Before baby, it seemed like nursing would be a snap. After all, your cat had absolutely no issues feeding her half-dozen kittens, so why would feeding your one baby turn into a mega-challenge? But even aside from the fact that you’re not a cat, there are plenty of common difficulties that can keep breastfeeding from being easy for every mama. That’s exactly why there are products a-plenty to help new parents who want to nurse do their thing. Whether you need a pump that you can actually handle, snacks to help with lactation, or bottles to ease the transition from the breast, you’re in luck!

1. Lansinoh Simple Wishes Hands-Free Pumping Bra ($40): Juggling all the parts of your milk-collecting contraption can quickly become a challenge, which is why this bra is supportive in more than just one way. It not only helps to create a better seal for the pump flanges but also leaves your hands free while you pump. It’s also BPA- and BPS-free, making it better for you and your baby.

2. Nanobébé Breastmilk Bottle ($23 for three): Your little love is letting loose a series of wails, squeals, and screams. Baby is hungry, now, and there’s little time to warm your stored breastmilk. This genius bottle warms breastmilk twice as fast as traditional bottles and has a natural shape that makes feeding easier. It’s also stackable for easy storage, comes with a breast pump adapter, and is completely dishwasher safe.

3. Ju-Ju-Be Be Nurtured Pump Bag ($180): Schlepping your breast pump isn’t exactly fun, but that doesn’t mean you have to bring it to work in a plain old brown paper bag. Ju-Ju-Be’s bag combines form and function into one sweetly chic carrier with a trendy polka-dot pattern.

4. Lansinoh Smartpump Double Electric Breast Pump ($145): Forget about those old-school manual pumps. The modern mama syncs to the Lansinoh Baby app, letting you track your pumping sessions as well as baby’s activities. And don’t worry about transferring milk from a pump to a baggy: This model lets you pump straight into storage bags, eliminating the risk of spills.

5. Milky Mama Lactation Brownies ($15): Mmm, brownies. As if chocolaty treats weren’t already what you’re craving, these little gems are packed with lactation power, filled with ingredients that help increase production.

6. Comotomo 8 Oz. Bottle ($16): Think of this as “breastfeeding in a bottle”! Ease the transition from breast to bottle, reduce the risk of colic, and help your baby to avoid nipple confusion. The natural shape mimics mama’s breast, making it infinitely easier for baby to switch between mom and the bottle. That’s a major bonus if bottle feeding is a necessity while you work or are otherwise away from your baby.

7. Medela Contact Nipple Shields ($9): Latching doesn’t always just happen. Sometimes you need a little help, and so does baby. Here’s where your doctor, midwife, or lactation consultant may step in and suggest nipple shields. This one provides maximum skin contact while helping baby to latch or compensating for inverted, flat, or sore nipples. However, be sure to only use them under the supervision of a medical professional.

8. Washable Organic Nursing Pads ($13 for eight): Soothe those sore nipples with these organic nursing pads. Sure, you could buy disposable pads to keep on hand for all your nursing needs. But these pads are washable, making them a much more sustainable option (and way cheaper in the long run).

9. FOMI Breast Gel Bead Pack ($11 for 2): Engorgement and swelling aren’t pleasant, but you don’t have to suffer silently. These gel packs can be chilled in the freezer or heated in the microwave to provide relief for all kinds of breast-related issues and may encourage milk let-down for a faster pumping time.

10. Medela Pump in Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump ($197): Not only do you get the double pumping kit, but this set also comes with a removable cooler bag, bottles for storage, and a backpack-style carrying case. It’s hard to imagine what more you could need!

11. Seraphine Black Bamboo Seamless Maternity & Nursing Bra ($59): This nursing bra can be worn during and after pregnancy since the adjustable design can adapt to your body. It has a comfy seamless fit and drop-down cups for breastfeeding. Plus it’s made with soft bamboo, which is hypoallergenic, moisture-wicking, and antibacterial.

How are you working to overcome your biggest breastfeeding challenge? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Featured photo via Getty)

Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.