Ten Must-Have Items for Breastfeeding Moms

For mothers-to-be, there’s an overwhelming amount of information about the “must-haves” for when baby arrives.

From what you see on Instagram and TikTok to advice you receive from family and friends, it feels like everyone is selling a tool you’ll need for your baby to thrive.

At South Shore Health, we deliver more than 3,000 infants each year and recommend that mothers breastfeed whenever possible.

We provide guidance to mothers as they embark upon their breastfeeding journey—including lactation consultations in the hospital after the baby is born.

After helping thousands of women gain confidence in breastfeeding, we’ve learned that these items are truly the must-have registry items for breastfeeding moms.

These items help make breastfeeding a little bit easier for both mom and baby — something you'll certainly appreciate in those early days of parenthood.

Nipple shields

Nipple shields are thin barriers often made of silicone that can help ease the breastfeeding process.

In some cases, nipple shields can help a baby get better suction while feeding as well.

If you feel like your breastfeeding process would benefit from using nipple shields, talk to your doctor or lactation consultant.

Nipple cream or lanolin

Your little one will be feeding quite frequently in the first few months of life, making it essential for moms to take care of their nipples.

Nipple cream can be a great way to reduce tenderness or dryness in your nipples and can help prevent cracking or bleeding as well.

Nursing pads and nursing soothies

Similar to nipple cream, nursing pads or nursing soothies can be used to provide cooling relief for sore or raw nipples.

These pads are usually reusable, and can be stored in the fridge or freezer for added cooling — which is nice to have, especially in the early days.

Boppy/My Brest Friend

These nursing pillows make it easier to support and position your baby while feeding.

The added support helps to ease the burden on your back and shoulders.

Breast pump

For moms who plan to work or be away from their baby for extended periods, breast pumps are essential.

Some insurance companies will cover the cost of the pump and parts. Ask your provider or call your insurance company for more details.

You should also invest in a second set of parts, a cooler with small ice pack, and pump bottles if you can; that way, you’re not scrambling to clean the parts after every pumping session.

Breast pump steam cleaning bags and quick clean wipes

Keeping the breast pump and all of the assorted parts clean takes a lot of work.

Steam bags are a great way to quickly sanitize your pump parts with just a few minutes in the microwave, while quick clean wipes allow you to clean the parts without soap and water — perfect for when you're on the move.

Breast milk storage bags

Storage bags are essential for the supply of breast milk you'll build up in your freezer.

Most bags come with easy zip tops and a label or write-on surface that makes it easy for you to label each bag with the date and time of pumping.

Nursing cover 

For moms who aren't comfortable with feeding or pumping in view of others, a nursing cover is a great way to give you and your baby a little bit of privacy.

Nursing bras

Unlike standard bras, nursing bras feature flaps, snaps, or zippers that make it easier to access the nipples.

While they may seem unnecessary, quick access is key when you've got a hungry baby on your hands! Plus, the added support offered by nursing bras is important for mom.

A reusable water bottle

Not for baby, but for you!

It's important to remember that breastfeeding can take a lot out of you in terms of hydration. Getting enough fluids is important for maintaining an optimal milk supply.

You don't have to overdo it — try to take a few sips while feeding baby to quench your thirst. 

Having a reusable bottle on-hand can be a great way to remind yourself that mom needs hydration too while baby is enjoying his or her meal.

Learn more about Breastfeeding Support at South Shore Health.