1. A Boppy (or other breastfeeding pillow).
- To save your back, you are going to need some sort of support under your baby. Notice how the Boppy keeps the lady in the picture from having to hunch over or hold the baby up on her own. I tried pillows with Grace. They would slip out of position. With a Boppy or other breastfeeding pillow, it will wrap around your body. This thing was a life saver when Brentley was tiny (well as tiny as he ever was lol).
2. Water, water, water, water.
- I cannot say this enough. Have lots of water ready for consumption.
3. Lanolin cream (or other breastfeeding approved cream).
- This was also a life saver. It definitely helped with the sore nipples. I don't have to use it any more, but in those first few painful weeks, I carried that stuff with me religiously.
4. Nursing pads.
- There will be leaking. You can get disposable ones or washable ones. I have some of both. I don't really have to use them anymore, but I did for a long time. Obviously, the washable ones will save money in the long run, and the disposable ones take less effort. I recommend having some of both on hand. The washable ones didn't hold as much, but the disposable ones sometimes begin to smell like milk, so it's really all about preference.
5. Sports bras.
- This is all about comfort. You will need a bra for support and to hold the pads in place, but a regular bra is so uncomfortable when you first start breastfeeding. Regular sports bras (no fancy ones) are amazing for this. They give you the support you need without being restricting and painful.
If you are going to pump, I personally feel that an electric pump is essential. This is the one that I had, and I loved it! It's relatively cheap, too.
If you plan to nurse in public, as nursing bra is an amazing thing to have.
Also, if you are not comfortable with being exposed while breastfeeding in public, a cover is essential. I have forgotten my cover a few times and had to use a blanket or jacket. Those were not fun experiences.
There are other things like latch assists, nipple shields, ice packs made to sooth breasts, etc. etc. Wal-Mart is not a very breastfeeding friendly store... at least not around here. The best place I have found to find anything and everything for breastfeeding is Babies-R-Us, but their stuff can be pricey.. If there is not a Babies-R-Us near you, try the baby section of a Toys-R-Us or Target. The Target near me has an amazing breastfeeding section. They have amazing nursing covers. I paid $10 for mine. It has lasted me ten months, and it has been run over by a car. Yes, you read that correctly lol. For the price and convenience, I recommend Target :)