These are all products I personally used and liked, however I never tested alternatives to each of them so I'm sure there are many similar items out there!
Nursing Bra and/or Tank Tops. Easy access makes every feeding easier. I lived in nursing tank tops for an entire year. I liked the Motherhood Maternity brand Clip Down Nursing Tank which has side ruching, oh so forgiving for that post-delivery stomach. They are constantly rotating in new colors or a slight variation in the style. In the winter, I just added a cardigan over the top and was ready to go.
Nursing Pillow. There were many times I used a regular bed or couch pillow. I also liked My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow and the original Boppy. The Boppy is nice because it has ongoing uses as baby grows whereas I did not use My Brest Friend after my son was 2-3 months old. My Brest Friend is very nice for positioning a small baby who has yet to develop neck control and I was lucky to be given a hand-me-down pillow.
|Henry using the Boppy w/Organic Cotton Cover|
Purified Lanolin. In the event of a nipple injury, I found Purified Lanolin to be highly effective. Lanolin is extremely thick and provided the relief I needed to keep feeding throughout the healing process.
Heat Source, for blocked duct treatment. I used these Booby Tubes. I just popped them in the microwave and applied for 5-10 minutes before each feeding until the blocked duct resolved. They were easy to fold around and manipulate to apply heat exactly where I wanted it and they stayed nicely in place in my bra.
Nursing Cover. There are proper covers, but a blanket works just as well. I received an Udder Cover as a hand-me-down. Since I didn't acclimate my son to eating under the cover at home so I was always nervous to try it when we were out. Sometimes my son took bottles of expressed milk when we were out, but as he got older and I stopped pumping entirely I just fed him in the car if it was feeding time. I never covered myself up when breastfeeding in the car and I never found anyone stopped and stared in my window at us.
Nursing Pads. This is an item I never used. In 15-months of breastfeeding, I never once had a drop of milk which required the use of a nursing pad. I purchased Bamboobies which seem very nice and washed up well for their initial washing. I can't speak of their efficacy though. I would recommend not over-investing in nursing pads until you can assess your need. There are inexpensive disposable pads which could be used if needed while you waited for reusable pads to arrive.
Here are some great online resources:
Kellymom - your one stop site for all your questions
La Leche League International
Timeline of a Breastfed Baby - Month by Month
Breastfed Babies Grow Differently
On a More Personal Note...
It took me a month to get semi-proficient at breastfeeding. I think it took at least two months before it became second-nature. During that time, I fed on the bed, on two different couches, and in two different chairs using three different types of support pillows. My best advice is: if something is not working, try something else! Baby is growing more every day and feeding ease and positioning will change as baby grows and develops better neck control.
Remember breastfeeding is difficult for a lot of moms. I'm sure there are moms out there who have a very easy time of it. But for a lot of us, breastfeeding comes with challenges, some pain, and a whole lot of frustration.