What are Silicone Breast Pumps? And Why You Would Need One

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If you are like me then you are always researching the latest products to make your life easier as a mom.  Having just recently had my second baby, I was on the hunt for any product to make breastfeeding easier. I knew I would be chasing a toddler this time around. That’s when I stumbled upon article after article about silicone breast “pumps.”

They were EVERYWHERE.  So, I did some research and decided I would buy one and try it out.  I bought a brand that was a bit cheaper than the name brand Haakaa I had read about. Many of the reviews had said both brands worked well but I decided to try out the Bumblebee.

So, what are silicone breast pumps?

First of all I had no idea that you could use these products as a ‘pump.’  Most of the articles that I read marketed these as ‘milk collectors.’ (Which you can totally use them for, especially if you are an over producer or leaker). But they are in fact pumps.  Not in traditional sense ,these will by no means be as efficient as your electric pump but they are pumps.

These types of pumps use natural suction pressure to ‘pump milk. It’s all hands free once your milk is flowing.

How to use it

It’s super easy to use one of these:

  1. First, flip up the cone shaped opening back.
  2. Then, squeeze the pump at the base.
  3. Place nipple in the opening and release the pump creating a suction.
  4. Finally, simply flip the opening back onto your breast.
  5. Voilà!  You are now hands free pumping.

A few helpful tips:

  • you might want to try and hand express some milk to get a letdown before placing the pump on.
  • using the pump on one side and nursing on the other can help achieve let down and get a stead flow of milk.
  • squeezing the middle of the base will get you the strongest suction, for less suction squeeze higher on the bottle.
  • using nipple cream makes for a more comfy fit especially if you have dry skin like me.

Once let down is achieved either by nursing on the opposite side or by hand expression you simply just leave it on for the feeding or until your milk stops flowing. It’s so simple!

Why use one

These pumps are amazing!  They can be great for a wide range of reasons.  So, why would you use one…

  • if you are an over producer and don’t want to waste precious milk (it’s liquid gold every drop is worth collecting).
  • if you get engorged easily.  These are great for keeping in the diaper bag and using to pump on the go to release pressure from a missed feeding or if you are away from your baby.
  • if you want to build a stash of milk. I read you can collect any where from a few drops to 4 oz a session.  ( I normally can collect 2oz).  By collecting small amounts at each feeding you could build a stash a little at a time and have milk frozen for others to feed baby.
  • if you want to increase your supply a bit.  As you probably know, breastfeeding is supply and demand.  So, if you use the pump on the breast you’re not nursing on, your body will continue to make that amount of milk if you are using it consistently.

Mom Approved

If you are nursing or are planning on nursing in the future then you NEED to have one of these!

Pros:

I have been using mine for a little under 3 months now and oh. my. gosh!  In the beginning it helped me collect milk
I was leaking.  But my favorite thing about these pumps are how much milk I could pump WITHOUT being attached to my electric pump.  IT gave me the freedom to pop this on, nurse my babe and chase my toddler if I needed to.

Cons:

I highly suggest you invest in one if you are a nursing mom my ONLY “con” which could be a pro for some is, watch how often you use it.  I started to produce WAY more milk than my little guy needed because I was using it every session.  If you need to increase your supply this may be a pro for you.  If your supply is normal then I would limit your use to once or twice a day so it doesn’t interfere with how much milk you are producing.

 

Let me know in the comments your experiencing if you have used one of these.

 

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6 Hard Lessons I Learned Nursing the First Time Around

Breastfeeding is not for the faint of heart. Something that seems so natural is actually really freaking complicated and for most does NOT come natural. It takes practice and patience.

my first experience with nursing was messy, hard but I learned so much. Those hard lessons I’ve learned have given me much more confidence nursing this second time around. Here is what I learned the hard way nursing my first born.

1. Your emotions affect your baby’s emotions

Yep. Looking back on my time nursing the first time this makes SO MUCH SENSE.

When you’re postpartum you’re of course super emotional but when you are nursing your baby you have to be in a calm state. Think of it like being around a horse (I know weird analogy stay with me). When you ride a horse they always tell you to stay calm because horses sense fear and anxiety. The same for your little one.

It’s so easy to be on edge. You’re tired, hormonal (that’s probably an understatement) and sure you probably have anxiety about feeding still. But staying calm and knowing when you take a break will help you tremendously.

2. Less is more

When you’re at the hospital they make you write down when you fed, which side and for how long. They also make you track wet and dirty diaper and what the poop looks like. So, when you get home it can be overwhelming to do all that on top of, I don’t know adjusting to life with a tiny human!

With my first I obsessed over every minute he fed, the time between feeds and what his diapers should look like. It was exhausting.

My best advice the first week or two track it. The doctor will want that info and it’s hard to recall it all. But once your babe is back to birth weight relax and go with the flow. Make sure they nurse a good amount but don’t obsess. Forget the clock and soak up the bonding.

3. Let baby take the lead

Since breastfeeding is natural a lot of it just happens. Baby knows what to do (in most cases). Let them nurse as long as they want to. Nurses made me believe if my baby didn’t nurse 20-30 minutes he wasn’t getting enough. False.

Of course always make sure baby is swallowing and nursing. A good amount of time but some babies are more efficient and will nurse less. There are also other factors time of day, mood, age. All these things play a part in how long a nursing sessions last. Let baby lead and as long as they’re making diapers, are content and satisfied you’re doing great.

4. What works for one mom, may not work for you

This one is hard and honestly it applies to more than just breastfeeding. As a new mom people will have so much advice for you. Take it with a grain of salt.

What works for one mom may not work for you. Maybe, Sally really loved nursing on demand for a year, good for her. That might not work for you, maybe it will. Who the heck knows! Only you can make that call. My advice is try it. Try Sally, Megan’s whoever’s advice. If it works, great! If not, great! Do you, momma.

5. Build you stash early and wait on the bottle

With my first I would pump and freeze it (even as a SAHM) but then I would let my husband use the frozen milk to feed at night. Which was fine but I did it too often.

If you pump and only use it when necessary then when it’s time for date nights, meetings, or simple mom time you have it. Even if you’re a stay at home mom, make a stash, you’ll thank me on date night when you can stay out that extra hour or so.

6. Your journey is your journey

This one is most important. If you’re scrolling and didn’t read anything stop and read this….

It’s your journey! It doesn’t matter if you nurse 3 years, if you exclusively pump, if you nurse part time, or if you supplement. It doesn’t freaking matter!

Breastfeeding is hard, it’s taxing emotionally and your journey is yours. Do whatever it takes to keep you and baby happy and healthy no matter what that looks like or what anyone thinks.

What lessons did you learn through your first nursing journey? I’d love to hear them below.

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