There was a time when all you needed to breastfeed were a breast and a baby. Is it consumerism that is creating a need for products when there was originally none? I'm always online and I have seen several breastfeeding accessories that I didn't realized I needed or didn't even think existed.
If you're directly breastfeeding your baby and not going out yet, you'd think that you won't really need any breastfeeding accessory. But did you know that there are special pillows for your breasts? Utterly Yours breast pillows are crescent shaped pillows which moms can use to support and position their breasts. These pillows have surprisingly been given favorable reviews.
When I was looking for a nursing cover, I thought there was only 1 type - a bib or over-all apron type to cover the essentials. But creative moms have thought of new products to be used as a nursing bib. A modified bib is The Breastfeeding Butterfly which you tie around yourself to create a cover on the side where your baby is feeding. It looks a bit difficult for me to use, especially with a fussy, impatient baby.
For those whose babies don't want anything over them, there's the Slurp N Burp, which is actually a sash with cleverly design slits to expose the least amount of breast possible. It has a local Pinoy counterpart - the Nurse N Burp. Also a cute "cover" is the Moboleez - a breastfeeding hat. The Moboleez hat is worn by the nursing baby and has a wide brim to cover the essentials. I like these 2 "covers" because they don't actually cover the babies/breastfeeding. However, they still provide some sort of "shield" for moms who are uncomfortable with nursing all-out in public.
For milk storage, I used to think that I only had 2 choices - a bottle or a bag. Apparently, there are a lot of ways you can store milk. There is a special bottle storage - a vacuum milk storage system - the Milk Bank - which promises to deliver the freshest milk possible by removing harmful oxygen from storage. There is also the MilkSaver, whick you use like a breast/nursing pad but stores milk leakage, instead of absorbing them - acts kinda like a breast shell. One product which I use is the milk trays - Sensible Lines since it allows me to freeze milk in small amounts without taking up much freezer space.
Finally, for pumping moms, a primary concern is hands-free pumping which you can actually set-up on your own. There are products such as PumpEase and Easy Expressions which sell because moms want to pump hands-free the easy way. The Freemie also capitalizes on hands-free pumping but what makes it different is that you attach it to your pump, use it instead of your pump horns, conceal it in your bra and pump away.
These are just a few of the "innovative accessories" I've seen which makes me realize that breastfeeding moms are and can be a huge market. But really, no purchase is necessary to breastfeed. In fact, Kellymom has a great chart enumerating alternatives instead of purchasing these accessories. And for a 3rd world country like the Philippines, what is really essential to successfully breastfeed is not fancy accessories but really, just the determined mom and hungry baby.