In honor of World Breastfeeding Week (the first week of August), we’re bringing you a week of posts all about – you guessed it – breastfeeding!  From the basics of nursing to identifying common issues and where to get support when needed, this week we’ve got you covered.

While one of the major benefits of breastfeeding is that it requires so little in terms of preparation (I mean really, all you need is your boobs), there are still a few supplies you’ll want to have on hand just to make yourself as comfortable as possible.

– Lanolin: Breastfeeding is hard on your nipples. Between the tugging, the nibbling and the constant exposure to moisture, these sensitive areas sure take a beating. Be sure to slather on lanolin regularly; it soothes, heals and protects your nipples from cracking and drying. Look for brands that are safe for baby (like Lansinoh) so you don’t have to wash it off prior to nursing.

– Soothies: These encourage the healing of sore, cracked nipples, and feel amazing. Pop them in the refrigerator beforehand for nice, cool relief. Cut them in half to get more use out of them.

– Nursing Bra & Pads: The “right” nursing bra is a personal preference. Some moms prefer bras that more closely resemble regular bras, while others prefer ones without underwire. It’s totally your call – just make sure you have a few on hand, particularly to wear at nighttime when you’re at your leakiest. You may want to hold off on buying some until your milk has come in though, as you’ll likely be a cup size or two larger than normal.

Pads come in reusable and disposable varieties. You’ll use them often in the beginning to save your shirts (and your self-esteem) from noticeable milk leaks.

– Breast Pump: Again, the “right” pump is a personal preference, but now that they’re available to free (or at a greatly reduced cost) thanks to insurance, there’s no reason not to invest in one. There are tons to choose from: manual, electric, single, double, hands free, hands on. This is definitely a must-have if you’re planning on pumping and returning to work (or even if you just want to prepare an occasional bottle). Popular models include the Medela Pump in Style, Ameda Purely Yours and Philips Avent Double Pump.  There’s also the new Kiinde system.

– Storage Bags: Used for storing freshly pumped milk in the freezer, storage bags are essential when you want to build up a stash of milk. Lay the bag flat to freeze for easier storage.

– Bottle Warmer: Not essential, but some people prefer having one to help warm previously frozen milk.

– Bottles & Brushes: There are tons and tons (and tons) of bottles to choose from. Some of the more popular brands are Dr. Browns, Philips Avent, The First Years, and Tommee Tippee. Be sure to only use ones that are BPA-free.

– Nursing Cover: For when you’re nursing anywhere you want to cover up, and available in lots of adorable colors and patterns, a nursing cover is great because it loops around your head, meaning no wild little hands can yank it off of you in public. A big blanket can also work in a pinch (just watch out for those wandering hands!)

– Nursing Pillow: From the Boppy to My Brest Friend and others, these are great to help get your baby in the correct placement for feedings.

– Milk Producing Foods: Traditional Medicinals Organic Mother’s Milk tea helps with the production of milk, in case supply is ever an issue.