Listen to this episode HERE.

Krista: This is Secret Mom Hacks episode number 10. My name is Krista and I am your host. It's April 12th, 2023, and in today's show we are covering my top 10 must-haves for breastfeeding. Now, if you listened to episode three, you heard all about my struggles with breastfeeding, so I will not regurgitate those details for you today.

But what I am going to tell you all about is the products that I wish I knew about as I was starting that breastfeeding journey. So if you are just getting started with that, consider this your cheat sheet. And if you know a mom who is just getting started with breastfeeding, please do them a favor by sharing this episode, I promise they will be indebted to you.

But before we jump into my top 10 must-haves, I just want to say thank you for tuning in, mama. As of this recording, I am chasing around a four and a half year old that no amount of Googling, mom groups or what to expect books were able to prepare me for. There's a lot of stuff people don't talk about when it comes to pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy, post parted, all that jazz, and as someone who was previously terrified of childbirth, parenthood and all that follows, I'm here to help you pull back the curtain on all of it.

And every now and then it may get a little messy. We may share a little TMI, but that's why you're here, right? My goal is that you will leave every episode feeling, inspired and hopeful knowing you are not on this mom journey alone. Now we have a lot of subject matter to cover when it comes to mom life, and we are covering it all. So let's get into these top 10 breastfeeding must-haves.

Now I do want to preface this list by saying these 10 items all worked for me. And all of us are created differently. Not all of these products may work for you. I hope they do. I didn't put an item on here that just halfway worked or that was mediocre. Every single 10 of these items was great. It worked great. It exponentially helped my breastfeeding journey, so I hope they will all do the same for you.

And let's get on with this list. So the first item I want to tell you about is the nursing bra that I raved about on episode number seven, about maternity wardrobe basics. So I told you all about the I love SIA nursing bras from Amazon. Now I tried a handful of other nursing bras out there.

It seems like I got something at Target. Maybe a department store and they just were not that comfortable. When one of my friends who had also just had a baby told me about the I love SIA nursing bras that she found on Amazon. I thought, okay, I have got to order these, check them out, see what I think.

And I did and they are great. So I actually started using them while I was pregnant because, well, you can hear all about this on episode number seven, but as my body was changing, I needed some different bras. So these bras lasted me from pregnancy through post-pregnancy, through my breastfeeding journey.

And then even beyond that, even after I had stopped nursing, my body had of course, had changed and I wore them for. Several months even after I had stopped breastfeeding, just because they were so comfortable. So definitely check out the, I love SIA nursing bras from Amazon. And by the way, every one of these products I am going to link to in my show notes.

So don't feel like you have to write everything down here. Just take a listen. Listen to this entire episode for every single one of these great products I'm gonna share. So whatever you're doing, if you're like me, you're probably multitasking doing five different things or driving, while you're also listening to this episode.

But don't worry about grabbing that pen. Just, just listen. And then when you have a moment, go check out my show notes where you can find all the links to all of these products in case you decide you need to check them out, or in case you wanna share the product or the tips with. Mom, friend. Okay, so that was product number one.

The I love Sia nursing bras from Amazon. The next item I want to share with you is called, now, I'm not quite sure how you pronounce this, so I'm just gonna take a stab at it. I think it's called haakaa. The haakaa squeeze bottle. Now. So this item is one of those things that I discovered this, gosh, probably around month four, maybe four or five, that.

You know when my daughter was four or five months old. I wish I had known about this from the beginning. So let's just talk about this for a minute. Let's talk about the mechanics of breastfeeding. Also wanna preface this by saying, I am not a lactation consultant. I am not a lactation specialist. I'm not a doctor.

I have no medical credentials. I am merely sharing with you my experience. So if something doesn't sound right. Perhaps you do have more medical background than I do, by all means, feel free to shoot me a note, correct me, whatever. But let's just talk about the mechanics.

I'm gonna share with you my experience in breastfeeding and why this haakaa squeeze bottle. So invaluable and why I wish I had found out about it sooner. Okay, so here's what happens As you're nursing and if you just have one baby like I did, then you have baby at your breast. Okay? So baby is nursing.

So what happens when baby is nursing is all these hormones start flowing and there is this process in order for the milk to flow. Something has to happen inside your breast. It's called the letdown, and that letdown is this, I believe it's this release of hormones.

Just based on what other medical professionals shared with me as I was nursing and in my little bit of research that I. But basically once baby latches, these hormones start flowing and, within just a short amount of time, hopefully for you, within just, just a little bit of time as baby is latching and, it starts sucking on your breast.

Then this thing happens called the letdown, and what that means is the milk starts flowing out of your breast into your baby's mouth, right? So here's the thing though, friends, this is something I didn't know or understand, but. I thought when baby's nursing that milk is just gonna come out of the one side where baby is nursing.

Oh, no. No. Oh, no friends. That is not true. What happens when baby is nursing is milk will actually come out of both breasts. Okay? So, and you know, they call milk, they call breast milk liquid gold. And we should treat it as such, right? It truly is liquid gold. It is not only just the best thing your baby can eat, but breast milk can actually heal.

Um, heal scratches on your baby. It's, it's the wildest thing. I don't even understand how that works, how that happens. Anyway, So if it's so valuable, if both breasts are expelling the milk, right, then say baby is on the left side, well then you've got milk coming out of the right side and that is just wasted liquid gold, right?

We do not want to waste that precious, precious milk. And what was I doing for those first couple of months? Well, I was wasting it because I. No idea that there was actually something that you could attach to that other breast while baby was nursing, and you could actually catch all of that milk that was coming out.

Right? So this, this squeeze bottle, you could, you attach it to your other breast while baby is at the other side and as the milk starts flowing, that milk starts dripping into that squeeze bottle, okay. Into that hawk of bottle. And then when baby's done, So what you can also do, you can continue, cuz again, we all know how full our breasts get during breastfeeding. You can actually squeeze some more milk out into that bottle and save it for later.

Oh my gosh. I wish I had known about this Hawk Squeeze bottle. There's probably other brands out there, I don't know, but Haakaa is just the one I knew about. It's the one that a friend had also shared with me about. It's the one everybody was talking about. So that's what I used. I cannot recommend that product enough.

I was able to save so much milk, get a good overflow going for baby. So highly recommend that haw squeeze bottle to help you save that valuable liquid gold. Okay, so that's product number two. So the third item I want to tell you about is breast pads. Now, I knew nothing about breast pads, like I said. Didn't really understand how, how all of this works, but how the press pads work. So when you are nursing, okay. If I would just look at my baby, I would kinda start to get leaky boobs. Okay. Just being real.

Sharing the tmmi here. I would look at my baby, I would get leaky boobs. I would get really happy about something, my boobs would leak. And so the breast pads are super important so that you are not walking. With a wet shirt all day. Okay? And so you're not getting embarrassed. So highly recommend breast pads.

There are a handful of products out there, different brands, so honestly any of them would work good. They make washable breast pads you can again find on Amazon at and at different stores. They also have disposable breast pads, so that's super handy. I cannot recommend breast pads enough though, because you do not wanna be walking around getting embarrassed with a wet shirt, right?

So breast pads super important. The fourth item I want to talk about is milk catchers. You might also see those called milk collectors or breast shells, or boob shells. So these are little circular plastic or silicone items, you get two of them, of course. So one for each breast. So they go in your bra, your nursing bra or whatever, and it's kind of the same idea.

This is kind of a combination of that haakaa. Squeeze bottle milk, collection bottle, and the breast pads. It's kind of a, a hybrid of those, if you will. So it's a much smaller product than the the haakaa milk bottle, but it's also not going to lose the product like you would in the breast pads. Okay.

Breast pads are just, For keeping your shirt dry. Okay. Um, they're not good for actually collecting milk. So, like I said earlier, I just look at my baby and my boobs would start leaking if I would get emotional or, you know, something, make me super happy, super sad. My boobs might start leak leaking. And so these milk catchers were so good because I could just put them in my bra and throughout the day as my boobs would leak, they would go right into those milk catchers.

I could pour them in the, the haakaa milk collection bottle and just leave that in the fridge. And then once it was full, I would freeze it. So these milk catchers are super helpful. I have to give a shout out to my cousin Jill, who I interviewed back several episodes ago. She was the one who told me about these, and they came in so handy.

Once again, I'm not gonna give you a specific brand, just jump on Amazon or go to Google. And type milk catchers or milk collection shells. And you will find one that I'm sure works really well. I will at least link to one in the show notes so you can have a reference for exactly what I'm talking about.

Okay. Item number five, that is a must have for nursing mamas is milk bags. Now the milk bags are super important because as you are pumping or as you're using these milk catchers or the haakaa milk collector bottles, you are going to need some type of bag to put all that milk in to ideally freeze.

It's really nice if you can help build up a little bit of a supply. For those super busy days to send to daycare and so on. Always nice to have a little bit of a overstock of the breast milk, right? So you gotta have something to put that milk in. So several brands are great.

I've used the Lanisoh bags, that's probably the most popular that you would find at your local store. There's, I believe, Medela makes some bags. A lot of the companies that make breast pumps will also make milk bags as well to accompany them. So I will link to some of those in the show notes. Something that I just learned about, maybe they had these when I was nursing my little, but I did notice that there are some reusable breast milk bags out there, some silicone breast milk bags, which is awesome. Hey, less waste, less trash, because I did not use, Silicone or reusable milk bags. When I was nursing, I never really knew that that was even an option.

So pretty cool that those exist now. But milk bags are definitely something you are going to need on your breastfeeding journey. Okay, number six is a freezer milk holder. I don't know what your freezer looks like, but I don't always have the most organized freezer in the world, and you do not want to lose that liquid gold around your different lean cuisines and freezer meals and ice cream and, and all the other things that you may have in your freezer.

So highly recommend getting. Freezer milk holder, just a little organizer where you can stack all of your backstock of pumped milk, and it's all frozen right there. Super easy for you to find. Okay? Number seven that I want to tell you about is Pumpin' Pals flanges. As we're talking about flanges, so we may need to back up a just a little bit because prior to breastfeeding, if you'd said, oh, you need these flanges, I would not have known what you are talking about.

So every breast pump comes with the bottles? Well, I don't wanna say every breast pump, so maybe not all of them do, but mine did just a few bottles. It's gonna come with cords that attach from the pump to the bottles, and then at the top of the bottles are what's called flanges. Okay? So the pumps are going to come with flanges made for that specific pump.

Now, the pump that I had ordered, which we will talk about in a future episode. The pump I used, I used the Spectra pump and it came with I think two or maybe three different sizes of flanges. And once again, just going back to the mechanics and the physics of all of this, all of our bodies are created differently, right?

All we're all different shapes and sizes. And weights and all of that. And, and that also includes our breasts, right? All of our breasts look different, and they're all different shapes and sizes and a flange that fits you may or may not fit me. And so when you get these pumps, most of them should come with at least two options, maybe three, three different sizes.

And so here's the thing. Too much breast is being pulled into the flange. Well, that could be hurtful. And if too little breast is being pulled into the flange, well that could also be hurtful and potentially just not as effective. Right? Because the thing is the flange, I believe. Again, like I said, not a medical specialist here, but.

The flange interacts with the suction, with the pump and the flange is kind of what mimics the sucking of the baby. Okay? So the, that flange is super important cuz it's kind of mimicking the sucking action of the baby to pull the milk outta the breast and into the bottle to actually pump the milk. So flanges are super important. And this is something that I feel like somebody told me about maybe six or seven months into my breastfeeding journey, about halfway through, because I did breastfeed for right around a year. And so about halfway through that journey, somebody told me about Pumpin' Pals flanges.

So what I love about the Pumpin' Pals flanges is the way they are designed. So they have just a little bit of a different shape than the normal flanges that come with pumps. So they're super comfortable to use.

So not only are the pump and pals flanges more comfortable, but the way they're created is they actually put less pressure on the. Which helps to avoid mastitis. And if you don't know what mastitis is, just Google it. We are not going to talk about that. Now, I'm thankful I never experienced mastitis, but I do have a super close friend who did experience it, and she talked about how it was just one of the most painful experiences she'd ever had.

So if Pump and PS can help you avoid mast, Check them out. Okay. And one final selling point for me too with a pump and p flanges is that they're also made of silicone, which helps to create a sticky surface to more easily adhere to the breasts while you are pumping. And so once again, all of that just makes them more comfortable and helps you to avoid potentially painful issues while you're pumping, which as we've talked about, breastfeeding is not easy. So the more we can do to alleviate potential issues, the better. So highly recommend Pump and Pals, check them out. Okay, the last three must-haves I want to tell you about are.

Supplements. Okay. So eight, nine, and 10. These are all super helpful supplements that I used to increase my supply, so that's another thing. Friends, the more you. Pump. The more you nurse, the more milk your body will create. Again, that's just in my experience.

But as I was nursing, it was also really important to me to just figure out how I could. More milk and make sure it was super high quality milk. Right? And we know that diet, and physical activity and stress and all of these things can contribute or, or also worsen, you know, make breastfeeding harder.

So it can either make it better, can make it harder. The things we're putting in our body, the things that we're thinking about. And so on, and again, if you listen to my story, I shared about how I had certain stressors in my life that were also affecting my supply. So, around this five or six month mark in my breastfeeding journey, as some stressors were starting to increase, I guess you would say, I started looking into some supplements. So number eight is the Milky Way supplement, which is made by Green Star Naturals. Now, that was the first lactation supplement that I started using, and I liked it. I thought it was great.

I noticed a difference in the amount of milk that I was able to produce. So highly recommend Green Star Natural's, Milky Way breastfeeding, supple. Now, I'm not sure how I came across this next company, but I was using the Milky Way supplement, really liked it.

Somehow I came across a company called Legendary Milk, and I fell in love with their supplements. So if you go to Legendary Milk's website, and it's legendary. D A I R Y. That is how you spell legend, D A I R Y You can see all of their supplements there. I ended up purchasing their best seller bundle, which it was really the best way to get the best price, so I got their pump and Princess Milk Appalooza and Liquid Gold. Lactation bundle, and I loved these products. These were the ones that I definitely noticed a increase in my supply. That was about the time that my backstock of freezer milk was really starting to get built up. And if I'm remembering correctly, I really think Pump Princess was my favorite out of those three. But they all worked. I tried all three of those and I loved them. So I started with the Milky Way supplement, then I discovered Legendary Milk, and this is where I just fell in love because I felt like these products really, really worked.

All three of them. So I would say you couldn't go wrong if you. One, but why not get that deal with all three of them for $50? I believe each one is actually 1999 separately, so you're saving 10 bucks if you get the bundle. So best way to get the best price. But I love these products, especially Pump Princess.

So definitely check out Legendary milk. And then product number 10 that I want to tell you about, I found on Amazon. I think I just came across the reviews for this product and was just really impressed. And I love chai tea, by the way. So product number 10, is called Mrs. Patel's Milk water Tea.

So it is a chai tea with a natural lactation supplement in it. Now, I love this product. I thought it was so good. I start every day with coffee or tea. But this milk, water, tea, Mrs.

Patel's, milk water, chai tea, it was so good. And I also noticed a difference with that. So that in combination with the, the legendary milk or the Milky Way supplement, and you should. Golden, haha, pun intended, uh, with the liquid gold there. Okay. Clearly I'm not a standup comedian, but anyway, those are my top 10 products that if you are breastfeeding or you know, a breastfeeding mama, please share this episode with them because I wish I had known this from day one.

I wish I'd known about all of these products from day one. It would've been so helpful. All of them made my nursing and breastfeeding journey so much easier.

So yes, captain obvious, the most important must have, I probably should have led my list with this, but the most important must have is the breast pump. So hopefully you have that. I'm gonna cover breast pumps and what worked for me, what didn't work for me. In a future episode, talk about some of my favorite things when it came to breast pumps and why I chose what I did and so on.

And I will make sure and do my research, make sure that I'm up to speed with all of the health insurance information with covering breast pumps. But those are my top 10 must-haves today, mama. So I hope that was informative for you.

If you have a must-have, if there, if there's something that has been extremely helpful for you that I did not cover in today's episode, please shoot me a note. And before I wrap, I wanna say, You gotta remember that it's hard to take care of those you love if you're not taking care of yourself.

So mama, just a gentle reminder to stay hydrated. Make time for yourself today. Go paint your nails, go get a mani/pedi. Take a quick walk around your neighborhood, around your house, in the park, whatever, wherever you can, whether it's 30 minutes, whether it's five minutes, do something for you. Also, don't forget to wash your face.

Put on that great overnight moisturizer before you slip into bed. And also don't forget that sunscreen in the morning. Okay? Your skin is going to Thank you. Okay. Thanks so much for spending some time with me today. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe. If you haven't already, give me a five-star rating and leave a review sharing your favorite takeaway so far.

Make sure you stop by where you can find transcripts, resources, and a ton more. Okay, stay tuned for next week's episode, and until then, you've got this mama.


You can find me on your podcast listening platform of choice HERE!

And while you’re there, please consider doing any or all of the following…

  • Subscribe! ✅
  • Leave a 5-star rating.⭐️️️️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Review – Share a sentence or two with your favorite takeaway from an episode or just leave me a few words of support.❤️

I appreciate anything you can do to help spread the word!