Supporting Breastfeeding

La Leche League Canada

What Do You Really Need for Breastfeeding?

on May 11, 2015

If you look at baby books and on the internet, there are a wide variety of lists of things that breastfeeding families “must have”.  Some of these lists are created by stores or manufacturers of baby gear so they can be biased towards their own products.  So what do experienced mothers think are the most important things you need if you are planning to breastfeed?

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Here are the results of a poll of new mothers at a recent La Leche League Canada meeting:

  • The most essential items? You have these already:  your breasts.

Mothers with only one functional breast have nourished babies without any supply issues. Mothers of twins are blessed to have the same number of breasts as they have babies. Mothers of more than two can breastfeed but they need to be more creative to make sure everyone gets a turn at the breast.

  • Diapers are something that most families will find useful
  • Simple baby clothing (remember your baby doesn’t care whether the clothing has been gently used. Babies grow fast so you probably don’t want to invest a lot in a tiny wardrobe)
  • Some place safe to put baby down to sleep for naps and a safe sleep surface for night time. Check out the book Sweet Sleep for information on safe sleep locations for babies
  • Some kind of soft baby wear carrier. There are many kinds. Talk to other mothers and try out a few to find one that is easy for you to put on and take off. Babies love to be close and they enjoy the movement of your daily life.
  • An approved car seat (even if you don’t own a car you will probably travel in one at some point in time)
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (here is the Link to Chapters Indigo site which supports LLLC through all of your purchase)
  • The phone number or e-mail address of a La Leche League Leader

That is it, the whole list of “must haves”!


Other things that some mothers have found useful include:

  • Nursing bras (you might find you are comfortable with no bra or a stretchy regular bra. Avoid underwire bras as they may cause pressure that can lead to a plugged duct. Most mothers will need a larger size than their pre-pregnancy bras at least for the early months)
  • Washable or disposable nursing pads if you find you are leaking (you can make your own from cotton cloth or an old towel)
  • If you are returning to work or have a premature baby a high quality breast pump will make it easier to maintain your milk supply. You may find that hand expression is efficient for occasional pumping, and it is free.

What do you consider a “must have” as a breastfeeding mother? 

If you need more information or have a breastfeeding problem or concern, you are strongly encouraged to talk directly to an accredited La Leche League Leader.  In Canada, Leaders can be located by clicking or Internationally


If you have found this article helpful, La Leche League Canada would appreciate your support in the form of a donation at so we can continue to help others breastfeed. Thank you!



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