Earlier this year, the American Pediatric Association released updated guidelines for infant feeding, recommending 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding, and, whenever possible, continuing to breastfeed in smaller quantities, until the child is two years old.
Breastfeeding has been linked to a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome, and significantly decreased rates of lower respiratory tract infections, severe diarrhea, ear infections and obesity, even into adulthood. Further, long-term breastfeeding provides some protection against diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancers of the breast and ovaries in mothers.
If youâ€™re new to the breastfeeding scene, it can be a bit overwhelming. Breast pumps, breast pads, milk storage bags, cold gel packs, nipple cream, and breast massagers. There are so many products to choose from that it can be a daunting task to know what and when to buy a product.
How do you decide what products you need, which ones can be bought as your baby grows, and which ones you can skip altogether? Breastfeeding accessories, while expected to increase in revenue by 11.9% year-over-year through 2025, do have some key indicators that can help you decide which products are right for you and your little one.
Any mother breastfeeding for the first time or breastfed in the past will tell you that breastfeeding is not for the faint of heart. Learning to help your baby latch on properly can be a trial in pain and misery. Breastfeeding, especially the first few weeks, can make a motherâ€™s nipples and breasts sore and tender, and each consecutive breastfeeding session can increase that painful feeling.
Thankfully there are products to help even the most novice breastfeeder in the area of comfort. So hereâ€™s to you, first-time feeders, some favorites regarding breastfeeding comfort.
Breast Care and Comfort
From nipple cream to breast pads and everything in between, these products offer the comfort and care your breasts need in those first weeks of breastfeeding when things can be dicey at best.
1.Â Lansinoh Lanolin nipple cream
Lansinohâ€™s lanolin nipple cream is safe for babies, which means it doesnâ€™t need to be wiped off before each breastfeeding session, and it works miracles for sore, tender, and even cracked nipples. It is also ethically sourced only from New Zealand, which is known for its green energy efforts. A 1.41-ounce tube will run about $8.00.
2.Â Earth Mama Nipple Butter
This alternative to lanolin-based products is another great choice for nipple comfort during those first tenuous weeks of breastfeeding when comfort reigns supreme. Made with USDA-certified organic calendula cream, this hypoallergenic, paraben, and petroleum-free product is safe for babies as well and does not need to be removed before breastfeeding. A 2-fluid-ounce container will run around $13.
3.Â Lavie Breastfeeding Hot/Cold Pack
These multipack hot/cold breast therapy pads offer relief for tender breasts and help with milk letdown, the process of milk coming down for your baby. These gel-free pads can be microwaved for heat therapy before nursing to encourage letdown and help with milk flow and clogged ducts. When placed in the freezer for 1-2 hours, these can be used after nursing to relieve swollen, inflamed, tender breasts and also help with sore nipples.Â A 2-pack will run around $25.
4.Â Lansinoh Therapearl Hot/Cold Packs
These gel-based hot/cold therapy packs offer supreme comfort and relief from engorgement, swelling, and general pain before, during, and after breastfeeding. When used in combination with a breast pump, they can increase pumping efficiency and encourage milk letdown to increase milk supply.
5.Â Organic Bamboo Reuseable Breast Pads
Soft, organic, and reusable, these are a great, cost-saving option for anyone on a tight budget. With seven sets, these offer days of nursing and provide an environmentally friendly option for anyone planning on nursing past the first essential six weeks.Â A 14 pad (7set) pack will run you about $16.
6.Â Generic Disposable Breast Pads
Target and other online retailers have awesome deals on disposable nursing pads. Easy to use on the go, these pads are effective and keep you dry when lifeâ€™s in a hurry. Small and compact, they are perfect for your purse or diaper bag and are essential for any nursing mother.Â A 100 ct box costs $7.99 online.
7.Â Momcozy Support Pumping Bra
Whether you want to exclusively breastfeed or mix it up, having well-supportive nursing and pumping bras is essential for ease of use and comfort. Your comfort is a basic need when it comes to nursing and having great bra options is imperative to that comfort. Momcozy has a great line of nursing and pumping bras that deliver on comfort and affordability.Â Their bras run from around $20 to $40Â and offer a variety of styles for you to choose from.
8.Â Major Retailer Nursing Bras
Target, Walmart, and other major retailers also have great nursing bra options that fit every budget. With bra options running from $15 to $60, thereâ€™s something for everyone andÂ most can be ordered onlineÂ for easy pick-up or delivery.
All moms want to give their babies the best, and a fed baby is a happy, healthy baby, no matter the mode of delivery. For those moms trying to balance work life and breastfeeding, however, it can be challenging to say the least. Thatâ€™s why companies like Momcozy, Freemie, Medela, and others have developed the best in wearable, hands-free breast pumps. These innovative new designs provide a modern, accessible, affordable, and easy-to-use hands-free breast pumping experience.
Now working mothers can be more productive during their working hours. This, in turn, means that mothers breastfeed longer, providing their babies with the much-needed benefits of breastfeeding. So, with that in mind, here are the best breast pumps in the comfort, wearability, and budget-friendly categories.
Best in Comfort
For any mother trying to pump for the first time, especially if itâ€™s her first time breastfeeding, comfort is a must-have top priority. A woman whoâ€™s comfortable can give her baby the best in milk production and calming relaxation. Most babies nurse to go to sleep, especially in the first few months after birth. Because breast milk is produced on a supply and demand system, youâ€™ll want to ensure your breasts are empty after each pumping session.
This also helpsÂ to guard against mastitis – a clogged milk duct – that can lead to breast infection. With that in mind, here are some options that offer supreme comfort when it comes to breast pumps.
1.Â Philips Avent BPA Free Double Electric Breast Pump
This affordable double electric breast pump provides supreme comfort for any new or seasoned nursing mother. No matter why you need to pump, this option can give you the same level of production as hospital-grade pumps, allowing you to get the maximum milk flow in the shortest time. With warm breast shields and a unique massage cushion,Â the Philips AventÂ breast pump helps with fast, more effective milk letdown and faster, more complete milk expression. This unit will run you around $250, which is mid-range for a double electric breast pump.
2.Â Spectra S1 Plus Electric Breast Pump
Slightly cheaper than the Philips Avent breast pump, the Spectra S1 Plus was rated the best overall breast pump by women whoâ€™ve actually tried the unit out. Great for its portability, mainly because itâ€™s cordless, you can take this pump with you anywhere and still get a hospital-grade pumping experience. Itâ€™ll run you around $217, but for moms whoâ€™ve tried it out, itâ€™s worth the price.
Best in Affordability
If you can't afford the top-of-the-line breast pump, you want to aim for a quality system, without breaking the bank. Every once in a while, youâ€™ll find a fantastic deal on just what youâ€™re looking for. Here are the most affordable breast pumps on the market.
1.Â Lansinoh Smartpump 2.0 Double Electric Breast Pump
At just over $100, this pump offers exceptional suction. This hospital-grade pump sets up like most at-home pumps with three modes and eight suction levels. You simply connect the tubes to the motor and the collection bottles, and away you go. This pump is super quiet, allowing you to watch TV or even take a business call without having to mute yourself. There are also three convenient power modes. You can plug it into an outlet, run it on AA batteries, or plug it into a car adaptor. Versatile and convenient, this is a steal at the price youâ€™ll pay.
2. Crane Rechargeable Cordless Electric Breast Pump
This fantastic option forÂ on-the-go pumping means you wonâ€™t have to worry about an available outlet or numerous cord setups. And at $150, itâ€™s also super-affordable. With nine suction levels and nine expression levels, this pump can be a single or double pump and allows you to set each side to its own mode. If you have one particularly full breast, you might not need a tighter suction than one that has been nursed on recently. This setup allows dual control for a more efficient and comfortable pumping experience.
Best Wearable, Hands-Free Pumps
With new innovation comes a hands-free experience that can fit any active motherâ€™s lifestyle. Whether youâ€™re a working mom who needs both hands to do business or a multi-tasker who needs to pump while juggling other duties simultaneously, the hands-free option can be essential to a good pumping routine.
Easily concealable inside a nursing bra, these wearable breast pumps offer a pumping experience that supplements your regular pumping or nursing times. And while these newer pumps are convenient, they arenâ€™t meant to replace your bulkier, electric option because they donâ€™t offer the same hospital-grade suction that sturdier, traditional pumps can. They wonâ€™t fully empty your breasts as a traditional pump will. This can affect your milk production and cause you to have supply issues.
Here are the best options for wearable, hands-free breast pumps for on-the-go pumping or busy workdays.
1.Â Elvie Double Breast Pump
The Elvie Double Breast Pump is the most comfortable option for a wearable pump. This lightweight and quiet pump offers superb comfort, reusable bottles, and breast shields lined to help you get the best nipple placement. It sells for a cool $549 and comes with lots of parts to clean and keep track of. Still, if comfort is a must, you canâ€™t go wrong with this wearable option.
2.Â Willow 3.0 Double Electric Breast Pump
Slightly cheaper at $499.99, this option offers leak-free, hands-free pumping that will revolutionize your freedom to multitask while you pump. No more being shackled to your traditional pump or worrying about leaks if you change position. With its 360-degree leak-free ability, this pump offers a superior pumping experience.
Thanks to innovative technology, mothers no longer have to be secluded in public or private to care for their child(ren). Neither do they have to be bound to a traditional, corded pump. Now, mothers can pump and play.
Freedom of movement to accomplish other tasks while being able to adequately pump brings a whole new level of satisfaction to the breast pumping experience. No matter whether you choose to pump exclusively, nurse exclusively, do a combination of pumping and nursing, supplement with formula, or exclusively formula feed, a fed baby is a happy baby.
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This article was produced and syndicated byÂ Wealth of Geeks.