We’re in the thick of the newborn and postpartum days and there is definitely a lot going on with my body right now. It’s so incredible watching how a body changes during pregnancy and then again while recovering from growing and then delivering that sweet little baby. Breastfeeding adds a whole different dimension too, with all sorts of gadgets and wardrobe requirements. Today I wanted to share my postpartum and nursing essentials with you that I would recommend to anyone. Some have been long time favorites while others are recent discoveries. (And if you’re interested, here is a blog post on my breastfeeding journey with Jack and Caroline, and here is my post on how I weaned Caroline at 17 months.)
For sizing reference for this post, I’m 5’5″ tall and 125-130 pounds is my happy weight where I feel good mentally and strong physically. I gained 50 pounds with this pregnancy so I’m currently on a downward trend from there. I’m normally an A cup but get much larger in the early days of breastfeeding. The nursing items below work when my breasts are larger and also once they’re back to normal size later on once the baby is older.
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- Nursing Camisole: I own 3 of these nursing camisoles in white and one gray one and when I say these are the best I absolutely mean it. I love that the bra part is truly built into the tank. There is no second internal layer with elastic that just makes your back fat noticeable. It’s seamless in the back so everything is nice and smooth, and the bra part has removable cups so you don’t have to worry about your nipples being noticeable. Additionally, the fabric is fantastic and stretchy and then length is long enough so that these got me through my pregnancy too. I wear these most days instead of a real bra because they’re super supportive and also cover up your belly when you nurse. Cannot say enough good things about these camisoles to wear under tops. Oh and they’re only $25.99. I wear a size small.
- Daytime Nursing Bra: When I don’t wear the nursing camisole linked above I wear this seamless nursing bra. It’s supportive, comfortable, doesn’t have an underwire, and is only $16.99. I have to soft petal pink one because I tend to prefer bras that are close to my skin color because I wear white shirts a lot. The cut is a tiny bit high so it may not be the best for a v-neck or lower cut top, but overall I really love this bra. I wear a size small. Oh and the straps can be worn normally or criss-crossed.
- Nighttime Nursing Bra: I prefer nighttime/lounging nursing bras that have the snap opening because it makes nighttime side-lying nursing easier. The ones that you push over to the side are comfortable but they slip back into place easily which can disrupt nursing sometimes. The snap open kind is also good when you have a sore nipple and need to let it air. I wear a size small in this bra. I also like this one and took out the removable pads to make it even more comfortable for nighttime.
- High-Rise Yoga Pants: I sing the praises of these leggings on Stories all the time and they definitely deserve to be included here. (I’m wearing them in the photo above…they’re so flattering and smooth everything out!) They are incredibly comfy because of the seamless high-rise, and the outer thigh pockets are practical too. I also like to think that you can dress them up or down, just throw on a cute sweatshirt or sweater that covers your bum and you’re good to go! I work out in these and wear them almost daily. I have them in 4 different colors and they fit so similarly to my lululemon align pants but at a MUCH cheaper price point. I wear a size small and they worked while pregnant too.
- Haakaa Pump: This manual pump suctions onto the other side when you’re nursing and collects the milk that lets down and also draws out more. I use it first nursing session in the morning and typically get between 2 and 4 ounces. It’s such a cool product! I have the small 4 ounce one as well as the larger version that comes with a suction cup base so that it doesn’t tip over as easily as the smaller one. (Tip: if you get the smaller one keep an empty coffee mug next to you when you use it and then place the haakaa with the collected milk into the mug to prevent it from tipping over.)
- Nursing Friendly Sports Bra: This isn’t technically a nursing sports bra but it’s my go to sports bra once I start running and going to the gym again. The straps are adjustable in the front and you can easily un-velcro it all the way so you can nurse from it without pulling up your bra. To make reattaching the strap easier I close the velcro on itself and then thread it back through and then open it back up and fully secure it. They recently redesigned this bra and my old size of 34B was much too tight. I need to return the new one and replace it with a larger size (thankfully it’s on Prime). If you decide to try this bra I’d recommend sizing up in the band and cup size.
- Postpartum Corset: This postpartum corset has been a postpartum essential of mine from the very beginning. I ordered it after Jack was born via a C-section and it really helped my organs and body go back to where everything is supposed to go, plus the support on the c-section scar made it feel more stable. I also wore it after Caroline and Tate were born, even though they were VBACs. I like the medium size the first 2 weeks postpartum but then switch to the size small at 2 weeks to continue helping with compression. These are an investment but so worth it, in my opinion!
- Nursing Pads: Nursing is messy and milk gets everywhere. These nursing pads help so much and the price is good! I prefer disposable nursing pads in the early days simply because my milk production is really high and I fill up/soak through the reusable ones too quickly.
- Spectra S1 Breast Pump (Portable): I used a Medela pump with my first 2 but got this portable Spectra breast pump through insurance (Tricare) before Tate was born. The fact that it’s portable is life changing! I can walk around the house while pumping if I need to, which is really important if you also have older children at home. I love not being stuck in a chair!
- Kiinde Milk Storage Bags and Bottles: I love that you can easily pump directly into these bags and then pop them into the bottle “shell” to feed your baby. You just push the nipple on and that’s the only thing you have to wash afterwards. Saves so much time!
- Newman’s Ointment/All Purpose Nipple Ointment: I referenced this in the post about Tate’s birth story, as well as how I was able make it at home since we don’t have a compounding pharmacy in Hawaii. If you get really, really bad cracks that won’t heal (like I did with Jack and Tate) then definitely look this stuff up! It worked when nothing else would.
- Cooling Gel Pads: These soothing pads are lifesavers the first 2 weeks when you’re still really sore from nursing. I’ll store them in the fridge to make them even colder and more soothing.
- Diaper Bag: I’ve been using this diaper bag for a while now and really like it. It’s a Fawn bag dupe and under $50 on Amazon. It comes in several colors and the faux leather looks just like the real thing. (I’ve actually heard this bag holds up better than the pricy Fawn bag too!) I think backpack style diaper bags are best so that you have your arms free while toting car seats and wrangling toddlers. This bag is a must if you’re looking for something stylish and practical.
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