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Breast shells nursing cups are gold.
Hear me out.
Everyone has a different experience with breastfeeding. Some love it. Some tolerate it. A lot of women hate it or can’t breastfeed for any number of reasons.
At the end of the day, I firmly believe FED IS BEST. In fact, I’m going to transition to formula, like I did with my first baby. But for the time being, I’m still letting this little milk vampire suckle away a bit of my soul in the hopes that it’ll support her immune system long-term.
Breastfeeding is Messy. Breast Shells Help.
And where in the bloody hell were these breast shells the last time around? I spent the vast majority of my fourth trimester soaking wet with my first baby. Letdown. Leaking. The baby falling off the nipple.
Most surfaces of my home looked like I’d taken up splatter painting. The skin on my breasts flittered with a red rash that spread across the vein-stretched orbs like a speckled surprise. Trips to the grocery store turned my chest into an irregularly patterned bullseye. And, I smelled like a poorly maintained milking parlor.
In my experience, there are a lot of things not to love about breastfeeding. The biggest of which is the role it played on my mental health. But the mess — that’s undeniably up there.
Don’t get me wrong. There doesn’t seem to be a cure-all for feeling like I’m a mess as a mom with a fresh baby. I’m constantly covered in some form of fluid. Hormone-induced sweat. Spit up. Diaper explosions. Breast milk.
Yes, even with the Breast Shells I haven’t escaped the protein-loaded creamy fluid entirely. But it’s SO much better.
Breast Shells Nursing Cups Allow You to Save More Breastmilk
Stocking up the freezer with extra breast milk is a real priority for a lot of breastfeeding moms. It certainly is for me. Breast shells allow me to capture the milk I leak throughout the day and the milk that comes during letdown while feeding.
I’ve collected as much as 10.5 ounces in a single day — without pumping at all!
This gives me the freedom to let someone else feed the baby. (I’m just going to leave that fact here for a second…someone else feeding the baby.)
But also consider that without the breast shells, I’d have been covered in 10.5 ounces of breast milk!!! There’s a reason I felt like I was always soaking wet with my first baby. Because I was!!
4 Breast Shells FAQs
The following are some of the questions I had when I first started using these.
1. What’s the Difference Between Breast Shells vs. Nipple Shields?
While both nipple shields and breast shells are designed to help nursing mothers, they serve two very different purposes. A nipple shield is worn during the act of breastfeeding. It can, quite literally, shield the nipple from an improper latch, help with biting, and assist a baby’s latch if the mother’s nipples are too small or pointed at irregular angles.
Breast shells are worn before or after feeding, or on the nipple that isn’t being actively suckled during a feed. The shells are small cups that collect milk which the breasts naturally let down.
2. Can I Wear Breast Shells With Any Bra?
Yep! You sure can. That being said, you might not find them comfortable with any bra. Like adding a pad to your bra, breast shells will increase the visual size of your boobs. Depending on how tight your bra is already, this may be uncomfortable.
3. How Do I Get the Milk Out of the Breast Shell?
There is a small hole at the top of each breast shell. You simply pour the milk out of the hole into a small cup. This milk can then be used or frozen, as you would when you pump.
4. Are Breast Shells Comfortable?
This is like asking if a bra is comfortable. Every woman’s breasts are unique. How breast shells will fit your boobs is a very personal thing. In my case, I didn’t find them uncomfortable unless they became too full of milk and my nipples were being sloshed.
Two Styles of Breast Shells to Consider
Breast Shells with a Stopper
These were my personal favorite because they didn’t spill as frequently. That’s not to say they never spilled. It just wasn’t as often.
Breast Shells with No Stopper
These shells are more affordable. They also seemed to hold more milk. But I found I was a lot more likely to spill the milk out of the top hole. I’d forget I was wearing them and then lean over to pick something up (often my toddler) and the milk would spill. That being said, I still worm them a lot.