Breast Pumping & Breastfeeding Pain Relief

breastfeeding nipple pain

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. These are all products I personally paid for myself and use (this is not sponsored content) and all opinions are 100% my own.

Whether you have nipple pain from breastfeeding directly, pumping, or both, these soothing products will help you. It is important to identify the source of the breastfeeding pain so it does not recur, but these products will provide relief while working to fix the cause of any discomfort. Item 2, Silverette Nipple Cups, are my absolute favorite – I hope you like them, too!

1. Bamboobies Boob-Ease Breast Pillows

Boob-Ease Breast Pillows provide all natural breastfeeding pain relief. They are made of bamboo and cotton and stuffed with natural flaxseeds. You can heat them or cool them to soothe pain from breastfeeding or pumping. Boob-Ease are also made in the USA!

2. Silverette Silver Nipple Cups

This is by far my favorite product to ease pain from breastfeeding and pumping.  They are a bit more expensive than other products for breastfeeding pain, but I think they are 100% worth it. They never wear out so you can use them for years. Silver has natural healing properties so wearing these over your nipples between pumping/ feeding sessions will keep your nipples in great condition.

3. Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter

This Earth Mama Angel Baby product is a natural, organic, and vegan nipple butter. I use this as well as lanolin (see below) to avoid nipple pain from breastfeeding and pumping. It is a blend of cocoa butter, shea butter, mango butter and calendula, so it really promotes healing if you have nipple damage.


4. Lanolin Cream

Lanolin is a must-have for me as a pumping mom because I also breastfeed my son directly when we’re together. Lanolin cream helps to avoid cracked, chafed or sore nipples. If you have nipple damage, lanolin will also promote healing. I like to apply lanolin after pumping – although a properly-fitted pump should not rub or chafe the nipples at all, it is soothing to apply lanolin regularly. Note, lanolin is derived from sheep’s wool, so the Earth Mama Angel Baby product above is a good plant-based alternative if you want to avoid animal byproducts.

5. Medela Hydrogel Pads

Hydrogel pads provide cooling moisture relief with glycerol. They are an amazing product for breastfeeding pain. The gel pads promote healing if nipples are chafed, cracked, or otherwise damaged, and they are also soothing through the cool moisture.

6. Medela SoftShells for Sore Nipples

Medela SoftShells are designed to protect your nipples while wearing a bra. You can wear them between breastfeeding/pumping sessions to prevent chafing and allow air to circulate around your nipples. SoftShells help your nipples heal faster if they are cracked or chafed. The shells also collect any milk from leaky breasts, so be sure to point the air holes upward so the milk doesn’t leak out!


7. Lansinoh Thera-Pearl Hot / Cool Breast Pads

These breast therapy pads can be chilled in the freezer or heated in the microwave. If you have nipple pain from vasospasm, clogged ducts, or mastitis, these will provide wonderful heat therapy. Freezing them for cold therapy is great to ease pain from engorgement or to soothe tender nipples. Aside from soothing breastfeeding pain, the pads can also be used when pumping – warming them and placing them around your pump flanges helps stimulate letdown and milk-flow.

breastfeeding nipple pain

I hope this list of products helps you find something to ease breast pumping and/or breastfeeding pain. Silverette Cups are my favorite product – what is your favorite? What works for you to avoid breastfeeding and breast pumping pain or to heal damaged nipples?

 

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The Best (and Worst!) Nursing Pads / Breast Pads

best breast pads

What Are Nursing Pads/ Breast Pads?

So nursing pads, also known as breast pads, are another one of the many products I never even knew existed before I became a mom. They are like sanitary napkins for your bra. Because – spoiler alert – it is very possible your breasts are going to leak during or immediately following pregnancy, and even throughout your breastfeeding experience.

Having worn breast pads for 16 straight months, I’ve tried a lot of types and brands in search of the best breast pads. Nursing pads come in a lot of varieties. Fundamentally, they are a product you can wear in your bra to absorb any leaked colostrum or milk. There are disposable and reusable pads, made of materials ranging from cotton to bamboo to fleece, and you can even make your own!

Do I Need Breast Pads?

Do you need nursing pads? Some women are lucky and won’t need them at all. I fell into the camp of needing them a lot! Although I like to be prepared, I didn’t want to buy nursing pads if I wasn’t going to need them. For a couple of days after my milk came in, I alternated between pieces of a maxi pad that I cut to fit my bra, and pieces of a receiving blanket that I cut to fit my bra.

Since I’m not a good DIYer, I eventually opted to buy both some reusable and disposable pads. I didn’t start off with many, but as I continued to have leaky boobs I wound up trying a lot of different breast pads.

Disposable or Reusable Pads?

I am going to argue in favor of reusable for both comfort and environmental reasons, but sometimes it is handy to have a few disposable pads on hand. In the early days I leaked so much that I would leak through my nighttime reusable pads, so I would switch them out with disposables until I had time to wash and dry them. If you go with reusable pads, be careful about keeping them clean. You’ll want to thoroughly wash and dry them frequently to avoid breast issues like thrush.

Here are the best and worst reusable and disposable nursing pads. You can click any image to view or buy on Amazon. These are affiliate links, but this is not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own!

What are the Best (and Worst) Reusable / Washable Nursing Pads?

Bamboobies Washable Nursing Pads: Made of ultra soft natural bamboo fiber, these are very comfortable to wear. They won't show through your bra, either. Available in daytime and overnight (thicker) absorbencies. And the daytime pads are an adorable heart shape!
Eco Nursing Pads: Another bamboo option that is soft and comfortable. Very well priced compared to other options. The daytime pads are a nice flower shape. A small carry bag and mesh washing bag are also included.
Philips Avent Washable Nursing Pads: Extra soft cotton pads with a subtle lace detail on the bra-facing side (which helps them not slip around). Includes a drawstring bag for storage or washing. Very affordable pricing.
Momcabi Bamboo Nursing Pads: Organic bamboo pads, they are not contoured and have a somewhat slippery backing, so they do not easily stay in place in your bra.
Baybe Care Cotton Nursing Pads: These are soft but do not stay in place well because they are not contoured and tend to bunch up. They also do not have very high absorbency.

What are the Best (and Worst) Disposable Nursing Pads?

Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads: good absorbency, not bulky (won't show through your bra), very soft, and very good adhesive so they don't shift around or bunch up while you are wearing them.
Medela Disposable Nursing Pads: not too thick, soft, good absorbency, and two adhesive strips. They are also a unique shape so they fit well in your bra without showing through.
Ameda Disposable Nursing Pads: these pads are a good thickness, good absorbency, and good softness, but the plastic backing feels crinkly and the shape doesn't form to your breast quite as well as other brands.
Nuk Disposable Nursing Pads: only one adhesive strip means they do not stay in place well and can bunch up or slip around while you are wearing them. A bit thicker than other pads so they feel bulky and less comfortable.
Philips Avent Disposable Nursing Pads: Very soft and not too bulky. But with only one adhesive strip, they move around easily and can bunch up to show through your bra.

Can I Make My Own Nursing Pads?

Yes, you can! I’m really not great at most DIY projects, so I didn’t attempt this myself. Instead, my wonderful mom made me breast pads. There are a lot of great tutorials out there (just check pinterest!) and my mom followed this particular set of instructions. The key is to pick a pattern with shaping – it means a bit of extra sewing, but the pads will be perfectly contoured to fit comfortably.

So, which breast pads are your favorite? Leave a note in the comments below!

Interested in pumping tips or milk supply boosters? You might like…

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Breast Pump Bag Essentials

what to put in breast pump bag

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. These are all products I personally paid for myself and use (this is not sponsored content) and all opinions are 100% my own.

I take a minimalist approach to my breast pump bag because I hate lugging around a lot of stuff. However, the following list highlights the essentials that I have to have in my breast pump bag.

what to put in breast pump bag
1. Medela Quick Clean Breast Pump and Accessory Wipes

Good news – you don’t have to wash your pump parts between pumping sessions each day. I give mine a quick once-over with these wipes and then store them in a cool place until I’m ready to pump again. This is a time-saver and space-saver –I don’t have to wash pump parts at work and I don’t have to carry multiple sets of pump parts in my bag.

2. Simple Wishes Hands Free Pumping Bra

Of everything on this list, this is the one item I feel like I can’t pump without. This bra is fantastic – I put it on just when I’m pumping and it is easy to adjust to fit over my clothes and even my regular nursing bra. I love having my hands free while I’m pumping to get work done or play on my phone. Also, since it is super adjustable it is guaranteed to fit almost anyone.

3. Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags

I often pump into bottles but I always keep breastmilk storage bags handy. More times than I’d like to admit I’ve forgotten the milk storage bottles and been forced to pump into the bags. Or, sometimes I pump more than expected and use these bags to store the extra milk. I also prefer to freeze milk in these bags over the storage bottles, so sometimes I’ll transfer my expressed milk into these bags at work so I can just toss them in the freezer when I get home.

There are plenty of brands of breastmilk storage bags but Lansinoh is my favorite. The bags have a double zip lock to prevent leaks, a spot at the top to write information like milk volume and date, and although they are marked to store up to 5 ounces of milk, you can fit in a couple of extra ounces if needed.

 

4. Lactation Boosting Tea

I always keep a few sachets of a lactation boosting tea in my pump bag. I find it relaxing to have a cup of tea sometimes while pumping. I also like to have this tea on hand if I feel like my milk supply needs a boost.

5. Lanolin Cream

Lanolin is a must-have for me because I also breastfeed my son directly when we’re together. Although I’ve breastfed him for over a year now, I still use lanolin to avoid cracked or sore nipples. I like to apply lanolin after pumping – although a properly-fitted pump should not rub or chafe the nipples at all, I still find it soothing to apply lanolin regularly.

6. Manual Pump (as a backup to my electric pump)

Oh mom brain… after I got all set up to pump one day and then realized I was missing my valves (rendering my electric pump useless), I bought a manual pump to carry at all times so I could use it as a backup. It has come in handy a few times – when I forgot key pump parts, when the power was out and I needed to pump, and when I was on the go and found it easier to use a manual pump than setting up my electric pump. Confession, I actually have a couple of manual pumps but this one is super budget friendly and easy to use as an occasional backup to your electric pump.

7. Lansinoh Thera-Pearl Hot / Cool Breast Pads

These are a huge help in stimulating letdown. Just a few seconds in the microwave and they are nice and warm. If I apply them at the start of a pumping session, I find my pumping session is a bit quicker, and definitely more comfortable. You can also use them as heat therapy for issues like clogged ducts, or cold therapy to soothe engorgement.

8. Ice Packs (to keep breastmilk cool)

This style of ice pack is my favorite because it is flexible. It can fit around breast milk storage bottles and also you can smush it into your bag a bit if you’re carrying a lot. These are a must for me to keep my breast milk cool on the way home from work.

9. A Reusable Silicone Baggie

At first, I kept a stash of plastic baggies in my pump bag. I used them to store dirty pump parts or hold milk collection bottles just in case of a leak. I switched to reusable silicone bags to be more environmentally friendly. These bags are food grade so they have a lot of uses beyond storing breast pumping accessories.

10. A Healthy & Lactation-Boosting Snack

I love lactation recipes and mix up a lot of lactation boosting smoothies and bake lactation cookies and cakes. However, those items don’t do well when crammed into the bottom of my pump bag, so I use these amazing “Boobie Bar” granola bars so I can be sure to always have a healthy snack nearby that supports lactation.


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The Top 10 Best Pumping Accessories

best breast pump accessories

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. These are all products I personally paid for myself and use (this is not sponsored content) and all opinions are 100% my own.

Must Have Accessories for Breast Pumping & Breast Milk Storage

Best Breast Pumping AccessoriesThere are so many great accessories for pumping mamas. I didn’t know a lot of these items even existed until I was well into pumping. Let me save you time by highlighting my favorites here – your one stop article to find everything you need to support you when you pump.

These products will make you more comfortable, will save you time, and help you make sure you always have enough milk. These are in no particular order because I find all of them pretty indispensable. I love all of these products and I hope they help you out, too.

One other thing about these accessories – none of them will break the bank. I am very conscious about saving money and I was willing to invest small amounts for these accessories because each of them makes pumping more comfortable and efficient.

The List – The Best Pumping Accessories

OXO Tot Breast Pump Parts Drying Rack with Detail Brushes

I wash my pump parts by hand because we don’t run the dishwasher every night. I don’t like my pump parts to sit in the drying rack with our dishes, etc., so this Oxo drying rack is essential. It also comes with two little brushes that are great to clean small parts like tubing, etc. Just be careful with those brushes – you don’t want to damage a valve or membrane because that can reduce your pump’s suction. This product is available on Amazon for great low prices.

I love this product so much that I’ve written a whole separate post about it. It merits mentioning again because it is so amazing. With this bra, I can pump hands free, which means pumping doesn’t just mean… pumping. I can do work, play on my phone, eat lunch, play with my son, the list goes on.

Medela Quick Clean Breast Pump and Accessory Wipes

I don’t use these wipes daily, but if I’m pumping on the go and can’t easily rinse off my pump parts, these wipes are perfect. I buy in bulk to save money, but you can try them out with just the small 24-count pack. I also really like to have these on hand when I pump in the office – I’ve been know to drop pump parts on the floor (or once into my salad) and this is a quick way to clean them without having to put my shirt back on and go find a sink.

Sarah Wells Pumparoo for Breast Pump Parts, Wet Dry Bag with Staging Mat

Sarah Wells makes gorgeous pump bags – but they come with a hefty price tag. Her “Pumparoo”, however, is available for a great price and is super useful. Before I had this kit, I kept my pump parts in plastic bags – this bothered me because I felt like I was wasting a lot of plastic bags. This option is totally eco-friendly. I also love the staging mat – if I’m pumping at work, now there is no need to lay out my pump parts on paper towels.

Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Salve

This product is especially helpful if you are also breastfeeding directly. I never go anywhere without my lanolin salve. It is perfectly safe to apply to your nipples even just before breastfeeding or pumping. It save me many times from chafing when I didn’t position my pump properly. I also think it reduces any potential nipple soreness from pumping. (Note, pumping shouldn’t hurt, but sometimes your nipples do feel a bit worn after a session).

Munchkin Steam Guard Microwave Sterilizer Bags

There are a lot of different steam sterilizing bags available but these from Munchkin are my favorite for 2 reasons. First, each bag is good for up to 30 uses, and they have a little spot to check off each time you use a bag. Second, they zip close really easily. These are great for sterilizing both pump parts and bottles quickly.

Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Hot or Cold Breast Therapy

The Lansinoh TheraPearl therapy packs are great to have on hand when pumping, but I also used them soon after I gave birth and was engorged as my milk came in. I like these for pumping because you can actually apply them to your breasts while pumping. I believe the warm heat therapy helped my milk flow as I pumped. Plus it just made it feel a little more comfortable, and warmer, since you have to sit there with your shirt half off! These are totally worth it because they are inexpensive and you can use them a lot.

A Nursing Cover with a Wire

Of course this is useful if you’re also breastfeeding directly, but the reason I like this for pumping is so I can pump in public places and still have some privacy. There is a huge variety of designs so you can pick a cover that matches your style.

Milkies Milk Tray

If you will be freezing milk, this is a great product. Most women freeze milk in storage bags (including myself). But, I like this tray because it freezes 1-ounce portions of milk. This was perfect to supplement the milk I froze in bags if my son was especially hungry and needed a little more milk. With the Milkies Milk Tray, you won’t need to defrost a whole bag when you only need a few more ounces of breast milk.

Bamboobies Reusable Breast Pads

Yes, this is a popular product for those of us blessed with leaky boobs. But the reason I’m recommending Bamboobies here for nursing moms is a little different. I’m just going to get real with you for a second and say that pumping makes your nipples stick out. I always wear Bamboobies so I can be sure my nipples aren’t showing through my bra. Also, they are super soft and it is nice to have them on after pumping when your nipples can be a little sensitive.

 

So, there you have it! 10 products I love to use as a pumping mom. What are your favorite pumping accessories? Let me know in the comments below. 


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The Best Hands Free Breast Pumping Bra

best hands free pumping bra

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This is a product I paid for and purchased myself. It is not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Anyone who pumps regularly can benefit from a breast pumping bra. My all-time favorite is the Simple Wishes Hands-Free Breastpump Bra. I use this daily to pump so I can work (or play with my phone) at the same time. Not only does it let me multitask while pumping, it also helps me avoid spilling any expressed milk since it holds the pump in place.

The Secret to Pumping with a Hands-Free Bra

Now, I’m going to tell you a very important secret about this bra… ready? Don’t wear it all day! Put it on just to pump. When this bra was recommended to me, I bought one and was dismayed at how bulky it felt when I put it on. Then my friend pointed out there’s no reason to wear it all day! Just snap it on over your nursing bra (and even over your clothes if they can be adjusted to expose your boobs). I keep the bra in my bag and put it on only when I’m going to pump.

pump bras
Use the bra  over your clothes!

I am SO glad my friend told me how to use the pumping bra because just sitting there and holding the pump to your breasts is really boring. It also limits you if you need to do breast massage or compressions while pumping.

Why I Love the Simple Wishes Hands-Free Bra

I’ve been a convert to this bra since the first day I used it. I believe it is the best pumping bra available. Beyond letting me pump hands-free, here are the other reasons I love the Simple Wishes Hands-Free Breastpump Bra:

-It is super adjustable. It really will fit just about anyone. On colder days I would wear a button down shirt and cardigan, and not remove them to pump. I could adjust the bra to fit over these clothes (of course, I unbuttoned my shirt first so I could pump)

-Continuing to talk about how adjustable it is – it is also easy to adjust! There is velcro in the back so you can make the bra as big or as small as needed. It also comes with a an extra zipper that you can add on to the front if you need to make that part wider.

best hands free pumping bra

-It is really sturdy, for lack of a better word. The bra is made of really thick fabric so it can support your breast pump, even as the milk collection bottles start to fill up.

-If you want to walk around while pumping, you can with this bra. It really holds the pump in place so you can do some cleaning, chase a toddler, or anything else you need to accomplish while pumping.

-Its inexpensive! These days, a regular bra sets me back much more than I pay for a whole shirt. This bra is available for great low prices on Amazon.

best hands free pumping bra

Do you like the Simple Wishes bra as much as I do, or do you prefer something else? Let me know in the comments below!

Interested in other great accessories for pumping? Read on!

Best Breast Pumping Accessories


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