Nursing gear for successful breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can have it’s ups and downs. To get you going on a smooth path, here are a few items lactation consultants recommend you have on hand… and at the breast!

Nursing bra

You will definitely need a
comfortable, supportive nursing
bra. These bras usually
have a latch that unclips to
make breastfeeding more
convenient. But sometimes,
shopping for a nursing bra
can be confusing.

“At the end of the day, you
need to feel comfortable and
secure in your new nursing
bra, so don’t be afraid to
shop around and try on
a few styles,” says Tracey
Montford of Cake Lingerie.

Here’s how to go about it:

  • Look for cotton fabrics and
    inseams for breathability and
    comfort. Always purchase for
    quality and comfort.
  • Understand your bust line
    to determine the style you
    need (e.g. plunge for smaller
    busts, balconette/fuller figure
    for larger busts).
  • Make sure the bra is not
    too tight or too loose across
    the band, cups and straps.
  • Own at least four nursing
    bras per pregnancy – two
    basics, and two fashion that
    you can rotate depending
    on the occasion as well as to
    last longer and account for

Nursing pillow

“The purpose of the nursing
pillow is to support the
baby while you are breastfeeding
and to support your
wrist,” says Anne-Marie
Desjardins, a lactation consultant
in Toronto. You can
use a comfotable pillow from
your house or a nursing pillow
such as My Brest Friend.

Glider and footstool

“If mom likes the gliding
movement while breastfeeding
that’s excellent,”
says Anne-Marie. “What is
important is that mom supports
her back and sits at 90
degrees to give her baby the
best chance to latch on.” If
your glider doesn’t give you
enough support, put a pillow
behind your back. If you’re
sinking into your sofa, switch
to a chair that gives you the
proper position.

Nursing covers

At the beginning, nursing
in public may feel awkward
and you might want to buy
a nursing cover so you can
have privacy while also seeing
what you’re doing. “As
you get more comfortable,
you might want to wear
baggy clothes your baby
will fit under so nobody will
know you’re feeding,” says
Anne-Marie. “By then the
baby will know what he’s
doing and so will you.”

Breast pads and

“You will want to use nursing
pads if you’re leaking so
that your breastmilk doesn’t
soak through your clothes,”
says Anne-Marie. Then you
can choose whether to use
disposable or washable
breast pads. Decide which
option is best for you: disposable
absorb the most, but
they are more costly. When
you’re buying breast pads,
you might also want to grab
something for your sore or
cracked nipples. “If your nipples
are cracked, you need
to prevent infection,” says
Anne-Marie. “Try Polysporin.
If your nipples are tender or
raw because you’re new to
breastfeeding, then Lanolin
is a very good lubricant.”

Lactation consultant

New moms are often in the
hospital for such a short time
after giving birth that there
isn’t enough time to learn
how to breastfeed properly
or address any issues you
are having. “Breastfeeding
is supposed to be fun and
make life easier, but it can be
more difficult than labour,”
says Anne-Marie. “Ninety
percent of people have
trouble, but if you see a lactation
consultant early on you
will be successful.”

To find a consultant, ask
your baby’s paediatrician,
your nurse at the hospital
or your OB/GYN for a list
of names. You can also go
online and use a search

Anne-Marie Desjardins has an
MA in nursing and is a certified
lactation consultant based in Toronto, Ontario

Originally published in ParentsCanada: Best Wishes, Spring 2012.

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