This giveaway is now closed. Please stay tuned for the announcement of the winner.
Milkies is offering our readers a giveaway of The Milk-Saver breast milk collection device, a value of $27.95.
The unique design collects your leaking breast milk when you nurse, stopping embarrassing leaks and allowing you to store extra breastmilk effortlessly.
From our reviewer, Lauren at Hobo Mama:
I was about to go on a weekend trip when I received my Milkies Milk-Saver in the mail. I was so excited that I pointlessly brought it along with me, opening it in the car, and then putting it into my bra as we waited in line for the ferry. I say pointless, because I had no way to store the milk while we were away — but it was just so much fun to see how much I could collect!
The Milk-Saver is a device that sits over your non-nursing breast as you breastfeed. There’s a hole in the middle of the back that your nipple fits through. As you breastfeed on the other side, the Milk-Saver catches any leaks and letdown from the non-nursing breast.
It’s so simple, so ingenious, and such a wonderful idea for saving every precious drop of liquid gold!
Benefits of the Milk-Saver:
- Breastmilk is saved for later use.
Instead of losing any leaks into an absorbent nursing pad, the Milk-Saver ensures not a drop goes to waste. For women (like me) who leak a lot, this can make leaking seem downright beneficial. For women who have trouble expressing milk, this can offer a reassurance that every possible milliliter of breast milk is being saved.
- Pumping might be reduced or replaced.
If you’re a mama who needs only an occasional bottle, or who wishes to collect breastmilk to donate, using a Milk-Saver might cut down on your pumping or hand-expressing needs. If you leak, say, an ounce a day at feedings, you’d have seven ounces a week saved up for a date night.
If you need a full supply of expressed milk, such as if you work outside the home, then of course this won’t eliminate the need to pump. Still, since you work that hard for your stored milk, at least you know you’re using every ounce!
- Your shirt stays dry.
If you use the Milk-Saver correctly (ahem, more on that later), those leaks (or geysers!) that can make wet spots bloom right at breast level are safely contained during a feeding. Your baby’s taking care of one side, and the Milk-Saver will handle the other. This is a boon for mamas who have oversupply, because finally there seems to be some use to it!
- The Milk-Saver is mostly comfortable and discreet.
I qualify with “mostly” because the Milk-Saver is a lot larger than your average nursing pad. It will likely stick out a bit from the top of your nursing bra or tank, and it’s a bit lumpy under clothing. That said, I wore mine in public, and I seriously doubt anyone noticed. While not the most flattering silhouette, people who are staring that fixedly at your chest deserve to be confounded. I prefer to take mine out in between feedings, because it’s not as streamlined as a nursing pad, and because there’s always the risk of bending over and tipping the milk all over yourself (not that I would ever do that, cough, snort).
But all that said, I really don’t notice it in while I’m feeding. It doesn’t pinch or rub, and we all know that’s a sensitive area. It fit snugly inside both a nursing bra and a cami with a shelf bra (like a nursing tank), and in my less snug-fitting camisole, only a couple drops went missing — the rest were all safely routed into the collection cup. It’s a clear plastic so even if it a bit peeps out, it’s discreet on all skintones.
- It is easy to store collected milk.
You just periodically, at least every hour, empty it into a different collection receptacle, such as a bottle or storage bag. The picture from the website shows a way to attach a breastmilk storage bag with the Milk-Saver pointing the other direction — I personally couldn’t figure out how to do this, but you can give it a try! It might be handy if you leak more than the 2.1 ounces the Milk-Saver can hold at a sitting.
I found that the collected breastmilk poured easily down the smooth surface and rounded top and into a bottle or bag for storage. If you’re not going to transfer the breast milk straight away, you can prop the Milk-Saver securely in the open storage case, which functions as a stand. Despite being very clumsy, I have so far not spilled any collected breast milk once the Milk-Saver has been outside my shirt (see below for more on this, ahem, cough).
- The Milk-Saver is safe and breastfeeding-friendly.
The materials are BPA- and phthalate-free and independently tested to ensure zero leaching (PDF test report here). The hole didn’t chafe me at all, and I felt no discomfort to my breast when using the Milk-Saver, even for extended periods. It did press the design against my skin so that the wording was temporarily embossed in my breast, but I found that kind of humorous and just wished they’d printed it backwards so the message of “Love your baby” would read correctly on my skin.
I love that this is such a simple, easily washed device (dishwasher-safe!) that it can be used indefinitely, and even passed along to another breastfeeding mama after you’re done with it. When it’s finally done being used, the Milk-Saver and its case can be recycled with other plastics.
- Milkies is eco-conscious and breastfeeding-friendly.
The company, Milkies, honors the WHO Code and partners with other respected companies and breastfeeding bloggers, which made me comfortable recommending it to you. The Milkies website is full of helpful and encouraging information to support and inform breastfeeding women. Having breastmilk readily accessible without pumping makes it easier for mothers to concentrate on getting babies to the breast for breastfeeding, and to have a bottle of expressed milk on hand rather than needing to rely on formula.
The materials used in the Milk-Saver are fully recyclable. Using a Milk-Saver can help eliminate the need for disposable nursing pads as well as the detergent and water needed to wash reusable pads or milk-stained shirts.
My experience with the Milk-Saver
As I said, I popped that sucker in my shirt the first minute I could. On our long drive to the ferry, I ended up filling it with just one side’s leaking! That immediately made me feel like this was an ingenious product. All that milk, so effortlessly collected!
When I was considering writing Milkies to suggest a giveaway, I went online to look at reviews of the Milk-Saver. One thread that ran through several was of women forgetting it was in and bending over, only to spill that precious milk all over themselves or the floor. These reviewers suggested that this was a flaw in the design. I thought, Well, that’s a silly thing to find fault with; I know I won’t forget I have it in and bend over!
Let’s all guess what the first thing I did was, when I had 2.1 ounces of breast milk sloshing about in my Milk-Saver!
Yup. Mikko had dropped a Transformer in the back seat. I leaned over and back to try to locate it for him. It took a few minutes for it to sink in to me that I wasn’t just a wee bit damp — I was soaked. And still it took a moment more for me to recognize just what had happened. I’m so used to being the recipient of all kinds of bodily fluids nowadays, with a newborn in the house, but this was definitely a drenching. Since we were planning to be away only one night, I had almost not packed an extra shirt — I was so glad I’d reconsidered. I had to slink on the ferry and up to the bathrooms, using a bag with my clean shirt as camouflage for my soaked one.
So: Don’t bend over when the Milk-Saver is in. This is another reason you might not want to use it except for just when you’re actively feeding. Then remove it, transfer the milk, and rinse it out to wait for your next nursing session. It’s amazing how many times a mother bends over in the course of a day. I hadn’t really thought about it until I couldn’t!
My suggestion to Milkies would be to close off the top opening and put a cap on it. I bet there’s a way to, and it would conquer this one seemingly common problem. I mean, think of how often you bend over in a day as a parent: picking up or putting down your baby, putting in a load of laundry or dishes, retrieving a fallen toy (as was my downfall). Plus, with the open design, you have to nurse in an upright position, which potentially means losing that early-morning letdown as you nurse sleepily in bed.
However, except for that first mishap, for which I blame myself any old how, I’ve greatly enjoyed my Milk-Saver. I find it fascinating to feel a letdown and look into my bra to see milk shooting or dribbling into the collection area. I like pulling the Milk-Saver out after a feeding with a ta-da flourish to see just how much is in there.
I’ve been a little disappointed that I’ve yet to duplicate the amounts I collected on that road trip at home. I think because we were in the car for several hours, the baby slept more and Mikko also nursed less, so my breasts had more time to build up and become engorged as I drove. The amount I’ve collected at home has varied from very low to pleasantly substantial, but I imagine that ebbs and flows according to circumstances like the above. I’ll keep collecting, because: Why not? Every drop counts.
Points to consider
I do want to mention a few cautions to counter my enthusiasm.
First of all, the Milk-Saver will likely only supplement your stored milk supply unless you are a very heavy leaker. Particularly as your supply regulates, leaking will decrease, so the Milk-Saver is most useful in the early months of breastfeeding. At a price of $27.95 for one Milk-Saver, you have to decide if this is worth the investment. As a heavy leaker myself, I believe it is for me and am considering getting a second so I can wear them both around the house instead of breast pads during the day. But carefully, and emptying them at least once an hour so the milk doesn’t spoil or overflow.
Secondly, don’t bend over when you have the Milk-Saver in. Just … don’t.
Thirdly, be careful when eating snacks while wearing your Milk-Saver, or little bits of food might fall into it. Ok, that might be a problem only for me.
Enjoy your Milk-Saver, knowing you’re collecting every drop, with basically no fuss!
One Milk-Saver is $27.95. A two-pack is $46.95. Milkies ships internationally.
Milkies is offering our readers a coupon for 10% off your purchase using the coupon code MILKIES_HOBO — so feel free to buy yourself another to match!
Get 10% off your purchase!
Enter code MILKIES_NPN at checkout.
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Lauren works and writes at home with her husband and their preschool son, Mikko, and newborn son, Alrik. At Hobo Mama, Lauren blogs about natural and attachment parenting, breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering, green living, and more. Lauren offers reviews and giveaways of natural parenting products at Hobo Mama Reviews and gives a behind-the scenes look at blogging and writing at LaurenWayne.com. Lauren co-hosts the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting and is the cofounder of Natural Parents Network.
We’re celebrating World Breastfeeding Week on Natural Parents Network!
You can, too — link up your breastfeeding posts from August 1-7 in the linky below, and enjoy reading, commenting on, and sharing the posts collected in the linky and on Natural Parents Network this week.
(Visit this intro post for more information and for the code to place on your blog.)