This post contains affiliate links, which means by clicking on and purchasing from any link, image or banner on this page I may receive a small commission, with no additional cost to you! Read the full affiliate disclosure here.
There’s only a handful of essential items needed to combat the variety of obstacles and challenges you’ll face in the first couple months of breastfeeding. Just knowing you’re equipped with these tools will give you confidence as you start breastfeeding, even if it’s not your first time!
What this kit is for
What exactly are some of the challenges you might face with breastfeeding and why do you need this kit? Because the complications that arise, come up quickly and you’ll want relief fast! Here are the most common things you may experience when you begin and throughout your breastfeeding journey.
- Cracked, painful, bleeding nipples as your breasts and nipples adjust to being sucked on-a lot!
- Engorged breasts, especially when your milk comes in.
- Leaking breast milk and lots of it!
- Clogged milk ducts and mastitis
*Find the links at the end of this post for causes, symptoms and fast remedies for all of these problems.
What’s Inside Your Breastfeeding Survival Kit
The first thing is going to bring you relief from engorgement as a result of your milk coming in. This happens in the first 3 to 5 days or sooner and can be a rude awakening! Other causes of engorged breasts are missing a feeding or dealing with clogged ducts. It can be incredibly uncomfortable so being fully prepared to handle breast engorgement is critical!
All that’s needed are 1 or 2 newborn diapers. Yes, these are for you! Soak them with water and toss them in the freezer for 30 minutes or longer. In between feedings, when the swelling seems unbearable, open the diaper up and lay them over your tender breasts for immediate relief. Tuck it in your bra and relax! Leave it on for 10 minutes or until it starts feeling wet. Then, put the diaper back in the freezer until needed again. These can be reused several times but you may need to wet them down after two uses. I’m telling you, life saver!
The next thing in your kit is nipple cream. The best organic creams that I’ve used and found helpful for cracked and painful nipples are: Earth Mama Nipple Butter and Motherlove. When needed, gently apply the cream to sore nipples after each feeding. Although these are supposed to be harmless to baby, I’d gently wipe away any left over cream before nursing my baby.
There’s nothing more annoying than going through three nursing bras and ten shirts in a day because of leaky breasts! Regardless of whether or not you leaked with a previous baby, it’s a good idea to be prepared for leaking milk by having nursing pads in your kit ready to go.
For the obvious reasons the next critical item is an extra water bottle on hand at all times. Water is essential for milk production and preventing dehydration as baby takes so much of yours!
Clogged ducts are a common issue for breastfeeders, no matter how experienced! You must get them unclogged to avoid mastitis! You can use your fingers or this massager to get those ducts flowing again.
The last essential item in my breastfeeding survival kit would be a go-to plan of action for treating clogged ducts and mastitis. My first round of breastfeeding I developed clogged ducts at least ten times, which turned into mastitis half the time! In this post I cover the causes of clogged ducts and mastitis and natural home remedies to treat both. I would recommend printing this out and keeping it in your kit!
Other things you may need that aren’t quite as critical:
Milk storage bags
Hand-held breast pump for catching leaking milk
Nursing pillow like the Boppy for breastfeeding comfort
Milk producing herbs
Breastfeeding Problems Solved
Get more helpful tips for engorgement and surviving the first six weeks with a new baby here.
Read about cracked, sore nipple remedies here.
Learn about the causes, symptoms and natural treatments for clogged ducts and mastitis here.