Breastfeeding lactation aids
If you only need to express occasionally, you do best to hand express. But if you need to express on a regular basis, then you should invest in or rent a good quality pump. There are two different types of breast pumps.
- Depends on the user to do the pumping.
- Are discreet - they only make a quiet sucking noise.
- Are small so can be easily carried around.
- Can be hard work to fully express a breast.
- Work efficiently and take little physical work from the user.
- Are noisy and need to be plugged in, so aren't the best choice for using at work.
- Can be hired on a monthly basis from most large chemists. If you choose to hire a pump, you will still have to purchase the expressing equipment that goes with it.
Breast shells (or nipple protectors):
- These are a firm plastic dome with many holes that are worn under a bra to protect the nipple area.
- Nipple protectors allow air to get to the nipple while cracks and grazes heal.
- Ensure that you loosen your bra to accommodate your breast shell and to avoid having it press against any milk ducts which may cause a blockage.
Breast pads (nursing pads):
- You can use disposable or reusable breast pads. The reusable pads are washable.
- Breast pads help to contain leaking milk, which is common while your breasts adapt to regulating their supply.
- Don't use plastic backed breast pads, as they will usually stop your nipple from being able to dry between feeds which may lead to sore nipples.
- Are only recommended when your baby resists attaching directly to the breast.
- Nipple shields are made from thin silicone with a firmer central teat that lets milk through.
- Using a nipple shield to protect sore nipples may actually result in your nipples getting sorer.
- Because of the lack of direct nipple stimulation, long-term use of nipple shields may result in the decrease of your milk supply.
- Moving your baby from a nipple shield back to the breast may be difficult.
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