Working with breastfeeding moms, I get asked all the time about new products and gadgets marketed to make their lives easier. I wholeheartedly believe you are all you need for your baby, but I don't mind trying out items to review and share my opinion.
Recently, I tried out TWO new products- the Beaugen Inserts and Lacteck BabyMotion Flanges. Both companies sent me these items to review and give my honest opinion. These products have two very different methods for similar problems pumping mothers experience. *I am not receiving any compensation or endorsement from either of these companies.
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These are made of thermoplastic elastomer and are 1mm thick and very stretchy. The nice thing about these is they’re one size fits all and work with pretty much any mainstream pump flange (not Pumpin Pals). They’re meant to be a cushion to make pumping more comfortable, especially for people with elastic nipple tissue.
I used them with my Medela pump and I was surprised at how small they were. However, they did stretch a lot and were not uncomfortable to use, just a little cool. They felt kind of like a hydrogel pad. One major downside to me is when using them with hands on pumping (which I ALWAYS recommend), they made loud farting noises! I tried multiple angles to position them and massage and it was loud throughout. Because this broke the vacuum, it also led to decreased emptying and I got almost a full ounce per side less than usual. My breasts did not feel empty and I had to hand express the rest out. When I removed the flanges, there was also a decent amount of milk pooled in the inserts that spilled everywhere!
I reached out to the company and got some good feedback. They suggested a certain folding of the inserts to help with milk pooling, and it did, but in terms of massaging, they recommended only using a certain hold to massage to minimize loss of suction. This was not successful for me and I still felt like a lot of milk was left behind. I appreciated the prompt customer service reply to troubleshoot, and perhaps this product would be great for some people. But professionally, I felt like it created more problems than it solved and wouldn’t recommend it to clients. This is also a disposable product that will need to be regularly replaced every month or so.
Lacteck BabyMotion Flanges
Two months later, I tried the latest generation of Lacteck BabyMotion. They’re silicone replacement flanges that work with Medela pumps, although the company offers a hack on how to get them to work with other pumps as well. They have a BabyMotion window, and when hooked up to the pump, it makes little waves like a baby tongue! I was intrigued. The window can be positioned anywhere on the areola. They created an excellent, comfortable seal and I used massage and it broke suction less than the Medela flanges. In fact, it only made noise once at the very end when my breasts were really empty. Speaking of empty, I normally get a letdown right away and try for another one after the milk slows down. I got an accidental third letdown toward the end of my session without trying. My output was almost 2 full ounces more than my typical morning pump output, most likely due to that extra letdown. I could actually feel the BabyMotion window making waves, similar to a baby tongue.
The company advises playing with your pump settings, since the different material can absorb some suction. I found this to be true. They’re also thick and heavy, so my bottles kept almost tipping over! I’d make sure to advise a client not to set them down and walk away, because spilled milk is a tragedy. Since they are made of silicone, it was a little tricky to get them connected, but they assured me that the material is very sturdy and can handle being maneuvered. They’re a permanent flange, not an insert, so would only need to be replaced if the flange itself was damaged. They were more affordable than Pumpin Pals. The tunnel was long, making it ideal for elastic nipple tissue. The material also didn’t fog as easily as traditional flanges, making it easier to get and stay centered than slippery plastic. But before you run out and buy a set, let’s talk downsides.
They sent me a size 24mm (which are based off Medela specs) and as you can see in the pictures, they are NOT true to size. Far too much areolar tissue was pulled into the tunnel due to the angle and shape of the flanges. The end of the flanges match the Medelas, but that isn’t where nipples are. I reached out to the company with my feedback and they were extremely communicative and asked excellent questions about sizing and fit and we’ve been talking about how to make sure that parents are purchasing the correct size for their anatomy (something that we talk a lot about at Successful Breastfeeding). I told them that I would never have called these a 24mm. They fit more like 27mm.
I appreciated the company’s willingness to receive feedback and genuine concern that there was a discrepancy in sizes. As someone who insists on evidence based practice, I also loved that their site prominently featured the data behind infant suckling and why they created this product. They were also very honest, not promising or insinuating anything or playing on fears. In saying this product MIGHT help improve breast emptying and milk output, they delivered in my experience with them.
Overall, they’re wonderful and I love them. I can absolutely see myself recommending them in many scenarios - low pumping output, difficulty emptying breasts, elastic nipples, low supply, etc. They would be a potential nightmare for an oversupply mom because they’re SO stimulating. I’ll keep you updated in terms of the size discussion with Lacteck as well.
Of note, I also told them that it might be nitpicky, but the wording on the packaging suggesting that breastfeeding was automatically a painful process was concerning to me. Breastfeeding (and pumping) should never be painful. The fact that it is common does not make it normal. They were also very open to suggestions on how to change the wording so it didn’t make the assumption breastfeeding SHOULD be a painful process.
To wrap up...
I was not a huge fan of the Beaugen inserts for lots of reasons and really can’t see myself recommending them in my practice. The Lacteck BabyMotion flanges truly delivered, and I was also thrilled to see a company that wasn’t preying on parents’ fears, but empowering them to continue their breastfeeding journeys with evidenced based products.
Comment below other products you'd like to see reviewed by a lactation consultant!
Hey! I’m Allison, one of the Lactation Experts with Successful Breastfeeding! I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and have over seven years of experience as a pediatric nurse working one on one with mothers and babies. My most important credential is being “Mama” to two little ones. I am so happy to be part of the Successful Breastfeeding team; to be able to offer support in a more relaxed setting! I can help you meet your breastfeeding goals no matter where you are - virtual sessions for convenient, accessible help no matter where you live. Breastfeeding is a relationship between you and your baby, and it’s my job to support it, whatever your goals and needs happen to be. Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
Kelly Maher, CLC, CLE
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