the last twelve months has been the Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump and overall I have no complaints about its performance. Its a great pump and gets the job done well. The tote bag and included cooler pouch is very convenient for on-the-go pumping and its very easy to use. If it was possible to love a pump, I would love it...because as product reliability and performance goes, this baby has really been through the ringer and is still going strong. However, I am looking forward to having a nice big bonfire with my pump in the middle of it someday. Or at least tucking it away in the back of some very dark closet.

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