The World Health Organisation states that breastfeeding provides every child with the best possible start in life by providing "health, nutritional and emotional benefits to both children and mothers". However, it recognises that while breastfeeding is a natural process, it isn't always easy, and mothers need support – and a few key essentials – both to get started and to sustain breastfeeding.
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In honour of World Breastfeeding Week 2020, we've rounded up 15 key products that may help to make your own breastfeeding journey easier and more enjoyable. From the best nipple balms to the book every mum should read before getting started, here are just a few top picks…
Infantino Elevate adjustable breastfeeding pillow
This unique nursing pillow promises to help maintain the ideal feeding position for your ever-growing baby and has three layered petals so mums can adapt it to the perfect angle – both for newborns and infants alike. The pillow supports a number of key breastfeeding holds and has three different height options, which also helps to reduce the strain on your neck and back. It currently has £5 off in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week.
Infantino Elevate adjustable breastfeeding pillow, RRP: £34.99, Argos
BellaMoon® Full Moon 7-in-1 Pregnancy and Nursing System
For a longer-term investment you'll love the BellaMoon Full Moon 7-in-1 Pregnancy and Nursing System, which will prove useful from the first trimester of your pregnancy up until your baby is 18 months old. As well as working as a pregnancy pillow, it transforms into a comfortable and protective cocoon for a relaxing lateral breastfeeding experience once your baby arrives. It can even be re-configured to create a feeding pillow for upright breast or bottle feeding, a tummy time pillow, and a baby lounger. Well worth the investment.
BellaMoon Full Moon 7-in-1 pregnancy and nursing system, £169, Bellamoon.co
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Lansinoh washable nursing pads
Nursing pads are an essential for the early days, and these washable nursing pads are a super-soft, absorbent and eco-friendly alternative to disposable pads.
Lansinoh washable nursing pads, £6.99, John Lewis & Partners
Medela PureLan Nipple Cream
Designed to gently soothe and rehydrate skin that may be left tender or dry due to breastfeeding, Medlea PureLan cream contains no artificial additives or preservatives, so it is completely safe for your baby and can even be left on while feeding.
Medela PureLan nipple cream, £6.99, Amazon
Kit & Kin Breast Balm
This multi-tasking balm cools, heals and protects sensitive nipples. Better still, it's made using a blend of naturally nourishing oils and botanical extracts including rosemary, coconut, flaxseed and ginseng. A must-have addition to your breastfeeding kit.
Kit & Kin Breast Balm, £7.99, Kit & Kin
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Medela nipple shields
For badly cracked nipples that are stopping you from breastfeeding, nipple shields can provide temporary relief. Millie Mackintosh credited these Medela nipple shields for helping to reduce the pain of feeding her daughter Sienna, and at only £8.99, they're well worth a try.
Medela nipple shields, £8.99, Amazon
Medela Swing Flex breast pump
A breast pump is a must-have to relieve engorged breasts or to store milk for a night feed, and Medela's Swing Flex pump has many benefits over others on the market. Clinically proven to get 11 per cent more milk, the oval-shaped breast shield adapts to mums' natural breast shape and can be rotated to ensure you can find the right position to suit your individual shape when expressing.
Medela Swing Flex breast pump, £125.81, Amazon
Promising to make expressing much easier and more practical, the Elvie Pump fits in your bra with no wires and no noise, so you could use it anywhere, at any time. You can even connect it to the free Elvie Pump app to monitor milk volume in real-time, track pumping history for each breast and control the pump remotely.
Elvie single electric breast pump, £249, John Lewis & Partners
Lansinoh breast milk storage bags
If you're expressing milk, these pre-sterilised milk storage bags are a must to protect, store and freeze your breast milk for up to six months. Each bag holds up to 180ml of milk and features a double zipper seal to prevent leaks.
Lanisoh breast milk storage bags, £9.89, Amazon
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Baby Muslin squares
Muslins are invaluable for new mums, not only for feeding, but also for swaddling and general everyday use. You can never have too many! These 100 per cent cotton muslin squares feature six plain and geometric patterns, and are budget-friendly at £13.
Pack of six baby muslin squares, £13, John Lewis & Partners
Cotton and lace nursing bralette
Proving that nursing bras can be pretty as well as practical, Marks & Spencer's cotton and lace nursing bralette is available in white or blue and features quick-release cups for feeding.
Cotton and lace nursing bralette, £18, Marks & Spencer
ASOS Maternity nursing smock top
Featuring a double-layer design that is ideal for nursing, this ASOS Maternity top is a piece you can wear both while pregnant and breastfeeding. The sage green hue and smock fit are universally flattering, too.
ASOS Maternity nursing smock top, £22, ASOS
The Baby Feeding Book
Packed with expert information and practical tips, The Baby Feeding Book will prepare you for breastfeeding, covering subjects such as how to find the best breastfeeding position for you and how to prevent mastitis. It also discusses bottle-feeding and starting solids, making it an invaluable resource for your baby's first year.
The Baby Feeding Book, £11.99, Amazon
Kub Haldon Nursing rocking chair
Keeping both you and your baby comfortable while feeding, the Haldon rocking chair has a sleek design that makes it ideal for smaller nurseries, and features pockets on the side to keep other essential items close at hand.
Kub Haldon nursing rocking chair, £170, John Lewis & Partners
Nimble Milk Buster
Keep bottles and breast pumps fresh, clean and free from cloudy marks with Milk Buster. This handy spray uses plant-based ingredients derived from coconut that you can simply spray and swish with water.
Nimble Milk Buster, £4.99, Boots
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