I’m being serious here, let’s talk about breasts. And breastfeeding. Because it’s an important topic. Men, you may want to avert your gaze, skip over to the post about naughty tomatoes. Or feast your eyes on these well-crafted nachos.
Or keep reading of course, because I’m giving away a pretty awesome gift to one of my lucky readers. And who doesn’t need a breast pump? Men included, not for yourselves of course, that would be frightening. But even if you’re not expecting or a new mom, most of us know someone who is having a baby and could probably use one of these pumps.
I’ve teamed up with Evenflo to bring you the latest hospital-grade breast pump on the market. Because I wouldn’t be encouraging people to get their kids to eat their greens if I hadn’t tried my hardest to start them on breast milk.
Breastfeeding didn’t come easily though. As I touched on in a previous post, I was sick as a dog when Lauren came into this world. Pneumonia was kicking in, my mothering instincts hadn’t yet taken a seat at the table. Not a great combo for your first job as a mother, which is at the bare minimum, to feed your baby a thimbleful of milk.
Exhausted and barely able to move, I could hardly think of giving an ounce of energy to the little being who was wheeled in regularly to my room, swaddled within an inch of her life, eyes half-open looking for someone to latch onto.
The nurses encouraged me to try feeding her, but I lacked the strength to even hold her in my arms.
I could see the sideways glances. The secretive conversations as they left the room. It wasn’t long before I was swiftly introduced to the machine: the industrial strength breast pump that I’d be attached to for the next few days to make sure that my supply didn’t disappear before I got home.
And so began a 4+ year relationship with a variety of pumps and contraptions that would get me through a combined 18 months of nursing 3 separate children.
I had a range of pumps: the Cadillac that I kept at home; the horrible, lightweight getup that I brought to work and that beeped incessantly; the manual for emergency situations: long dinners, focus groups, travel days, you get the drift.
But I never found a pump that I liked.
My biggest complaints? Even with the Cadillac model, I quickly learned that the open system allowed milk to splash back into the tubes, causing mold to grow. Furthermore, I had to lean forward for it to work because the pump itself wasn’t angled properly.
But I knew that starting my kids on breast milk was important to me. How would I ever get them to eat mangosteens, rambutans, and all of the other strange and wonderful things that we try as part of the 52-week challenge if they hadn’t been introduced to breast milk first? (Please note, that Sam, who breastfed the longest turned out to be my pickiest eater. There goes that theory, however, he’s as healthy as an ox. Coincidence? I think not.)
Perhaps equally important in my breastfeeding mission, how on Earth was I going to lose those pesky 40 lbs I’d gained during pregnancy?
The sacrifice and effort was clearly worth it. I felt good about nourishing my kids, the pounds came off. A win-win situation. I just wished that the whole pumping process had been easier.
In starting my blog six months ago, I promised myself that I wouldn’t align myself with any brands whose missions were different from my own. And if you hadn’t figured it out so far, that means encouraging ourselves, our families, and our kids to eat as well as possible.
In Evenflo I’ve found a true partner: a brand that cares about moms, has a vested interest in the health of our babies, and is focused on developing pumps that are both high-end and comfortable, yet affordable.
And their new pump doesn’t disappoint, here are some of the features:
- Control: The ability to control speed and suction separately, allowing for 32 different settings
- Clean: A closed-system to keep milk pure from bacteria while pumping
- Comfortable: Multiple flange sizes included for best fit and comfort, and smartly-designed flanges for slouch-free pumping comfort
Not only do Moms get a great pump, but they’ll also receive free access to the full length, online educational programs by the wonderful Shari Criso (Nurse, Midwife, Lactation Consultant extraordinaire). I had the chance to meet Shari in person, and she’s just such a wonderful, caring and helpful being, my only wish is that I’d had her on my team when I was going through my early breastfeeding struggles.
For a chance to win the pump, just enter your information below. Good luck, and if you win or buy the pump and have feedback, please send it our way!
One lucky reader will win an Evenflo Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump. Given the cost of shipping, this giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on 10/18/2013 at 12PM EST. I will choose the winner using Rafflecopter, which draws a winner at random. I will contact you via email and you will have 48 hours to respond with your contact information or I will then choose a new winner.
Click this link to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I have not been financially compensated for this post, all views are my own, based on a thorough review of the pump and conversations with its product development/marketing team.
UPDATE: Congrats to Irene C. for winning the Evenflo breast pump! Thanks to everyone who participated.