Does A Modern Mom Really Need All That Breastfeeding Gear?

Dear Judy,

I just found your website while looking for baby gifts for my nieces. It’s been twenty-six years since I breastfed my daughter, and I’m a little lost on what some of the items are that you offer. All I had were the milk jugs and a hungry baby. Suddenly breastfeeding seems more complicated than Google!

A breastfeeding hat? Surely I have the syntax incorrect and this is not a hat that nurses and drinks milk? What DOES it do? Nursing covers? I must have the syntax mixed up on this too… “nursing” just can’t be a verb here! I can’t quite tell from the pictures… is this basically a wide apron that one wears to hide the baby? Does it have pockets, support to hold the baby, something else?

Taking my tongue out of my cheek, I truly ask, “Do modern mothers NEED any of this stuff, or is it just something I would send as a little ‘spoliation’ gift?”

Confused Aunt

3-Piece Pajama SetThank you for your note! I had a good chuckle reading it! I would say there are items that are “must haves” and items that are “luxuries”. Most moms now-a-days are out and about quite a bit, so having items that enable them to nurse discretely is a must. For me personally, I didn’t care so much if someone got a glimpse of my breast while I was getting my son latched on, but I didn’t want my belly hanging out the whole time I was nursing! So I wore nursing tops ALL OF THE TIME. The nursing covers are great too because they fold up small and fit in your diaper bag and offer discretion while nursing – to cover your breast and your belly!

If you are looking for a baby shower gift or new baby gift, the nursing covers with matching burp cloths make a nice set. We have a number of covers and burp cloths in our boutique store.

Another item that many moms consider essential (besides a good nursing bra, of course) are pajamas. There are some nice pajama sets that have matching baby outfits. Some of the pajamas offer discreet nursing access, but many of them just offer EASY ACCESS. When you are half-asleep and trying to get your baby fed and back to sleep, you just need comfy pjs that allow easy access for nursing.

Another great accessory to include with your gift is a Nursing Reminder Bracelet. These are great because they enable you to remember which side you nursed on last. I wish I had one of these when my son was little!

The breastfeeding bonnets are great gifts as well – but probably more of a “luxury” item. They are nice because they offer discretion (covers the breast and any exposed belly) without being a cover – they are just a cute hat for your baby to wear – so they are less conspicuous than some of the covers.

Pump Ease Hands Free PumpingIf you niece is going back to work, then a must have is a hands-free pumping device. This makes a world of difference for moms who are pumping!

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Do you have a questions for Judy? Feel free to email or fill out the contact form!

16 comments to Does A Modern Mom Really Need All That Breastfeeding Gear?

  • Too funny! Yes, a ton of products and businesses are capitalizing on the upsurge in breastfeeding. Nothing wrong with that, as long as moms realize that they don’t really *need* any of that stuff.

    Course, I don’t *need* Starbucks, but here I sit. 😉

    The only breastfeeding gadget I couldn’t live without was my baby sling. It was perfect as a cover up, more discreet than a traditional blanket or nursing cover, helped with supply since baby was always inbetween my breasts and nuzzling me. Other than that, I did have a few nursing tops to make going out a little easier.

  • I found the link to this article from your Facebook page notification – just to let you know that your fans are definitely paying attention!

    The only thing that I feel I really need right now for nursing is my boppy. I swear that I can’t live without it! I love that it supports the baby so well and we’ve had the perfect snuggly position every time we nurse. I bought one cover for it, and made myself another – I felt very proud of that accomplishment too! I did it without a pattern even, but I digress.

    I have a nursing cover that I keep in my diaper bag, and I used it a lot when the baby was first born. However, as she grew I became less and less concerned about how others felt about my nursing…so I never use it. After that initial period of making sure that our latch was correct (I’d have to fiddle a bit with my nipple, and some times they were a little sore) I felt confident nursing anywhere.

    I do own a few nursing tops, and I would say that if anyone were buying gifts for a nursing mother THOSE would be the best gift item ever! I could use a lot more of these…if any of my family reads this HINT HINT! Covering my tummy was of utmost concern to me while nursing in public, and before I had nursing tops I would wrangle a baby blanket around my midsection, use the nursing cover (which was way to hot in the summer) or try to position myself so that I could hide most of my exposed bod. The nursing shirts helped to alleviate a lot of stress and give me a bit of modesty while I nurse. I can’t say enough about these.

    I don’t work, so I’ve no need really for a pump. However, if I did work, I’d definitely want a hands-free pump that was medical grade. I worked with a lactation consultant in the beginning to make certain that I had adequate supply, and the medical grade pump that she had was fast and efficient, able to pump the milk out quickly with little discomfort and because it was hands free I could read or do other tasks with my hands at the same time. If you need to pump at work, you really should invest in a good quality pump!!!

    Thank you for this article, and for allowing me to speak my opinion about nursing products. I consider just about every thing else unnecessary…but some of the products may be a fun addition to our family. Many blessings and much love to all nursing mommies out there!

  • Mommy News

    Thanks for visiting us Janeen and for your detailed comment! Your information is great and it is just what other new moms and moms-to-be need to hear! Judy

  • I have a pump and a hands free bra for my pump and they are the two things I need the most as far as breastfeeding gear goes.

    I would love to own lots of breastfeeding clothing and pajamas and such but they are just not in my budget at this time. I do have a couple of nursing shirts that someone gave me and they are really nice especially in the cold weather to not have my midsection exposed.

    When my babies were newborns it would have been really nice to have a nursing cover because it was sometimes difficult to get them latched and a blanket just didn’t stay up to keep me covered while working to get them latched. Now that my younger one is nine months it takes no effort so I don’t even use a blanket.

    I loved my boppy at first but don’t use it anymore either. I guess whether or not it is necessary is up to the individual.

    The other thing that I think is absolutely necessary is a good nursing bra. I know some women don’t buy them and just pull up the entire bra but that seems a lot more difficult than it needs to be.


  • Wow!!! I swear to you, even 3 years ago when my last one was born, there was not this wealth of options available. I love the hats- they would have been genius for me! He was the type that just wasn’t content unless all of mommy’s bits and pieces were on display- trying to grab the other side, etc. LOL.

    Now that he’ll be 3 in April, he just nurses once at night when he’s going to sleep, and every time, I wonder if it will be the last. Enjoy those sweet little teeny nurslings! Soon they’ll be huge toddlers chasing you,saying “Boob! I wannnnaaaaa booooooob! Mommy!” Great blog, thanks.:)

  • Mel

    Wow. Here I am nursing my three month old son with nothing but a sofa cushion and a muslin square/burp cloth for company. I had no idea there was so much I could buy! Now, has anyone seen hubby’s credit card??

  • I found I needed a boppy pillow with two covers, several nursing bras or tanks, lanolin, and breast pads. I ended up renting a hospital grade pump but that was only because we had difficulty. I bought a nursing cover but only used it a handful of times. I would say my most vital nursing thing is actually my Maya Ring Sling. Once we were comfortable nursing, I could go anywhere with my daughter privately nursing and then napping in it.

  • O.K, my essentials..
    Breasts, breast warmers ’cause I suffer from vasospasm, a good bra, manual hand pump for the day that I work and a well trained helper for when I run into trouble. For me this was the Australian Breastfeeding Association, for most others it is La Leeche Leauge. I also used a lactation consultant when I was really having trouble.
    I don’t think I would use any other gadgets even if I had them. I do love those hats though, whoever came up with that gets a giant tick from me. I wonder if they would like an Aussie distributor.

  • Mommy News

    Thanks for your comment Julie! It looks like they already have 2 distributors in Austrailia, but I am sure they would love one more:

  • I think that breastfeeding essentials are different depending on the woman, and also how many children she already has.

    With my first, I spent a lot of time nursing him, he was slow and nursed often. My second and third were and are much faster and I found my needs were different.

    I do believe a good nursing bra is a must! Unless you can get by with just a nursing tank or something. I could not.

    A nursing cover is also big on my list if you ever plan to nurse outside the house and have a grabby baby. I didn’t have to worry about being exposed by little hands.

    I also found Earth Mama Nipple Butter to be essential! I love that all the ingredients are safe and vegan.

    A good pump is helpful as well as a nursing pillow- I had the boppy and now have a Luna Lullaby.

    Why not make breastfeeding as comfortable and easy as possible?

  • I can’t live without my sling and my boppy!

  • The first time around, my twin nursing pillow was essential, my sling and nursing bras. The pump too since the twins spent time in the NICU.

    After that, though, all I needed was a sling. I did use a boppy on occasion, but could have gotten by without it.

  • OK, I just HAD to comment because that hands-free pumping device picture made me crack up laughing! I guess because I know there is no way in the world my HUGE breastfeeding boobs would have gone for that…LOL. The woman in the picture looks like she has ‘B’s at the largest!
    I haven’t BF for 15 years, but all I needed was a firm pillow to support the baby’s body. I like the look of those nursing pillows that are shaped correctly to fit around your body. Oh, and of course a good quality electric breast pump! (the hand or battery pumps are useless in my opinion!)

  • Mommy News

    Thanks for your comment Helen! Just to let you know, I was a 40G cup when my son was born and I used a hands-free pumping bra. It was a life saver!! So even though the photo shows a very tiny woman, they are made to fit all of us – no matter what our size. — Judy

  • Wow, that is really cool then:-)
    I’m very impressed!

  • Valerie

    Great tips!

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