What are breastfeeding aids?

Breastfeeding aids include a variety of products that are designed to make breastfeeding easier for mothers or to support them. Furthermore, certain aids can help promote the flow of milk or prevent inflammation of the breast or nipple.

Which aids are particularly suitable is an individual decision. However, many women benefit from one or the other “breastfeeding aid”, especially with their first child.

Read more on the subject here: Breastfeeding

These tools are there

There is a wide variety of breastfeeding aids available. In the age of the Internet, this offer has increased again, as products from abroad are now also being advertised. The most common aids for breastfeeding include:

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  • Nursing pillow: A U-shaped pillow that is placed under the child when breastfeeding. As a result, the child's head is well supported - which can make it easier for mother and child to drink from the chest
  • Nipple shields: These are mostly transparent silicone molds that are placed on the nipple. They can be used for breastfeeding problems or sore nipples
  • Breast pads: These are placed in the bra and are intended to protect both the clothing and the breast from leaking milk and ensure a dry breast
  • Breast pump: The breast pump is used to express breast milk. It is a device that is operated either manually or electrically.
  • Nipple Ointment: Sucking on the nipples can lead to tender or sore nipples. This can be remedied by special nipple ointments that promote the healing process of the irritated skin.
  • Nursing cloth: Nursing cloths cover the child on the chest while drinking. They are often used when mothers move outside their own four walls. On the one hand, they can be used to “bare” the bare breast in public, which some mothers find uncomfortable, or to shield the child from external stimuli.
  • Breast milk bags: Are bags for storing breast milk. They are intended for single use and should be kept filled with milk in either the refrigerator or the freezer.
  • Breastfeeding oil: Oils with which the breast or nipple is rubbed. They should improve the flow of milk and prevent milk congestion. There is a large selection of breastfeeding oils from many different suppliers.
  • Breast-feeding tea: Certain types of tea or mixtures of spices or herbs have a stimulating effect on the mammary glands. They can be drunk by mothers to stimulate milk production.
  • Thermopads: Are flat pillows that can be placed on the chest either cold or warm. The heat is supposed to increase the flow of milk. Applying a cool pad is used to treat milk congestion or inflammation of the breast.
  • Still light: Special lights that can be set to different levels of brightness. They are particularly popular at night. They should ensure a pleasant breastfeeding atmosphere.

You might also be interested in the topic: Behavior during breastfeeding

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Nursing pillow

Nursing pillows are large, U-shaped pillows that are intended to serve as a mat for the child when breastfeeding. They help hold the baby in the correct position and make breastfeeding easier for the mother. Especially at the beginning or with the first child, a nursing pillow can be a great support for the mother.

You can buy nursing pillows in many baby accessory stores or on the Internet. Many women already use the pillow as a so-called "side sleeper pillow" during pregnancy. Due to its multi-sided function, the nursing pillow is particularly popular among the aids for breastfeeding.

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also read: Problems during breastfeeding in the mother

Nipple shields

Nipple hats are small silicone molds that are placed on the nipples for breastfeeding. There is a small opening in the middle that allows milk to escape. Nipple shelters can help mothers whose breastfeeding “does not work” due to the shape of the nipple or causes pain due to a sore nipple.

Nipple shelters are available in different sizes, depending on the size and shape of the mother's nipple, among other things. In addition to silicone molds, you can also buy nipple hats made of rubber or latex.

The nursing hats are one of the aids that are highly controversial. They are particularly valued by some midwives and mothers, while others are reluctant to use them. The critics see a problem in particular with unsuccessful breastfeeding attempts, in which people like to be expelled from breastfeeding huts. In her opinion, the unsuccessful attempts are often caused by a “fitting problem” on the part of the mother and less by the “wrong” nipple shape.

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Milk collecting trays

For women whose milk flow is particularly pronounced, nursing pads can sometimes not offer “sufficient protection”. In this case, milk collecting trays can be used. These are silicone molds that are placed in the bra. These can then catch the milk that escapes.

The advantage of the trays is that they can be reused. However, they should be cleaned thoroughly after each use, and ideally sterilized to prevent the spread of germs.

also read: Homeopathy for complaints when breastfeeding

Breast cups

With sore or sensitive nipples, breast cups can also be placed in the bra to catch the escaping milk. They are particularly air-permeable due to the slits made and therefore particularly suitable for women with sensitive or irritated skin. The breast shells can be bought in many drugstores or baby shops.

You might also be interested in the topic: Breast milk

Nursing pads

Breast pads are one of the most frequently used aids when breastfeeding. The pads are placed in the bra and are intended to “soak up” the leaking milk from the breast. On the one hand, the use of nursing pads prevents the clothes from getting wet and on the other hand, the breast and nipples are kept dry by sucking up the escaping milk. The nursing pads can be purchased in drugstores or pharmacies.

You might also be interested in the topic: Milk congestion

Breast pump

The breast pump is a device that can be used either electrically or manually to express milk from the breast. There are many reasons for using a breast pump:

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Some women use it for breast inflammation called mastitis to empty the full breast. Other mothers, in turn, use them to create milk supplies that can then be used in the absence of the mother. Nowadays there is a large selection of different breast pumps to buy in specialist shops or online.

also read: Inflammation of the nipple

Thermopads

The thermopads can stimulate milk production in the breast when they are warm. They are placed on the breast before breastfeeding. The thermopads can also be used chilled. This reduces milk production. Women with high milk production can use the cooling effect of the pads after breastfeeding to prevent milk congestion.

You can also read about breastfeeding here: Medication during breastfeeding

Breastfeeding oil

Like tea, breastfeeding oil also contains herbal ingredients such as fennel, caraway or anise, which are said to have a positive effect on milk production. The oil is massaged in in circular movements to stimulate milk production. It is important to cut out the nipples to prevent oral (through the mouth) absorption of the oil when breastfeeding the child.

Read about this too: Homeopathy for too little milk when breastfeeding

Breastfeeding tea

Breast teas contain special herbs, such as anise, fennel or caraway, which have a stimulating effect on the mother's milk production. Women can use the beneficial effects of the herbal helpers by drinking 2-3 cups of the tea a day while breastfeeding. However, it is not advisable to drink more than three cups a day, as too much breast tea can also lead to over-stimulation of milk production.

You might also be interested in the topic: Problems during breastfeeding in the child

Breast milk bag

Breast milk bags are used to store breast milk. They can be labeled after filling and should then be stored cool, either in the fridge or freezer. In addition to the glass containers, the breast milk bags are only intended for single use. They must always be disposed of after use.

Some of the breast milk bags can be connected directly to a breast pump, so that there is no need to transfer breast milk afterwards.

You should have these tools

In the best case scenario, the aids should make breastfeeding easier for the mothers. Which aids are best suited for this varies from woman to woman. Some women even completely refrain from using aids or refuse them. Among the large selection of products, there is one or the other that can offer women useful support with breastfeeding or all aspects of breastfeeding.

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These include, for example, the nursing pads. Many women find clothes soaked with milk to be a nuisance, on the one hand the clothes then have to be changed, on the other hand keeping the nipples or breast dry is an important preventive measure with regard to inflammation.

The nursing pads keep both the breast and clothing dry and are popular helpers among breastfeeding mothers due to their ease of use.

Nipple ointment is also popular and often used. Breastfeeding can lead to hypersensitivity or sore nipples. The ointments support the healing process. As a rule, the products consist of lanolin, a fat that is tasteless and odorless. The ointment usually does not need to be removed before breastfeeding.

The nursing pillow is also very popular. It is placed under the child and helps bring the baby into the correct breastfeeding position. It can be a great relief in the breastfeeding process, especially for first mothers.

The breast pump is also one of the most widely used aids. The milk can be pumped out using a device. Many women use the pump to build up milk supplies. Especially when you are separated from your child for a few hours to make sure that there is a sufficient amount of milk available for the child. Breast milk bags are suitable for storing the expressed milk. These can be dated and used for hygienic storage of breast milk. They are stored in the refrigerator or freezer and taken out when necessary. The milk can then be warmed up again after it has been stored in the bag and used to bottle feed the child.

also read: Breastfeeding - All You Need To Know

These tools are optional

Basically, all breastfeeding aids are optional. In addition to the particularly frequently used helpers, there are also some that are only used in special situations or out of “mother's preference”.

This includes, for example, breastfeeding oil. This is supposed to stimulate the flow of milk. Many women also do without a special oil and use a simple massage to stimulate the flow of milk. Others, on the other hand, find the oil particularly pleasant and appreciate the scent and the simultaneous care of the skin.

Drinking breastfeeding tea is also a matter of taste. Wherever some of the mothers like to drink the tea and find it benevolent, other mothers hate it just because of the taste.

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