Help make breastfeeding easier with these 12 breastfeeding essentials, tested by new mums

Selection of breastfeeding essentials

by Laura Healy |
Updated on

If you are planning to breastfeed, then you might need some of these breastfeeding essentials to help you on your breastfeeding journey. Of course, breastfeeding is natural and doesn't necessarily need products for support, but it's good to be aware of what is available and be prepared in case you need some help along the way to make the experience easier (and enjoyable!) for both of you.

We aren't saying you need to splash out on the entire list, but there are some buys that can really help you when nursing. Breastfeeding, especially in those early days, can cause sore and cracked nipples which are no fun, so being prepared with a nipple balm might be useful. Also, owning a breast pump while breastfeeding is often a good idea, it might give you chance to take a break, or be store milk in the freezer if you ever need someone to look after your little one for you. Also, if you continue to breastfeed after returning to work, then a breast pump will be essential not just to leave milk for baby while you are at work, but to give you some relief and comfort if your breasts feel too full while away from baby. And it goes without saying that every parent needs a muslin cloth (lifesaver, right?).

Best breastfeeding essentials at a glance:

Best breastmilk storage bags: Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags - Buy now on Amazon
Best nipple cream: Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Nipple Cream - Buy now on Amazon
Best breast pump: Elvie pump - Buy now on Amazon
Best maternity bra: Cake Maternity Tutti Frutti Bamboo Wire Free Nursing Bra - Buy now on Amazon
Best breastfeeding pillow: dreamgenii Pregnancy Support and Feeding Pillow - Buy now on Amazon

Having some of these products to hand when breastfeeding your baby will make your life a little easier and can provide comfort, as well as helping you get over any challenges so you can continue to breastfeed for as long as you and your little one want to.

Breastfeeding essentials 2024

Best breastfeeding hoodie

Nursing Tops: Natal Active Breastfeeding, Nursing and Maternity Hoodie
Price: £41.25 (was £55)

www.natalactive.com

The Natal Active Cosy Nursing and Maternity Hoodie was awarded Bronze and Gold for Best Product for Breast Feeding (excluding Breast Pumps) at the Mother&Baby Awards 2023 and 2024.

The Natal Active breastfeeding, nursing and maternity hoodie is a stylish hoodie that's suitable during pregnancy and post-natal when breastfeeding. We love that it is made from thick cotton/spandex fabric with a fluffy fleece lining for added comfort and to make it extra cosy when breastfeeding in colder months. One reviewers said, "The hoody is really comfy and excellent for the colder months. The stretchy material makes it good for pregnancy (I received mine after the baby was born) and also for changing body shape in post-natal days."

While one reviewer commented, "the zips are an excellent size and position for access and not in any way scratchy for the baby," it was noted by others that "it’s difficult to do the zips one handed," with one mum suggesting, "I think because of the length."

However, this cute and practical hoodie was also seen on former Love Islander Camilla Thurlow, who looked very comfortable in it. Mums also loved that it makes breastfeeding in public easier with tester, Kay, saying, "I felt so confident breastfeeding in public. The colour was perfect and it didn't show much when my baby dribbled some milk onto the top." Plus we love the thumb holes to ensure your hands keep warm.

Read our full Natal Active Cosy Nursing and Maternity Hoodie review.

Pros

  • Suitable for pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Long side zips from top to bottom for discreet breastfeeding
  • Fleece lined to make it cosy and warm

Cons

  • Some reviewers reported the zips are difficult to undo one-handed
Sizes:XS to 3XL
Material:95 per cent cotton, 5 per cent spandex
Access:Zips from bottom to top for easy feeding access
  • Long length
  • Soft cosy fabric
  • Fleece lined
  • Long zips for easy, discreet breastfeeding

Best breastmilk storage bags

Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags

Rrp: $9.99

Price: $9.49
Alternative retailers
Target$5.99View offer

The Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags was awarded Bronze for Best Product for Breast Feeding (excluding Breast Pumps) at the Mother&Baby Awards 2024.

Lansinoh breastmilk storage bags have been specially designed so that your precious breast milk can be stored safely, either in the fridge or freezer and our testers were pleased they didn't take up too much room commenting, "they don't take up much space when storing in the box and when full of breast milk". In particular, testers were impressed that they are self standing when full of milk, with mum, Kelly, noting, "I like the fact the bag stands up once full (and even half full) which makes freezing easy and its space saving."

They are BPA and BPS free so no harmful substances can contaminate your stored breast milk and reviewers commented that they are "good and quite thick and durable." You can now pump directly into bag using any Lansinoh breast pump and
Lansinoh breastmilk storage bags are pre-sterilised with hygienic secure tear-away tops making them really convenient. Reviewers did say they were disappointed more sizes are not available, in particular smaller bags for newborns.

Reviewers found the "label at the top where you can write the date and amount etc" really useful as well as the markers so you can see how much milk is in the bag. Our Group Digital Editor also used these breastmilk storage bags and said "I love Lansinoh as a brand and during my breastfeeding journey with my first, I used Lansinoh's storage bags a lot. They stored in my freezer safely, never tore and were just spot on."

Read our full Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags review.

Pros

  • Markers on the bag so you can see how much milk is in them
  • Don't take up much room in the freezer / fridge and can stand when full of milk
  • Reviewers like the space on the bag so you can write on them

Cons

  • Only two sizes available, reviewers would like smaller bags for newborns
Size: 10.9 x 5.6 x 12.7 cm
Number per pack: 50
Materials: Low Density Polyethylene
  • Self-standing when full
  • Labels to write details
  • Pre-sterilised
  • Markers to easily read amount
  • Durable

Best nipple cream

hpa-lanolin-cream-lansinoh-m7b-awards-2023-gallery
Price: $12.92

Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Nipple Cream was awarded Silver in the Best New Mum/ Maternity Skincare Products, and Bronze in the Best Pregnancy/Maternity Product in the Mother&Baby Awards 2023.

Lansinoh HPA Lanolin helps soothe and protect sore, cracked nipples and one mum tester said, "Lansinoh nipple cream literally saved my breastfeeding journey especially when my nipples have become a little sore or chapped." It is 100 per cent natural and hypoallergenic with no perfume, taste, or additives, which means there is no need to remove it before breastfeeding because it is safe for both mum and baby, with one mum saying, "I love the fact that it is safe for babies so I didn't have to worry about wiping it away before every feed." Plus, it is also the only lanolin product to have received the British Allergy Foundation Seal of Approval.

Testers liked how effective the product is with one mum tester, Lorna, commenting,"the product worked quickly, it was very soothing and really helped to protect sore cracked nipples." They also liked the texture describing it as "lovely and smooth." With a new baby they often don't have patience for you to apply a cream before feeds and one reviewer found the "the flip-top lid is perfect for juggling whilst holding on to baby." Although other testers did suggest a pump dispenser would "make it easier to use with one hand, and make it easier to use every single bit - as the tube made it tricky to get it all out."

We like the fact that mums use the cream for breastfeeding but also it has others uses too. One mum tester said she uses it as a lip balm, with another adding, "it's great for sore lips, so an extra bonus too." One reviewer said she even uses it for cloth nappies, saying, "I have also used a little bit of this product on the seams/binding of cloth nappies which helps soften them rubbing against my baby's skin."

Read our full review of Lansinoh HPA Lanolin

Pros

  • Smooth , gentle texture which soothes sore nipples
  • Doesn't need to be wiped off before feeds because it is safe for babies
  • Has multiples uses in addition to soothing sore nipples, such as use as a a lip balm

Cons

  • Some reviewers would have preferred a pump dispenser to make it easier to get all the balm out, especially one-handed
Size: 40ml
Ingredients: 100 per cent Lanolin
  • Smooth texture
  • Safe for babies
  • Flip lid for easy access
  • Great size for nappy bags

Best breast pump

Breast pump

Rrp: $549.00

Price: $518.99
Alternative retailers
goop$199.00View offer
Target$229.99View offer

If you need to relieve engorged breasts, or are stashing milk for a night feed, you’ll need a breast pump. Whether you opt for a hand pump, which is the cheaper option, or go for an electric version which is quicker, it’s a useful item for your breastfeeding kit.

We love the Elvie Pump, which is the world's first silent wearable breast pump, plus it is discreet and comfortable to wear. Our Group Digital Editor, Maria Martin, said, "I popped mine under the bra and it sat so snug, that I never used the bra adjusters." Although she did comment that it " may leave your chest looking slightly more inflated than usual, but it’s a small price to pay for such a genius device."

As mentioned, a big plus of this pump is that it is silent and Maria Martin loved this, adding, "I could sit silently feeding on one breast and pump with the other. " While it is silent for night feeds it is important to note that you can't lay down while pumping. It really is discreet too because the suction modes can be adjusted from your phone so you don't need to rummage around in your bra to change any settings, which makes it great to even use in public.

The design of the Elvie is clever too making it convenient to pour the milk straight from the pump into a breastmilk storage bag. Maria Martin explains, "you can pour it straight into a bottle or milk pouch with the silicone spouts already inserted. These spouts help to connect the bottle to hub, but are handy for pouring." However, one flaw is that you can't pump when the Elvie is charging which Maria notes, "caused slight frustration when I needed to pump but the Elvie wasn’t charged," especially as some reviewers have found the battery life to be quite short. Overall though this is a great breast pump and Maria admits, "there are not many changes I'd make."

Read our full review of the Elvie Pump

Pros

  • Silent and discreet
  • Small and lightweight enough to fit comfortably inside your bra
  • Controlled by an app

Cons

  • Reviewers said they can't use it while charging and the battery life is not great
Hands free pumping:Yes
Modes: Stimulation and expression
Suction settings: 7
Rechargeable: Yes
Quantity: 150ml reusable bottles
  • 2 breast shields included
  • Elvie App available for your smartphone
  • BPA free
  • Bottles are fridge and freezer safe
  • Silent and discreet
  • Wireless

Best nursing pads

In the early days when your breasts are particularly engorged, it’s handy to put breast pads into your bra to soak up any milk that leaks out. We love these Medela disposable bra pads because they are made with absorbent materials and designed to prevent leakage and remain discreet.

We like that they come in a larger size for added protection and testers said they gave them confidence against leakages. One reviewer commented that they, "they are contoured and flexible to fit nicely into your bra. The two adhesive strips also ensure that the pads stay in place no matter what you’re up to." However some reviewers found they were bulky under clothes and at times could become visible over the top of the bra cup.

Overall, testers liked these pads for their great value and reliability. One reviewer, Rachel, commented, "they are firmer so they stay in place better, whereas the Lansinoh ones are softer they always end up scrunching up." While another mum tester agreed that "These pads have better adhesive, they stick to the cloth more even when they’re heavy."

Read our full review of the Medela Disposable Bra Pads here.

Pros

  • Great adhesive and stick even when heavy
  • Reliable absorbency providing confidence against leaks

Cons

  • They can look bulky under clothes
Number per pack: 60
BPA free: Yes
  • Thick and absorbent
  • Adhesive strip to hold them in place
  • Larger size for more coverage and absorbency

Best nursing bra

Cake Maternity Tutti Frutti Bamboo Wire Free Nursing Bra
Price: $59.00

To make it easier when feeding your baby every few hours, wear a maternity bra. It has cups that you can unclip from the strap so your baby can reach the nipple without you having to remove bras etc. What’s more, today’s maternity bras can be as glamorous as a regular bra and we love the Cake Maternity Tutti Fruitti Bamboo Wire Free Nursing Bra and so did our testers with one commenting, "it's an attractive design and very flattering - it really makes your boobs look good!"

From a practical point of view we were impressed with the quality of the clips with one reviewer saying, "I’ve clipped and unclipped them hundreds of times and they still feel new." Plus one mum, Harriet, said "the drop-down cups make feeding really quick and easy." One disappointment with reviewers was the fact the washing instructions stipulate a cold hand wash which is not convenient, especially with a small baby, plus one reviewer also noted "when the bra has had milk or dribble on it I just don’t feel a cold hand wash is sufficient." Some reviewers would also have appreciated more choice of colour.

That said, overall, mums were pleased with this nursing bra and Lori, one mum tester, said "it offers great support for your fluctuating breasts and also allows you to wear breast pads without them slipping down, falling out etc." We also like the sustainability factor, because it is made from bamboo, which mums appreciated too, commenting, "when you invest in this bra and brand, you feel a little better about being kinder to the planet."

Read our full review of the Cake Maternity Tutti Fruit Bamboo Wire Free Nursing Bra

Pros

  • Stylish and supportive and mums liked the drop down cups
  • The clips are good quality and feel durable
  • Made of ultra soft, sustainable & breathable bamboo fibre and free from harmful substances

Cons

  • Hand wash only which is inconvenient, plus a cold hand wash doesn't feel very hygienic
  • Reviewers would have liked more colour choice
Size:S, M, L
Material: Bamboo
Washing instructions: Cold hand wash
  • Drop down cups
  • Sustainable and breathable bamboo material
  • Durable clips
  • Stylish yet comfortable

Best breastfeeding cover

While it’s definitely not imperative to cover up while you’re breastfeeding, if you'd feel more relaxed by being a little covered, you can drape a cardigan, large muslin, or even a special breastfeeding cover over you.

Try the BebeChic Breastfeeding Cover for lighter, looser, and more comfortable coverage. We love that it is made with 100% cotton and has a rigid neckline which lets you see baby much clearer, with one reviewer commenting, "the boned window gives mum a really good view of baby feeding while the side panels help cover sufficiently well. Material is lightweight and maintains some structure when worn, which also helps maintain modesty as well as connection between mum and baby," while another reviewer added, "the fact that there is a lot of material makes it really easy to cover when feeding which is great for women who are a bit bigger."

However, although customers liked the design and thought it was practical they did note that it does not wash that well, with one reviewer saying it "faded after washing" and another found that "after washing it as per the manufacturer’s advice, the top part got bent and no longer stays open. The piece inside is not even broken, just lost its shape."

Overall reviewers liked the practicality of this breastfeeding cover, as well as the large choice of designs.

Pros

  • Rigid neck makes it easy to see baby
  • A great size with lots of fabric suitable for all women

Cons

  • Reviewers were not impressed by how the breastfeeding cover washes
Size: 42" x 27”
Material: 100% cotton
Neckline size: 16"
Neck strap length: 18"
  • Lots of designs available
  • Generous size
  • Rigid neckline to see baby

To help with night feeds, a bedside crib is ideal. It means you can slide your baby across without having to get out of bed, so it’s also handy if you’re not particularly mobile after birth or have had a c-section. This bedside crib sits flush with your mattress and one side drops away, making a safe extension bed for you and your baby. It’s also available to rent with a new mattress and fabric panels.

We love the Maxi-Cosi lora co-sleeper because it feels luxurious made with high quality materials and it also comes with a mattress. One of our mum testers commented, "I loved this product for the following reasons: Easy assembly, very comfortable for baby, aesthetically very pleasing, the crib has a very stylish Scandi look," and another mum tester loved the mattress, "the mattress is of good quality too as so many feel flimsy or are really thin."

Reviewers were impressed with how easy it is to assemble this crib saying, "it's very sturdy and very quick to put together (as well as simple to take apart again)," while another tester said, "it feels sturdy and secure and yet can be dismantled and packed away into a compact carry case that fits in the car boot without taking up much space." 

However, some testers did find the crib quite heavy with mum noting "if you do intend to move it a lot from room to room note that it isn't as light as some other cribs, but I personally find it still manageable and I didn't want to compromise on the sturdiness." It does come with a travel bag to make travelling easier, but reviwers still thought it was bulky for travelling, "it is quite big when packed away in the travel bag and in combination with its weight I don't think I'd want to have to lug it up and down any stairs."

Reviewers liked the drop side a lot, saying, "having the dropside meant I could have the baby next to me with no barrier. As a result, I could easily reach over at night if he needed comforting or pick him up without having to get out of bed. This made night feeding much easier."

Read our full review of the Maxi-cosi lora co-sleeper bedside crib

Pros

  • Drop side allows closeness to baby while still following safe sleep guidelines
  • Great quality fabrics and comfortable mattress

Cons

  • Quite heavy and bulky for travelling
Age suitability: Birth to 9 months
Weight Limit: 0-9kg
Dimensions: ‎52.3 x 97 x 85.7 cm
Weight: 10.8 kg
Material: Wood, cotton
  • Includes mattress
  • High quality materials
  • Drop side to ensure closeness to baby
  • Travel bag included
  • Easy to assemble

Best breastfeeding pillow

Dreamgenii pregnancy and breastfeeding support pillowHANNAH MELLIN

Ideal for resting your baby on while you feed, a breastfeeding pillow can be a great support and ensures your baby is at the right height so they can feed well. The pillow can also be used to support your baby so he can sit up unaided.

Our mum tester, Hannah, found the size of the Dreamgenii pillow really good, commenting, "I loved the size of the Dreamgenii, it doesn’t take up tonnes of room on the bed like some on the market and still gets the job done despite its size." She also found the design really supportive, and said, "the long side of the pillow supports your bump and knees whilst the shorter side fits nicely under your lower back. The leg support will gently elevate your legs while you sleep so the pressure is taken off your back and tummy."

We know that is advised mums-to-be sleep on their left hand side and we also know that isn't always easy, however, our tester thought the dreamgenii was really helpful with this noting, "I’ve tried a few pregnancy pillows including huge ones that hug every inch of your body, and the Dreamgenii has been the most effective at helping me sleep on my left side, but there have been a couple of times when I have still ended up on my back."

The pillow is quite firm, which some people may not like, but our reviewer like dthis saying, "I like a good firm cushion, so the firmness of the cushion wasn’t an issue for me, if anything, I would have liked the smaller wedge to be a little firmer."

The only downside is that the pillow is a bit fiddly to clean and Hannah commented, that while "the outside cover of the pillow is easily washable, you just have to jiggle the inner cushion a little to get it back on and into shape but this will come with practice. The main pillow cannot be machine washed."

Read our full review of the Dreamgenii pregnancy support and feeding pillow

Pros

  • A good size, supportive without taking up the whole bed
  • Designed to support you sleeping on your left side

Cons

  • Although washable it can be a bit fiddly and the main part of the pillow is not washable.
Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 5 cm
Weight: 1kg
Volume: 200 Millilitres
Material: 100% Cotton Jersey
Filling: Polyester
  • Supports left side sleeping
  • Firm and supportive
  • Supports back, bump and hips
  • A compact size

Best nipple shields

Medela breast nipple shieldsAmazon
Price: $16.99

For badly cracked nipples that are stopping you from breastfeeding, nipple shields can provide temporary relief. However, they shouldn’t be used in the long-term as they can prevent your baby suckling correctly, which could affect your milk supply.

We're huge fans of the Medela Contact Nipple Shields. They are made from soft silicone which is odourless and tasteless for your baby, and ensures plenty of skin contact between you and your baby. One reviewer saidm " These were great. I bought them in desperation as my son’s latch is painful for the first 20-30 seconds and then settles. He is 3 weeks old and I really didn’t want to give up BF him."

Another mum reviewer thought they were easy to use and commented, "after trying everything my baby was finally able to breastfeed. No sore nipples. I recommend these to any mum! Fantastic and they stick on great and last forever! Mum of 3 tried and tested for years!"

While they come with a case, reviewers were disappointed with its quality and said , "the case is very poorly designed…very fiddly, cheap and looks like it would break easily," while another added, "the case broke after 1 week."

Overall these are popular nipple shields which reviewers thought were, "comfortable and easy to wash and sterilise and also a good affordable price."

Pros

  • Protected nipples and provided confidence to continue breastfeeding
  • Comfortable to wear and baby can latch to them
  • Easy to sterilise and wash

Cons

  • The case is not very robust and reviewers thought it was poorly designed
Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm
Weight: 40 g
Material: Silicone
  • Helps protect sore nipples
  • Made with silicone which is tasteless for baby
  • Includes storage case

Best easy to pour breastmilk storage bags

If you’re breast pumping to keep milk for later, you can store them in plastic bottles (that have been pre-sterilised) or breast milk bags. They need to be strong, durable and leak-proof, which is why we love these breastmilk storage bags from Vital Baby. Reviewers really like the easy pour spout feature, with one mum tester, Carol, saying, "I like the spout part of the bag when the milk has been defrosted. I haven't seen this design before. It seemed to work very well to pour the milk out and avoided any spillages."

Reviewers loved the flat base and basic design, saying, "the breast milk bag is a very convenient, space-saving way to store milk," and also added that "the plastic is flexible but durable, the top opening is big enough to easily pour expressed milk into." However, some mum testers found the design a little awkward saying, "the bag does not open wide enough to get over the top of a bottle or pump so I cannot express straight into the bag or pour the milk straight in one go."

Overall, although these are not the cheapest breastmilk storage bags available, reviewers were pleased with the quality and the design. Plus, although they are only available in 250ml, mums seemed pleased with this capacity commenting, "the 250ml size bags were perfect for me as I like to store small amounts of breast milk at a time."

Read our full review of the Vital Baby Breast Milk Storage Bags

Pros

  • Easy pour spout to avoid spillages
  • Flat base for convenient storage
  • Durable material for reliable storage

Cons

  • The next of the bag can make it difficult to get the milk into
Dimensions: 12.8 x 5.5 x 13.75 cm
Number of bags: 30
Capacity: 250ml
  • Secure zip seal lock
  • Flat bottom so they can stand
  • Easy pour spout
  • Pre sterilised and ready to use
  • BPA and latex free

Best breast compresses

Breast compresses
Price: $20.59

For engorged breasts that feel sore, or to soothe pain if you have plugged ducts or mastitis, try a hot or cold breast compress. You can create your own using a muslin soaked in warm or cold water, or you can buy a specially shaped gel compress such as the Lansing Therapearl 3-in-1 breast therapy. They are flexible and reusable and can be used at home or out and about, plus they include soft covers.

Our mum tester, Alison, loves that these "can be used hot or cold. They are quick to use which is essential when I don't have much time to do anything!"  Alison also adds that when used warm it "helps when I need to express milk and means I can pump quicker," because it encourages let down and they are easy to use with Alison noting "it was easy to heat them up in the microwave as I followed the handy guide that comes with the product."

When used cold, reviewers said "the pads are stiffer but still easy to place around the breast. With the covers on the pads give off a pleasant coolness rather than being uncomfortably cold. The cold temperature is very soothing on blocked ducts and every time I used these, along with massage, the problem area was quickly healed. " However, one reviewer commented that they do not stay cold very long and had to "use them during a 20min pump then put them straight back in the freezer."

Read our full review of the Lansinoh Therapearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy

Pros

  • Soothing with either heat or cool relief
  • Includes covers and are flexible to fit around the breast

Cons

  • They don't stay cold very long so need to be put back in the freezer frequently
Dimensions: 15.4 x 15.6 x 0.3 cm
Weight: ‎82.1 g
  • Includes 2 washable covers
  • Can be used hot and cold
  • Flexible to fit breast

What essentials do I need for breastfeeding?

If you are planning to breastfeed, then you might want to stock up on a few things in case you need to pump, or get sore nipples, need shoulder or back support, or want some privacy while feeding in public. While you won't definitely need anything other than yourself and baby for breastfeeding, a lot of new mums feel reassured with products like nipple cream or compresses to help with any discomfort.

It is also wise to think about support and a breastfeeding pillow will provide support to your back and shoulders while you nurse your little one. Also consider buying a breast pump so you can prepare for any days you won't be with baby and to ensure you have a supply of breast milk in the freezer.

You may also want to feed your baby while out and about and some mums can feel self-conscious so a breastfeeding cover might help.

Do I need to eat any essential foods while breastfeeding?

No, you do not need to follow a special diet, however, the NHS suggests eating a healthy diet with a variety of different foods while breastfeeding. It is also important to ensure you are hydrated, so always keep a bottle of water to hand, or nearby.

Do I have to prepare for breastfeeding?

Rachel Fitz-Desorgher an infant feeding consultant and parenting consultant, says, "nipples and breasts need no preparation at all in advance of baby being born and they come with their own built-in moisturising system to help prevent, soothe and, if necessary, heal any little nicks and grazes once baby is here and breastfeeding gets started." She adds, "despite the best support and help, some women get sore and cracked nipples during breastfeeding and it is important to know what to do to aid healing and avoid making them more sore or getting an infection. Plain soft white paraffin (Vaseline) is just as good as any of the more expensive ointments and none is as effective in managing pain and healing as a mum’s own milk. Simply keep nipples and areolas lightly moistened and oiled by expressing one or two drops of milk after feeds and lightly smear it over the nipples and areolas."

Rachel also advises to get a well fitting bra, saying, "make sure that your bras are comfy, well-fitting and do not have any seams going over your nipples."

While we know that breast feeding is natural and can go smoothly without any other products, often mums need the relief or support of products such as a nursing pillow, compress or nipple cream. Items such as a breast pump, milk storage bags and a good nursing bra will also be important on your breastfeeding journey.

About the expert

Rachel Fitz-Desorgher is a baby and parenting expert and mother’s mentor. She has four grown-up sons and two grandchildren. Rachel worked as a specialist midwife, infant feeding consultant and parenting consultant for over 30 years before deciding to leave midwifery in order to focus her expertise and experience on mentoring women transitioning from the busy world of work to motherhood.

Laura Healy is a Commercial Content Writer for Mother&Baby. She is a mum-of-two girls and loves writing about all things parenting, she is particularly interested in the toddler years and eco-friendly baby products, as well as children’s literature. She has a PhD in Creative Writing and has published short stories in the UK and Ireland, as well as previously writing freelance for her local paper.

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