As I mentioned here, we have several friends expecting little ones in the coming months. So this will be the first of a few posts about some "stuff" we have found helpful.
I should start by saying that before Baby Boy arrived I was pretty anti-stuff, not wanting to clutter our home with tons of junk. However, a few days into this adventure, I was already requesting people to bring us stuff, and so perhaps it would have been easier to have everything around in the first place.
So breastfeeding stuff. It should be easy just Breasts + Baby, and maybe some people can do it that way, but if you have to go back to work, or want your significant other involved in feeding, or have low supply or over supply, or any other problems things can get complicated.
So to get comfortable:
A feeding pillow- I have the Boppy, which didn't work so well at the beginning because Baby Boy was just too tiny, but now we love it, and it has saved my back. Also I love it for tummy time!
Lanolin- excellent for the first few weeks when your nipples have to get used to being rubbed all the time. I haven't heard of anyone that didn't have at least a little soreness in the beginning, and this stuff works.
Breast pads- if you leak in the beginning, which many do. I personally preferred the disposable ones because they are thinner and disposable, but at the beginning I was changing clothes so often because of Baby bodily fluids that it didn't matter much if I had some leakage onto shirts.
A pump- at first I got a manual one, but that was pretty much a disaster- it is way too much work. So if you're going to pump with any regularity, get a double electric pump; it is well worth the investment. I got the Medela Pump in Style and have been very happy with it.
Bottles- to feed the baby the pumped milk obviously. We've had a lot of success with Breastflow bottles, which forces the baby to suck the milk out rather than just chew (which is what they can do with regular bottles).
Freezer bags- to store milk long term; it can be kept for many months when frozen. This is great for a rainy day stockpile. (I used my stockpile when I was taking some medication for a few days and it was great to have).
Microwave sterilizer- breast milk is very anti-fungal/anti-bacterial, so generally washing bottles and pump parts with soap and water is enough, but a couple times a week it is a good idea to sterilize and the microwave contraption makes it just that much easier.
Did I forget anything?