It’s hard to put into words how exciting it is to welcome a new baby into the world. Some women compare the anticipation and big moment to meeting someone very important, like a famous person or the president! Your life is about to change forever, and you might be feeling overwhelmed by all the preparations you need to make. There’s always a chance that you’ll forget something or find out that you need something you didn’t plan for, but here are just a few breastfeeding and newborn essentials to have ready before your baby’s big debut.
In the Hospital or Birthing Center
Cell Phone Charger
Even though you’ll be preoccupied with getting to know your new baby, be sure to pack a charger so you can capture a few beautiful family moments and notify friends and family – no matter how long you’re away from home. Now is also the perfect time to splurge on that nice camera you’ve been thinking about
A Bathroom Bag
There’s nothing like freshening up a little bit, particularly during or after an overnight stay. Remember your toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, lotion, lip balm, hair-ties, and deodorant – along with any other personal items that make you feel at home.
A Change of Clothes
Of course, make sure it’s loose-fitting and comfortable – think elastic, cotton, and easy to change into. Want an alternative to a hospital gown? “Labor gowns” are growing in popularity, or you might consider a light bathrobe instead.
If you have trouble sleeping in a bed that’s not your own or if you just want to prepare for relaxation, having your favorite calming music or a white noise machine can make all the difference.
Baby’s Going-Home Outfit
Now comes the fun part! Besides an adorable onesie, have a pair of booties or socks on hand, a cap or hat, and a warm blanket to wrap up your little bundle of joy.
An Infant Car Seat
A properly-installed car seat is the key to getting home safe and sound. You can stop by your local fire department or baby store to check that it’s installed correctly. Or, search here for an inspection station.
A High-Quality Breast Pump
If you need to be separated from your baby, your baby has a medical issue, or breastfeeding cannot be initiated for any other reason, you may need to pump breast milk rather than feed at the breast. A nurse or Lactation Consultant will teach you how to pump during your stay and you may also be connected with a hospital-grade breast pump like Medela’s Symphony. If you’ve had trouble initiating breastfeeding with previous children or are anticipating any difficulties, you can also bring in your own pump so you can learn how to use it with a Lactation Professional by your side. Check out our Product Selector Quiz to discover which pump best fits your needs.
At Home – For Breastfeeding
Two or More Nursing Bras
By the end of your pregnancy, your cup size may have increased 1-2 sizes (or more!) as your body prepares for breastfeeding. After delivery and in the first few weeks postpartum, your breasts will continue to change – so it’s best to aim for flexible sizing. Visit our friends at Bravado Designs for nursing bras and tanks that aren’t just comfortable, but cute, too.
Washable or Disposable Bra Pads
Bra pads can help protect against leaks while also keeping you dry and comfortable.
Soothe and help heal sensitive nipples when you need it most. Choose a purified lanolin product such as Medela’s Tender Care Lanolin (you don’t even need to remove it before breastfeeding). Hydrogel Pads can help relieve nipple pain – try storing in the refrigerator for an even cooler soothing effect. Be sure to connect with professional lactation support for assistance if you are experiencing nipple pain.
The Contact Number of an LC
Lactation Consultants are great resources for latch issues, any breastfeeding or nipple pain, or if you’re having a difficult time breastfeeding. Search for an LC near you or visit our blog for tips on getting connected with breastfeeding support.
A Breastfeeding Pillow
A good breastfeeding pillow can make a huge difference in helping support baby so you can get in a comfortable position to nurse. A nice rocking chair or glider in baby’s room can also make late night nursing sessions a little easier.
At Least Two Dozen Burping Cloths
Prepare for easy clean-ups (and fewer loads of laundry).
At Home – For Pumping
Breast Milk Collection Containers
Prepare for easy storage whether you plan on freezing a surplus of breast milk or just pumping and refrigerating milk for your baby’s next feeding. Medela bottles are compatible with all Medela breast pumps and allow you to pump, store, and feed with the same container. Pump and Save Storage Bags feature connectors for you to pump directly into the bag.
Extra Breast Shields and Pump Parts
Keeping a few spares on hand ensures that you’ll never be caught without the parts you need to pump. Consider extra breast shields and power options (for home or vehicle). Authentic Medela Spare Parts are also available in convenient kits which include almost everything you need for double pumping.
Breast Milk Cleaning Supplies
Pumping moms know that cleaning is part of the everyday routine. Quick Clean Soap, Wipes, and Micro-Steam Bags can help remove stubborn breast milk residue from pump parts and bottles without scrubbing (and are also great for on-the-go cleaning).
What else did you do to prepare for the birth of your baby? Share with us in the comments below.