Helpful breastfeeding accessories
Breastfeeding your baby really only requires your body, and a willing baby, but there are a few items that can help make the process smoother and more comfortable. Here are a few items you can buy, borrow, or even find in your home:
A comfy chair is essential to avoid back, shoulder and neck pain. Sitting perched on the side of the bed for night feeds is the fastest route to poor posture, so a comfortable chair that you can easily sit in while feeding your baby will make life a lot easier.
A nursing pillow can also help prop your baby into the right position for feeding, so your arms and shoulders don't have to do all the work. A regular pillow from your bed can also work if it's the right firmness, just test and work out what works for you and your baby.
Breast pads can stop leakage and keep your clothing drier, and keep moisture away from your nipples to help prevent cracking and chaffing. You can choose disposable or washable versions - it's all a matter of what feels comfortable for you.
If you're planning on exclusively breastfeeding your baby, and intend on being away from your baby on either a date night with your partner or pals, or for work, a breast pump can help you express breast milk with ease. What type of pump you buy or hire depends on your needs - if you're expressing regularly for work you might want to look into an electric model, but if you're just pumping every now and again, a manual model might be fine.
Burping cloths or modesty cloths come in handy to drape over your baby for a bit of privacy if you feel the need in certain crowded situations and can also help mop up any spills and perk-ups that happen from time-to-time. A multi-use muslin cloth is cheap, easily folds up in your nappy bag and can come in handy for a range of uses.
This article was written by Linda Drummond for Kidspot, New Zealand's leading pregnancy and parenting resource with additional information from the Australian Breastfeeding Association.