I originally heard about Pumpin’ Pals when I started donating breast milk through Eats On Feets. A local lactation consultant recommended their Super Shields when I told her I exclusively pump. She said she had a set and that they made pumping much more comfortable than standard pump flanges.
Pumpin’ Pals sent me their Pumpin’ Comfort kit for this review. Besides a cute name, the kit included 3 sizes of Super Shields, a Pumpin’ Pals hands-free support, a booklet with pumping tips, and a nice drawstring handbag that can be used for drying.
Super Shields are ANGLED flanges that allow you to sit back while pumping. Next time you pump, take a second to analyze your posture. Are you leaning forward? If so, you may be putting extra strain on your back.
Here are some of the features of the Super Shields from the Pumpin’ Pals website:
What I Like:
The Super Shields allow you to sit more upright, instead of hunching over your pump. Here's a photo of how I sit with my normal flanges. I have two pillows behind me, but I'm still hunching forward.
Here's how I sit when using the Super Shields. You can see that I'm able to sit totally upright.
I didn't realize how important this is until I forgot my Super Shields at the office on a friday. Over the weekend, I realized my back muscles were getting strained because I was back to hunching over while I pumped with my regular shields. The Super Shields won't cure all your back pains, but they will help you have better posture.
I also love that Pumpin’ Pals includes THREE sizes of the Super Shields when you order them. I have two breast pumps (different brands) and neither of them came with different sized breast shields. If you don't have different sizes to try out, how do you know if you have the proper fit? If you're like many women, your breasts will change during the course of breastfeeding, which means your correct flange size might change as well. Pumpin’ Pals helps you determine that right away – you can try out each of the sizes and see what works for you, as well as change sizes as needed as time goes on.
Another thing I like is that the Super Shields have a very wide flange. My little sprinklers point in different directions, so when I hand express at the end of a Pumpin’g session, I tend to squirt breast milk beyond a standard pump flange. Since the Super Shields are extra wide, those errant squirts are caught and drip down into the bottle.
What Can Be Improved:
Although the Super Shields can be used with any pump, they seem to work best when they can be used in place of the standard flange, instead of inside the flange. One of my pumps has a soft covered flange, and when I used the Super Shields with it, it made the suction slightly less effective. The angle on the Super Shields is great for small bottles, but big bottles can feel awkward when using them since they may press up against your stomach. It also takes a bit of practice to get used to the Super Shields. Since your nipple is drawn out at an angle, you have to make sure you position the Super Shields correctly so the tip of your nipple doesn't rub up against the plastic.
Pumpin’ Pals included their signature hands-free support in my Pumpin’ Comfort kit. I've tried other hands-free supports, but never one that went over your head (behind your neck).
I'm glad they included directions, because I was quite confused when I first tried it. (Of course, I could have just watched the great instructional videos on their site, but I wasn't near my computer the first time I tried it out.) After I figured out where to put the flanges and how to position everything, it was much easier to use. I have large breasts (38E), so I was very happily surprised that I felt well supported while wearing it.
The instructions recommend that if you’re using the Super Shields with the hands-free support, you should use them inside another flange, but I found it worked just fine so long as I was careful to get the positioning correct before I started pumping.
Buy It: Pumpin’ Pals has a Superbowl Special running – You can get the complete Pumpin’ Comfort Kit for 10% off the regular price of $34.94.
You can also order the Super Shields Plus set for $25.95 (includes a pair of Super Shields in M, L, and XL) or single pairs of Super Shields for $12.95 per pair.
Win It: One lucky reader will win their very own Pumpin’ Comfort Kit!
Mandatory Entry: Visit Pumpin' Pal and look around. Then come back here and leave a comment with one thing you learned or something you like about their products.
Bonus Entries (1 entry each, please leave a comment for each entry you complete – be sure to include your email so I can contact you if you win!):
-Follow Life With Levi via Google Friend Connect (on my right sidebar)
-"Like" Pumpin’ Pal Intl on Facebook AND let them know Life With Levi sent you (leave a comment on their wall)
-"Like" Life With Levi on Facebook
-Follow @LifeWithLevi on Twitter AND Tweet the following message:
----- I want to win the Pumpin' Pals giveaway from @LifeWithLevi --------- (you may tweet 2x per day - each tweet counts for one entry)
-Subscribe to Life With Levi via email
This giveaway is open to US residents only. Winner will be selected by “And The Winner Is” on Friday, Feb 18th, 2011. Winner will be notified by email and has 24 hours to respond or an alternate winner will be selected.
This giveaway is now closed. The confirmed winner is: ashleyt921.