Now enter the newest innovation in breast pump design: the massaging breast pump. Some breast pumps claim or seem to have more of the massage element than others. The Playtex Embrace Breast Pump, the manual Dr. Brown's Natural Comfort Breast Pump and the Whittlestone Breast Expressers are all pumps that express milk without stretching the nipple in the tug-and-pull style. The Avent Isis breast pumps, manual and electrics, have funnels with Let-down Massage Cushions, which have massaging petals or bumps on it. These massaging petals move in and out with the suction rhythm of the pump. Medela and Ameda are the longest established and most reputable makers of breast pumps. Their most recent innovations have been in areas of design not related to massage: the 2-Phase Expression in the Medela Symphony, Medela Pump in Style Advanced, Medela Harmony and Medela Swing breast pumps and the Hygienikit feature in the Ameda Purely Yours and Ameda Elite breast pumps. These companies have each made one small contribution to the massage trend: the Medela SoftFit breast shield and the Ameda Flexishield flange. These parts work with any of their breast pumps and massage by flexing in a more static way, accompanied by the traditional tug-and pull suction.
Are these massaging breast pumps more comfortable, more effective at expressing breast milk, or at least, do they feel more like a baby nursing than other pumps?
I have read hundreds of breast pump reviews and I find the two major complaints against breast pumps are issues of comfort and effectiveness at removing breast milk. Addressing just the comfort issue, there can be many causes of discomfort and it is important that women investigate and eliminate those causes in their breast pumping where possible, to prevent injury and to expedite milk let-down. However, I am inclined to believe this unnatural tug-and-pull motion can be the cause of emotional and physical distress to women until they get used to it or overcome it with persistence.
Now who can object to massage as a concept? Of all these massaging breast pumps on the market only one has received enough independent consumer reviews to satisfy me that consumers have reached a positive, though not unanimous, consensus about it. The other breast pumps are just too new or have not been marketed extensively enough to know whether women will find them more comfortable or more effective than traditional vacuum-only pumps. I applaud efforts to redesign and improve the breast pump, but I can only now hope for a time that most breast pumps will deliver on their promise of feeling just like baby.
Keyword: massage breast, massage breast pump feeding baby, massage videos, breast massage techniques, massage video, breast massage enlargement