What Breastfeeding accessories do you need?
The 64 thousand dollar question for new mums! Before you have your baby, it’s easy to be persuaded that you need tonnes of accessories for breastfeeding – special cushions, bottle warmers, insulated bottle carriers, feeding chairs...
The truth is, you won’t really know what extras you need until you really need them! Of course a steriliser is essential if you are expressing or bottlefeeding, but with everything else it makes sense to wait a bit before committing yourself.
However, we’ve highlighted a few products that mums tell us they really couldn’t have done without.
Which breastfeeding accessories are right for you?
Each system has its pros and cons – it’s really up to your lifestyle and budget:
- This is a really expensive purchase, but so many mums say they love theirs. It’s easy to find the perfect breastfeeding position for you, and it’s supremely comfortable (you’ll probably be spending a fair few hours in it, especially in the beginning!)
Nipple cream - Can be helpful if you’ve got really sore, cracked nipples – and today’s designs are made of thinner silicone for a more natural feel. But many health professionals don’t recommend them – so contact your midwife or health visitor for advice before using them.
Nipple shields -
Uses steam just like electric units, but these fit inside your microwave. Cycles often take 4-8 minutes, and units usually hold fewer bottles because they are smaller than electric sterilisers. Contents remain sterile for 24 hours if lid kept closed. Most cost around £20-£28. Some double up as a cold water steriliser when travelling.
How much will they cost?
Deep breath - a feeding chair can cost you £200 or more. Nipple cream is around £10 for a 40g tube, and nipple shields are about £10 for 2 (sterilise after each use).
* If you don’t end up using your nipple cream for its intended purpose, mums say it’s great for dry skin and to put on minor cuts. Some even use it as a lip balm!
* Once you’ve finished feeding, your feeding chair can be used as a story time chair, or even as a comfy armchair. Multi-tasking!
Ready to buy?
Take a look at some of the popular breastfeedng accessories below.
Tutti Bambini Glider Nursing Chair
RRP: £189 - Buy now
Good value but smart-looking feeding chair with matching footstool and gentle gliding motion.
- Made of solid wood
- Gliding/rocking motion
- 3-position recline
- Matching footstool also rocks/glides
- Dry-cleanable cushions
Size: H104cm x L69cm x W74cm
Why we love the Tutti Bambini Glider Nursing Chair ....
- Mums who have developed bad backs from constantly sitting in awkward positions to breastfeed really swear by this chair as it’s incredibly comfortable and easy to find a position which suits you. You might not even mind getting up for night feeds!
- Loving the pockets on the arms where you can put muslins, wipes, phone, emergency chocolates.....
- It’s a good value chair, and although the cushions aren’t as thick as on some feeding chairs, it’s also a lot more affordable.
- The matching footstool has a plastic cover to keep the cushions clean. All the cushions are made of an incredibly soft fabric.
- Loads of mums use their chair later for toddler story time, for relaxing in after a long day – or even as an extra armchair in the sitting room.
Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Nipple Cream
RRP: £9.99 - Buy now
The UK’s bestselling cream to soothe and protect sore nipples during breastfeeding.
Size: 40ml tube
- Contains ultra-purified lanolin
- No additives, preservatives or chemicals
- Safe and hypoallergenic
- No need to remove before feeding
- No taste, colour or smell
- Awarded the British Allergy Foundation seal of approval
Why we love Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Nipple Cream ....
- So many mums say they would never have managed to carry on breastfeeding had they not discovered Lansinoh, especially in the early days when feeding is something of a shock to your tender nipples!
- Even though midwives say that, technically, breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt at all and it’s incorrect positioning of the baby that causes sore nipples – they will happily advise mums to use this cream if they run into problems. It’s still important to find out the cause of your sore nipples, though, so it doesn’t become a long-term problem.
- Love the fact that this cream contains absolutely nothing apart from specially refined lanolin, so it’s 100% natural and safe.
- Babies don’t reject its smell – they hardly seem to notice it’s there, so you can breastfeed them while knowing your nipples are protected.
- It may not say this on the packet, but nipple cream makes great lip balm for mums (why do your lips always seem dry when you have a baby?) and is also brilliant for dry, sore skin.
- It seems expensive, but you only use a tiny amount and mums agree it’s far better than others on the market.
Medela Contact Nipple Shields (pack of 2) with Case
RRP: £8.99 - Buy now
Pack of 2 ultra-thin nipple shields so you can keep breastfeeding when nipples are sore, cracked, inverted or flat.
- Made of ultra-thin, soft silicone
- Contoured shape offers maximum skin contact with your baby
- Pack of 2 comes with a carry case for transport and/or storage
- 3 sizes available
Sizes: Small (16mm), Medium (20mm), Large (24mm)
Why we love Medela Contact Nipple Shields (pack of 2) with Case ....
- Nipple shields are sometimes frowned on by midwives, but some mums with painful, cracked, flat or inverted nipples say they wouldn’t have been able to carry on feeding without them. Shields give your nipples time to heal while you continue feeding, although it’s still important to find out the root cause of your nipple pain (usually incorrect positioning) so you can get comfortable in the long term.
- Unlike old-style nipple shields, these are made of really thin material so you can still ‘feel’ your baby when feeding. They can be fiddly to put on at first, but you soon get used to it.
- You can put them on the top rack of the dishwasher to clean, then pop them in the steam steriliser – no need to boil them on the stove for 5 minutes like some brands. (Don’t put them in the dishwasher with tomato-sauce covered pans, though, or they will emerge a strange orangey-red colour! They might not look pretty, but they still work.)
- They work best when you have the correct size, which is easy to find out: simply measure the diameter of the base of your nipple after feeding and choose accordingly.
- They also work well if your baby has got used to a bottle but you want to encourage them back to the breast. They seem to take to breastfeeding instantly with these, and you can stop using them once breastfeeding has been re-established.