I make my way to the lactation room at work about 3 times a day. And by lactation room I mean the utility/LAN room tucked away behind the customer support department in the building next to ours. It’s cold and excessively noisy due to the fans blowing near the spaghetti mess of wires and routers combined with the whir of the breast pump. But I don’t mind it much. It’s private and I’ve grown to love the hour to hour and a half I spend in there each day thinking about Lil Z-Bear, what to make for dinner that night, and why I never seem to be able to find the right length for pants as I stare down at my feet. I am so thankful for each and every day that I can produce milk for Lil Z, and today I want to share my review of products I have used related to breastfeeding.
The pump: Medela Freestyle. As a mom, you quickly discover that Medela is synonymous with breast pumps. It’s hard to be in love with a breast pump, but I sure like this fellow. It’s lightweight and powerful, and I can get up to six 20 minute sessions with just one battery charge. However, I am not a fan of the SoftFit breast shields, and I prefer using the PersonalFit breast shield that fits easily with the Freestyle. I don’t use the hands-free option; I don’t mind sitting the 20 to 30 minutes holding the pump while daydreaming. Unless you have small breasts, I definitely recommend getting a larger shield rather than the default size that comes with the pack; it’s much more comfortable. I also recommend checking with the hospital to buy your breast pump, they often sell it at wholesale prices, I got mine $100 cheaper than retail.
Breast cream: Apply a small amount of breast cream after every pump/nursing session. You will be glad you did. I have tried both Lansinoh Breast Cream and Medela Tender Care. I like the texture of Medela better, it glides on easily and it works great. However, if you are dealing with a lot of soreness and pain, then Lansinoh, which is pure HPA lanolin, does a better job at coating. You don’t need to wipe off either before feeding, which is a plus.
Nursing pillow: Check out this earlier post.
Teas to help with milk production: I’ve tried Traditional Medicinals Organic Mother’s Milk and Yogi Woman’s Nursing Support. Traditional Medicinals works much better. They both taste like fennel seed and are very drinkable, no sugar or honey needed. Also, eat oatmeal. It works!
Nursing covers: Bebe au Lait covers are cute and what a name! However, they really don’t work any better than using a receiving blanket. Better yet, try aden + anais swaddle cloths as a nursing cover: they work great because of the very pliable muslin material.
Breast pads: When you are breastfeeding, it feels like…ahem…your headlights are always on. Breast pads are great not only to soak up any leakage but also as an extra padding between the world and the ‘gals’. I’ve tried Lansinoh Disposable Pads and Philips AVENT Ultra Comfort Disposable Pads. I prefer AVENT because it doesn’t have the odd cup shape and the unnecessary extra adhesive strip that Lansinoh does.
Notes: Medela Quick Clean Wipes work great when you don’t have water to clean the pumps. Also, stick to these Medela bottles instead of the longer Medela freezer bottles. The latter can easily tip over, and believe me, watching hard-earned breast milk spill will make a grown woman cry.