Thursday, September 30, 2010

Check out the sweet ass nursing gear!

Four years ago I bought a Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump ($280) and used the hell out of it. I'm using it again with my second baby and it is still going strong. My current job is merely a mile away but when I first bought this pump I took it on the metro with me every day. Let's just say it's been around. Alas, it was my only breastfeeding-related gadget. I'm convinced that all of this awesome gear wasn't around then. I'd like to think that I was just as tenacious as I am now, but who knows. Either way, I seriously missed out. So let me spread the wealth so that my fellow nursing mums can take advantage!

#1: LilyPadz Silicone Nursing Pads
Spending money on single-use merchandise is not my cup of tea. So disposable pads never entered my house. Instead, I use cotton pads that are washable. I bought them from SweetJane, an store. These are contoured and waterproof. But, I go through them quickly and every drop that soaks these pads is a drop wasted.

LilyPadz PREVENT leakage. Say what?? That's right, the idea is that you don't leak at all. Refreshing indeed. I bought a pair. They are small, thin, flexible silicone disks. You press them into your nipple and then smooth them onto the areola. They aren't perfect but its wonderful to ditch the bra at bedtime. The downside is that it takes some skill to get them on right. If you aren't successful, milk will pool around the nipple and possibly end in waterfall-esque theatrics. Learn more on the LilyPadz site or buy them on Amazon for $20.

Freemie - Hands Free, Concealable Breast Pump Collection System
These are so hot of the press that they still smack of prototype. That doesn't make it any less cool! Here's the thing about nursing - working mom's have to pump. We have to play cow on a daily basis. Which is fine. It's for the good of the baby. But it still makes me feel absurd and vulnerable. That's probably more a problem of perspective than anything else, though. The Freemie storage system tosses out the idea of a "horn" and instead, goes the route of a breast shell. Your bra keeps it in place and you can pump with clothes on, hands free. How sweet is that? It's wicked expensive though, considering that traditional horns run about $20 for a set. They retail for $70 but can be found for $50 on Amazon.

Mom's have expressed concerns about suction and the amount of "fiddling" that you need to get these right. They just came out last year so we can expect new and improved versions. They still present a situational advantage for mom's pumping at work. I love this review on Babble. The author writes,
But where this type of innovation is huge for women – even huger than the first hands-free systems – is the fact that it takes pumping out of the dank supply closet and puts it into the boardroom, cubicle or front desk.
Learn more on the Freemie site or buy them at Amazon for $50.

#3: Milkies Milk Saver
As if the name wasn't awesome enough, this gadget actually allows milk to collect into a storage space under your clothing instead of absorbing into a nursing pad. You've got baby nursing on one side and a Milk Saver on the other. Baby triggers the let down and you get to store the milk from the other breast that lets down. No more waste! These require that you sit up while nursing and have the ability to remove the device before you stand up. But its easier then breaking out the pump and it's discrete! Learn more on the Milkies site (don't miss the ridiculously tacky promotional video) or buy one at Amazon for just under $24.

#4: Simple Wishes Hands Free Breast Pump Bustier
I'm giving this some limelight because its the best rated of its kind. I know these have been around, but their coolness factor must be mentioned for moms who are unaware. When I pumped for my first babe I had to hold both horns for 15-20 minutes while staring off into space. Not fun. I didn't get to pump in my cubicle (where was Freemie then?!) so each 20 minute pumping session was time lost at work. I had to make up that time every day, which is more time at work, less time at home with the baby! With this, I can pump and do other stationary things - like work or read or make elaborate hand gestures. Learn more on the Simple Wishes site or snag one now on Amazon for $28.

If you've got another sweet piece of breastfeeding gear, please share!