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Last week, I told y’all about how great my Hygeia breast pump is, and how it is probably my most essential baby item since I’m a working mama. This week, I wanted to share a really cool accessory I use to help me pump more easily at work.
Let’s talk for a minute about pumping… It’s not exactly fun or glamorous. Actually, it’s usually super annoying. The flanges and collection bottles have to either be held up by hand or you have to buy a special pumping bra, and either way you still have to deal with bottles hanging down to your waist and having yourself half exposed. Considering I work in a profession where I have to deal with the public all day, and I get absolutely no breaks, it is really hard for me to squeeze in 20 minutes of pumping every 2-3 hours. Also, by the time I get back from my pumping breaks, my work is already behind and I spend the next hour and a half catching up until it’s time to start the cycle all over again.
When I first read about Freemie breastmilk collection cups, it sounded to good to be true. A collection system where you can collect up to 16 ounces of milk while you work? Impossible!
Well, while they aren’t perfect, they are pretty awesome. The flange part is pretty similar to a regular pump, but the cups make it special. The cups are shaped like a breast, and are designed to be worn inside your bra (either a normal bra, or a regular nursing bra) so you don’t have to be topless while pumping. The tubing feeds out the top of your shirt and connects to your breast pump. While it is possible to see that you have something stuck in your bra (and maybe even a little silly looking), it is way more discreet than having your shirt off and your boobs out.
They sell kits compatible with many of the more popular pumps, as well as a pump of their own. While Hygeia is not actually a brand they have a kit for, the Medela kit worked just fine.
The entire set comes with 2 flanges, 2 cups, 2 valve connector pieces, 3 valves, 3 adapter pieces, and 3 pieces of tubing. The flanges come in several different sizes for your comfort; I bought the 25mm.
Pros – This makes me about 1 million times more likely to actually pump on schedule because I can do it without leaving the pharmacy. It is easy to use, and easy to clean. You can hold your baby while pumping so much better than with the old-school flanges. Also, it makes it super easy and convenient to pump while driving.
Cons – There are only a few things here, and the pros far outweigh the cons for me. However, because I use a Hygeia pump, if my filter gets wet, my pump does not get any suction at all.. Sometimes if you lean too far forward while pumping with these on, the milk pours backwards into the tubing, and that can cause the filter to get wet if you don’t catch it fast enough. Also, all tubing is a pain to clean, so this is no exception. I feel like my volume of expressed milk is pretty comparable to my old flanges, but maybe a tad less. The only other “con” I would mention is that the logo washed off within a couple of uses, but that didn’t bother me.
Some helpful tips for use – Don’t lean back or forward too much, you need to be relatively upright. If you aren’t getting good suction, make sure you have the tube inserted all the way into the opening. It can be difficult to see if they are places properly due to the opaque nature of the cups, but leaning forward when putting them on can help. You will need a fairly loose bra to fit them into, or you will need a nursing bra with the tops unlatched so there is more room for the cups.