I was just in the process of breastfeeding Willow and I happened to notice this little gel crystal on my breast. It was about 1/2 inch from my nipple and I thought, “Hmm… why the heck do I get these little crystals on my breasts when I breastfeed?” (This has happened maybe 2-3 times before now.)
I asked my husband what he thought might be happening and he wasn’t sure either so I Googled “gel crystals during breastfeeding.” I was totally thinking that my breasts were producing these pretty little crystals… yes, I realize how silly that sounds in hindsight. In any case, Googling it brought up a result about nursing pads and of course, it all made sense then!
I tore apart my nursing pad, I use the Johnson’s brand, and sure enough, inside were all these tiny little gel crystals. The same kind you’d find in diapers or sanitary napkins. They were sitting on top of the cotton batting and had somehow made it through the liner on my breast pad and found their way onto my breast.
Inside of the Nursing Pad - Note the Crystal in Center of Photo
Of course, like any momma, I got nervous instantly… had Willow been ingesting these often? Were they harmful to her? So, I picked up the phone and called Johnson’s.
The gentleman I spoke with was very helpful and courteous and when I asked what the materials used were in the nursing pads, he told me wood pulp and a super absorbent polymer material. Which polymer was used, he didn’t know. However, he assured me that the polymer was non-toxic.
The gentleman at Johnson’s even offered to document the case and send me out a free product replacement coupon so that I could purchase a new box of nursing pads at no cost. I thought that showed really great customer service and was glad that they extended that offer!
In any case, I wanted to blog about it in case other people Googled, “gel crystals while breastfeeding” or anything similar. Know that it’s coming from your breast pad and what you may want to do is just change them as soon as they get a little bit damp and also make sure to check your breast carefully before latching the baby on.
When I first heard about the Milkies Milk-Saver, I was super intrigued. However, as a brand new mother who was inundated with new products, it completely fell out of my brain space until this past Thursday.
My husband and I visited the Extraordinary Baby Shoppe here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada to get hooked up with cloth diapers (more on that to come!) and while there, I peeked around the rest of her store and came across the Milkies Milk-Saver. Needless to say, I had to buy one to try out and review on my blog! The product retails for around $30 (you may be able to find it cheaper online).
What is the Milkies Milk-Saver?
Essentially, the Milkies Milk-Saver is worn inside of your nursing bra or nursing tank top and the product lets you capture the milk that would generally leak out of your non-nursed side during letdown and during the entire nursing session. The packaging states that some mothers can collect between 1 and 4 ounces of breastmilk per feeding session!
My experience with the Milkies Milk-Saver
The first thing I did was bring the product home and check it out. The product comes in a simple cardboard box and inside, there is a plastic case with the Milk-Saver inside. The Milk-Saver is about the size of a large pancake and is about a half inch in thickness. The main part of the Milk-Saver is a silicone type material and there is a hard plastic square bit right behind the nipple hole.
The Milk-Saver slides into your bra or nursing tank really easily and the nipple hole is large enough to fit any nipple size. Once in place, the silicone shape does keep a bit of a breast shape and if you had larger breasts, I could see it fitting perfectly but with my breast size (a C-cup since nursing Willow), I found it slightly large.
After sterilizing the product (you can do so in boiling water or with a home sterilizer), I started using the Milkies Milk-Saver for a full day of feedings.
When I breastfed Willow, I was able to look down into the Milk-Saver to see what happened during my letdown. Since I was at home, I left the top clasp of m y nursing tank down so I could peek in! As soon as letdown happened, my milk began trickling into the Milk-Saver and I was INSTANTLY hooked on this product. I was shocked by the amount of milk that it collected — milk that was previously going into a nursing bad and going to waste.
By the end of the first day of trying the product, I had just over 5 ounces of milk. Not bad considering that all of that milk would normal just leak into a breast pad and go to waste! The sad part for me was realizing how much milk I could have caught and stored if I would have started using it sooner
The only difficult thing with using this product is that you do need to dump the milk after each feeding into a storage container. If you’re like me and you feed your baby in bed for the first feeding, it gets a bit tricky but it is manageable and in my opinion, totally worth it!
Product claims that I disagree with
The product’s website states that it is, “Slim and portable, no one will even know you are wearing it.” I do disagree with this part. While wearing it in my nursing tank top, the top of the Milk-Saver pops out the top of my tank top a bit. Also, because of the hard plastic piece inside of the Milk-Saver there is no way I could wear it and my breasts look natural. I tried a variety of positions but for my C-cup, it never looked normal enough to wear discreetly.
I also wouldn’t necessarily recommend this be something that you use while you are out and about unless you want to insert it, catch the milk, bring storage bags (or a bottle), add the milk, wash out the Milk-Saver (and how would you sterilize it while you were out?) and then put it back in the case. However, if you are at home, it would work perfectly as you could just accumulate milk in it multiple times and then store appropriately (for breast milk storage guidelines, see the Dr. Sears website here).
The final verdict
I love, love, love this product and would recommend that every pregnant woman get one and start using it from day one – especially when your breasts are engorged and you’re probably leaking double what I am leaking now. It’s an awesome, and passive, way to capture excess milk to store for the times when you may not be able to be with baby or to use when you decide to stop breastfeeding but still want to use breast milk.
The Milk-Saver is such a cool idea and I will continue to use it every single day to capture as much excess breast milk as I can! It has also made breastfeeding have another fun aspect to it! I love looking into the Milk-Saver to see how much milk is being collected as it varies every single time! Great product – can not wait to continue using it!
I attended an event tonight put on by the Canadian Toy Testing Council and Entrepreneurial Moms which got me really excited! The Canadian Toy Testing Council is responsible for testing toys and providing information to parents on which toys are worth the buy and which should be passed on. They are also responsible for reporting safety concerns, on the tested toys, to Health Canada.
At the meeting tonight, they put a call out for toy testers.
Essentially it boils down to a volunteer position (you also need to pay the annual dues of $30) but you receive at least three toys per year to test with your children and then you provide detailed reports on how the toy performed. Testers do have to return the toys but let’s face it, it would be pretty cool to see some of the toys in your hand before you commit to buying!
There are other perks to being a toy tester but I’ll let you explore those on your own! If you are interested, check out their website for more details. In tomorrow’s vlog (the 20th), I’ll show you the toys that we picked up from the meeting tonight! One we purchased and one my sister ended up winning as a door prize! She gave her toy to Willow