Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Getting Ready for Breastfeeding: Nursing Bras & Nursing Gowns

One of the questions we get most often in the last trimester of pregnancy is what do I need for breastfeeding?  Moms may need a breast pump to return to work, but most often the real question is what clothes do I need.  You don't need to have a full on wardrobe for breastfeeding, but a few essentials will make your life easier, and even help you succeed at breastfeeding.  We see moms get frustrating trying to pull up a non-nursing gown to access the breast or even get plugged milk ducts from pulling a tight sports bra up from the bottom or an under wire bra down from the top.  Even when moms are not on a strict budget, they sometimes don't buy a nursing bra simply because they just don't know what size to get.  Here is some advice to make thing simpler:

1.  Sleep Nursing Bra - These are usually under $20 and are a must-have to keep your nursing pads in place.  During the first 6-8 weeks postpartum moms normally leak breastmilk, especially at night. Bilateral let-down also causes leakage so when the baby is nursing on the first breast, the second breast starts to leak.  We all know that new moms don't always get dressed until later in the day so wearing a sleep bra ensures you have some support and a place to hold your nursing pads until you change into your daywear.  By the way, using cotton nursing pads instead of disposable nursing pads will save enough money to pay for everything we mention in this article!  You will want 2-3 sleep bras.  We recommend buying them in the last month of pregnancy. Buy 2 in the bra size you wear at that time and a 3rd one size larger to accommodate for engorgement.

2.  Transitional Nursing Bra - It is futile to try to guess your breastfeeding bra size while you are still pregnant, but you need a nursing bra immediately after delivery.  We have seen too many husbands come in and ask for a bra for their wife.  It is sweet, but pretty comical as they usually have no idea of even what band size she is.  The best course of action is to get a nursing bra with a multi-cup fit.  This will allow you a wider range of sizes with stretch fit comfort which is essential because you are larger during the engorgement period, visibly fuller before and after feedings during the first 6-8 weeks, and regulate down at about 8 weeks when your ribs go back into place.  For example, the Amamante Caress & Contour Nursing Bra in size small/medium fits 32B all the way through 36D.  Other examples of this type of bra are the Bravado Double Plus Nursing Bra.  These type of bras usually range between $30-$35.

3.  Nursing Gown - You will definitely want to invest in a nursing gown or pajama set that easily accesses the breast.  One with an integrated sleep bra can also reduce the number of sleep bras that you purchase.  Amamante Signature Nursing Gown and Serenity Nursing Pajamas have a full sleep bra built in.  Other crossover styles or other styles of nursing sleepwear will need to be worn with a sleep bra to keep your nursing pads in place.  A quality nursing gown or pajama set will run between $30-50.  When creating a budget for nursingwear, keep in mind that artificial infant formula costs between $150-$170 per month.  Use that as a guideline to invest in breastfeeding instead.  



For under $170, you can build a postpartum nursing wardrobe
2-3 Nursing Sleep Bras
2 Transitional Nursing Bras
1-2 Nursing Gowns or Pajamas

Happy Breastfeeding!
Tanya








Tuesday, March 8, 2016

ARDO & Lucina: Finding Breast Pump Parts for ARDO Calypso and Melodi Breast Pumps

In helping moms find breast pump parts for their insurance pumps, we noticed a similarity between the Lucina Melodi and ARDO Calypso breast pump parts.  In investigating further, we contacted Lucina whose chat rep denied such a connection.  You be the judge.  The parts are identical except the color of the cap on the double pump kit that fits on the flange.  While Lucina Melodi Advanced and Melodi Prime have a purple cap, ARDO Calypso and Carum use a green cap. We further noticed that the ARDO Amaryll manual breast pump is the exact same pump as the Lucina Melodi Manual Pump.


Finally, we took a close look at the Lucina Double Pump Kit image on their website and we noticed that you can read part of the ARDO brand name on the side of the flange shaft.  


Our conclusion is that the parts are made by the same company and can be used interchangeably. Good news for the mom who can't find Lucina Melodi breast pump parts!  We would love to get your feedback on using the ARDO parts on your Lucina Melodi Advanced or Melodi Prime breast pump!  

Happy Pumping,
Tanya