Ashlie Behm


12 Breastfeeding and Chestfeeding Must-Haves

Nine Month old baby in beige romper looking at camera. Blog post about breastfeeding and chestfeeding must-haves.

Last week I shared my top 12 must-have postpartum items and as promised this week I’m sharing my top 12 breastfeeding and chestfeeding must-haves. To say that my baby & I had a bit of a bumpy start to breastfeeding, would be a huge understatement.

To begin with, my baby spent his first five days of life in the NICU so he was hooked up to all sorts of monitors and was being fed donor milk (Thank you so much to all of the amazing milk donors out there!) through a gavage tube. Secondly, it took four days for my milk to come in, which the nurses assured me was normal. Furthermore, when I was finally able to breastfeed him regularly when we got home from the hospital, it hurt. Like a lot.

But, I was also learning and didn’t know what ‘normal’ was supposed to feel like. My amazing midwives at Portland Natural Birth, helped me figure out that we probably were dealing with a tongue tie. They recommended I seek help from a lactation consultant. Thankfully, I knew of an amazing one. So, I called up my friend, Sarah Fuller of Opus Lactation. Sarah was able to assess my baby’s mouth and confirmed that we most likely did have a tongue tie. 

After we had his tongue and lip ties released by the incredible Dr. Ghaheri, we were on our way. 

While we were figuring it all out, I definitely relied on a lot of these breastfeeding and chestfeeding must-haves which provided relief to my sore & cracked nipples. Some of the other items on this list were essential for the convenience of spending every 2-3 hours feeding my baby for the next ten months.

Everything on this list came in handy while breastfeeding my baby. I hope you find this list of breastfeeding and chestfeeding must-haves helpful as well. Let me know in the comments if there is anything I should add to this list. 

There are many links to products in this post. None of them are affiliate links – i.e. I don’t get anything from sharing these links. I used these items and loved them and thought you might benefit from knowing about them too. 

I am participating in a blog circle this month and am sharing a link to another amazing photographer in Seattle! Be sure to check out her link at the end of this blog post.

Top 12 Breastfeeding and Chestfeeding Must-Haves:

  1. Reusable Nursing Pads

    I wore these every day for the first few months of breastfeeding while my supply was figuring itself out. They were definitely necessary at night otherwise I would have been changing my sheets every single day. 

  2. Cooling Pads for nipples

    These were so soothing on my nipples when they were super cracked and sore in the first few weeks. I also found them to be helpful around months 7-8 when my baby was getting teeth and figuring out how to not bite me. 

  3. Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter

    This stuff is AMAZING! I used this after every single nursing session in those first few months. 

  4. Lavie warming lactation massagers

    These were essential once I started pumping more regularly when I went back to work. Highly recommend if you are going to be pumping a lot. 

  5. Lactation cookies

    I made these lactation cookies multiple times over the past ten months. They are so yummy! 

  6. Haakaa

    When I polled other people prior to having my baby, everyone told me I needed a Haakaa and they were right! It helped me collect more milk and I think it even helped boost my supply. 

  7. Nursing Tanks

    If you end up breastfeeding your baby, you want these. Like one for every day of the week. Not kidding. I live in these and continue to wear them at ten months postpartum. I wear them under most of my t-shirts and they make breastfeeding so easy. I like these ones that have a bit of padding in them. I have them in multiple colors. 

  8. Nursing & Pumping Bras

    Kindred Bravely has a lot of great nursing bra options. I really liked this nursing sleep bra for casual days around the house & of course for sleeping in. I liked their signature bra for when I needed more support or wearing a nursing dress. And if you are going to be pumping you definitely want to get yourself a pumping bra so you can be hands free. 

  9. Nursing Shawl

    I put this shawl on my registry and one of my friends gifted me 2 of them! I love them so much and wore them all the time over just a nursing tank in the summer. It was perfect for being able to quickly and privately feed my baby and help him not be distracted while nursing. It’s light enough for the warmer months even when you’re outside.

  10. Breast Pump

    Check this link to see which one you can get for free through your insurance. I ended up getting the Medela Pump In Style and it’s worked great for me. It was an easy transition from the Medela pumps that I learned how to use in the hospital to help get my milk supply started.

  11. Breast Pump Collection Bags

    I did end up pumping a lot and freezing my milk which has come in handy so other people can watch him while I work. These bags have been perfect.

  12. Nara Baby App

    I loved this app for tracking our feeding sessions. When I first downloaded the app it was free. I used this to track almost every single nursing session and my husband would track his bottle sessions. This was great for both of us so we always knew when our baby last ate. You can also track so many other things like sleep, diapers, etc. We did track his diapers periodically if something was going on. But mostly, we just used this app for our feeding sessions. 10/10 would recommend.

That’s my list of my top breastfeeding and chestfeeding must-haves. In case you missed it check out my list of must-have postpartum items here. 

(Left Photo) - Light-skinned mom in taupe dress holding nine month old baby. Both smiling and looking at camera. (Right Photo) Adult holding 9 month old baby's hands while baby takes steps towards the camera. Baby wearing tan knit romper.
Nine Month old baby in beige romper looking at camera.
Nine month old baby in white onesie sitting on white backdrop looking at camera. In the photo on the right the baby is holding a white blanket over his head and peeking underneath it.
Nine month old breastfed baby crawling to the right of the image on a white backdrop. This blog post is about breastfeeding must-haves.

(These images are of my my breastfed baby at 9 months old. He was exclusively breastfed for his first 6 months when we started feeding him solids.)

 If you’re thinking about breastfeeding/chestfeeding, I encourage you to also think about booking a photography session. Whether that’s a Pregnancy, Newborn, Milestone or Family Session I’m here to help you document it all. Click here to reach out for more information

If you’ve enjoyed this post about breastfeeding and chestfeeding must-haves, then check out these helpful blog posts for some more information on planning for maternity and newborn portraits. 

Remember to check out this post about What to Wear During Labor for Great Birth Photos by Becky Langseth. She’s sharing some great tips for what both you and your partner should consider when selecting what you wear during labor.

Leave A Comment

  1. I love all of these suggestions for breastfeeding / chest feeding must-haves! I especially loved my nursing tanks and lactation cookies! yum!

  2. These photos are so stunning! As a breast-feeding mom I totally second the lactation cookies!

  3. You have some amazing links for breastfeeding mama’s. So very helpful.

  4. Love the list of recommendations.

  5. Such a honey! Very beautiful blog today!

  6. I absolutely loved the haakaa!! With my second, I used a Spectra S2 pump and that thing was amazing!! It was so much better than the Ameda I was provided with for my first pregnancy.

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