If you’re planning on pumping or breastfeeding after your baby is born and you’ve already started putting your baby registry together, you know that figuring out what types of breastfeeding and breast pumping supplies you really need as a new mom can be very overwhelming. There are so many products to choose from that all do so many different types of things that it can be hard to know what’s necessary and what is just overkill.
Plus, many people don’t know that certain products are actually covered under most insurance plans, so you don’t have to add those to your registry.
So here are 9 breastfeeding and breast pumping accessories that are must-haves on any baby registry and 3 that you don’t need to register for:
9 Breastfeeding Items to Put on Your Baby Registry
- Steam Clean Bags
When you’re a breast pumping mom, one of the best time savers is using steam clean bags, such as these ones from Medela, to quickly sterilize your breast pump accessories. Just throw your breast pump parts into a steam clean bag, add a little water, and pop them in the microwave to sterilize them. Definitely faster than boiling the parts or running them in the dishwasher.
- Lanolin Nipple Cream
In the early days of breastfeeding and breast pumping, your nipples are most likely going to feel raw and sore. To help relieve these symptoms, we suggest using lanolin nipple cream, which can do wonders to help relieve sore nipples. Just remember, however, that if your nipples continue to remain sore after a few weeks of pumping, you may need to change the settings on your breast pump or the size of your flange, since pumping shouldn’t be painful.
- Nursing Pillow
Whether you’re feeding your baby a bottle or nursing her on your breast, we guarantee that a nursing pillow is going to become your best friend. Nursing pillows help elevate a baby’s head so it is closer to the breast, which not only reduces your neck and shoulder pain by not having to lean over as far, but can also help the baby latch better, too. Nursing pillows are also great for bottle feeding because they help the baby sit more upright, so he has less acid reflux. And when the baby gets older, you can use them for tummy time and propping the baby up. A win-win!
- Warm/Cold Packs
A few days after you give birth, you’ll notice that your breasts will become very engorged as your milk starts coming in. To help relieve this discomfort, we suggest breast therapy packs, which you can put in the freezer and apply to your breasts. After you get past the engorgement stage, you can also use breast therapy packs to help stimulate your milk flow or relieve clogged ducts by putting them in the microwave and applying the nice, warm pads to your breasts. Most breast therapy packs are filled with gel, but you can also find some more eco-friendly options that are filled with flax seeds or other natural fibers.
- Silicone Milk Catcher
One of the most innovative inventions to hit the market in the last few years is the silicone milk catcher, a handy-dandy little device that attaches to your breast under your clothes and catches any drops of milk that would normally go into a nursing pad or onto your clothes. Then you can pour those extra drops of milk into your milk storage bags so you take advantage of every bit of milk you produce. A must-have!
- Nursing Cover
If you plan to go anywhere with your baby, there’s a good chance you’re going to have to nurse when you’re away from home, so you’ll need a nursing cover to shield yourself from onlookers. There are so many great colors and patterns to choose from, so just look for one that suits your style.
You might think that any bottle would be fine for a baby, but it turns out that babies can be quite picky about the type of bottle they like. That’s why it’s best to put a sample box on your registry, which usually comes with several bottles from different manufacturers. Newborns will use smaller bottles that hold fewer ounces, and they’ll use larger bottles as they grow. Premature and newborns typically need to have bottles with slow flow nipples, which prevent the babies from gulping too much milk as they drink. As babies get older, they can graduate to larger nipple sizes.Some of the most popular bottle brands on the market are Phillips Avent, Dr. Browns, Lansinoh and Medela.
- Pumping Bras and Nursing Bras
As a new mom, you’re going to need new bras that are specifically designed for breastfeeding and breast pumping. (Sorry, you probably won’t be wearing your old bras for a while). Nursing bras are generally designed with clips at the top that allow you to drop the front of the bra down so your baby can access your breast. A pumping bra, on the other hand, has two holes cut in the front to hold the breast flanges in place so you can have your hands free to type on the computer or talk on the phone while you pump. Most bras are only designed to do one of these things, although there are some that allow you to do both. Avoid getting nursing bras that have an underwire, and instead, aim for bras that are comfortable enough that you can wear them all day. Lansinoh recommends trying nursing bras on when you’re about eight months pregnant, which is about the size your breasts will be a few weeks after giving birth.
- Bottle Brush and Drying Rack
Although a bottle brushes and drying racks might not sound too exciting, they’re something you’ll probably end up using every day. Bottle brushes are helpful for getting milk out of hard-to-reach places, like the inside of a plastic nipple. When registering for a bottle brush, look for one that has silicone bristles, which will last longer, or soft bristles that won’t scratch the inside of your bottles. Drying racks are an easy way to let your bottles, breast pump parts, pacifiers and other items dry after washing so they don’t develop mold. We like the kind that look like a little patch of grass on your countertop, but there are other ones that work well, too.
3 Things You DON’T Need to Add to Your Baby Registry
- A Breast Pump
One thing you definitely don’t need to put on your baby registry is a breast pump. Why? Because you can get a breast pump free through your insurance, and Medicaid too. The process is simple: Just contact us or another medical equipment supply company, tell them what insurance you have, and they’ll look up which pumps you qualify for and contact your insurance company.(The only reason you may want to add a breast pump to your registry is if you would like an additional pump, so you can have one at work and one at home. Neb Medical offers a 20% discount for moms who purchase a second pump for the same birth.)
- Breast Milk Storage Bags
Similar to breast pumps, most insurance plans, including Medicaid, will pay for about 120 bags per month, so you don’t need to add these to your baby registry.Breast milk storage bags are useful because they help you save space in your refrigerator and freezer. They are different from regular zip lock bags because they are made of sturdier material, can usually stand upright in the fridge or laid flat in the freezer, and are BPA-free and FDA-approved for storing breast milk. One tip: Try to use breast milk storage bags that are compatible with the breast pump you have so you can pump directly into the bags without pumping into a bottle first.We carry breast milk storage bags from:
Keep in mind that most breast milk storage bags are only designed to use once, so they’re not great for the environment. If you want a more eco-friendly option, you can look for reusable breast milk storage bags.
- Breast Pump Replacement PartsDid you know that you need to replace your breast pump parts every few months? If you plan to pump three times a day, you need to replace your valves once a month and your backflow protectors and tubing every three months to keep your pump in working order and make sure you keep pumping enough milk. However, these items are also covered by many insurance plans, although they’re not covered under Medicaid, so check with us or your insurance provider before adding these to your registry.If your insurance provider doesn’t cover replacement parts, Target, Buy Buy Baby and Amazon all carry replacement parts for various brands of breast pumps. Target carries replacement flanges, tubes, valves and more for several breast pump brands, including Medela, Spectra, Lansinoh, Elvie, Evenflo and Willow. Buy Buy Baby carries replacement parts for Medela and Spectra, and Amazon has replacement parts from Medela, Spectra, Lansinoh, Motif, Ameda, Zomee and more.
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