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How Long Should I Pump? Your Questions Answered

baby drinking milk while holding mama's hand

Though once a revolutionary idea, breast milk pumping has become commonplace. It's a great way to ensure that your baby will have the best and most natural nutrition, even when you can't be there to feed them. But just as you may wonder 'how long should I breastfeed?' you may also wonder, 'how long should I pump?'

The latter is actually two questions: 'how long should I pump per day?' and 'how long should I pump before weaning?' And in both cases, the answers depend on a number of factors. How old is your baby? Are you feeding them pumped milk exclusively, pumping and nursing, or supplementing pumped milk with formula? And finally, when are you planning on weaning?

Why Should You Pump?

Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed their children as opposed to using a breast pump. However, this isn't always possible. Pumping allows you to feed your baby even when you can't be there. But there are other reasons to pump, as well. In fact, there are as many reasons for pumping as there are women who pump.

Busy work schedule

Most breastfeeding mothers would prefer never to have to rely on a breast pump. However, many women have to work despite having young children at home. Since it's often impossible to take your child to work with you, a breast pump makes it easier to ensure they always have readily available milk when they need it.

Personal preference

Some women prefer to give their children breast milk but not directly from their breast. In such a situation, a breast pump can help.

Milk donation

Women also pump milk for the purpose of donation to the needy. If you have excess milk and would like to help a needy child, you will need a breast pump.

Health reasons

One of the health reasons that might warrant breast milk pumping is mastitis. When you're suffering from this condition, you might need to drain your breasts to promote healing. Women in the weaning stage also need to pump milk to alleviate pressure from their breasts.

Baby’s inability to latch

A baby can have difficulty latching on for several reasons. First, there might be abnormalities in the child’s mouth. For example, a cleft lip might also cause this problem. However, even among children with no physical abnormalities, the inability to latch to the breast is common within the first week of life.

No matter the reason, you will need a breast pump to express milk and use alternative methods to feed them until they can do it directly from your breast.

What You Should Know Before You Start

There are several things you need to know before you start pumping.

When should I start pumping?

If you have a healthy, full-term baby that can breastfeed, you can wait a few weeks before you begin pumping. The benefit of this is that it allows you to bond with your child. On the other hand, if your baby is pre-term, or cannot breastfeed, it is advisable to start pumping as soon as possible. You can start within one to six hours after delivery.

Types of pumps

Before you head out to get yourself a breast pump, you should know what's on the market. Depending on what sort of pump you're using, the answer to our question, 'how long should I pump,' will vary.

Manual breast pump

Manual breast pump

A manual pump is hand-powered. One advantage is that they're very light. However, your hand might get tired from the pumping, especially if you have to do it frequently. This type of breast pump is a great option for women who would like to pump occasionally. It's also a good fit for a mother who breastfeeds occasionally but needs to express milk when they're away from the baby for a short period of time.

There are several disadvantages of using a manual breast pump. First and foremost, it's very tiring compared to the electric models. It also takes longer to pump compared to the other types. Lastly, it might take some time to get the hang of using a manual breast pump.

If you believe a manual breast pump would be a good option for you, the Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pump by Nature Bond is an excellent choice. It's easy to use, lightweight, and extremely soft, comfortable and safe. It also comes with an airtight vacuum packaging that ensures the milk stays in hygienic conditions. You can get it for $10 to $13. Amazon users rated it 4.4 out of 5 stars.

Double electric breast pump

Double electric breast pump

A double electric breast pump is suitable for mothers whose children have difficulty latching to their breasts for medical or other reasons. It's also a good option if you're a working mom who is away from her child for a long period of time.

When a baby cannot latch to the breast, it can cause frustration, pain and a lot of discomfort to the mother. That is where the double electric breast pump comes in. Since it's capable of pumping at a high frequency, it helps relieve the pain and discomfort faster. The simultaneous pumping of both breasts also increases milk production by inducing milk producing hormones. These types of pumps are durable, powerful and lightweight. They also have optimal features such as battery backup, hands-free operation, timer, and memory for saving preferred settings, milk storage, LED display and many others. The only disadvantage is that they are quite noisy.

One of the best double electric breast pumps in the market is the Double Electric Comfort Breastfeeding breast pump by GL Gland Electronics. It features nine levels of massage suction, memory function, double breast pumping technology and it's very quiet compared to other top brands. Users gave it a 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. You can get it for $85 to $90.

Single electric breast pump

Single electric breast pump

Single electric breast pumps are great for mothers who need to pump only a few times a week. That is an upgrade from the manual type. The best thing about this type of breast pump is that it's quite small which makes it easy to carry everywhere you go. The design of the breast shield and bottles resembles the manual type. The only disadvantage is that it takes longer to express compared to the double electric pump. Therefore, it might not be suitable to use when you are in a hurry.

One of the best single electric breast pumps on the market is Swing, Single Electric Breast Pump by Medela. What makes this pump stand out from the rest is the two-phase expression technology that's unique to all the Medela breast pumps. This feature allows you to pump more milk in a very short time. Apart from this, it resembles a baby’s natural suckling rhythm, which provides maximum comfort to the mother. It's also light, easy to use and very convenient. The only drawback is that it's quite expensive compared to other breast pumps. It goes for $135 to $140. Amazon users gave it a star rating of 4.3 out of 5.

How to Pump Correctly

How long should I pump? Should I do it often? When exactly should I pump? These are some of the most common questions that new moms considering pumping commonly ask. Learning the pumping process can be a really stressful experience if you don't know what to do.

Luckily, it is not as difficult as most people think. Just follow these simple steps, and you will be good to go.

Do some homework

Before you start pumping, you need to read up on some of the basic things about breast pumping. Apart from this, familiarize yourself with your breast pump by going through the manual.

Sit in a comfortable place

It's very difficult to pump successfully if you're uncomfortable. Therefore, find out what makes you feel the most comfortable. Is it privacy, a comfortable chair or a feeling of relaxation?

Have a snack or a drink

Your fluid and calorie intake can affect your milk supply. Therefore, make sure you eat or drink something at least an hour before you begin pumping.

Make sure the pump is plugged in correctly or has working batteries

Before you begin, make sure your breast pump is ready for use. It will save you the frustration of having to fix it when you are already ready to start.

Wash your hands thoroughly before you begin

It's important to ensure your hands and your equipment are clean so that no bacteria come into contact with the milk. Doing so will protect your baby from infections.

Assemble your pump

For a successful pumping session, you need to ensure every part of the unit is where it should be. You can refer to the manual if it is your first time using the pump.

Ensure the flanges are properly centered on your breasts

Your nipple should be centered on the flange opening to create an air seal. Flange fit is vital for successful pumping.

Cup the flange to create an airtight seal

If you're using a double electric pump, cup the flange using your fingers at the bottom and your thumb at the top. If you need to adjust settings, you can use one arm to hold both breasts in order to ensure there is always an airtight seal.

Turn your pump on and begin

Start with a slow speed until you see milk and increase to medium speed based on your comfort. When the milk flow starts decreasing, adjust the speed to high and wait until the next letdown. After this, adjust to medium then to slow to finish off.

Practice definitely makes perfect when it comes to pumping. Therefore, keep going!

How Long Should I Pump to Maximize Milk Production?

If you've decided to pump because your child is sick and unable to breastfeed, or you have chosen to pump exclusively, these tips on how to reach and maintain full milk production will prove very useful. Keep in mind that the more often you drain your breasts, the more milk they will produce.

How long should I pump: birth to day 4

At this stage, your baby will require frequent feedings. Therefore, experts recommend pumping 8 to 10 times every 24 hours. That is typically how much a baby in this stage would breastfeed. Each session should last between 10 and 20 minutes.

Since you'll need to do it often, it's advisable to use a double electric pump because it is faster. Research has also shown that pumping between one and six a.m. is better because milk production hormones are highest during this time. If you take advantage of it, your milk production will increase.

How long should I pump: day 4 to full production

At this stage, your breasts will be producing a lot of milk. Therefore, it is advisable to pump longer. Continue to pump for two minutes after you express the last drop. You should also not allow more than five hours to pass without pumping.

How long should I pump to increase milk production?

When you're capable of reaching 750 to 1050 milliliters per child every 24 hours, you have reached your goal. You can then go to shorter sessions, for example, 10 to 15 minutes each. Ensure you maintain a schedule that will make it possible to keep producing this amount of milk daily. When trying to maintain your milk production, it might help to sleep more and pump for shorter periods of time. It is also advisable to record your daily totals so that you can know when it drops.

You might ask, how long should I pump if I want to increase production? Try pumping for longer per session. Alternately, you could increase the number of sessions. To increase production, aim for 8 to 12 sessions per day.

How long should I pump in total: all about weaning

When you decide to wean off the pump, the best way to do it is gradual. You can start by dropping one session every three days. Leave your first and last pumping of the day until you can fully wean from the pump without any struggles. You also have the option of pumping for shorter periods of time and maintaining all your pumping sessions. Reduce the pumping time every three days until you are comfortable to stop.

How Long Should I Pump: Does It Matter?

mom bottle-feeding her baby

Image via Pixabay

As previously mentioned, the amount of time you take with breast pumping is dependent on several factors; the pump you're using, your child’s age, and your goal as well as increasing or decreasing production.

However, on average, most mothers pump 8 to 10 times a day for 24 hours. You will produce more milk if you pump longer and more often. All in all, every mother is different. You should always consult your doctor or a lactation specialist if you have any concerns.

Featured Image via Pixabay

Breastfeeding Cover: Best Products For Breastfeeding

mother breastfeeding her baby while using breastfeeding cover
Breastfeeding Cover: Best Products For Breastfeeding

The breastfeeding relationship between a mother and infant feels downright magical sometimes. To your baby feeding time is a lot more than filling the hunger void, it's a primary opportunity for bonding with their mama. I loved breastfeeding my son. He loved being outside, and I needed to get out of the house, after all. I would watch other children play in the park and fantasize about what this tiny person would look like when he was older.

One day, during lunch, I wasn't using a breastfeeding cover, and I met a woman who didn't share my feelings on the importance of mother's milk. She let me know in colorful language precisely what she thought about breastfeeding in public. I felt angry and embarrassed, but I also had my infant son with me, so I decided to go home instead of letting her have a piece of my mind.

It's too bad that she didn't understand how incredible the breastfeeding relationship between a mother and baby feels. Breastfeeding in public can feel awkward. Sometimes because of people like that awful woman, but also if you are not comfortable exposing yourself. It's okay; there are lots of options so you and your baby can get out of the house and you can feel prepared to nurse when needed without exposing yourself or your child.

Product

Features

See More

Kiddo Care

Kiddo Care
  • Lightweight cotton-blend
  • 26.4 x 0.1 x 68.9 inches
  • 0.96 ounces
  • Rosie Pope Cover-Up

    Rosie Pope Cover-Up
  • 92% Modal, 8% Spandex
  • Small, medium and large
  • Lightweight
  • Kids ‘N Such Arrow Nursing Cover with Sewn-In Burp Cloth

    Kids ‘N Such Arrow Nursing Cover with Sewn-In Burp Cloth
  • Cotton
  • 35 x 23 x 0.2 inches
  • 7.2 ounces
  • Spout'n Smiles Nursing Cover

    Spout'n Smiles Nursing Cover
  • Rayon blend
  • 8.7 x 7 x 8.7 inches
  • 6.9 ounces
  • Anikea Fashion Shawl Nursing Cover

    Anikea Fashion Shawl Nursing Cover
  • Eco-friendly cotton blend
  • 13.6 x 11.5 x 1.6 inches
  • 8.2 ounces
  • Bozeman Baby Company Nursing Scarf

    Bozeman Baby Company Nursing Scarf
  • lightweight jersey knit
  • 30.5 x 30 x 0.2 inches
  • 9.3 ounces
  • Bamboobies Nursing Shawl

    Bamboobies Nursing Shawl
  • 95% Bamboo Viscose, 5% Spandex
  • 18 x 0.5 x 0.8 inches
  • 7.2 ounces
  • Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover

    Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover
  • 100% cotton, premium muslin
  • 30 x 0.1 x 36 inches
  • 4 ounces
  • Hooter Hiders Breastfeeding Cover

    Hooter Hiders Breastfeeding Cover
  • 100% cotton
  • 36-inches wide x 30-inches long
  • 6 ounces
  • Duckery Kid Full Cover

    Duckery Kid Full Cover
  • 100% modal
  • One size fits all
  • lightweight
  • breast feeding cover

    What is a Breastfeeding Cover?

    A breastfeeding cover is something that covers you and baby while you breastfeed. It's used to cut out the noise and light from the outside world, creating a safe place for baby to be close to mama. Panchos, wraps, bibs and infinity scarves, a breastfeeding cover can come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

    The great thing about a breastfeeding cover is that they can be quite fashionable. There are other considerations besides fashion, of course, such as the weight of the fabric and how easy it is to use.

    Pros

    • Shelter your breasts from prying eyes
    • Keeps baby safe from bugs, pollen, sunlight, and wind
    • Fashionable
    • Versatile

    Cons

    • Another thing to pack and cart around
    • Size can be an issue
    • Can be hot for baby
    • Could be a challenge for a mom who's new to breastfeeding

    Best Breastfeeding Covers

    We picked 10 of the most popular breastfeeding covers for our review and compared fabric, dimensions, weight and style. Here's what we found.

    Kiddo Care


    No products found.

    • Lightweight cotton-blend
    • 26.4 x 0.1 x 68.9 inches
    • 0.96 ounces

    The Kiddo Nursing breastfeeding cover is made from a high-quality cotton blend and looks like an oversized infinity scarf. It can be worn in many different ways and can also be used as a car seat cover, baby carrier cover, swaddling blanket and more. It's one-size-fits-all, and that includes plus size mamas, according to reviews.


    The biggest complaint about this product is that the material isn't a cotton blend that stretches. Instead, it's an over-sized infinity scarf that can be used in a variety of configurations by folding and twisting the fabric. It may be too much material for a petite gal, but someone like me who is six feet tall could be pretty happy with the size.


    Rosie Pope Cover-Up


    No products found.

    • 92% Modal, 8% Spandex
    • Small, medium and large
    • Lightweight

    Rosie Pope's breastfeeding cover is a poncho style coverup that could be worn anytime. It's a lightweight, stretchy fabric, and comes in no-nonsense black or white. The loose fitting cowlneck design makes it easy to peek in on baby, and it doesn't restrict your movement. It's a little hard to tell how long this poncho will hang since our choices are based on bra size.


    There aren't any Amazon reviews currently for this breastfeeding cover; however, we can surmise it's a quality product because modal and spandex make a nice blend. The fabric is breathable and lightweight and also doesn't shrink like cotton. Our biggest complaint with this item is lack of information. We would like to know the garment's length and are looking forward to seeing some online reviews since buying it online appears to be the only way to purchase this imported breastfeeding cover.


    Kids 'N Such Arrow Nursing Cover with Sewn-In Burp Cloth


    No products found.

    • Cotton
    • 35 x 23 x 0.2 inches
    • 7.2 ounces

    This breastfeeding cover resembles an apron that you hang over your neck. The "arrow" in the name refers to the pattern on the apron which is two-toned with white arrows on a medium gray background. The adjustable neck strap makes it easy for mama to see her little bundle and the extra wide panel covers everything up for privacy. The thing that sets this breastfeeding cover apart from the others is the burp cloth that is sewn inside, making it easy to feed and burp the baby without having to switch everything up.


    One customer points out that unlike many other styles of breastfeeding covers, the adjustable next strap on this one prevents the baby from accidentally pulling it down. Maybe a breastfeeding cover doesn't need to do a bunch of other jobs as long as it does one well.


    Sprout'n Smiles Nursing Cover


    No products found.

    • Rayon blend
    • 8.7 x 7 x 8.7 inches
    • 6.9 ounces

    This infinity scarf style cover is a best seller on Amazon. Spout'n Smiles gives us an infinity scarf that is a little bigger than a regular scarf, with the added advantage of a stretchy fabric blend. The give in material means you can stretch it over the car seat or stroller to keep the sun out of baby's face, and bugs and debris off of their delicate skin. It comes in a cute black and white polka dot pattern.


    Customers love this breastfeeding cover for its versatility, softness and its unisex pattern.


    Anikea Fashion Shawl Nursing Cover


    No products found.

    • Eco-friendly cotton blend
    • 13.6 x 11.5 x 1.6 inches
    • 8.2 ounces

    Anikea's fashionable shawl-type breastfeeding cover is a twist on the poncho style nursing garment. It has adjustable buttons so you can make room for both arms, or button up to accommodate one free arm. Mama can easily watch the baby while using both hands to help them latch on. Customers love how pretty this shawl is as well as how lightweight and cozy it feels.


    Bozeman Baby Company Nursing Scarf


    No products found.

    • lightweight jersey knit
    • 30.5 x 30 x 0.2 inches
    • 9.3 ounces

    Bozeman's breastfeeding cover is a spin on the infinity scarf idea, made of a jersey knit material with a chevron pattern. It's soft and stylish to wear so no need to stuff it in the diaper bag. There's enough fabric for draping so you can get plenty of air flow, and one-size-fits-all is believable.


    The biggest complaint, and we think it is a big one, is the material. It's too hot, not stretchy enough and shows wear quickly. Still, the good reviews far outnumber the bad, so it's possible that consistency is the real issue.


    Bamboobies Nursing Shawl


    No products found.

    • 95% Bamboo Viscose, 5% Spandex
    • 18 x 0.5 x 0.8 inches
    • 7.2 ounces

    Bamboobies offers a breastfeeding cover in a chic black nursing shawl that dries quickly. It's adorable, and you'll probably want to wear this nursing cover after you're done breastfeeding. Unfortunately, it only fits sizes 2 to 16. 


    Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover


    No products found.

    • 100% cotton, premium muslin
    • 30 x 0.1 x 36 inches
    • 4 ounces

    The Bebe Au Lait Porta breastfeeding cover is fashioned like the Kids 'N Such arrow nursing cover that we talked about earlier. It's an apron with an adjustable neck strap. This one boasts two internal pockets, which would come in handy for storing burp towels and wet wipes.


    Moms love how light and airy the apron is because the baby doesn't get too hot. The lightweight cotton is also pretty sheer according to some negative feedback. I can see why the transparency of the fabric would take someone by surprise; the product photos don't do a good job of providing a realistic look.


    Hooter Hiders Breastfeeding Cover


    No products found.

    • 100% cotton
    • 36-inches wide x 30-inches long
    • 6 ounces

    Hooter Hiders' breastfeeding cover is wider and longer than the other two apron style covers that we've reviewed. This style seems fine, but a little old fashion considering all of the cute options available. It does the job and is simple to use, though.


    Out of three apron-style breastfeeding covers we reviewed, this one rates highest in our opinion. It has a rigid neck lining, making it easier to see the baby and plenty of fabric to cover everyone sufficiently.


    Duckery Kid Full Cover


    No products found.

    • 100% modal
    • One size fits all
    • lightweight

    The Duckery's breastfeeding cover is a fashionable poncho, made of breathable fabric and comes in a variety of colors. It's machine washable. We love the looks of this breastfeeding cover because it provides lightweight privacy, with ample room for baby and a wide neck so mama can see how it's going.

    How We Reviewed

    When we were doing our research, we considered privacy as the main reason for using a breastfeeding cover. Breathability is also super important. Baby needs to feel comfortable, not overheated. A good view for Mama is our third criteria because she needs to be able to see her little angel and move around to make adjustments if needed.

    There's a Breastfeeding Cover for You

    We like the versatility of the infinity scarf-type breastfeeding cover. Your baby will be happy with the added privacy, and you could get another cute scarf too! Kiddo Care and Spout'n Smiles breastfeeding covers win it for us with the infinity-style fashion. Kiddo Care offers lots of fabric and Spout'n Smiles give us the stretch we want.

    One last thought, a breastfeeding cover is all about well-being for you and your little bundle of joy. So go ahead and invest in a fashionable infinity scarf, poncho or apron. Choose whatever makes you and baby comfortable, because you know best.

    The Best Ameda Breast Pump for Breastfeeding Moms

    Breast pump

    The first time I bought an electric breast pump, I had no idea what I was doing. As someone who does their research on everything I purchase on a regular basis, it was hard for me to make such a big and important purchase without doing my due diligence. After my son was born, I quickly discovered that babies are not born knowing how to breastfeed (go figure!). The baby and I struggled to learn how to breastfeed together so I met with a lactation consultant to figure out where we could do better. She recommended a breast pump to help me increase my milk supply. At the hospital, I noticed that lactation consultants used an Ameda breast pump to help moms who were having issues breastfeeding.

    In fact, the Ameda Platinum Multi-User Hospital Breast Pump has been proven with clinical research to be the most effective breast pump for establishing and maintaining milk production. It’s important to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recognize the term hospital-grade; it’s a marketing term often used to mean breast pumps that are safe for multiple users. If you’re looking at breast pumps, the information below will help you compare different options and decide which one will best fit your needs.

    Advantages to Using a Breast Pump

    There are various advantages to using a breast pump to pump your milk.

    Ability to share feedings

    If you decide to pump, it will be easier to split the caregiving duties, rather than having to rely on yourself. 

    If you're the only one breastfeeding, then you constantly have to be the one to handle your baby's feeding demands. This includes several wakeups throughout the night. Pumping can facilitate a healthy balance of childcare duties. It can help the mom who is breastfeeding get some rest time. 

    This can be incredibly beneficial when you're immediately postpartum, as you may be exhausted from the delivery.

    Control timing

    When you pump milk, you're able to control feeding times. You can create a schedule that works for you, and pump when necessary. This can really help if you're returning to work or simply need some more time.

    More breaks

    Pumping will give you a break while you're dealing with sleep deprivation. You're already recovering from childbirth, and adding to a baby's feeding demands can make you even more exhausted.

    Pumping and storing your breast milk gives you a lot of breaks, whether that's to go out on a date night, run some errands, or going on vacation. With a pump, you can leave behind enough food for your baby. 

    Address supply issues

    Pumping can help facilitate breast milk supply issues. You may choose to pump after each breastfeeding session to increase your supply. It can also help you build a freezer stash in case you're worried about a low supply.

    Donor milk

    Finally, some babies receive breast milk from donors, such as an adopted baby. Also, someone who can't produce enough milk may supplement their supply with milk from a donor. This could be the only way for some babies to get breast milk.

    What Is An Ameda Breast Pump?

    Ameda is a well-known manufacturer of breast pumps, including electric and manual options. The Ameda hospital-grade breast pumps are widely used by healthcare institutions and lactation consultants to help women increase milk supply and provide the best nutrition to their babies.

    How is an Ameda Breast Pump Different?

    Electric pumps by Ameda offer several functions that help moms express all the milk in their breasts and maintain or increase supply.

    Independent settings

    Ameda breast pumps offer independent CustomControl™ settings that allow women to customize speed and suction. Dual adjustability means moms can select the best level for milk flow and comfort and simulate her baby’s sucking rhythm.

    Closed-loop system

    A closed-loop system helps protect breast milk and baby from bacteria, mold, and viruses while pumping. A special barrier keeps tubing dry by preventing air flow between the expressed milk and pump tubing.

    Closed-loop system

    With seven different flange sizes, it’s easy to find the right fit that will be comfortable while pumping.

    What To Consider When Selecting a Breast Pump

    There are several things you need to consider when selecting a breast pump. One of the most important considerations is how often you plan to pump milk. If you plan on breastfeeding full time at home with the baby, you’ll probably only need to pump on occasion. In that case, a manual pump or a single electric option would be your best bet.

    For moms returning to work and needing to pump outside the home, a double electric breast pump that can handle multiple daily pumping sessions is a must. Features such as a battery option, carrying tote, and a cooler can make pumping away from home more manageable.

    Having a breast pump ready to go will make breastfeeding a little easier. Producing breast milk is a supply and demand issue so a pump can help if you and the baby are having problems with breastfeeding. A pump can help you keep up or increase your milk supply. Talk to a lactation consultant about how a pump can help you reach your breastfeeding goals.

    Price Range

    The price for an Ameda breast pump can vary depending on the features and type of pump you are looking to purchase. Manual pumps can be found for around $16 to $40. You can expect to pay closer to $150 to $200 for a double electric version.

    Would Insurance Cover An Ameda Breast Pump?

    The Affordable Care Act says that health insurance plans must provide breastfeeding support and counseling for pregnant and nursing women. This includes the purchase or rental of a breast pump. Check with your health insurance plan on what coverage they provide for breastfeeding moms.

    How We Reviewed

    When looking at breast pumps, we considered individual suction and speed controls and hygienic breastmilk pumping systems. We also looked at comfort features, such as the option for different flange sizes. We also checked the availability of a tote and/or cooler to help with breast milk and pump transport. Finally, we noted extras such as an external app to keep track of pumping sessions or a battery power option.

    Best Ameda Breast Pumps

    If you’re considering purchasing an Ameda breast pump, the options below can help you narrow down your choices to what best fits your needs.


    No products found.

    No products found.

    If you are looking for a pump that closely matches the performance of hospital grade pumps, this is a good option. This pump features the same technology used in Ameda’s hospital pumps, which is designed to mimic a baby’s natural suckling rhythm.

    Also, this pump offers independent speed and suction controls so you can customize each pumping session for maximum milk production. The pump comes with Ameda’s true closed-system pump kit. It can help protect breast milk and the baby from bacteria and viruses while pumping. It also comes with a handy tote and cooler back for easy transport and storage.

    Some of the advantages of this pump are the fully customizable speed and suction controls, closed-loop system, and a wide range of flanges to help you find a comfortable fit. Plus, the pump comes with a power adapter and the option to use AA batteries. Unfortunately, some users reported that the pump was not efficient enough at emptying the breasts.

    Quality

    Usability

    Support

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    No products found.

    For moms planning to return to work, a reliable pump is a must. This Ameda breast pump is designed for daily use, making it ideal for pumping multiple times a day. It comes with a stylish tote to carry the pump and all accessories.

    This pump has a closed loop system, which offers a barrier to help protect the milk while keeping the tubing dry and clean. The suction and speed can be controlled independently to give you complete control when pumping. Included is a cooler with an ice pack to help keep pumped breastmilk cold.

    Some of the positives of this pump are the convenient shoulder bag and cooler that help you pump on the go. Also, the completely customizable speed and suction allow you to extract milk from both breasts better. The closed-loop system keeps breastmilk safe from viruses and bacteria. However, some users reported that the pump loses suction and power over time. Some customers also found the manual adjustment dials cumbersome.

    Quality

    Usability

    Support

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    If you don’t plan to pump frequently, an Ameda manual breast pump can be a good solution. This compact and ergonomic manual pump fits inside your purse or tote for easy transport. You can use it to pump directly into any standard baby bottle or freezer bag.

    The pump’s design allows you to achieve multi-phase pumping by varying handle squeezes to simulate a baby’s natural nursing rhythm. The ergonomic swivel grip reduces hand muscle fatigue. All pump parts are BPA- and DEHP-free.

    Some of the advantages of this pump are the ergonomic design, compact size, and pump options, such as a bottle or a breastmilk bag. Also, the handle design allows multi-phase pumping similar to the way a baby sucks from the breast. Unfortunately, some users reported that the sideways squeezing motion did not allow for enough suction and the valve wears out quickly.

    Quality

    Usability

    Support

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    Ameda Breast Pump vs. Other Brands

    If you are considering some alternatives to buying an Ameda breast pump, the options below offer some features that may better fit your needs. They are all reputable, well-reviewed brands.


    No products found.

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    One of the advantages of the Spectra S1 breast pump is the rechargeable battery, which allows pumping-on-the-go without the need for an electrical outlet. This breast pump has a powerful motor that makes emptying both breasts quick and easy to do.

    The closed system provides a barrier between the milk and the pump to ensure hygiene and motor performance. It can be used both as a single and as a double pump, which makes it flexible for everyday use. The fully adjustable settings mean each mother can customize the pump to fit her body’s milk flow.

    Some of the positives of this pump are the two-phase cycling in letdown and expression modes as well as the rechargeable battery. The closed-loop system keeps bacteria from growing and protects the motor. However, this pump is on the pricier side, and you need to pay more to upgrade to a carrying tote and cooler. Some users reported a loss of suction over time and power button issues.

    Quality

    Usability

    Support

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    If you’re looking for a pump that offers the ability to track your pumping session, the Lansinoh Smartpump has you covered. The built-in Bluetooth technology connects seamlessly to the Lansinoh Baby App, giving moms the ability to track pumping sessions automatically.

    This breast pump offers three customizable pumping styles and eight adjustable suction levels, allowing moms to match their baby’s natural sucking pattern and maximize milk production. The closed-loop system prevents breastmilk from backing into the tubing or motor, preventing mold and bacteria. The pump also includes breast shields with soft rims, baby bottles, and nipples for easy pumping, storage, and feeding.

    Some of the advantages of this pump are the built-in Bluetooth technology, which sinks to the Lansinoh Baby App to help you keep track of pumping sessions. The pump also features a hygienic closed-loop system and fully customizable pumping styles and suction levels. Unfortunately, some users reported issues with the fit of the breast shields and lack of suction.

    Quality

    Usability

    Support

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    This lightweight breast pump by Medela is portable and discreet, making it easy to fit in an occasional pumping session. The soft-touch, ergonomic swivel handle makes manual pumping comfortable.

    The two-phase expression technology allows you to pump more milk in less time when pumping at maximum comfort vacuum in the expression phase. Also, all parts that come into contact with breast milk are made without BPA.

    Some of the positives about this pump are the lightweight, portable design and two-pump expression technology. In addition, the pump comes with two baby bottles with lids, a bottle stand, a nipple with collar and two membranes. Some users reported issues with the handle popping off as well as problems with the O-ring and lack of suction over time.

    Quality

    Usability

    Support

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    COMPARISON TABLE

    (Best Ameda Breast Pumps)

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    (Ot​​her Brands)

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    What's the Answer?

    Buying a breast pump is a very personal decision. When looking at different options, make a list of three to five qualities that are important to have in a pump to help you narrow down your choices. It’s important to consider how and when you’re planning to use the pump.

    Talk to your doctor or a lactation consultant on when and how you should start using your breast pump. If you plan on going back to work, an electric breast pump can help you build up a breast milk supply for your baby in the freezer. A pump also means that you can spend a few hours away while someone else feeds the baby breast milk from a bottle.

    One thing to keep in mind is that you’re not limited to just one pump. You may need to get more than one breast pump to fit your needs at different times. For example, you may want a double electric Ameda breast pump for every day pumping and a Medela single manual breast pump for occasional travel — it all depends on what works best for you.

    How Long Can Breast Milk Stay in the Fridge?

    baby drinking a baby bottle milk

    As a mom pumping breast milk, you’ve probably wondered how long can breast milk stay in the fridge. It takes a lot of time and energy to pump the milk, and you certainly don’t want any of it to go to waste! You’re wondering how long will breast milk stay fresh in the fridge? Maybe you aren’t sure how to store it. And if you’re pumping at work, you want to know what is the safest way to get your breast milk home and into the refrigerator.

    So, just how long can breast milk stay in the fridge? Figuring this out is actually quite easy as long as you keep a few simple storage rules in mind. Once you’ve mastered those, pumping and keeping your breast milk in the fridge will probably be one of the easiest parts of your baby’s first year.

    All You Need to Know About Breast Milk Storage

    Below are the answers to some of your most pressing questions.

    How long can breast milk stay out after I've pumped?

    How long can breast milk stay in the fridge?

    How long can breast milk stay in the freezer?

    How do I thaw breast milk?

    Can I reheat breast milk?

    Breast Milk Storage Options

    milk storage bottles

    Photo by Crissy Jarvis on Unsplash

    There are two options when choosing how to store your breast milk. You can store it in special plastic bags. Or you can store it in plastic cups that you can use as a bottle with the right attachment.


    Whatever storage method you choose, the answer to how long can breast milk stay in the fridge won't be affected by your storage choice. Just make sure you label the container with the date you pumped the milk. This will help you keep it organized in the fridge or freezer. And it will help ensure you use the older ones first. If you are sending the pumped milk to a daycare center, make sure to put a name on it, too.

    Bags


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    Breast milk storage bags are exactly what they sound like. They are little plastic bags that hold milk. While it may seem tempting (not to mention cheaper) to use regular plastic bags, the CDC advises against this. The biggest concern is that the materials in the plastic bag will leech into the milk. Only use plastic bags that say they are specifically for breast milk storage.


    If you choose the bag route, make sure to leave a little bit of room at the top of the bag -- especially if you will be freezing the milk, because the milk will expand when it freezes. Look for a bag that has a wide mouth at the top in case you need to pour the milk from your collection container into the bag. Also look for a bag that has a wide, sturdy bottom. Bags like this can stand up on their own, making it easier for you to transfer the milk into the bag. It also reduces the chance of the bag crumpling while you do the transfer.


    Lastly, choose a bag that has a place for you to write information directly on it. While you could use something like masking tape in a pinch, it’s one less thing to think about. Just remember to write the information on the bag before you fill it up!

    Cups


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    The other option for breast milk storage is cups or bottles. These plastic containers are designed specifically for however long you store breast milk in the fridge or freezer. The advantage to using cups over bags is that the cups can be reused instead of tossed after just one use. And, they tend to be sturdier than plastic bags, making the chance of leaking less likely.


    Many storage cups can be used directly with your breast pump. You can attach the pump directly to the cup, express your milk into it, pop on a top, then throw the milk right in the fridge or freezer. When you need to use the milk, many of these cups have a conversion top that allows you to attach the nipple directly to the cup, so you don’t have to transfer the milk to another bottle.

    Storing the Breast Milk Past the Recommended Time

    Hopefully, you will use the pumped breast milk quickly. Knowing how long can breast milk stay in the fridge is only half the battle. The milk you pump when your baby is a newborn may not meet the nutritional needs of an eight-month-old. And, the longer that the breast milk is in the fridge or freezer, the more vitamin C it may lose. That said, sometimes, they do get lost in the back of the freezer. It’s okay to use older breast milk, as long as it isn’t past the recommended storage time. If you consistently find that you’ve got more milk than your baby can eat, consider donating it.

    Why Refrigerated or Frozen Breast Milk Can Look Weird

    Breast milk contains lipase, an enzyme the helps your baby digest the fat in the milk. When you mix fresh breast milk up, you can’t see the lipase when you first pump it. But, when you leave it out for a while, it starts to separate and what you’re seeing is the fat separating from the rest of the milk. And, if you worried about how long can breast milk stay in the fridge before it separates, just know that it will always separate soon after pumping. All you have to do is mix it all together again before feeding.

    If you notice that your breast milk smells like soap, that’s just the smell of the lipase. While it may be disconcerting to smell soapy breast milk, rest assure that there’s nothing wrong with you or your milk supply and it’s perfectly safe for your baby to eat.

    How to Tell If the Breast Milk Is Spoiled

    Speaking of separating, one way to determine if your breast milk is spoiled is if it doesn’t mix together easily. All you should really need to do to mix the fat in is swirl the bottle around a few times. If the fat doesn’t easily integrate with the rest of the milk, it’s probably safer to throw it out.


    Spoiled milk might also smell rancid or sour -- just like when milk in the fridge goes bad. You can always taste it to see if it’s still good, but that may not be the best way to tell. Breast milk tastes different than cow’s milk. People who have tasted breast milk describe the taste as “very sweet.” So, when in doubt, throw it out.

    How to Safely Transport Breast Milk

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    Image by pasita wanseng from Pixabay

    You can safely transport breast milk in an insulated cooler with an ice pack for up to 24 hours. Refrigerated or frozen breast milk can go right in the cooler. You should cool freshly pumped milk to room temperature before going in the cooler whenever possible.

    How Long Can Breast Milk Stay in the Fridge: Wrap-Up

    Whatever your reason for pumping, breast milk is like liquid gold. Knowing how long can breast milk stay in the fridge is the first step toward building a stash of milk. Whether you use that stash for days when you have to be away from your baby or for the times you want to share the feedings with someone else, knowing how to safely store and prepare your breast milk stash will go a long way toward protecting that supply.

    Featured Image via Flickr

    The Top 10 Maternity Bras For Breastfeeding And Where To Find Them

    Pregnant woman wearing maternity bra

    Pregnancy and nursing can make you feel like you're wearing someone else's body. Between hormonal shifts and milk production, your breasts may grow two whole cup sizes or even more. And that's a lot. The increased size and weight can be uncomfortable — even painful. Maternity bras provide support for your changing breasts, helping you not only to look your best but also to feel comfortable during these changes.

    There are two different kinds of maternity bras: maternity support bras and nursing bras. Maternity support bras, as the name suggests, support and cradle your breasts for maximum comfort. Nursing bras allow you to feed your new baby without taking off your bra. Some bras, which you can wear both during and after pregnancy, do both. What are some of the features that make the best maternity bras? And where can you find them?

    The Makings Of The Ideal Maternity Bra

    First, what's the difference between maternity bras and nursing bras? A maternity bra is something a woman wears during pregnancy when the breasts are starting to swell and become heavier. It often features additional hooks and eyes at the back, as well as thicker straps. A nursing bra, on the other hand, has a specific design for breastfeeding. Often the cup often has a drop-down clasp design that exposes the nipple just enough for the baby to access. Other models may have a gap between flaps for easy access.

    A third type, the maternity nursing bra, does double duty. It supports your breasts, as well as providing access for feeding your baby.

    The Best Maternity Bras Need To Fit Well

    Pregnant or not, no woman wants an ill-fitting bra. When your regular bra starts to feel tight and uncomfortable during your pregnancy, it is time to get fitted for a maternity bra. You can get a professional fitting at a lingerie store, or you can do the measuring yourself. When trying out bras, sit down and move around to check if it will be uncomfortable at any point or position.

    Maternity Bras Provide Appropriate Support

    When the breasts start to get bigger and heavier, you need every bit of support to keep your breasts from being a burden. Maternity nursing bras often have thicker straps to make the additional weight easy on the shoulders. There should be more hooks and eyes at the back, so you can easily adjust the tightness as you gain weight.

    Maternity Bras Can Facilitate Breastfeeding

    You'll find many different types of maternity bras for breastfeeding. You should take your time to learn about their features, how they work, and how suitable each design type is for your lifestyle. Some have features for women who are always on the go while some are for stay-at-home moms. Some designs are for outdoor use, while others are merely for breastfeeding during the night. Choose the design that makes it easier and more convenient for you to breastfeed.

    A Maternity Bra Can Adjust To Full And Empty Breasts

    The fabrics used for a maternity bra should be stretchable. Whether you like it or not, your breasts will grow more until you give birth and even more as they fill up with milk during the nursing stage. A stretchy material makes it easy for the cup to adjust when your breasts are full of milk or when they are empty, which is right after breastfeeding or pumping.

    The Best Maternity Bras Manage Letdowns And Leaks

    Nursing pads are important during the breastfeeding phase. Your bra should have enough space to accommodate a pad on each breast. The pad will absorb milk during a letdown, so that your bra will stay clean and dry.

    Easy To Find And Purchase

    When you find something good online, check to see if the brand is available near you — or for delivery. Never opt for items that are rare and difficult to find, no matter how awesome it is.

    Budget-friendly

    Cost is an influential factor when it comes to buying maternity nursing bras. As you save up for hospital or birthing costs, professional fees, and baby essentials, each bra you purchase should be within your means. Quality doesn't always come with a high price tag. There are affordable options that provide as many benefits as the expensive ones.

    Observe the growth of your breasts. As long as your regular bras fit comfortably, you may not need to think about maternity bras. Think about the breastfeeding part after you give birth. If you're okay with loose sports bras and tanks tops with padded cups, then use them. The important thing is that you're comfortable.

    How We Reviewed

    Man kissing pregnant woman's belly

    Image source: Pexels.com

    We carefully researched the features of each of our picks. Then we combed through blogs, forums, and customer feedback to see what people really thought of them. Then we chose the best of the best to bring to you.

    Top 10 Maternity Bras For Breastfeeding

    There are plenty of maternity bras on the market. Here are some that we think are among the best.

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    HOFISH 3-pack Full Bust Seamless Nursing Maternity Bras

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    HOFISH is a company that specializes in luxury maternity apparel. They have a lot of maternity nursing bra models, but one that received rave reviews from over six thousand Amazon customers is the 3-pack full bust seamless nursing maternity bras. This bra provides a good fit with great coverage not only at the bust area but also under the armpits. The wide band under the bust keeps the bra from riding up. It features an easy drop cup that you can clasp and unclasp with one hand, and it has a removable foam pad, which you can replace with a nursing pad if needed.

    This seamless maternity bra, made of a soft and stretchy nylon and spandex blend material, comes with extenders and clips so you can adjust the bra to be a racer back type or when you want an extra lift. The straps are thick enough for support, and the cinched part between the breasts give the bust a more flattering shape. 

    Kindred Bravely French terry racerback nursing and sleep bra

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    The award-winning French terry racerback nursing and sleep bra is known for how soft and comfortable it is. It can fit multiple cup sizes — perfect for the nursing stage when the breasts fluctuate from being full to empty and vice versa. It features a racerback design that provides full support for the breasts without being too hard on the back and shoulders.

    This nursing bra is made of a French terry material, which is 92 percent rayon of bamboo and 8 percent spandex. It's so super soft and comfy that moms use it even as a sleep bra. The crossover design at the front makes it easy to pull the fabric aside for breastfeeding, No hooks. No clasps. You can easily insert a nursing pad in the cup to manage letdowns. This nursing and sleep bra by Kindred Bravely is available in a variety of colors and designs. 

    Bravado! Designs Body Silk seamless nursing bra

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    The Body Silk seamless nursing bra by Bravado Designs won two awards: Mom's Choice and Eco Excellence. Amazon customers also seem to like it. The four-way stretch fabric makes it easy for this bra to conform to your shape, perfect for the changes your body will undergo through pregnancy and during breastfeeding. It has supportive straps and B nursing clips for one-handed unclasping of the drop-away bra cup. The molded cups have removable foam inserts so you can insert nursing pads inside and use it as a sleep bra.

    The seamless design of this very soft nursing bra makes it ideal for moms who need something they can use in bed, around the house, or just about anywhere. 

    iLoveSIA 3-pack full bust seamless maternity bra

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    The 3-pack seamless maternity bra by iLoveSIA is made of a buttery-soft material. It has been featured in different best-of lists because of how comfortable and versatile it is. Aside from the cinched design between the cups, the bra is seamless, ideal for wearing under thin tops. The bra drops down fully without compromising support. It has inner nursing slings that hold the breasts up. You also can replace the molded foam cups with disposable or washable nursing pads. You can maneuver the clips of the cups with one hand while you hold your baby in the other. The wide, adjustable straps provide significant support when the breasts are heavy. 

    Gratlin comfort seamless nursing bra

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    Made of 94 percent polyamide and 6 percent spandex, the fabric of this maternity nursing bra is stretchable and comfy. The soft and smooth cloth adjusts to the changing size of the breasts. The cup features a full drop down flap for extra skin-to-skin contact with the baby while nursing. You can remove the molded foam in the cups and replace them with a nursing pad if needed. It is wide enough at the sides to help hide underarm bulge and provide enough ribbing support. 

    Pump Strap hands-free pumping and nursing bra

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    Pump Strap is a hands-free pump bra that allows you to pump one breast while the baby is breastfeeding. It's also ideal if you need to pump both breasts together. It has a sturdy velcro enclosure that makes it a one-size-fits-all nursing bra. You can wear it alone, like a strapless bra, or use it over a nursing bra. If you want more support, it comes with detachable straps you can easily attach. The bra applies just enough compression to help speed up the pumping process. It is ideal for all sizes and compatible with most electric pump brands. 

    Cake Maternity Cotton Candy seamless sleep and yoga nursing bra

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    The Cotton Candy seamless sleep and yoga nursing bra by Cake Maternity is an award-winning product. Its fabric is a blend of 92 percent polyester and 8 percent elastane. It comes in a range of different sizes, but the flexibility of the fabric makes it easy to wear even when breast size is erratic. You can unclasp each side with one hand to expose the breast for breastfeeding. The Cotton Candy bra has adjustable straps that lead to a low t-back design at the back for medium support. Despite being stretchable, it still has two hooks and eyes at the back. This fully supportive design makes it an ideal yoga nursing bra. The Cake Maternity nursing bra is a bit on the expensive side.

    Sunzel Women's Cotton Spandex Seamless Sleep Bra

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    The nursing sleep bra by Veami is ideal for breastfeeding at home and while sleeping. It is wire-free and made of a smooth and breathable fabric that stretches well enough to make it easy to slip on. The crossover design in the front makes it easy to pull the fabric down for nursing or to insert a nursing pad. It has a sports-bra-type design with wide straps and no locks or adjustments at the back.

    Majamas Organic Easy Bra

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    Majamas Organic Easy Bra is made of 91 percent organic cotton and 9 percent spandex. It features a V-neck crossover design at the front, making it easy to pull the fabric aside or down for nursing. The bra has no closures or adjustable straps, but it still provides optimal support. This is what makes it ideal for moms who are into sports and yoga. It has no cup pads, but you can insert nursing pads to manage let-downs. It has enough coverage but still looks sexy. This is also ideal for women who just had breast surgery or a mastectomy.

    Suekaphin 5-pack nursing bras

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    The Suekaphin nursing bra is ideal to wear during pregnancy and the nursing stage. It has one-hand access drop down cups with removable molded foam cups. You can remove the foam cups and replace them with nursing pads if necessary. The soft and breathable fabric stretches easily to conform to the shape of your body. The bust area is seamless, great for wearing under a tight shirt or blouse. You can wear it to work, around the house, or as a sleep bra.

    The Best Of The Best

    Person holding black maternity bra

    Image source: Pixabay.com

    If you're looking for a maternity nursing bra that is worth the investment you are going to make, we recommend the HOFISH full bust seamless nursing maternity bra. It's quite similar to the other bras included in this list when it comes to the design, the stretchy fabric, and the one-hand drop down cup. However, they have added clips and extenders that make the bra easy to wear during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. You can even still wear them after your child has weaned and your body has returned to normal.

    The extenders allow you to widen the rib area to accommodate the changes in your body, abdomen, and your bust. The clips help pull the straps to the middle of your back, giving your breasts an instant lift. Plus, they sell them in sets of threes! A great deal for moms who do not want to splurge on maternity nursing bras but would still want to get good quality products.

    Do you have a favorite maternity or nursing bra that didn't make this list? Tell us about it in the comments!