I am often asked what supplies are necessary for breastfeeding. Usually this comes from my pregnant mothers who are trying to plan what they may need for the baby BEFORE the baby comes. That may seem like an easy enough question, right? Isn’t there some kind of list that I can just hand out? Not so simple. To be honest, not much is needed to breastfeed. Having a baby is a huge money business and society is prepared to have you spend a ton of money on things you don’t necessarily need. Have you been in any store recently that sells baby items? So. Many. Choices. Truth be told, you don’t need much of anything at all.
All mothers are different and have different needs and personalities. I have met some mothers who are content with waiting for the baby to arrive before they decide on a pump or any other supplies. I have also seen mothers show up at the hospital ready to have the baby, and they are toting a pump, creams, nipple shields and a breastfeeding pillow. Neither way is the wrong way; just do what is right for you. My point is I don’t want any new or expecting mother to think that they have to have these things.
In a world where you can order something online on a Monday and it will be at your door by Tuesday or Wednesday, I am a proponent of waiting until you need something before you invest time and money. However, if you really want to have a stash of stuff, I found this great list to get you started. One of the things I really like about this list is that it specifies when things are NOT NECESSARY. Nipple cream or a breastfeeding pillow – nice to have but not necessary. Good support system and the phone number of a local lactation consultant – absolutely necessary. So check it out and see what you think. Can you think of anything you would add to this list? Is there one thing that you felt like you couldn’t live without during your breastfeeding journey? Share it with us.