Breastfeeding four children was such an amazing yet tough experience. It’s unfortunate that I had to stop breastfeeding my youngest(had a really bad case of thrash) at only three months old. He’s now six months old and he’s such a happy, outgoing, and active baby. Although I was heartbroken when my breastfeeding journey came to an end, I have to say it has been a relief not walking around with leaky boobs. I exclusively pumped with all four of my children. At times I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it, but I did. I talk all about my ups and downs in my breastfeeding journey here (My Breastfeeding Experience). I also mention a few necessary products, (which I will talk about in this blog post), I used to help me with breastfeeding. Those products are:
- A Quality Pump
- Fenugreek Pills
- Brewer’s Yeast
- Nipple Cream
- Nipple Pads
- Medela Easy Expression Hands-Free Pumping Bustier
I’ve used all of these products each time I breastfeed and they have yet to disappoint me. I do want to make a point though, these products are especially beneficial for moms that plan to exclusively pump as I have.
**Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate any links used to purchase an item mentioned in this blog post earns me a small commission at no cost to you.**
A Quality Pump
After many trials and errors with my firstborn, I had come to the realization that I was going to need a quality pump for the number of times I was pumping daily. Funny story, I started off with a manual breast pump, then a single electric breast pump, and finally a Medela double electric pump. Can you say my struggles were over, well sort of. After getting my pump I begin producing more milk than I can keep up with. Medela had won a customer for life. I brought a total of three pumps so far. The first Medela pumped I owned was the Medela Pump In Style Double Electric Breast Pump with Backpack. I fell in love with that pump immediately upon using it for the first time. I used it throughout my entire breastfeeding journey with my firstborn and it didn’t give me any issues. Here’s what’s included when you purchase it:
• (1) Built-in breast pump
• (1) Portable battery pack
• (1) Removable cooler bag and (1) contoured ice pack
• (4) 5oz. 150ml breast milk bottles with lids***
• (1) Double pumping breast pump kit includes: 1 set of PersonalFit Breast Shields 24mm, 2 breast shield connectors, 2 valves and membranes, 1 set of tubing
• (1) Power Adaptor dual-voltage 110/240V
• Instructions for Use
The great thing about Medela Breast Pumps is you can take it with you on the go. I always took my pump with me for extra precaution, but I had built up a nice stash that I never needed it when we went out. I also love how it has different speed settings. I always shotted for the highest setting, and at times I was able to pump two full bottles. I do want to make a point that you can still produce enough milk without having it on the highest setting. It’s honestly all about what speed you’re comfortable with. I also loved how I could move from room to room with my pump. This was just my experience with my firstborn. Once I had my son I ended up purchasing the Medela Pump In Style Double Electric Breast Pump with On-the-go Tote Bag. I still had my old pump in good working condition, but after we moved I shortly realize I had left it behind. However, my experience was the same. This pumped worked the same as my old pump and came with all the same items. I really did love the purse rather than the backpack though, because it had more room to carry extra items, but that’s totally a #momthing. We always shoot for products that provide us more room to carry more sh*t, LOL! Once I got my Medela Freestyle Hands-Free Double Electric Breast Pump all hell broke loose! I was able to get up and walk around with my hands-free pump. I ended up buying/using this pump with my youngest daughter Bailey and youngest son as well because a piece on my other pump had broken from me being clumsy. It still worked, but I was only able to pump one boob at a time. However, the hands-free pump is more on the pricer side, but it is well worth the splurge. It comes with the same items as my other two pumps, but as a bonus, they give you a voucher for a free complimentary Medela Easy Expression bustier. I was super happy about that because my zipper had broken on my old bustier. Overall having a quality breast pump can make your breastfeeding journey go a whole lot smoother. There are a ton of other brands that sell quality pumps(based on the reviews) so I would say shop around and choose the one that best suits your lifestyle. I’ve only ever used Medela electric breast pumps which is why I am a huge fan of theirs, but don’t be afraid to explore your options.
If you were wondering why/ and how I was able to produce milk like a cow, well now you know. I used Fenugreek all four rounds and it has always increased my milk. It actually was the first supplement I tried to increase my milk supply & it is by far my favorite product. It works within 24-48 hours and it increases your milk by 3 ounces(at least for me). The best part is, it’s super affordable only costing you around $8.99 for 180 capsules. You can purchase it from your local Target, Amazon, Wholefood Market, Walgreens, or Wal-Mart. However, the only downside is you will be smelling like a whole bottle of syrup, Haha! I’m not sure why it makes you smell like syrup, but the longer I used it the more potent the smell became. My spouse really hated the smell, I did too. But I’d rather my babies have their “golden milk” so I got used to the smell. Another con is you have to take 8 pills a day. If you aren’t a pill person, there are always other options. I also want to point out that all our bodies work differently so if you try it and it doesn’t work, then try another option because there are a ton.
This one had to grow on me because the taste is horrible. It’s a powder and you have to mix it with juice and drink it. Do not try mixing this with water because you will be sorry(speaking from experience). After a while, I got used to the taste, but I still cringe when I took it with water, boy what was I thinking. However, it actually works. It worked for me within 24-48 hours. I used it all four rounds and it hasn’t disappointed me since. It’s affordable as well, but I can only find it at my local Whole Food Market. I am sure you can find it online though. I do want to confess I was a bit skeptical about using a product that is an ingredient in beer, but nevertheless, I am happy I did.
Yes! water helps tremendously with increasing your milk supply. Water literally was the only thing I drank. I was always thirsty from burning so many calories pumping every two hours. I am sure I drank half to a gallon of water a day. I am not kidding either. Before I started taking supplements I always drank a ton of water & it did in fact give me a boost. I noticed that on days when I drank a lot of water I pumped 4 ounces of milk from each boob and on days when I drank less water I pumped 2-3 ounces per boob. So if you’re wondering if the amount of water you consume is important when it comes to breastfeeding, yes it absolutely is. Staying hydrated in general is important because breastfeeding will drain you, literally.
This is the holy grail to pumping. It’s like a lubricant for your nipples, LOL. Initially, when I first started exclusively pumping I didn’t use anything and my nipples would be so sore. They even started bleeding and becoming cracked. I was almost brought to tears whenever I would have to pump. After a quick Google search, I found this article that mentioned different products to use for bleeding/cracked nipples. I ended up purchasing Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Tube Nipple Cream. This product worked it’s magic. Upon using it I didn’t feel any pain while pumping. It was such a relief because all that tugging and pulling on my nipples with no lubricant hurt like hell. I used Lansinoh each time I pumped. I would literally have to purchase two at a time because I would run through one tube within 2 weeks. It works just that good, but I also used it even after I was finished pumping as a moisturizer because my nipples were still cracked & dry. It’s super affordable as well only costing you $8.29. I’ve also tried three other nipple creams, but they didn’t come close to Lansinoh. I also love the thick consistency. You only need to use a pea-size amount per boob and it works like a charm. Lansinoh is a must-have breastfeeding product, well for me at least.
I almost left this one out, Ha! Nursing pads are a must especially when your out and about. I use the Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads 100ct. They are great quality and super affordable only costing you $9.40. I never had a bad experience using these. They stayed on the whole time I wore them and I didn’t experience any leaks through my shirt. Keep in mind I was producing milk like a cow and they held up for four hours. I used them here in there while at home, but I got the most use out of them when I would take the kids out. I usually don’t stay out past 4 hours so anything longer than that I can’t give my opinion on. These also work great when you are experiencing bleeding/cracked nipples. I used them when my nipples were cracked and had open sores and it helps protect my nipples from getting infected. They have been a breastfeeding staple in my household and they do last quite a while, but that depends on how many you use.
Medela Easy Expression Hands-Free Pumping Bustier
I have to confess before I found out about a bustier for pumping, I use to hold each bottle up to my nipples and pump. It was literally the hardest thing ever and made me immobile. I had got so frustrated with doing that I made a homemade bustier using an old t-shirt. I put the t-shirt on and cut two holes where my nipples would go. Talk about a crafty DIY mom. However, after getting my first Medela electric breast pump, I was also gifted with a Medela Easy Expression Hands-Free Pumping Bustier. I was extremely happy and thankful. My struggle days of trying to pump two huge bobbies at the same time were over. I absolutely loved my bustier. The quality is amazing and the fit was A+. I was a triple D and I was able to fit a size medium with no problems. I did purchase a size large as well, but the medium fit more snug. I would definitely recommend this bustier especially for us large breasted moms. I’ve had a total of three and they all lasted my entire breastfeeding journey. They also hold up pretty well after you wash it. I actually still have the bustier I used with my youngest daughter & I have also used it with my fourth child. The price is also pretty decent, costing you only $29.99 and for the quality, you get that’s a steal. It comes in two colors, nude & black. I always buy black, though it makes more sense. You can purchase it from Target, Walmart, Amazon, or the actual Medela website.
If you plan to exclusively pump then I suggest investing in all these products to help with your breastfeeding journey. I’ve used these products all four times I breastfeed and they haven’t disappointed me since. Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing & we all should give ourselves a pat on the back for taking on this journey.
**Disclaimer: “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”