Breastfeeding Guide

The Ultimate Breastfeeding Essentials List

Tried and tested by our Founder
The Ultimate Breastfeeding Essentials List

Most of us know generally what to buy: something to soothe your oh-so-sore nipples, a breast pump if you can’t always nurse directly, a nursing pillow to make those long feeding sessions a little more comfortable, etc. The good thing about breastfeeding is that you don’t need very much at all. 

But there are a TON of products out there, each claiming to be the best. “Best” can be subjective - what works for one mom might not work as well for another. But to save you some time, we have put together a list of breastfeeding essentials which we have tried, tested and believe would truly help make your breastfeeding journey a little smoother. You can thank us later ;)

1. Silverettes



Silverettes are cups made of pure silver that fit over your nipples. It's a natural, non-toxic solution that actually works to both prevent and heal sore or cracked nipples. No need for nipple cream/ointments (in fact, it's best to skip the cream if you are using these).

While Silverettes are a lot more expensive than nipple cream/ointments - we think its effectiveness + not living in fear about your baby ingesting nipple cream/ointment during feeding is priceless. They are also infinitely reusable so you can use it through multiple pregnancies or pass them on to other moms in need.

How to use: Simply place the cups over your nipples, using your bra and/or nursing pads to hold them into place.

For first-time moms, we suggest using the Silverettes as soon as you start nursing, between feeds to prevent rather than heal cracked nipples. Wear the cups consistently for the first couple weeks, and then as needed thereafter. If you are using them to heal sore or cracked nipples, wear them night and day in between nursing sessions, until the pain has resolved.

2. My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow

We have tried so many popular nursing pillows (like the Boppy) but My Brest Friend wins on so many levels.

It has a unique design that wraps around you with a belt that keeps it in place (leaving you hands-free - yay!) plus back support, which many a mom will appreciate after hours of feeding and sleep deprivation. It also provides a firmer surface with a cushion bump for baby's head which makes it easier to position baby for feeding.

Do we wish this came in prettier colors? Sure. But for all its useful features, we will take it over other pillows any day.

3. The Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump


We love the Haakaa because it is affordable, gentle on your oh-so-sore nipples, hands-free, requires no power, and works well in so many ways.

Two of its best functions in our humble opinion?
For moms with oversupply issues, it helps relieve engorgement without encouraging your body to overproduce - which an electric pump might do.
And it can also help you save a ton of milk. When you nurse on one side, both sides actually let down at the same time. By suctioning the Haakaa on the other boob, it helps catch all that liquid gold that would otherwise go to waste. You'd be surprised at how much milk it can catch!

Learning how to use the Haakaa is easy, but you will need some practice initially to get it right. We suggest going through these instructions to get the most out of your Haakaa. 

4. Spectra Breast Pump

For those who need a stronger, hospital-grade pump - for instance, moms who would like to increase their supply or working moms who need a quick efficient pump at the office - our pick is the Spectra Pump.

To be fair, you won't go wrong with Medela or Spectra. We prefer Spectra because it is cheaper, equally if not more effective (this is subjective), more hygienic and quicker to clean *emphasis added*, thanks to its closed loop system. 

You could go for a smaller, cheaper pump but from our experience, many of these usually have a shorter battery lifespan - which means they start out great but if you pump daily, you may need to replace them after a few months and end up spending more $. So if you plan to pump regularly long-term, we think it's worth investing in a reliable pump like the Spectra. 

5. Milk Storage Bags 

If you pump, you're going to need to store your milk somewhere. Using bags instead of bottles help save precious storage space, plus these ones come pre-sterilized = less hassle! :)

Just remember, to maximize space in your fridge, freeze your bags laying horizontally flat.

FYI - Spectra's flanges fit nicely into Lansinoh's storage bags so you can pump directly into the bag. If your flange doesn't fit, we suggest getting storage bag adaptors to attach your milk storage bags to your pump. 

6. Bottle Steriliser + Dryer

If you pump and bottle-feed, it's worth getting a Sterilizer since it is recommended to sterilize your pump parts and feeding equipment until your baby is 12 mo. Sure, you can do it the old-school way and simply boil your bottles. But it is more labor-intensive and we always opt for the path of minimal resistance. 

If you are thinking of getting a sterilizer, we highly recommend getting one that can both sterilize and dry. We like the Breeza precisely because it can do both, and it's equipped with a HEPA filter so it dries with 95% germ-free air. We cannot emphasize how game-changing the drying function is - no more waiting for bottles to dry on the rack!

Plus it has a ton of storage space for bottles of all kinds and sizes (note that some sterilizers can only fit certain brands) as well as pump parts. 


About the author: Claire is a nursing bra specialist and founder of maternity brand Embrace. She is a mother of two and has spent four years breastfeeding her babies. Understanding firsthand the unique needs (and woes) of breastfeeding mothers, Claire has made it her life's mission to help make mothers' breastfeeding journey a little more comfortable.