We get this question a lot. It’s not an easy question to answer, as everybody is so different in their milk production so we have categorised a table with different scenarios and which product suits each situation.
There are also a number of factors that influence the decision such as how much milk you want to collect. You may just want enough milk to miss a feed every now and then, or you may have to go back to work after 4-6 months and want to build a huge stash so you can continue to breast feed and bottle feed with expressed milk.
We do recommend if you do have to go back to work try and introduce a bottle of expressed milk 2-3 times per week as early as possible to avoid bottle refusal. The best bottle we have found on the market for mixed feeding is the Comotomo brand. They are on the pricey side but have an excellent reputation with breastfed babies.
Baby 0-3 Months
If you leak a lot or suffer from oversupply or engorgement we would recommend the Breast Milk Saver. The Breast Milk Saver holds 100ml and if you are using it whilst feeding from the opposite breast a good supply of milk could quite easily fill the milk saver up in the early days when your milk supply hasn’t quite settled.
If you need to collect as much milk as possible we recommend the Breast Milk Shells whilst you are going about your everyday tasks at home. Not only do they save on the cost of breast pads they also help your nipples air between feeds if you are experiencing sore or cracked nipples.
Baby 3 months plus
If you are still leaking a lot once your milk has settled or you are still suffering from oversupply and engorgement then stick with the Breast Milk Saver. The Breast Milk Saver is so handy to quickly relieve engorgement between feeds.
Baby 0-3 Months
If you notice your breast pads are holding a bit of milk between each feed but your not suffering from engorgement or oversupply then both products may suit you. The best way to find out which product would suit you in this situation best is to place a cup over your breast and measure the milk you leak. If you catch up to 40ml in the cup per feed on the opposite side you may only need the Collection Shells. If you catch more then the Milk Saver will be best suited.
Again it all depends on how much milk you want to collect. Both products can be used to maximise the milk collection.
Baby 3 months Plus
At 3 months your milk should have settled and if you aren’t leaking a lot then the Collection Shells would be perfect. The Collection Shells are more versatile as the can be worn just about all day (not to be used when sleeping) whist you are going about your everyday routine and as well as whilst you are feeding.
The Breast Milk Saver is handy to catch the milk if you can manually bring on a letdown but if you aren't leaking without some stimulation of the breast then we wouldn't recommend these products for you. As the Breast Milk Saver and the Collection Shells rely on leaking and let down to catch the milk, if you aren’t leaking any milk there is going to be nothing to catch with these products.