There are several reasons for choosing to breast pump, rather than breastfeed, but nonetheless, the entire process is very tiring and requires a lot of commitment from the mother. I remember how my first son refused to breastfeed after the first week of life, and how I had to buy an electric pump and exclusively pump for the first 6 months. Unfortunately, one of the downsides of pumping, is that your milk supply will decrease as the time goes by, and I had to put a stop to the process after the first 5 months. However, I have had several friends that managed to pump until the baby turned 1 years old, so there is hope for the new moms who choose (or not) to pump. If you haven’t decided yet if you would breastfeed or pump, you can go and read my post on A Guide to Breastfeeding where I talk about the both options you have, if you want to give your baby breastmilk. Of course, you can always opt for the formula, but as the doctors recommend, feeding your baby your breastmilk the first 6 months, will bring plenty of benefits.
If you want to learn more on how to choose the best hands free pumping bra, then continue reading this article, however, if you want to go directly to Amazon, and check it out, then here are our recommendations:
Why Do You Need a Hands Free Pumping Bra
In order to answer this question, I’ll first have to present you some breast pumping facts:
- You need to do it EVERY 2-3 hours, EVERY day, EVERY week, EVERY month, until you decide to stop. There is no pause, no break for you. If you skip a breast pump session, you will feel it so hard. Your breast will be so encouraged that you will start pouring milk out of them like a mountain spring fountain. Worst case scenario, you end up in the hospital with mastitis.
- You need to pump for 20-30 minutes, on each breast, making it a total of 1 hour – if you are using a single electric breast pump. Now, if you are using a manual breast pump, the pumping could take up to 40 minutes on each breast. The gold mine advice here, is to get a double electric breast pump, if you have the possibility. Here is the one that I used, which I totally recommend. I have used it for 5 months to breast pump for my son, and as a backup when I breastfed my daughter (after 3 years). I have had it for almost 5 years now and still works perfectly.
- You are stuck in one place, with your hands busy, for the entire process. Now, imagine if you were alone with the baby, and she started to cry, right after 5 minutes into pumping. How would you be able to comfort her? You would have to stop the pumping. And then start again once the baby is calm, or asleep. But, talking from experience, these doesn’t happen too often, and if it does, it doesn’t last too long.
Now, I have used a breast pump with and without a hands free pumping bra, and I totally recommend the pumping bra. It will save you time, and few neurons in the long run.
If financially you cannot afford to buy a bra, you can always make one for yourself. Please go and read my post on DIY Pumping Bra, there you will find few interesting projects. However, if you can afford to buy one, please continue reading my post.
Hands Free Pumping Bras Recommended for You
You can go out and start searching for the perfect pumping bra for yourself in the local stores, but if you don’t have the time to look around, then I made a list with some of the best bra you can find, and order on Amazon. I bought my first pumping bra for a physical store, but I did not make a good choice, so the next one I had to order through Amazon, as I couldn’t afford to go out again. Mainly, because I don’t like to go shopping for clothes. So here are the top 3 bras that I recommend you buy, if you are going to breast pump.
Simple Wishes Signature Hands Free Pumping Bra
- adjustable, so it fits almost any type, shape and sizes of breasts and bodies.
- hands-free – obviously
- works with almost all brands, including MEDELA, AVENT, Spectra Baby, and so on.
- made of 83% cotton and 17% spandex
Bravado Designs Women's Body Silk Seamless Nursing
- Sport design, wireless, can be worn all day long
- Full drop away cups
- Sizes from XS to 2X
Momcozy Breast-Pumps Holding and Nursing Bra
- Fits perfect for both breastfeeding or pumping
- Front zipper – easy to take off
- Fits all pumps, and can be used throughout the day
- Made of 73% cotton, 17% polyamide, and 10% elastance.
What to Look for in a Pumping Bra
As a new time mum, or just a new time user of a breast pump, there are not too many things that you know about the process, so it is better to read and do your research beforehand. The reason I am including this bit in this post, is because I did a big mistake when I bought my first pumping bra. I did not do any research, so I went to the first baby shop, and I asked for a pumping bra. At that point, I was super annoyed with the fact that I had my hands busy while pumping, and my son would cry so many times. It was very frustrating. So, here are some of the things that you need to look for, when buying a pumping bra:
- The bra should have strips. Yes, please. This feature will help better supporting not only the flanges of the pumps, but also the milk bottles that will become heavier and heavier as you pump. My first pumping bra, did not have the strips, and it was not very comfortable as I constantly had to pull it up so that the flanges will not fall off.
- The bra should be able to adjust. The bra needs to sit very tight on you, otherwise, the flanges might not stick perfectly, creating a vacuum. If air gets it, the suction power of the pump is reduced.
- The bra should be comfortable. Make sure the bra is made of good quality material, to not irritate your body.
- The bra should have the feature to be used as a normal bra, when you are not pumping. If you go for the simple pumping bras, the ones with the wholes where the nipples should be, then you won’t be able to use it as a normal bra, when going out.