Item number 12,986 that no one told me when I had a baby? Pumping breast milk can be hard and exhausting!
When my son turned 12 months he was diagnosed as failure to thrive (due to his FPIES) and put on a supplemental prescription only formula. While I still planned on breastfeeding him (up until this point since he had only 1 safe food he was exclusively breastfed and barely took a bottle), this medically necessary supplement threw a huge wrench into my milk supply.
I suddenly had a baby who nursed 6-8 times (OR MORE) a day who was refusing to nurse and taking to the formula very well. While this was great for his weight gain, it nearly killed my supply. Both his doctors and I wanted to at least continue with breast milk until he had more safe foods, so I turned to pumping as a way to increase (or keep) my breast milk supply and also to attempt to stash away as much milk as I could so that if he continued this nursing strike he would still be getting breast milk.
While all you may need to express milk is really your hands and a container to catch the milk (hand expression is a great way to boost milk supply), there are products on the market that make pumping a lot easier and more comfortable for mom. Whether you are pumping to increase your supply, to go back to work, to donate, or really for any reason at all these products will help you achieve your goal with a little bit more ease.
1. A double electric pump. When it comes to pumping breast milk I have tried a manual, single, and several kinds of double pumps, and if you are wanting to pump effectively in the least amount of time a double electric breast pump is the way to go. I personally have used a few but my current breast pump is the Lansinoh Affinity Pro. One of the things I love about Lansinoh is they really listen to their customers and try to create products or improve their existing products based on what their customers are telling them. Moms wanted their pump to be compatible with their feeding system and the Signature Pro fits with the new wide mouth interchangeable system so mom can pump, store, and feed with the same collection and feeding bottles. Additionally moms were complaining about the positioning of the tubing, so Lanisoh moved it which gives mom more tubing length. As a result, while I still use the Affinity Pro, I recommend moms check out the Signature Pro. I love their mOmma bottles, so having a system that allows your to pump, store, and feed with the same bottle collections is a big deal in my book. The Lansinoh Signature Pro retails for $149.99.
2. Simple Wishes Hands Free Pumping Bra. If you have ever wished you could do something else than sit sit while pumping, than you need a Simple Wishes hands free pumping bra. If you are pumping more than once a day, this will help you multitask. You can pretty much do anything as long as you don’t bend over (because milk will spill from your pump bottles) with this bra. I no longer have to choose between work and pumping. The Lansinoh Simple Wishes hands free pumping bra retails for $34.99.
3. Pumpin’ Pal Super Shields. You might think you don’t have any other options when it comes to breast pump flanges. Thankfully, you’re wrong. Honestly, I have no idea WHY the Pumpin Pals aren’t talked about more often because for me in terms of comfort and production the Pumpin’ Pal super shields made a WORLD of difference. They truly are super! I saw an increase in milk and a decrease in nipple tenderness the very first time I used these! To understand why I could go on and on, but I think this picture from their webpage sums why Pumpin’ Pals work, and why you need them.
I can even lean back and relax a little bit with these flanges which is great because the best way to get the most milk is by relaxing! The Pumpin’ Pals Super Shields retail for $29.95.
4. NuzzleHUG. It’s like a HUG for your breasts! Whether you want to help stimulate letdown, soothes sore nipples/breasts, or simply give your tired self a timeout than you need a NuzzleHUG. The NuzzleHUG is a fully adjustable hands free “HUG” for your breasts and neck. It comes with 3 removable NuzzlePOD inserts (2 breast, 1 neck) and can be used cold or warm depending on your needs. You can also use it around your waist to alleviate back pain or cramping. Cold is great for and soreness or tenderness you may have, and w arm is amazing for helping your letdown. My only complaint about this product is that it wasn’t around for my first son. I’ve tried other similar concept products, but you have to hold them all in place. The NuzzleHUG retails for $58.99.
5. The Nurse Purse. Gone are the days of boring black pump bags! With the Nurse Purse you can carry your pump in style. The bag holds most all major pump brands and is adjustable, and the bag is very spacious for all your carrying needs. It’s spacious enough to “carry any standard bottle cooler, with special area for a laptop or tablet, and a space for file folders. A zippered, interior pocket keeps your personal items safe, and 2 outer pockets are large enough for bottles or a commuter mug.” The bag itself in addition to being cute is made of a laminated material that makes clean up a breeze. Truthfully this may not be a product you need, but it is one you will want and love. Best of all it doesn’t scream “I’m pumping!” to everyone around you. The Nurse Purse retails for $129.
Do you have a favorite product that helps make pumping breast milk easier/more productive?
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