Whether you are a new or seasoned mother there are a few things that are essential if you are planning on breastfeeding. Nursing will be one of the most difficult and rewarding jobs you will have in motherhood. You’ll be glad to know that with some modern conveniences nursing is simpler and more stylish than ever. You will be spending hours a week nourishing your child you might as well feel great doing it. Check out our list of must haves for the nursing mom to make your breastfeeding experience an enjoyable one.

There are many places to cut costs when becoming a mother. Don’t skimp on your undergarments. A properly fit nursing bra allows easy access and comfortable support all day and night. At first it may seem odd having a trap door to your breast, your partner may even become a little giddy. You will soon discover that this is the most essential item in your wardrobe. Hardly anyone will see it but your day would be lost without it. Check out our tips on finding the right nursing bra or visit your local maternity store to find to get fitted.

Shopping can be difficult enough with a unpredictable newborn in tow not to mention adding the difficult task of finding a shirt capable of multitasking. A nursing top is essential to your mommy uniform. You can easily breastfeed with cleverly designed layers that simply pull up or down. You will feel more confident in a well fitted top and feel sexy without exposing unnecessary flesh.

Breastfeeding is nothing to be ashamed of. There may be times that you may want a little privacy without having to leave the room. Nursing covers are generous in size, made of lightweight material to keep your baby cool. They offer a stiff upper hem so you can still make eye contact with your baby. You will appreciate the barrier from peering eye’s  when your child becomes more curious of their surroundings and starts unlatching with little notice. A nursing cover is a essential fashion accessory, your diaper bag is not complete without it. Pick polka dots if you are playful or paisley if you are stylish. No need to match your cover to your baby. Let your choice reflect your personal style.

You might use a breast pump to stimulate or release some pressure in the first few weeks after giving birth or you might be a marathon pumper preparing for your return for work. Whatever your reasons are, a Breast pump should be on your checklist. Baby store isles are lined with options from hand pumps to electric and brands such as Medela or Avent. Your decision doesn’t have to break the bank. You can try and even rent a pump from the hospital before you commit. An item such as this is easily sterilized making it a perfect second hand purchase.

Few women are prepared for the challenges that come with breastfeeding. It is a natural thing that doesn’t always come easy. You and your baby learn together, the proper latch to frequency of feedings. You might struggle in the beginning but your perseverance will pay off.  In the middle of the night with little to no sleep you may question your decision to breastfeed but all you have to do is look at your child nursing intently and growing so quickly to realize the choice you made was the right one. All you need is a little patience and some satellite TV to get you through the tough times.

-Stephanie Raposo, nursed with confidence since 2006