Breastfeeding – lactation aids

Breastfeeding lactation aids

Breast pumps:

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.

Manual 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.

Electric pumps:

  • Work efficiently and take little physical work from the user.
  • Need to be plugged in, so may not be 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.

Nipple shields:

  • 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.


This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot. Sources include SA Government’s Parenting and Child Health.

Connect with Kidspot:


what's new on kidspot