Hi friends! It’s been awhile, but I’m back from some much-needed bonding time with my sweet baby girl.

Nora was born June 8th and was one of the best little surprises of my life. With two boys, Keegan (4) and Liam (2), at home, my husband and I were sure we’d be adding a baby boy to this crew (we waited to find out her sex until she was born). When Nora arrived, we were shocked and overjoyed. She is a sweet as can be and we couldn’t be more excited.

About six months in and I am smack dab in the middle of the nursing world. I made it through the hardest part, we now have a rhythm and are moving right along. I nursed each of my boys for 12 months, and will likely do the same for Nora. It’s hard. Many times I thought about quitting or said I wasn’t “gonna make it this time”. This time I’m taking it day by day, but so far so good.

Given that breastfeeding is my world right now, I thought I’d share what is fresh in my mind…

7 Must-Haves for Breastfeeding Moms:

*As a caveat, these ideas are based on my personal experience as a mom, and my professional training as a lactation counselor; however they may not be must-haves for ALL moms, since we are all very different… but, here are my favorites:

1. Breast Pump: Obviously a breast pump is a must-have, but with so many on the market, how do we decide? I used the Medella Pump In Style with Keegan and Liam and loved it. Reliable, light-weight, strong. This year I changed it up and got the Spectra S2 after reading tons of positive reviews. I have to tell you, I LOVE it. It’s hospital grade, really strong and really quiet. I’m collecting more milk, and am way more comfortable. If you haven’t ordered yours yet, I would definitely go with the Spectra. I ordered mine through Aeroflow and have been very happy with their service. My pump was fully paid for by insurance and arrived within one week of ordering!2. Haakaa: This was a new one for me this time around too. I heard about it through a nurse and lactation consultant who I follow on instagram, Milk Sprout. Attach this to one side while feeding the baby or pumping on the other side. With a gentle suction, it collects milk during the letdown and a little extra through the feed. With the Haakaa in place, collect an extra 1-2 oz without any extra effort. Totally worth it. 3. My Aloo: Friends, this one is a game-changer! It’s a small valve that fits into most bottle systems and blocks the backflow of breast milk (or formula) into the bottle. With this in place, if your little one doesn’t finish his or her bottle, you can put it back into the fridge and finish the rest later! As your baby grows, he or she may be ready to start drinking more volume, but if you’re like me, you hesitate to put a larger amount in the bottle because if your baby didn’t finish it, you’d usually have to throw it away. But… with Aloo, add a full 6 oz, if the baby drinks 4 oz, safely save the rest for the next feed. It’s inexpensive and worth every penny!

4. Boppy: I’ve always used the Boppy and swear by it. Perfect size, comfortable, sturdy, and a great little resting place for baby through the first year. I know many people who use My Breast Friend and like this one too– I don’t have experience with that one, but it looks to be very nice as well.

5. Nursing cover: This Milk Snob nursing cover is the best! For my third baby, this has been completely necessary. We are always on the go, and it’s a fashionable way to cover up. My old nursing cover was open in the back, so I never felt fully secure. With the Milk Snob, you’re covered 360 degrees. I also love using it as a car seat cover, and to keep baby warm when we’re out and about in the cool fall weather.

6. Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy Pack: In the first couple weeks when supply is evening out and everything hurts, these packs are amazing! I know so many moms who complain of pain for the first few weeks of nursing. If you’re sore– pick up one of these! Pop them inside a nursing bra after feeds and you will feel so much better. Cold, they relieve engorgement; warm, they help with mastitis, clogged ducts, and can be used to help encourage let-down.
7. Bamboobies:  These reusable nursing pads are super soft and comfortable, and thin so they don’t show through your top. I had been using disposable pads for a long time, but was frustrated with how lumpy they looked under my clothes, and felt bad for creating so much extra waste. These are amazing!

What are your favorites? Do you have a must-have that I should have? Please share! I am always looking for awesome new products for moms.


Happy Monday!

-Catherine Callahan, MS, CCC-SLP, CLC