Product Spotlight: Breastfeeding Devices and Accessories — The Bump
March 2019 Moms

Product Spotlight: Breastfeeding Devices and Accessories

Tell me all about what devices you're considering hooking up to your boobs! Electrical or manual? Nursing Pads and pillows! Nursing and Pumping Bras! STM+ what made all the difference? FTM's what fancy tools are you thinking of trying?
ME: 32  DH: 32 DD1: June '16 DD2: March ‘19 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::

Re: Product Spotlight: Breastfeeding Devices and Accessories

  • Nursing pads - I made my own cloth ones that I wore overnight and for the first few months, but I was never someone who leaked much so I eventually stopped wearing them during the day. I continued to wear them at night just in case DD slept through the night and I leaked a little, but I was never someone who woke up in a puddle of milk. 

    Pumping - I work full time so I pumped 3-5 times a day at work and pumped full time while traveling for work. I used the Medela PISA and I liked it, but I think I'm going to switch to the Spectra this time. I like the Medela parts though so I will probably continue to use those and just get the adapters for the Spectra. I also had the Medela Harmony hand pump for pressure relief and traveling while weaning. It works well, but I would never be able to use it as my full time pump. Also, I loved the converters to pump directly into bottles. DD could never take the Medela bottles, so I would pump directly into my Tommee Tippee bottles and just send them off to daycare the next day. I have tons of tips for moms traveling and pumping so let me know if any of you are in that situation!

    Nursing Pillow - I used the Boppy at first when DD was really little (with two pillows underneath it because I have a really long torso. It worked well for the first few months when I was so tired and holding her in the exact position without a pillow seemed like I was expending too much energy.

    Nursing Bras - I was never particular about nursing bras. I lived in nursing tanks though for my maternity leave and then evenings and weekends after that. It was SO much easier and more comfortable than wearing a bra. The Target brand were my favorite for both. 

    Pumping Bras - I used the Simple Wishes one mostly and I really liked it (although some people hate it). About halfway through my pumping time I started also using the Bravado pumping bra that clips right on to your nursing bra. That one I liked even more. A hands free pumping bra is a MUST HAVE for anyone who pumps regularly. I would never have made it to a year of pumping at work without one.
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  • Electrical or manual? I used the specta. Loved it. As much as one can love a pump.
    Nursing Pads and pillows! Didn't really need.
    Nursing and Pumping Bras! I used the freemies so I didn't need pumping bras. I have a bunch of nursing tanks from super cheap to way too expensive. They've held up great. I nursed #1 til, well, we're still nursing. So 19+ months. I don't use the tanks anymore because we don't nurse during the day. I wouldve been lost without those tanks early on.
  • @meggyme @brookepdavis That’s an amazing gift you both gave to donate your milk! My 80 ounces didn’t meet the requirements for my local banks and I was so sad I couldn’t help someone with it! 
  • I barely made it to 3 months with DD so I'm reading all of these suggestions as though I was a FTM because I'd love to make it a little longer with this LO. I had a Medela but does anyone know if they lose their power after a couple years? Should I look into insurance for a different one?
  •  I've heard good things about the haakaa. Anyone used one?
    Me: 38 DH: 41
    Married: 2016
    BFP #1 4/23/18, blighted ovum 5/29/18
    BFP#2 7/14/18, DS 4/5/19
  • swanbroonerswanbrooner
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited September 2018
    @catlady2015 They are wonderful and the knock offs work just as well as the pricier options.

    I exclusively pumped and supplemented with formula for as long as my breasts would allow, but my supply, which was already sadly low, went down to about 3 oz total a day with multiple pumping sessions over every few hours. At that time, I decided to hang up the flanges and take back that time with my daughter.

    I basically lived attached to my pump at the time, and I really liked my Spectra. I especially liked that it was a closed system and no milk would ever get inside the machine or the tubing.

    I LIVED in a Rumina hands free pumping and nursing bra from Amazon. It was large and supportive enough for my 38F breasts to wear all day, not just for pumping sessions. 

    I highly recommend ordering your pump from Aeroflow. If your insurance allows, they will send you FREE replacement pump parts monthly. Those things get expensive and it’s a lot of work to keep up with the CDC’s recommendations for cleaning and sterilizing pump parts, especially if you EP. Having extras is wonderful.
  • I second Aeroflow. They had my pump to me before I even realized my doc had written the Rx.
    ME: 32  DH: 32 DD1: June '16 DD2: March ‘19 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
  • Ooooh I love this one!

    Pump: I am alllll about the pump. I EP'd with my twins and plan to do it again. I had the Medela Pump In Style something or other with an adapter for the car. It worked great, and since I had a longer commute I wasn't wasting valuable time and would hook up when I left work, cover with a nursing cover and pump the whole ride home!  Definitely recommend an electric pump. 

    This time around I plan on splurging for the new Willow pump that I've had my eye on since right before we started TTC. Sort of hoping someone from a previous BMB who has tried one is lurking and will give me an opinion!  Anyone else thinking of trying it?  It looks awesome!

    Nursing pads and pillows?  You mean like the Boppy?  I had a fancy pillow that I could tandem feed with, but wasn't really a fan of breastfeeding so never used it since I EP'd. I did use boppies to feed the girls their bottles in though. 

    Pumping bras, I always just used the strapless bras that zipped in the front and had the holes for the shields. I always wished I had something with straps though because I always had to hike it up. I also vastly inderestimated how many I would need and the size (I went from a smaller B to a DD, it was awful!)

    My girlfriend had recommended Lansinoh cream and gel pads at the beginning for the pain, and that seemed to help. 

    I also asked for a pump in the hospital immediately following my c-section so I could start to work on my supply right away. 

    As much as I couldn't wait to be done pumping, I loved being able to do it. I hope I am that lucky the second time around!

    I am also excited that there are now apps to track feedings!  
  • Seeing @buckeye05 briefly mention nursing covers reminded me I forgot that. 

    I have two, both that I made. One is the piece of cloth with a strap and a stiff edge that stands up so you can see the baby, the other is the convertible car seat cover/nursing cover kind that pops over your head and completely surrounds you. I've never used the second one. The first one is great! Use it all the time. Because of the nature of the car seat cover fabric (being a knit so it fits snugly over the seat and being thick so it blocks light), it's thick and heavy and hot. The stiff edge one is made of super lightweight cotton. 

    I don't know of any commercial cover's I would recommend :neutral: I registered for an "extra wide" one, didn't end up getting it, and then made my own. My nursing cover is almost twice as wide as the "extra wide" commercial one. I wouldn't want one much smaller. The width is so nice to really cover you and make it harder for the baby to pull t aside. 

    A cover really made nursing work for me out and about because I'm just not comfortable with part of my breast being exposed no matter how natural or wonderful or "feeding a baby is normal" it is. I'm just not comfortable. I hear women who say things like "I could pop my baby on so discreetly and no one knew, and my breast is completely covered by clothing and the baby's face." That's great for them, and I'm sure they're telling the truth about their experience, but that's not universal. That wasn't and still (after a year of EBF) isn't my experience.

    For me, in order to get a good latch, I have to expose a lot of my breast. And sometimes it takes awhile to really get a good latch. Or the baby just spits it out after awhile. The few times I attempted without a cover at home with just my mom and family, I found it took me even longer to get her latched because I was trying to only expose a tiny bit and get her on quick. And it was hard for her to get latched with me exposing so little of my breast. And it sometimes was more painful because I was specifically trying to be quick. 

    Also, it can be a lot harder to nurse discreetly if you can't afford to or don't want to buy a nursing-friendly wardrobe. 

    Anyway, so that's my experience with covers. And if anyone wants a tutorial on making one, I can share the blog I followed to make mine. 
  • Nursing pads: Bamboobies were a life saver.  Super soft, thin, and absorbent (and I leaked like crazy).

    Nursing pillow: boppy worked perfect for the most part.  I got a different brand with a beautiful pattern on it for free from someone, but it was super small and not really usable.

    Pump: I used lansinoh. It was okay. Milk production while pumping wasn’t great, but it was mostly due to work schedule and not pumping often enough.

    I was also lucky enough that the nurse I had gave me tons of sample packs of lanolin so I never had to buy any.
  • edited September 2018
    **Full disclosure: I'm not a FTM, but my breastfeeding journey with my son was not at all what I imagined. I felt disappointed in myself for not making it longer than I did and never really forming that connection that I thought we would. I have "flat" nipples which made things difficult from the start and my son was slightly tongue tied which wasn't brought up until months after he was born. I used a nipple shield at the hospital and continued to use it. It worked *sometimes*, but it was extremely difficult. My nipples were in extreme pain and constantly bled when I did breastfeed so I only ended up doing it briefly before starting to pump. My son also wasn't putting enough weight on so I knew he wasn't getting enough milk. I went to lactation consultants, but it didn't help. So, after about a week, I started pumping and then exclusively pumped for months 2-3. We supplemented with formula until about 5 months and then only used formula**

    I used disposable  nursing pads and they worked fine for me. I think I used nuk brand.

    Nursing pillow: Boppy, but there's a u shaped one that worked better for me when I saw the lactation consultant. 

    Pump: Spectra, which was great.

    I'm really hoping that I am more successful with breastfeeding this time around so I'm looking forward to continuing to read other responses. 
  • @BuckeyeNut05 I am definitely interested in the willow pump. I also have a longer commute but in my area we have something called slugging which is basically carpooling with strangers so openly pumping is out. The willow would be a pretty cool option but I wonder about the capacity. Do you know if insurance covers it or are only “normal” pumps covered? 
    Me: 30 DH: 31
    Married: 2012
    BFP #1 Sept 2014, MMC Dec 2014 | BFP #2 May 2015, DD Jan 2016 <3 | BFP #3 May 2017, MC July 2017 | BFP #4 Jan 2018, MC Feb 2018 | BFP #5 July 2018, fingers crossed
  • @HoneyBear40 I would look into a new pump. They lose their suction over time. If your insurance covers a new one, I would definitely get it. If not, you might want to try your old one, but don't be surprised if you need to buy a new one down the road. 

    And yes to pumping in the car! When I traveled for work I would pump between appointments. It's such an easy way to get an extra pump in during the day without having to take time away from other things. 
  • These STM tips are awesome! I have a 40 minute commute. I probably would’ve figured out to pump in the car eventually but I will plan on it now!!

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    Me: 36, DH 37.

    August 2014- 6w MMC

    July 2015- CP

    PCOS, plus some medical issues that make me high risk.

    Our rainbow babies are due 3/21!!!!!


  • @mamakate1616 I am not sure, but I plan to find out. I will let you know what I find. Either way I am in. My only concern with it would be capacity of those bags. 

    @brookepdavis I am so glad I was not the only car pumper!  I loved being able to knock that out on my drive home. 
  • Ugh, from what I can tell. No. Here are some pictures of the FAQ but my insurance company said it is only covered if I purchase from a DME. No retail or online.  :'(  That's so crappy. 

  • meggymemeggyme
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited September 2018
    @BuckeyeNut05 That's not unusual and some medical equipment companies also have an online catalog. I'd expect that most insurances have a certain dollar amount they'll cover and then you're on the hook for anything over that. I know when I was looking at breast pumps last time there were some (with aeroflow) that were free to me and others that you had to pay the difference on.

    ETA: I feel mostly insurance companies want a medical equipment company because they'll typically file the insurance claim too.
    ME: 32  DH: 32 DD1: June '16 DD2: March ‘19 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
  • @BuckeyeNut05 Boo that is crappy. I just did an online chat with the federal FSA people and the lady I talked to said they’d pass it on to their inventory people / it would hopefully get added soon. Maybe if we all blitz our insurers / medical equipment people it will get picked up lol. 

    I used edgepark for my Medela PISA and was surprised when I got a bill for $180. I refused to pay that sucker for a long time before I realized what @meggyme outlined. 
    Me: 30 DH: 31
    Married: 2012
    BFP #1 Sept 2014, MMC Dec 2014 | BFP #2 May 2015, DD Jan 2016 <3 | BFP #3 May 2017, MC July 2017 | BFP #4 Jan 2018, MC Feb 2018 | BFP #5 July 2018, fingers crossed
  • Yeah. I work for a distributor of medical supplies so I understand it, but it just really sucks. 

    The good news is my insurance said they'll cover any pump at 100% from a DME like Edgepark. 

    I will probably do that and then spring for the other on my own to have the freedom of not being tied to a wall every time I have to pump. 
  • That is probably what I will do. I am already day dreaming about leaving that damn pump in the lactation room at work and not carrying the extra weight in the bag. 
    Me: 30 DH: 31
    Married: 2012
    BFP #1 Sept 2014, MMC Dec 2014 | BFP #2 May 2015, DD Jan 2016 <3 | BFP #3 May 2017, MC July 2017 | BFP #4 Jan 2018, MC Feb 2018 | BFP #5 July 2018, fingers crossed
  • This is a little bit tangential to equipment/accessories, but I absolutely saw an increase in supply with lactation cookies and liquid gold tea, and little response with mother's milk tea. I also got clogs if I didn't take sunflower lecithin for the first 9 months.

    I've mentioned this before but, test your baby's reaction to your frozen milk before you put away any significant amount. High lipase is most easily dealt with by scalding before freezing, and this is critical to figure out early, as it is a huge challenge to deal with later, but a pain to do if you don't really have to.
    BabyName Ticker BabyFetus Ticker
  • @sejica I never even knew that problem existed before I read it on this BMB!  Can it change from pregnancy to pregnancy?  
  • @sejica I know this is a dumb question that I could do you scald milk? Is it possible to overdo it? I also never heard of that before this BMB
    Me: 30 DH: 31
    Married: 2012
    BFP #1 Sept 2014, MMC Dec 2014 | BFP #2 May 2015, DD Jan 2016 <3 | BFP #3 May 2017, MC July 2017 | BFP #4 Jan 2018, MC Feb 2018 | BFP #5 July 2018, fingers crossed
  • I was doubly lucky in that my dd didn't reject any milk, ever, and that of the 300 oz I froze, she only needed about 20 oz, so I donated the rest.

    @BuckeyeNut05 I'm not sure if the lipase changes, but each baby's sensitivity to it would be unique, so it would be worth testing this time around too. 

    @mamakate1616 you can scald either on the stove or in the microwave, and there are pros and cons either way. The stove tends to be more temperamental, but preserves more of the good stuff in breast milk. The microwave is more consistent, easier, and faster, but has a broader impact on beneficial compounds. But, either way, some of the benefits of breast milk are lost after heating to 160 f, but it doesn't lose all of the protective benefits, so may still be worth it. Alternatives to scalding include mixing it with fresh after thawing, adding vanilla (preferably alcohol free, but it's only a drop or two anyway), or both.

    To test is super easy. Once you get past the point of feeding the previous pumping season's milk, freeze 1-2 oz of the next pump for about a week. Thaw and smell/taste to see if it's got a sour note (it hasn't gone bad, that's just the lipase enzyme breaking down the milk, like its supposed to, but aggressively), then offer half to baby, even if it is sour, they may not mind (this was us, high lipase, didn't care). If they reject it, try cutting the other half 80/20 fresh to frozen to see of they can be eased into it, or add vanilla, or both. If they still reject it, you should consider scalding any milk you plan to freeze.
    BabyName Ticker BabyFetus Ticker
  • Jumping into the convo a little bit late.. I ended up pumping in the car a couple times as well, due to my workplace having double-booked the room that was supposed to be reserved for me for pumping.   I used the pump provided by insurance - the Medela one.  It worked ok - though DS never liked taking a bottle and it was a struggle to get him to take one while I was at work.   One thing I'd recommend - if you need to get back to work, make sure your LO is used to taking a bottle beforehand - otherwise it might be hell on their caretaker with a screaming baby who won't eat.  Ironically enough, DS went on a nursing 'strike' two weeks after he was born, and refused to take the breast so I pumped and used bottles!  After his 'strike' ended he then refused bottles.  ARGH.  The struggle.

    This time around, my pump I used with DS is officially toast (won't work anymore) so I will need to get a new one.  I believe insurance covers it again?  I hope so.

    Almost all other 'accessories' I used Lansinoh.  Liked their milk storage bags and disposable breast pads the most of all brands. I used their nipple cream a few times as well. 

    I used a Boppy pillow for nursing in the early days, and loved it.  Much easier to get baby in the proper positioning and gives tired arms a rest. I think I used it for about 2 months before we outgrew it.

  • flyingmombulaflyingmombula
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary Photogenic
    edited September 2018
    I used the lansinoh pads. I also tried the bamboobies but they soaked through so easily and my clothes got wet. 

    I got a PJ's comfort mini hospital grade pump through MH's work and it was awesome. 

    I used mother's love nipple cream for ouchies in the beginning-- I also needed a nipple shield the first week or so as mine were inverted-- the shield somehow suctioned them out? Idk. 

    ETA I used the S#$% out of the boppy. Loved it. 

  • Ladies...Have you seen the new ad for the Elvie pump?!?! You need to watch it with your headphones on and the volume pumped up. I laughed out loud in my office  :D :D :D
  • lucysmom2016lucysmom2016
    100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited September 2018
    @Morningstar80 That was soooooooo bizarre!  :D lmao

    ETA: But I'm really happy you resurrected this thread because I somehow missed it the first time around, and as usual, you ladies have a ton of great information to share. From the FTMs in the house, thank you again!
  • I just saw this on fb. It has a lot of the same issues as the willow, but it’s cool that it’s completely cordless and has “bottle” instead of bags.
    ME: 32  DH: 32 DD1: June '16 DD2: March ‘19 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
  • So just curious about other peoples opinions... Medela vs Spectra? I exclusively pumped with my daughter and used the Medela Symphony mostly (hospital rented it for free because daughter was premature), although when I came home with her I liked my pump in style. I liked the bottles and the flanges for the pump. But i'm reading a ton about the Spectra and it has better reviews? I plan to actually be able to breastfeed this time, but we all know how plans can change so I need to be prepared. I noticed with my daughter that getting less sleep would affect my supply significantly so I'm definitely wanting something that I could exclusively pump with or at least equivalent to that amount to keep up my supply. I might even have to exclusively pump for awhile if I am unable to breastfeed like with my daughter (fingers crossed I don't!) I am ordering from my insurance soon and they cover both. Is the Spectra a lot better? Is it personal preference? I am going to do more research but I trust your ladie's opinions more.
  • Anyone have recommendations on milk collectors? 

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  • @Kenneylynn3 I don’t have experience with this one, but I’ve heard great things about HaaKaa.
  • @mamakeeg I exclusively pumped for a few months with the Spectra. I really loved it and never had any issues. I plan on getting the battery operated spectra this time to make it easier to travel.
  • Any STMs here have breasts on the smaller side? I'm wondering if size may make a difference in the best pump to use since we smaller ladies may be pumping more often and our nerves are closer together, which could factor into comfort level? What has been your experience pumping and what pumps did you use?
  • @mayoduck I don't believe breast size has much correlation to output. The only sizing issue to keep an eye on is nipple and corresponding flange size. And nipple size can change over the course of your breastfeeding/pumping journey, so its a good thing to check periodically.
    BabyName Ticker BabyFetus Ticker
  • @sejica it's not the output that I heard makes for more frequent pumping for smaller breasts but rather the storage capacity. But if it makes for negligible difference then so much the better 🙂
  • @mayoduck what do you mean by output vs storage capacity?
    ME: 32  DH: 32 DD1: June '16 DD2: March ‘19 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
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