Product Spotlight: Breastfeeding parts and pumps — The Bump
May 2022 Moms

Product Spotlight: Breastfeeding parts and pumps

Newborn Feeding Series 
Week 1 will be focused on breastfeeding, pumps and accessories.

(we will dive into formula and bottles over the next couple weeks)



MrsLaLaBugb_1029wiscobabies

Re: Product Spotlight: Breastfeeding parts and pumps

  • "Worthless nipples" gets me every time 😂
  • This thread is perfectly timed! Late last week I was wondering when I ordered my pump last time, so I looked through old emails. Turns out I started the process around 23 weeks, so I'm right on track.

    Sorry, this got long 😬


    I'll most likely be getting another Spectra S1, but I do need to confirm my insurance options again. Definitely worth the upgrade IMO. I used the S1 and gold standard hospital grade Medela symphony extensively, both for EPing, and I thought they were pretty equivalent in performance, maybe even the S1 had the edge because the vacuum is adjustable independent of speed. 

    I could go on and on about pumping and EP'ing, since I had some experience throughout our journey, but I certainly won't claim I was one of the dedicated few who EP'd for a year! (Kudos to all of you who did that, you're awesome!) But I will say that if you do plan to EP, you need to "know your number" and know how many times a day you have to pump to maintain supply (mine was unfortunately 8x and I was a just enough-er, so I pumped MOTN almost every day until DD was 11 months)

    Other tips and tricks:

    Call/contact your insurance directly for the most accurate info on pump coverage. Last time, mine had a list of suppliers that wasn't current, which I found out when I called. This time, I can't find anything so I'm again contacting them. 

    Definitely get multiple pump part sets, so you aren't cleaning all the time. I have 3 sets, and it's totally worth it. Personally I didn't do the refrigerated parts thing (immunocompromised baby) so I just grabbed clean parts each time. Then 1-2x a day I just filled up a big bucket with soapy water and washed them all. Also after market spares totally work fine. I use maymom/nenesupply off Amazon to buy extras and refresh my duckbills as they wear out. 

    Get your nipples measured by/work with a lactation consultant! I ended up with XS pumpin pals flanges because I have tiny, elastic nips and they made pumping soooo much more comfortable. Also LCs are very helpful (and free in the hospital!!) when you're trying to figure everything out for the first time. 

    I had a haakaa, but it wasn't that helpful for me because I didn't leak. Like at all. So it would only catch milk if I was actively BF on the other boob, and only in the morning when I was most full.  


    Question for STM+: what are you replacing pump part/BF wise, if anything? I was just going to replace my duckbills and silicone backflow preventers since I'm sure they've worn out in storage. Do I need new washable breast pads? Since I really only used them to prevent my nipples from poking through my shirts and not so much to catch leaks, I can't imagine they're that gross? 
    MrsLaLaBughappynapper
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  • b_1029b_1029 member
    edited January 18
    I didn’t think EP was going to be our journey, but it was. I started with the Spectra pump (don’t remember the model but it’s the one that has a rechargeable battery so you don’t have to always plug into the wall- which I highly recommend) and after probably 5 months, splurged on a Willow pump. I said this somewhere yesterday but I did like the Willow a lot. Sometimes I had trouble lining it up well enough to get suction at first but then it was fine. Pros- portable, no wires everywhere, I was WFH and could easily pump during meetings and no one could hear me. Cons- expensive, expensive parts, my first pump of the day was always *just* over the container size on my non-slacker boob so I’d have to stop and switch it out. Also maybe others would be comfortable with it but I didn’t feel comfortable wearing it out and about unless I had my winter coat on or something. Definitely gives you Dolly Parton boobs haha. 
    I loved my Spectra, ol faithful. The only con was the tubes everywhere. I liked that it could screw into Avent bottles since that was one brand DD ended up liking. 

    I bought a pump bag for the office and little did I know that I would STILL be wfh in 2022 😆 I did use it to travel a few times and liked it. My spectra fit into the side nicely. 99% sure this is the one I got - sorry I can’t get TB to select the below to spoiler the link. 


    My biggest recommendation is a pumping bra so you don’t have to hold it the entire time. I had no idea these existed and was miserable the first couple weeks before I learned about them since I had to sit there holding it to my
    boobs (especially in the hospital, omg). You can also finangle a regular nursing bra to hold the pump on you as well. I bought a Kindred Bravely pumping bra off a friend and really liked it, but the cheap ones (Mom cozy) I got off Amazon worked fine too. I just felt like I could wear the KB one as an actual bra out and about, but the Amazon ones showed lines under my clothes. 

    I used a My Breast Friend nursing pillow but can’t really speak to it since we didn’t end up nursing very much. I didn’t love buckling it but did like that it was pretty firm and seemed to support DD well.

    edited to attempt to fix formatting 
    *tw*
    married 10.2016
    ttc #1 11.2017
    dx: unexplained
    letrozole + trigger + ti: bfn x 2
    iui #1 9.25.2019: bfn
    iui #2 10.23.2019; bfp 11.3.2019; edd 7.17.2020
    dd 7.6.2020


    MrsLaLaBugpajamstagramshappynapper
  • @pajamstagrams oooo those are all great recommendations. A big second to having multiple sets of parts if you will be pumping more than nursing. Cleaning pump parts gets really old really fast. To answer your Q I just plan on getting all new parts off Amazon- tubing, duckbills, flanges, etc. I will probably get a new spectra with my insurance but want to make sure I have a backup in case it doesn’t get here before baby is born (I also dropped my spectra last time while trying to pump and get ready for something, so there’s a big crack in the base I’m wary of). I definitely plan on reusing the washable pads, I mean we washed them right so it’s probably fine haha. I didn’t even think twice about that part 
    *tw*
    married 10.2016
    ttc #1 11.2017
    dx: unexplained
    letrozole + trigger + ti: bfn x 2
    iui #1 9.25.2019: bfn
    iui #2 10.23.2019; bfp 11.3.2019; edd 7.17.2020
    dd 7.6.2020


    MrsLaLaBugpajamstagrams
  • @b_1029 yeah I'm excited to have my S1 (that's the rechargeable one you have 😜) as a backup (upstairs pump and downstairs pump), hopefully it still works after 3.5 yrs lol. 

    Good call on the pumping bra rec! Definitely key. 

    I'll add: I prefer my breast friend for itty bitty newborn babies, and the boppy for bigger infants. The MBF was closer to my body and didn't gap as much. 
    b_1029
  • This is so well timed! I had it on my list to call insurance this week.

    i had a medela pulp covered, don’t remember the model and remember it being okay. I struggled at first until i got the correct size parts and then i was fine. 

    I’m leaning to the Spectra this time and will start to look at reviews.

    and yes, multiple parts and pieces! Last thing you want to do is clean up after pumping. I would just do a wash of parts 2x a day and i was good with that! 
  • @pajamstagrams and @b_1029 you ladies covered a lot of what I would have to say. My #1 no matter which pump setup anyone goes with is a Rubbermaid wash basin to leave on the counter and collect storage bottles/ pump parts throughout the day. Then just set the basin into the sink and wash it so everything stays completely separate from your regular sink full of dirty dishes. Also big big +1 for having 2-3 sets of pump parts. As DD got bigger and started sleeping through the night the last thing I would have wanted to do was wash parts after I did a 10:30 pm pump just in case I needed to pump again before she woke up in the morning. Also yes I used nenesupply (Amazon off brand) for the extra sets and they were much less expensive and worked just as well. 

    I’m not sure what I will do this time, my pump is a Medela and it did work fine for me, but I have heard through the grapevine that my insurance covers Spectra now and I just heard so many good things about it in my last BMB. Including people who had used Medela before and had some comparison. The only nice thing about getting another Medela would be that I do already have the extra parts. 

    I do think I will splurge and buy a Willow for when I go back to work, for both while i drive and when I can’t leave the floor for a break. I have a 30 minute drive but I only tried once with the medela… between the car adapter and all the tubing it didn’t feel secure to me while I was moving my arms to drive. 


    pajamstagrams
  • I’m so grateful for this thread. Soaking it up bc it’s been 8 years since the last time I’ve done any of this!!!! So thankful for all of you much more recent mamas!!!! 
                                                                                      
  • Hiya! I didn’t really pump much. At all. I have a Medela pump that my sister gave me (she hardly pumped either), for the few occasions I needed it. Personally, I really hate pumping. I feel like a cow, but I also didn’t know about all the options with cordless and ones you don’t have to hold in place and pumping bras and all that. I really only used the pump for my first DD when I knew I was going to be going away overnight for a bachelorette party. It took me like 3 weeks to pump enough to supply her with 2 days of milk! With my second DD, I had to pump first thing in the morning to release pressure as my letdown was so strong it would choke and gag my girlie. But other than those times, I fed from the breast. And for that, I use the My Breast Friend pillow. I had/will have one upstairs and one downstairs because it’s such a scramble when baby is hungry NOW and you need to hunt all over the house to find your pillow! I like how firm it is with a little extra “pillow” for baby’s head on both sides, so is reversible. And I love that it clips on. Keeps baby nice and tight to you and I could also walk around and do (simple) stuff while baby fed. I’d hold onto her/the pillow in almost a football hold and have a free hand to do other things (like wipe a toddler’s poopy butt after a potty visit…) 
    pajamstagramsjandawg
  • My last pump was a Medela PISA - it’s been awhile!!! I’m so out of the loop and really hoping if I call my insurance company I’ll get someone helpful!! Either that or go through Aeroflow??? Or one of those companies that just handles it for you. 
                                                                                      
  • @MrsLaLaBug I went through aeroflow last time and plan to do it this time also. Mainly because I’m too lazy to call my insurance company and figure it out and they do it all for you. 

    I used the medela in the hospital and rented it from the hospital for a few weeks after sinfe they told me it would be the best thing to establish my supply. Idk if that was actually true or not. I didn’t notice any difference in output between that and the Spectra though. 
    *tw*
    married 10.2016
    ttc #1 11.2017
    dx: unexplained
    letrozole + trigger + ti: bfn x 2
    iui #1 9.25.2019: bfn
    iui #2 10.23.2019; bfp 11.3.2019; edd 7.17.2020
    dd 7.6.2020


    MrsLaLaBug
  • pajamstagramspajamstagrams member
    edited January 18
    @MrsLaLaBug I barely had to do anything to get my pump via a medical supply company (was NOT aeroflow. Not sure if they were on my list last time, or if the coverage sucked with them. They are on my list now 🤷‍♀️). I think I filled/signed an order form that they provided, and then another signature for an upgrade form. The medical supply company did everything for me with my insurance. So I wouldn't be afraid to just shoot them a message and get the list! 

    Also I checked my insurance portal and they messaged me back with the current list, and told me that I can't order until 26 wks. So I've got a few more weeks before I can officially pull the trigger. 


    ETA: @happynapper I'm unfortunately? a pro at pumping and driving 🙈 was a necessity for me while I was living the EP life. But I didn't need a power cord (S1), so that helped. You just need to get a good secure pumping bra, make sure your flanges are nice and tight, and bring a scarf for a cover up if you so choose lol. Also I wouldn't recommend doing that on days you think you might overfill the bottle, or in general if you have high output and need the 9 oz bottles, which get heavy. I almost overflowed once because I had gone a while without pumping 😬. 
    happynapper
  • @pajamstagrams @happynapper oh man I forgot about my pumping and driving days. My MIL helped watch DD the first few months I went back to work and I’d try to pump on my drive over. So many cords everywhere. I’d open up my center console and balance my pump there then put on my breastfeeding cover to drive 😆 I always felt kind of bada*s though. 
    *tw*
    married 10.2016
    ttc #1 11.2017
    dx: unexplained
    letrozole + trigger + ti: bfn x 2
    iui #1 9.25.2019: bfn
    iui #2 10.23.2019; bfp 11.3.2019; edd 7.17.2020
    dd 7.6.2020


    pajamstagramshappynapperMrsLaLaBug
  • I’ve been back and forth on pumps…I pumped a bunch for DD1 and DD2 (they both did nursing/pumped milk and formula). DS was EBF and literally wouldn’t take a bottle until 6 months. I was super thankful because I did not like my pump with DS. With both of the older girls, I had a medela and they worked great both times. I got a spectra for DS (new insurance and it was covered for the first time) and tbh I hated it. I think because I have fuller breasts and larger nipples (sorry for the TMI 😂), I had a much harder time finding parts to fit. Medela had more options, IMO. I’ll still probably look and see what’s covered this time but I’ll probably end up with a medela again.
    MrsLaLaBug
  • @skc040512 I'd definitely look at buying aftermarket flanges! I know Spectra is limited on their name brand sizes, but plenty of companies now make compatible versions, if you like the pump itself! (Also I talked about my nipples already so you're in good company 🙈😂)
  • I've never really been a pumper - with my first I used my sister's hand me down Medela, got a new Medela with #2 & used that one for #3 as well. But I really rarely pumped. My babies never took bottles so I mostly pumped and dumped thanks to oversupply and overactive letdown. 

    That being said, I cannot as a mom of 5 be tied down to exclusively nursing twins. Just not possible. I'm figuring that I will be pumping regularly as well as nursing, so I'm hoping to be able to crowdfund a wearable pump from family and friends. I need to do some research though to decide which kind. Any recommendations would be helpful! I really only know of the Willow & Elvie.
    Married 11.12.11
    JB 08.02.13 
    EC 12.11.15
    GE 04.04.19
    #4 & #5 due 05.05.22
  • @pajamstagrams I looked EVERYWHERE last time and couldn’t find the appropriate sizes in the aftermarket ones! If I needed to go down in size, I would have been set, but it’s like if you need anything larger, they were either sold out, cost an insane amount of money or just weren’t made (a few of the compatible ones just didn’t go up much past Spectra’s standard sizing…it was such a pain)
  • @skc040512 oh man, bummer. 😕
  • I exclusively pumped with my first and a lot of what I'd recommend has already been mentioned.  I loved the Spectra. If your insurance allows it, it is totally worth upgrading to the S1 with rechargeable battery.  

    I also recommend getting extra sets of parts from nenesupply/maymom to have on hand.  @pajamstagrams I also ended up using pumpin pals.  :) They were so much more comfortable! 

    Once I realized I'd be EP'ing I bought the Elvie pump.  They were never as comfortable or as efficient as my Spectra but having them as an option absolutely saved my sanity.  They were easy to wear in the car and on the go.  I did get looks when I wore them out because, like @b_1029 mentioned above, they definitely give you Dolly Parton boobs!   I saw Elvie has a new hands-free pump that is covered by some insurance plans.  I think it's pretty new but curious if anybody has heard anything about it. 




  • PSA, because I was *that* nerd yesterday comparing medical supply companies and upgrade fees for breast pumps...aeroflow had the highest charge for the S1 ($75). Others were $60-65, and I paid $30 3 yrs ago (still waiting to hear what this supplier charges this year). 🤓

    Of course everyone's insurance operates differently, but just FYI, it doesn't hurt to shop around! 

    Also, I looked at further upgrade options for wearables like Elvie/Willow or the newest Spectra synergy gold, and the "upgrade fee" was often just the full price. Aka it's not covered, so you're better off buying direct OOP and getting your insurance to cover a pump for free. Particularly if you wanted a wearable. 


  • sph97sph97 member
    I'm here to ask more of a general question, I'm getting a hospital grade pump through insurance (Luna Motif). However, I work in the classroom and we only get 1 45 minute planning period, 20 min lunch, and the kids go to recess for 20 min everyday but it's not guaranteed that my co-teacher will cover my class and hers when we go to lunch and recess (if we can go out, weather permitting). I don't want to be trapped in my room or the bathroom to pump my entire planning period.

    I'm debating buying the Elvie double pump for work, but when would you make the investment? I could at least pump and make copies, attend meeting, etc. BUT I hate to spend $300+ to find out my milk didn't come in or I wasn't able to BF/Pump. Maybe I'm being paranoid or overthinking, but what do y'all recommend?

    Buy now ahead (I husbands family is offering to help put money towards whatever purchase I'd want for myself post-partum), or wait until after baby to see how my supple comes in?
  • @sph97 how long will you be off after the baby is born? If you’re a teacher I assume you’ll be able to be off the whole summer given the May timing? I’d probably wait until 6-8 weeks or so when your supply is starting to regulate / you get used to pumping to decide if BF and pumping is right for you. They’re definitely an investment but I felt my Willow was worth it since I was only pumping and I could do things around the house or whatever without being attached to the cords. If you can’t leave the classroom for whatever reason, it would be discreet enough to run to the bathroom to pop them on really quickly or something. I mean the wearable pumps definitely make your boobs look absurd, but better than dealing with a cover or something for a typical pump. I used to wear a nursing cover when I pumped and drove with my Spectra. 
    *tw*
    married 10.2016
    ttc #1 11.2017
    dx: unexplained
    letrozole + trigger + ti: bfn x 2
    iui #1 9.25.2019: bfn
    iui #2 10.23.2019; bfp 11.3.2019; edd 7.17.2020
    dd 7.6.2020


  • sph97sph97 member
    @b_1029 Teachers here usually go back the last week of July! It's only for a couple work days, and they haven't finalized the school schedule but it's usually the first week of August! I do know I want to "practice" pumping with them before work too, but they are just sooo high. I'm in a buy/sell pump group I'm hoping to fnd a gently used one one maybe to save a little. It's really hard to get away from class, and usually we get pulled during our planning and thats when we have PLC's, IEP meetings, parent meetings or whatever so I'm rarely "alone" during my work day.
    b_1029
  • @sph97 20 min is a really short time for pumping. Of course some people can empty in under 20 min (I unfortunately, needed a full 30) but the set up/clean up takes up time too, so you'd be getting like a 10 min pump session with a 20 min break. Better than nothing, but not ideal. Anyway, it might be good to see where you land on the emptying spectrum, and then buy the Elvie later, if you do need the ability to be more discrete and pump in public. Agree with @b_1029s comments. 
    sph97
  • I had a Medela a friend gave me but like @annashaf I really didn't like pumping. That said, having a double pump was key - being able to get it all done at once was awesome. Ive also mentioned it before but I used the hakaa while breastfeeding for a while and liked that. But yeah, because of covid and being able to just bf on demand, DS never really wanted to take a bottle so I would like that to be different this time I think!
    annashaf
  • Ended up upgrading to a Spectra S1 based on this thread! 

    When it comes to making sure the flanges fit will they do that at the hospital or do I need to do some measurements to make sure I have the right size? 
    b_1029
  • They may check with you if you ask, but also your nipple diameter can change as your milk comes in etc and you typically don’t need to pump in the first few weeks until your supply is established… It might be something to keep on the back burner until closer to the 2m appointment or see if there is a “baby cafe” type of weekly meetup in your area with lactation consultants or can make an appointment with one at your clinic who can help you after several weeks have passed.
    kham130
  • Totally agree with @happynapper. You could always bring whatever size you get to the hospital and the LC can help you determine if it’s right or not, but your nipple size may change too soooo. 
    I think my spectra came with 2 different sizes of flanges and I took them to the LC I was working with after we got discharged. 
    *tw*
    married 10.2016
    ttc #1 11.2017
    dx: unexplained
    letrozole + trigger + ti: bfn x 2
    iui #1 9.25.2019: bfn
    iui #2 10.23.2019; bfp 11.3.2019; edd 7.17.2020
    dd 7.6.2020


    kham130
  • Agree with everything said re: flanges. Your nipples might change once your milk comes in. The hospital LCs helped me with my flange sizing quite a bit. Took a lot of trial and error over a month or so. *Hopefully* you won't *need* to pump immediately post partum. I did, and it sucked, especially since we were still working through flange sizes (I need realllly small) and colostrum is tough to pump. 
    kham130happynapper
  • Very helpful, thank you @happynapper @b_1029 @pajamstagrams!! 
  • @karisahamdi I also wanted to mention that there are LC’s right at my pediatrician’s office and so when we went to recheck her bilirubin levels 2 days after we went home from the hospital, the pedi asked if I wanted an LC to visit and that is very helpful. So check with your pedi if they have them, and the hospital will likely give you phone #’s to contact them. 
    If there are any feeding issues with babe not latching, not gaining weight, or supply, your pedi and LC will definitely work with you sooner to get you started pumping as soon as it’s necessary like @pajamstagrams mentioned
    kham130
  • @b_1029  Willow question. Is it possible to pause the pump and empty? I’m thinking about the first pump of the morning which was sometimes more than 4oz on each side, and the bags and containers both only hold 4oz..  
  • b_1029b_1029 member
    edited February 6
    @happynapper yes it pauses automatically for you to switch out the container! Eta I used the reusable containers, but the only time I’d ever pump more than 4 oz in 1 side was my first pump of the day. The bags are more convenient since they’re fully leak proof unlike the containers, but the times I used the bags first thing I felt so wasteful. I’d pump like 5 oz but have to switch the bag for another one to just catch a little bit. So if you consistently pump more than 4 oz I’d suggest doing the reusable containers! 
    *tw*
    married 10.2016
    ttc #1 11.2017
    dx: unexplained
    letrozole + trigger + ti: bfn x 2
    iui #1 9.25.2019: bfn
    iui #2 10.23.2019; bfp 11.3.2019; edd 7.17.2020
    dd 7.6.2020


    happynapper
  • @b_1029 okay great, thank you! I was looking back on my baby connect app and it would only be the first pump of the morning that would be an issue. Righty would give me 5 more often and lefty usually somewhere around 4… so if I’m staying home and need to pump right away I’ll probably use my medela but I was thinking of using the willow like while I’m getting ready for work instead of being tied down for an extra 20 minutes (and having to wake up even earlier to have time to do so) so if I can pause and empty the containers that will still work! 🤩
    b_1029sph97
  • Ugh I think TB ate my first attempted reply so hopefully I’m not doubling up here. 

    I’m glad you remembered to mention it @pajamstagrams. I hadn’t heard of it until we had been BFing for a while last time. IIRC one of the moms experienced it while BFing but not pumping (so opposite of what you experienced). And it didn’t start right away with BFing either, the babes were already quite a few months old. Definitely good to be aware of because I’m sure it’s alarming when it starts. 
    pajamstagrams
  • annashafannashaf member
    I’ve never heard of this! Thanks for sharing!!
  • @pajamstagrams Thanks for mentioning DMER! I experienced it last time starting right away but didn’t realize what was going in until many months in to EPing. It was a horrible feeling and I really think it contributed to my PPA/PPD. Knowing about it earlier would have been helpful! 

    Along with the sense of anxiety/depression/sense of dread, I also got waves of intense nausea and lost a lot of weight during the first few months.  I’ve already been mentally preparing myself for it happens this time again and giving myself permission to stop BFijg or pumping if I have the same experience this time.  
    pajamstagramsannashaf
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