After Two Kids, Here Are My Breastfeeding Must Haves

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I've done (and am still doing) the breastfeeding thing with two kids.Y'all know that I had some serious breastfeeding struggles with Melanie. We worked hard and got everything sorted out and she went on to nurse until she was 2 1/2. Breastfeeding Finn was MUCH easier (mostly because I knew what to look for and how to troubleshoot issues on my own) and, at 20 months, he's still nursing 3-5 times a day. Since so many people have reached out to me about their own breastfeeding struggles, I thought I'd share a quick rundown of the specific items that I ended up being VERY grateful to have.

After two kids, here are my breastfeeding must haves:

After Two Kids Here Are My Breastfeeding Must Haves: I had some serious #breastfeeding struggles with Melanie. We got everything sorted out and she went on to nurse until she was 2 1/2. Breastfeeding Finn was MUCH easier and he's still nursing 3-5 times a day. I thought I'd share a quick rundown of the specific items that I ended up being VERY grateful to have.

I've divided the list up into two categories – The Melanie (for those who needed all the things to help) and The Finn (for those who needed only the bare minimum).

The Melanie

1. Starbucks 16 Ounce Clear Acrylic Insulated Tumbler – This was on my labor and delivery and my hospital stay lists and it was SO GREAT that it's on this list, too. I drank water like crazy while breastfeeding and this kept the water ice cold… even during the night.

2. Underwire Nursing Bra – I know that a lot of people hate underwire nursing bras but y'all, I've got HUGE boobs. And wireless just isn't going to cut it. This bra is fab, comfortable, and goes all the way to a size F.

3. Nipple Guards – Melanie's latch killed my nipples and created open sores on them. To help me heal easier, the lactation consultants gave me a pair of these to use while nursing. It made everything a lot more bearable and I ended up using them almost exclusively for the first few weeks of breastfeeding her.

4. The Honest Company Organic Nipple Cream – Part of my initial struggle with breastfeeding was Melanie's latch – which ended up creating open sores on my nipples AND THEY HURT. One of the lactation consultants gave me a sample of this nipple cream and it was amazing! It not only healed my sores but soothed them, too. I kept a tub next to my bed and apply it regularly.

5. Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On the Go Tote – I got mine through the TriCare with the Affordable Healthcare Act and I was SO GRATEFUL because breast pumps are expensive. But y'all it is worth it. TOTALLY worth it. This is the pump they use in hospitals and it works. With Melanie, I had to try and pump to help bring my milk out and being able to do both at the same time was great. For both my kids, I used it to pump at least once a day and build up a small stock in the freezer so The Boy and I can go out sometimes without schlepping a baby along.

6. Boon Drying Rack and Accessories – I got this as a baby shower gift and I'm SO glad that I did. It seems ridiculous to have a separate drying rack just for bottles and nipples and the like but… it's honestly wonderful. My regular drying rack is made for larger pieces and all the little bits and pieces for bottlefeeding and nursing would have gotten lost in it. Plus, it's SUPER CUTE!

7. Medela Breast Pump Accessory Set – I picked this up at a garage sale and am SO grateful that I did. Having extras for my pump really cut down on the amount of handwashing I had to do. Usually, I can pump from both sides several times before I need to wash bottles.

8. Boppy Pillow – SO GREAT. I know they're not for everyone but I LOVED mine and used it for both my babies. I did nearly all my nursing in those early weeks sitting up in my bed in my bedroom or on the living room couch. The Boppy pillow saved my arms. I ended up using mine with each of my kids for the first year. P.S. Buy extra covers so you can change them out when you spill soda on them coughcoughmecoughcough.

9. Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy – While I was struggling to get my milk to come out, the lactation consultants recommended that I put ice packs on my breasts every hour and also use heat at least once a day. At first, I did bags of frozen vegetables but that was a huge pain and for heat, I was showering but the water actually hurt my breasts. We found these and they made a world of difference in my comfort level. Pop them in the freezer for cold packs or the microwave for heat, slip them in the covers to protect your skin, and away you go!

The Finn

1. Starbucks 16 Ounce Clear Acrylic Insulated Tumbler – This was on my labor and delivery and my hospital stay lists and it was SO GREAT that it's on this list, too. I drank water like crazy while breastfeeding and this kept the water ice cold… even during the night.

2. Underwire Nursing Bra – I know that a lot of people hate underwire nursing bras but y'all, I've got HUGE boobs. And wireless just isn't going to cut it. This bra is fab, comfortable, and goes all the way to a size F.

4. The Honest Company Organic Nipple Cream – Finn's latch was was much better then Melanie's but I still had some nipple soreness (especially when he would nursing endless while teething). I kept a tub next to my bed and apply it regularly.

5. Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On the Go Tote – I got mine through the TriCare with the Affordable Healthcare Act and I was SO GRATEFUL because breast pumps are expensive. But y'all it is worth it. TOTALLY worth it. This is the pump they use in hospitals and it works. With Finn, I pumped a few times a week to build up a small stock in the freezer so The Boy and I can go out sometimes without schlepping a baby along.

6. Boon Drying Rack and Accessories – I got this as a baby shower gift and I'm SO glad that I did. It seems ridiculous to have a separate drying rack just for bottles and nipples and the like but… it's honestly wonderful. My regular drying rack is made for larger pieces and all the little bits and pieces for bottlefeeding and nursing would have gotten lost in it. Plus, it's SUPER CUTE!

7. Medela Breast Pump Accessory Set – I picked this up at a garage sale and am SO grateful that I did. Having extras for my pump really cut down on the amount of handwashing I had to do. Usually, I can pump from both sides several times before I need to wash bottles.

8. Boppy Pillow – SO GREAT. I know they're not for everyone but I LOVED mine and used it for both my babies. I did nearly all my nursing on the living room couch. The Boppy pillow saved my arms. I ended up using mine with each of my kids for the first year. P.S. Buy extra covers so you can change them out when you spill soda on them coughcoughmecoughcough.

What were your breastfeeding must haves?

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