Pregnancy and Motherhood

The Best (Cheap) Breast Pump Ever!

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So, I’m sitting here the week before I return to work after six months of maternity leave, mentally preparing to start pumping more often. For the last six months, I’ve done on-demand feedings, and only pumped a handful of times when I had to leave my daughter briefly to get something done. The pump I used on those occasions was the Spectra S2 Plus Premier Electric Breast Pump. It’s highly rated on Amazon and I got it free from my insurance, but honestly it made me HATE pumping. It pinches my nipples, yet at the same time doesn’t hold them snug enough, particularly when things get really milky. People seem to love it, but it’s never been particularly a good fit for me and my barely there nipples.

Obviously the thought of being hooked up to the S2 several times a day made me cringe so I set out to find a good, portable pump for the office. Someone told me about a pump you suction to your boobs and you can walk around without anyone being aware that you’re pumping, but I didn’t feel like spending a lot of money for a work pump, plus I have my own office for privacy so I decided to do a bit more research and found the new love of my life. The Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump with Stimulation and Expression Modes. Yes, you read that correctly, MANUAL. Initially I thought that manual breast pumps had gone the way of the dinosaur but in reading the reviews I was convinced, and at $21, I felt it was definitely worth a shot (and the risk)!

What’s in the box:

Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump

When you open the box, it includes 2 flange sizes (standard 25mm & large 30.5mm), a naturalwave nipple, cap & collar, all for ideal suction, storage and feeding. There’s also nursing pad and storage bag samples. To get my little breast milk stash going I also bought four extra storage bottles from the same brand (because they were cheap) and my absolute favorite Kiinde Twist Pouch storage bags to go along with the pump.

Kiinde Breast Milk Storage Twist Pouch

Review:

What I love about this pump, is that it’s not only ergonomic so it doesn’t hurt my hands but it’s also super comfortable and pain free. It’s really lightweight and portable so it can fit in my purse or my daughter’s diaper bag, I can use it in the car, on a plane ride or any other place where I don’t have electricity. This excites me to no end because as soon as the weather gets nice, we have so many outdoor plans. I don’t have to be tethered to any wires, which quite frankly drives me crazy. Most importantly though, is the expression, which I give a 10/10! I got 4 ounces in a little less than 15 minutes, my milk was absolutely flowing, and it’s no fluke, I get consistent results with every single use.

Results after first pumping session

Final Thoughts:

I really bought this pump to do quick pumps at work to help keep my milk supply up, but I’ve found myself using this exclusively in place of my electric pump. It’s so much more effective at encouraging let down and I love not having to put parts together before pumping, I just grab it and get started. It’s actually finally encouraged me to have a small freezer stash. So whether you’re looking for a portable travel pump, you want something to collect excess milk or you’re looking for just a great pump that doesn’t break the bank, do yourself a favor and give this little guy a try. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

 

-xo

Nic

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The Top 10 Items You REALLY Need In Your Hospital Bag

what to bring

If you’ve ever been pregnant, you’ve probably perused a list or two (or three) to find the ultimate must have items for your hospital bag. If you’re like me, you scoured tons of blogs and Pinterest lists looking for the perfect items to make your hospital stay a comfortable one. Unfortunately for me, I was induced two weeks early and my bag was incomplete despite all of my planning. Of course the hospital provided the essentials and I definitely had all of the baby’s things but there were still 10 key items that would have made my stay a more comfortable one.

1. A LONG Charging Cable

As a first time mom, I anticipated that I would be blissfully sleeping through the night, waking once or twice to feed my baby, and a freshly charged phone in the morning. Boy was I wrong! First of all, I was a tad bit, OK more than a tad bit naive about what it’s like having a newborn. By the second night of our hospital stay, my daughter cluster fed about every half hour over the course of a 12 hour period. She wouldn’t sleep unless I held her, and my phone helped to keep me alert despite the exhaustion, when it died however it was hell, so do yourself a favor and get a pack of these 10 ft. charging cables. You definitely won’t regret it.

2. Favorite Snacks

When I was admitted to the hospital, it was totally unexpected, one minute I’m getting a routine Non-Stress Test and the next I’m being told I’m going to be having a baby in the next couple of hours. I went to my appointment after work and hungry didn’t begin to describe how I felt. The hospital provided a meal but I would’ve liked to have one of my favorite snacks before being induced, it would’ve done a lot for my mood. They would’ve also made my nightly vigils with the baby a lot more tolerable. I distinctly remember aggressive stomach growling at 2:00am that I tried to mask by coughing so my suite mate wouldn’t hear. Amazon has some pretty cool variety packs so you can have tons of options.

3. Wireless Headphones or Earbuds

When I was in labor and was asked if I wanted a private room, I really should have said YES. Unfortunately I decided to share one since it was covered by my insurance. Big mistake. If you’re like me and you decide to share, wireless headphones or earbuds will be your best friend. While you’re up at night admiring your sleeping baby, you can listen to your favorite playlists or catch up on that podcast you’ve been meaning to. It will also drown out the sound of your neighbor’s baby, and visitors.

4. Night Gown and Robe

I actually took two breastfeeding nightgowns and robes with me and I was so happy I did. The hospital gown is confusing af to snap up and it just feels good to finally put your own clothes on after giving birth.

Pro tip: You don’t need to get gowns specifically made for breastfeeding, you can get any regular nightgown with an elastic enough strap (and tummy room) to pull up and down without actually having to snap and unsnap anything. Because who has time for that anyway?

5. Adult Diapers

The mesh panties and maternity pads the hospital provides are a nightmare and a half! The pad shifts, it fills up quickly and changing it is daunting when your baby doesn’t want to be put down in the middle of the night. When I got home my mom got me adult diapers, they were the best, like really comfy, absorbent, panties. They made things easy and helped me to forget the massacre that was occurring in my pants. Do yourself a huge favor and take these to the hospital with you.

6. Soap

While at the hospital I showered with their soap everyday. Honestly with each bath I was just happy to have water on my body, but as a new mama, taking a shower with a nice smelling soap that you love can do wonders for your frame of mind and your skin. Definitely get something organic and soothing to help relax you and won’t expose your baby to harmful ingredients.

7. Pillow

Take your own pillow with you! I repeat, take your own pillow with you. And put a distinctive pillow case on it while you’re at it. Not only are you taking a piece of home with you, hospital pillows kind of suck and they’re more than just a bit uncomfortable to lay on.

8. Portable Fan

While I was in the hospital, I legit wondered if the air condition was broken. I had my daughter in August and it was hot! Also, they keep the maternity suites, relatively warm (not hot) because it’s good for newborns. If you run hot like me, that’s the ultimate nightmare. My second night in the hospital I devoured ice chips because honestly, I forgot I actually had a portable handheld fan in my purse because being pregnant in the dead of summer is hard and clearly mommy brain started early.

9. Boppy Breastfeeding Pillow 

I had a Boppy lounger and breastfeeding pillow at home but did not take either to the hospital. The lounger is pretty unnecessary for your hospital stay but the breastfeeding pillow will make the world of difference especially for a new nursing mom. It helps with positioning and prevents arm fatigue from consistently holding your new clingy best friend. It also adds a nice cushion for the baby to lay on while in your arms, and a comfy baby is a happy baby.

10. Adjustable Infant Swaddle

I’ll be the first to confess I was a lazy swaddler, so by the time I left the hospital, my baby had grown accustomed to not being swaddled at night and it resulted in the nightmare that is now my co-sleeping experience. If you don’t want to be bothered with actually wrapping your baby up in a Swaddle blanket, there are alternatives like the Swaddle Me which reduces the risk of having loose blankets around your baby if he or she is an escape artist like mine. They will make your baby feel safe and make for better sleep for the both of you.

What were your hospital bag must haves? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss!

 

xo

Nic

Editor’s Note: This post is not sponsored and all items are ones that I actually use and love! However if you do purchase an item directly through the links I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.
Thank you, I appreciate your support.