Although you really don’t need much to breastfeed except you and your baby, there are a few accessories you can use to make the process more comfortable.
Breastfeeding bras and pads
- A breastfeeding bra, also called a nursing bra, is designed to let you inconspicuously open a cup to expose a breast for your baby. Wait until your last month of pregnancy to buy a breastfeeding bra so you’ll be sure to get the right size—generally one size (and cup size) larger than the bra you wear in your ninth month of pregnancy. The band size should fit snugly on the loosest hook. When raising your arms over your head the bra should not ride up.
- A breastfeeding bra should provide good support. Avoid those with underwires, which place too much pressure on the breasts. That can lead to plugged milk ducts.
- Select a bra that gives your baby easy access—one with flaps that open easily for breastfeeding.
- Invest in a sleep bra, with comfortable breastfeeding pads to prevent leakage onto your clothing and bedding during the night.
- Buy 100% cotton bras for easy care and comfort and wear breastfeeding pads that are absorbent and ventilate well. As needed, replace wet pads with dry ones to prevent chafing and bacterial growth.
Look for specially designed breastfeeding blouses and sleepwear that have side slits to help you nurse discreetly and comfortably. Or invest in some oversize shirts with buttons down the front for no-fuss breastfeeding.
A comfortable breastfeeding chair
- Select a chair that provides good back support and has armrests to help you comfortably sit up straight.
- Some moms prefer traditional rocking chairs so they can gently rock while breastfeeding. For added comfort, elevate your feet on a footstool.
A good breastfeeding pillow
Any firm bed pillow will do or you can buy a pillow that’s specially designed to support breastfeeding. Position the pillow in your lap to help support your baby’s weight and to help you maintain proper posture. The pillow will help you position your baby at breast level so you won’t have to lean over or strain your back while breastfeeding.