Do you need to buy anything before baby comes to support breast/chestfeeding?
Updated: Jul 20, 2020
Long answer short, no.
All you really need
There are loads of great luxury products out there to support you in breast/chestfeeding your babe, but they aren't necessary by any means.
What you need: Early Days
a spoon, medicine cup or clean shot glass works well if you want to express colostrum and top baby up after delivery
one or two regular pillows to support baby on your lap and to bring them closer to your chest and give your arms a bit of a break
a blanket or two to support your joints when you are in a good position
a towel or mattress protector to sleep on. Some folks leak when they sleep after their milk comes in and until their body regulates milk supply. Old milk can start to stink on your sheets just like...rotten milk! Not so lovely. A towel helps protect your sheets until your supply is tailored to babe. Some folks wear pads in a bra when they sleep, that's also an option but i find that unless they are a natural fibre they can keep the nipple and areola moist which can make the skin more fragile.
In my experience:
There are some things I got excited about and purchased before my baby came that I STILL like but aren't vital.
Two breastfeeding related splurges I don't regret
This amazing nursing bra (Bravado, $55) that I wore through pregnancy, postpartum and is still in the very regular rotation. It's super supportive for a non-wire bra and grew and shrank with me during a time of such flux. Another reason I love this bra is that it is wire free. Speaking of wires, did you know that the constant pressure of a wire in a bra on your breast/chest can increase your chance of getting a plugged duct?
2. Though a pump is certainly not necessary, it was important for my partner and I to share some of the opportunities to feed my daughter once breastfeeding had been well established. We liked the flexibility of being able to "tap each other out" from the trenches of early parenting. I love the ease of use
of my pump (Medella, $490) and how you can take it apart to clean every inch between sessions. It held a long charge and is super small and easy to tote around. Sidenote, I delegated the pump part cleaning to my partner and I very much recommend it. It's a great way to not resent the pump as sometimes the frequent cleaning (if you pump a lot) can get annoying. NB If you don't plan on sharing feeding with a support person and don't plan on incorporating some bottle feeding, pumps aren't necessary at all. If you aren't sure if you need a pump or not, wait until baby is here and see if you find yourself wanting to express and store your milk. You can order one super fast online and they are typically in stock at your local big box stores and many baby shops. You can also rent pumps from some drugstores and hospitals with a birthing centre in them.