Review: My Breastfeeding Essentials

When I had Oscar I gave up breastfeeding quite quickly as I completely lost my confidence after he was readmitted into hospital as he was jaundice and hadn’t been feeding properly so this time around I was determined to breastfeed. I had a midwife help me in hospital after I had Archie and left the hospital feeling confident with what I had been taught. On day 5 at the midwife check we were told Archie had lost more than 10% of his birth weight and my heart sunk. Obviously he wasn’t getting enough milk from me. The midwife sent us to A&E to be checked over and the paediatrician suggested I expressed some milk and after breastfeeding Archie top him up with what I expressed. The only problem with me doing this was after a few days Archie wouldn’t latch on properly to feed off of me. So I have put a small list together if some breastfeeding essentials that have made breastfeeding so much easier for me.


Dr Browns Manual Breast Pump
The Dr Browns Manual Breast Pump has a super soft flexible breast cup which has made expressing really easy and has left my breasts feeling comfortable afterwards unlike some of the pumps I tried with Oscar that hurt me. The flexible cup actually moves with your breast for maximum support and comfort. The gentle compression technology gently expresses the milk without tugging or pinching at your skin. It has been awarded a Prima Baby and Pregnancy Best Feeding Product Gold Award.


The pump comes with one manual pump, one 120ml Dr Brown’s bottle plus all bottle components (teat, collar, cap, vent insert, reservoir tube, travel disc, travel cap, wire vent cleaning brush) and you get all this for only £42. Having to express every two to three hours sounds like a chore but using this breast pump it has made it easy, comfortable and quick, taking only ten minutes to express around 100ml.


Dr Browns Natural Flow Bottles
It is always useful to have extra bottles to attach to your breast pump so when Greg is feeding Archie I can express the next bottle to try and get ahead of myself. Especially so I have bottles ready for the night time feeds as I found expressing in the middle of the night after feeding and changing Archie exhausting! 



The Dr Browns bottles are great, they have intelligent teats that eliminate air bubbles and stop your baby swallowing them when feeding eliminating any discomfort from wind or needing to burp and colic. The bottle teats are really soft and supple which make them easy for your baby to use and are really soft on their gums. The bottles have been designed perfectly and not only benefit your baby buy preserving the vitamins they need but are also easy to fill and keep clean as they have a wide top. A pack of two 240ml bottles are £11.69 and in the packet is the tow bottles, two level 1 teats, two two-piece internal vents and a cleaning brush. The bottles come in single or double packs in premmie, 120ml or 240ml sizes. You can even get them in blue or pink. With 9 out of 10 health professionals recommending these bottles they really are great.



Medela Contact Nipple Shields

I brought these in Mothercare last week after Archie wasn’t latching on properly after being introduced to a bottle. These have been a god send, the best £8.99 I have spent! By wearing them it has allowed Archie to latch back on, kept my nipples pain free and made feeding him when out and about much easier as I don’t always have to rely on expressing as I can express what I need to top him up before I go out.


The shields are available in three sizes and come in a discrete travel box. They are made from really thin material to offer maximum skin contact to aid bonding. These are absolutely brilliant!



Boppy Feeding Pillow
I was shown the Boppy feeding pillow when I went to the Chicco headquarters a couple of months ago and knew it would be a great product to make breastfeeding more comfortable. When I was given the chance to review one I was over the moon. It is a double sided feeding pillow that comes in a large range of different colours and patterns. I chose the cushion in the ‘Honey Bear’ fabric and they retail at £34.99.


I simply put it on my lap and rest Archie on it and kept Archie at the right height to make feeding easier and latch on quicker and makes you sit in the correct position. It also protected my stomach where I had had my caesarean. 




The cushion and the cover are both machine washable and the padded material means it will never loose its shape.


The Boppy can also me used to prop Archie up when he is laying on his play mat and when he is a bit older can be used to aid tummy time. So for £34.99 you are getting a really versatile cushion that will last.


Cantaloop Pregnancy/Nursing Tanktop
Cantaloop have a great range of nursing and pregnancy bras and pregnancy underwear. I was sent a tanktop in turquoise and the material is so soft and the top itself changes as you get bigger in pregnancy and again when your breasts change after birth when your milk comes in. This top keeps me so comfortable and it looks great too. 





It has integrated, closed cups and the drop down cup is easy to open with one hand and makes breastfeeding even easier without having to pull your top up or down. The material is extra soft which is perfect next to your new baby’s delicate skin. The top is available in six different colours; turquoise, white, black, beige, light rose and sweet red. The tanktops are £28.49 and come in small, medium, large or large. 


This tanktop is the perfect top for pregnancy and breastfeeding and I will be ordering more as I keep wearing mine and having to put it in the wash to be able to wear it again and again. The Cantaloop range is fantastic and I have also been wearing their C-Section briefs which made after my caesarean pain free. A full review of these will be on the blog next week.





Avent Isis Comfort Breast Shell Set
You simply pop the breast shells inside your bra and collects any excess milk that would normally be absorbed by a breast pad. It comes with ventilated shells to wear to protect your nipples if they are sore and non ventilated shells to collect your milk. They have a soft silicone backing for extra comfort. I don’t even notice I am wearing them. I couldn’t believe how much extra milk you can collect wearing these. I wear them to bed to and sleep on my front and always have at least 60ml collected by the morning which is amazing. I got these from Tesco for £10.95.






I hope you find these essentials helpful and make your breastfeeding experience easier like they have made mine.




Disclaimer: I was sent the Dr Browns Manual Breast Pump, bottle, Cantaloop Tank Top and the Boppy cushion to review. However all opinions are completely honest and my own.


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