The Best Breastfeeding Aids...and They're 'Mum' Approved!

The Best Breastfeeding Aids...and They're 'Mum' Approved!
Nikki J is expressing with the 'Crane Rechargeable Double Electric' breast pump, while rocking her 'Cruise Long Sleeve Top' in tui blue and the 'Classic Maternity Leggings - Full Length' in black. 

As many of you 'seasoned' mums can testify, when you become a mother a whole gigantic, amazing, overwhelming, incredibly hard, beautiful, breathtaking and sometimes to be honest...soul-destroying world opens up to you. A realm you suddenly learn you know very little about. You find yourself researching topics you didn't even realise were topics, not to mention 'googling' tirelessly to find a product to help with your aching vagina, nipples, back, haemorrhoids (and so on and so forth)! You also may be on the hunt for products to up your with milk supply, breastfeeding clothing (oh hi Cadenshae!), tricks to help your child sleep. Admit it...like many of us, you googled hard.

We’ve tried our best to tackle a lot of the questions new mothers have in the Cadenshae Newborn Manual, but another highly valuable subject which we didn't cover in that blog, was the best breastfeeding aids on the market. If you're new to the 'mum' game and in need of some recommendations, who better to get them from than your local community of Cadenshae mothers, new and experienced?

So with this in mind, we created a survey asking mothers around the world what they loved when it came to breastfeeding aids like pumps, bottles, teats, pads, etc. We received elaborate responses from around 200 mothers who all want to help others make the right choice for them and their baby.

Collecting all the right gear you need for baby and you can be expensive, so its really important to do your research...or, alternatively, just read on, as we’ve done it all for you!

What you’ll learn in this breastfeeding aid guide:

1. What breastfeeding pump brand do our mothers like most?
2. Why do some mothers like these pump brands?
3. What type of breastfeeding pumps do our mothers use?
4. Why do some mothers like these types of breast pumps?
5. Which type of breastfeeding pad do our mothers use?
6. Why do some mothers use these types of pads?
7. What breast pad brands are the most popular and why?
8. What products do our mothers recommend for sore nipples?
9. Why do some mothers recommend these products?
10. What other breastfeeding aids do our mothers recommend?
11. Why do some mothers recommend these products?
12. What bottle/teat brands do our mothers recommend?
13. Why do some mothers recommend these bottle/teat brands?
14. What else do our mothers recommend?
15. If our mothers could go back in time and change any of their purchases, what would they change?

1. What breastfeeding pump brand do our mothers like most?

51% Haakaa.
42% Medela.
7% Other (mainly Philips Avent, Spectra, Unimom and Milkbar).

2. Why do some mothers like these pump brands?

Haakaa:

"Works well, compact and convenient."  
"It's hospital grade." 
"To catch the let down on one breast, while I feed off the other."

Medela:

"Good reviews and recommendations from friends." 
"Covered by insurance and good reputation." 
"Medically endorsed, needed as strong as possible." 

Philips Avent:

"Philips was gifted and was nice and gentle in the early days."
"Cheap for a mechanical (electric)." 
"Great reviews."

Spectra:

"Medical grade. Back flow protectors. Recommended by family." 
"Spectra I purchased when I just wanted maximum suction to cut my pumping time in half!" 
"Reputation, recommendations and price." 

Unimom:

"Was recommend by my midwife as a hospital grade one for a reasonable price, as I was going to exclusively pump and bottle feed breastmilk." 
"Price and midwife recommended them." 
"Good price, recommended by baby city staff and other mothers, well known brand." 

Milkbar:

"Great reviews, affordable." 
"More comfortable and portable."  
"New Zealand brand and heard great things for increasing milk supply. Plus portable, so can walk around with it while pumping."

3. What type of breastfeeding pumps do our mothers use?

50% Double-pump (electric).
29% Single-pump (electric).
14% Manual pump.
7% Battery operated pump.

4. Why do some mothers like these types of breast pumps?

Double pump - electric:

"Fast and powerful - efficient." 
"Convenience, can charge and use anywhere and is fast."
"I chose to exclusively pump and bottle feed so, the double pump obviously cuts the pumping time in half."

Single pump - electric:

"I needed to use it a lot. Time saving, quicker than a manual pump." 
"Convenient, light, portable, inexpensive. I don’t pump often." 
"Ease of use." 

Manual pump:

"I preferred the Haakaa as it was less sore on my nips. The electric Philips Avent pump hurt and made me feel like a cow."
"Super effective and easy to use. And I learnt recently helps to prevent mastitis! Win!" 
"Because of the simplicity to use and ease of cleaning."

Battery operated pump:

"Portable." 
"Comfortable and effective."  
"I’ve used a manual pump before and it was such an effort, I like the convenience of battery, it's easy to take places."

Nikki C is hands-free expressing in the 'Freedom Bra' in rouge and the 'Loose Fit Tank' in black, whilst using the Bellema Effective Pro Double Electric Breast Pump.

5. Which type of breastfeeding pad do our mothers use?

52% Re-useable.
28% Disposable.
20% Didn't use breast pads.

6. Why do some mothers use these types of pads?

Re-useable:

"So I could wash and reuse." 
"Feels nicer on the nipples. Environmentally friendly." 
"Disposable seemed like a waste."

Disposable:

"Convenience."
"Cheap." 
"Re-usable ones went mouldy."

7. What breast pad brands are the most popular and why?

Rite-Aid:

"Rite-Aid catches most drips." 
"Price range/accessibility." 
"Convenient." 

Philips Avent:

"The reusable Philips Avent pads held the most leakage without needing a change and I didn’t feel wet every time I leaked." 
"They were the most comfortable." 
"Comfortable and absorbent." 

Lansinoh:

"Absorbency is good." 
"Comfortable, high absorbency." 
"They stuck better than other brands and were less itchy."

8. What products do our mothers recommend for sore nipples?

53% Lanolin cream.
34% Hydrogel breast discs.
11% Nipple shields.
2% Breast shells.

9. Why do some mothers recommend these products?

Lanolin cream:

"Easy to use, effective and safe for baby."  
"It worked amazingly for sore nipples." 
"Lanolin saved my nips when cluster feeding hit. They were sooooo sore and the lanolin was great because we could still breastfeed naturally while using it."

Hydrogel breast discs:

"Hydrogel discs are cooling and heal nipples very quickly." 
"They were easy to use, no mess, and felt FANTASTIC on! So very soothing!" 
"Hydrogel discs are awesome! Always helped me with sore nipples and minor cracks."

Nipple shields:

"Physical barrier over nipple." 
"I fed both my kids the whole time on shields. They are amazing. Fifteen months with my first and still feeding at 19 months with my second." 
"I still feed with a shield and my baby is five months old. Makes it a more enjoyable, less painful experience for me!"

Breast shells:

"Easy way to air out your nipples and a great way to collect milk when bubs is breastfeeding on the other side." 
"Let the nipples rest."

10. What other breastfeeding aids do our mothers recommend?

59% Nursing bras.
16% Breastfeeding pillows.
14% Nursing tanks/tops/jumpers.
11% Breastfeeding chair.

11. Why do some mothers recommend these products?

Nursing bras:

"They have special clips and it just makes it so much easier. I know I ran out one day, and using a regular bra does not work." 
"It’s the most necessary thing needed when breastfeeding." 
"I couldn't imagine breastfeeding without wearing a nursing bra."

Breastfeeding pillows:

"The 'my breast friend' pillow was sooo helpful positioning, especially when the baby is young and doesn’t have head control." 
"Comfort." 
"Support for long periods of feeding."

Nursing tanks/tops/jumpers:

"Easy to breastfeed in public." 
"It's very hard to find appropriate breastfeeding clothing that offers easy access, yet still provides a lot of modest coverage. I breastfeed in public, but I’m not comfortable with excess skin on show (my personal choice). So having clothing that offers easy and modest access is paramount!" 
"I hated breastfeeding, but felt that little bit more comfortable doing it when I was in nice breastfeeding tops. That made it easier."

Breastfeeding chair:

"Don’t underestimate the value of a good chair because you’ll spend so much time in it!" 
"Because your back gets really sore if you don’t have a good chair." 
"Nice to have a place that’s your own to sit and feed." 

12. What bottle/teat brands do our mothers recommend?

31% Philips Avent.
14% Tommee Tippee.
11% Dr. Brown's.
7% Medela.
5% Nuk.
32% Other (mainly Lansinoh, Haakaa, Pigeon, Minbie, Mam and Playtex).

13. Why do some mothers recommend these bottle/teat brands?

Philips Avent:

"Quality. The teats last longer." 
"Long lasting, a lot like a breast." 

Tommee Tippee:

"Cheap. Also I tried multiple brands due to baby refusing the bottle and they eventually took the straight Tommee Tippee nipple."
"I love the glass bottles. I don’t worry as much about mould or mildew."

Dr. Brown’s:

"No gas for baby."  
"Both kids preferred these. Slow flow and anti-colic."

Medela:

"It's what bub was introduced to in the hospital, easy to clean and sterilise too." 
"Recommended by OBGYN."

Nuk:

"Fussy baby will only take this one." 
"Readily available and cheap." 

Lansinoh:

"Natural shape, convenient, easy-to-use." 
"The teats were soft and had a good shape. Also didn’t have a million parts to wash like Dr. Brown's." 

Haakaa:

"Glass rather than plastic bottles with silicone teats." 
"Baby liked them."

Pigeon:

"Suggested by lactation consultant." 
"Recommend by speech pathologist and helped with reflux." 

Minbie:

"Similar to nipples. Less confusion when mix feeding."

Mam:

"Natural nipple shape." 
"It's the only one my son would take."

Playtex:

"Very little air gets to babe causing little to no gas."

Michelle is bottle feeding her beautiful baby boy Charles with a Philips Avent bottle, whilst wearing the 'Scoop Tee' in lilac.

14. What else do our mothers recommend?

"My snack trolley. I filled it with all types of foods that increase supply, e.g. oat bars, lactation cookies etc."

"A baby carrier! Not only did I use them (multiple haha) for carrying babies/toddlers, but I also breastfed in them when on the move. It meant I didn’t have to stop and breastfeed mid grocery shop. I’d just adjust the carrier and breastfeed WHILE shopping!"

"A lactation consultant - invaluable!"

"Lactation cookies! Delish."

"Water bottle in reach, usually stainless steel as I'd get instantly thirsty when feeding."

15. If our mothers could go back in time and change any of their purchases, what would they change?

"Not having a steamer sterliser as I ended up using a microwave brand one way more, which was quarter of the price!"

"Too many bad breastfeeding bras before babe arrives and then not treating myself to decent ones like Cadenshae! I have second time around, but wish I had with my first!"

"I bought way too many newborn clothes. My boys were only in them for a month. I would buy more bibs and burp cloths. You can never have enough if you have a spilly baby."

"If bottle feeding, don’t buy heaps of one type of bottle as baby might not take to it. Best to try a couple before buying a few of them."

"I would have bought a breast pump car adapter and a good pumping bra from the start. That way pumping on the go would have been a lot easier."

"I would not buy anything. Not bottles, sippy cups, pump, nothing! I would go straight to a lactation consultant and refuse to leave the hospital until I saw one. The maternity and NICU staff were amazing and saved our twins to whom I will always be thankful. But, I also got a lot of mixed messages around whether or not to bother trying to breastfeed and how to do it without the judgment. No consistent message or support. So, I would definitely be asking for a lactation consultant at the hospital before leaving."

"Buy Cadenshae feeding bras sooner. I tried so many different brands before I finally bit the bullet and bought some Cadenshae ones, now I just keep buying them!"

"Double pump as I returned to work at five months and would spend 20 minutes, three times a day pumping."

"Don't over stock on newborn nappies as they grow out of them fast! Don't buy a pump until you know you're sticking at breastfeeding. Same with bottles, dummies etc."

"I would buy a better baby carrier for infants. I had a wrap which was great the first few weeks, and the Lillebaby carrier which was great around six months, but could have used something better for in-between."

"Booked in with a lactation consultant from day dot! Worth every penny!"

"Invest more in good breastfeeding bras and clothes since getting up and being active has worked wonders, especially with my second child. I wouldn't personally recommend a change table as I never used mine and I would recommend buying things as you need them...instead of guessing what you might need."

"Glass bottles! My plastic ones some how got mould in them. We don’t use plastic water bottles so why plastic baby bottles?"

"A decent electric pump - like Milkbar. Invest in decent bras. Fuel my body more, no fuel - no milk."

"Don’t buy items until you know what kind of baby you have. I had two different babies with individual needs."

"I would get reusable breast pads!"

I would have found Cadenshae sooner - only discovered it in my fourth pregnancy and it was a game changer!"

Some excellent advice, tips and recommendations from our global community of mothers. But, as well as telling you want our mums/moms prefer, we thought we'd also give you a small run-down of what we at Cadenshae like...products not mentioned in the above. We are always getting sent new pumps, teats, bottles, the works! So we’ve actually tried a few products side-by-side and can give you a great comparison. We only recommend what we genuinely like...we're not getting paid for any of these shout-outs! Promise!

Cadenshae recommends:

Breast pumps:

We are big fans of the not so widely known 'Crane Rechargeable Double Electric' and 'BelleMa' range of breastfeeding pumps.

Why the Crane Rechargeable Double Electric breast pump? This pump is super easy to use and it's rechargeable, meaning it's great to take out and about or for travelling. Highly recommended to other mamas! 

Why the BelleMa Effective Pro Double Electric breast pump? This one is specifically designed to increase supply, so if you're having issues, this one is a serious option for you. The Effective Pro has soft silicon shields which make for pain free expressing as well as a dual motor system.

Why the BelleMa Plethora Portable Double breast pump? The Plethora is battery powered, so therefore super handy as it is portable! It's hospital grade and ideal for those who are traveling or heading back to work. No more trying to find a cosy, private spot with an outlet to pump!

Bottles/teats:

This is an individual choice (the baby's usually!), but we do really like the Dr. Brown's range of bottles, simply because they are anti-colic and have helped our staff through some tough times with reflux babies. We also like the fact they can be used as 'normal' bottles too. Also, we're big fans of the environmentally friendly Haakaa and Tommee Tippee glass bottles too.

Steraliser:

This wasn't mentioned much in our survey, but we think it's paramount every mother who is pumping or using bottles has a microwaveable steraliser. We like the Philips Avent one, so easy, fast and effective!

Nutrients:

We love Boobie Blend from the Lactation Station, why? It's tasty, healthy, quick and easy to make, plus it DOES help with your supply! Enough said!

Mama Body Tea. This tea is soothing, full of goodness, and again helps with your supply. We love it.

We also love Chantal Cuthers, a nutritionist who specialises in nutrition for fertility, babies and new mothers. Chantal is definitely worth chatting to if you'd like some advice on increasing your supply! Check out a blog we wrote with Chantal around nutrition for the breastfeeding mother, here.

Lactation Consultant:

We at Cadenshae also seriously rate Julia Daly, our lactation consultant friend who is based in Christchurch, New Zealand, but is available for online consults when you need them! Get in touch if you’re looking for some feeding advice...she's shared a lot of good tips on expressing and bottle feeding here as well.

Nursing bras:

We noticed a lot of mothers said they ‘wished’ Cadenshae made an expressing bra for hands-free expressing, well, we do! You can express handsfree it in all of our bras! All you have to do is clip the fold-down cups back up once you’ve put the pump on! So easy…! 

So there you have it...what our mothers like and what we as a company recommend for your perusal. We hope you find this helpful!

Now go forth and make some purchases with confidence (or borrow...but remember if you're borrowing a pump, get a new personal kit with new tubing etc.)!

Good luck mama, you've totally got this!

Written by Ellen Chisholm.

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