Pregnancy, Babies, and Gear, OH MY! Part 3: Nursing Gear
Medela Breast Pump (Freestyle, Harmony, or Pump in Style): I refused that I would ever pump breast milk... I'm not a dairy cow. In retrospect, I wish I had one from the beginning (even just the Harmony manual pump). When you first start nursing, your body will produce much more than baby can take in, and it HURTS like hell! A pump can help relieve just enough pressure, and breastmilk can be frozen to use at later times (if you need to go out, when you are weaning to a bottle, etc.). I kick myself that I didn't pump for relief at the beginning (Dominic might still have breastmilk instead of expensive formula, too).
GlamourMom Nursing Tanks: I'm small chested, and didn't like any nursing bras I tried out. These tanks are easy to nurse in, and they look just like a spaghetti strap shirt. They were comfy and easy to use... I wore them religiously when I was nursing and pumping.
The Gillian O'Malley nursing tanks from Target are good too; the closure is easier to use, but they have less coverage when you open them up to nurse. When I was nursing, they only came in Black, White, and Grey. I saw a whole rack of them in snappy colors last week at target; they're only about $15 each, too, making them cheaper than the GlamourMom tops.
Gerber Prefold Cloth Diapers... for Burp Cloths: nice to have on hand espeically when getting started with breastfeeding; tuck one into your shirt/bra the first couple months when you brestfeed to avoid major leakage/sprayage all over your clothes, bed, wall, husband, baby, etc. This was one of the best tips I got from a friend when I was changing shirts every couple hours because of leaks and spills while nursing. For a while (when I was engorged), I would keep a few in the freezer, then take one out fold it up and put it across my chest like a tube top under my nursing tank for relief and leak protection. Also great for mopping up spit-up.