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6 of the best breast pumps for 2023

We’ve rounded up the best breast pumps for 2023 to help you find the right one for you

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Whether you want to exclusively breastfeed or you plan to combine breastfeeding and formula feeding, you will want to have a breast pump on hand.

Inevitably, you’ll need to be away from your baby and this is when breast pumps come in.

Pumping can not only help you save time and store milk for later, but it can also make it easier to share responsibilities with your partner.

With so many types and models to choose from, it can be hard to know the right option for you. Our top picks are here to help.

Ardo

The Ardo Alyssa is a medical standard breast pump which is portable and rechargeable and can be used for either single or double expression.

Compact, light, and easy to use, the USB rechargeable integrated battery allow for maximum mobility, meaning the breast pump can be used anywhere, at any time.  A fully charged battery allows you to pump up to eight times.

Ardo Alyssa is the world’s first breast pump with an automatic power pumping programme. This imitates the baby’s cluster feeding, and with this behaviour naturally stimulates milk production. The unique Power Pumping function is a method recommended by healthcare professionals to help increase breast milk quantities.

The memory plus invaluable button saves the entire pumping history and automatically recalls it the next time you express. Once you have found the ideal settings that make your milk flow best, you can save them by pressing the Memory Plus button.

The free app helps you control the pump from your smartphone and includes tips and tricks on pumping. The Alyssa is a MadeforMums gold awarded from the UK’s biggest parenting site.

✔️ Verified review – “Compact and convenient! Fab pump! Power pumping setting is fabulous especially for increasing supply! The fact you can charge it up and not be tied down with wires is great and it’s very easy to use! Storing it is tidy as its compact and lightweight!  Can be controlled by an app too which is a great idea and has memory so is ideal for baby brain. Highly recommended” – Emily

BabyBuddha

BabyBuddha is a fully rechargeable pump that is small enough to take anywhere. Equipped with an impressively quiet mechanism, the breast pump keeps the whole process discreet.

Operating BabyBuddha is easy, simply recharge it and use the trackball to navigate through the 15 different modes, and land on the perfect one with a simple swivel of the thumb. The unique suction pattern in stimulation mode mimics the suction pattern of a baby to increase breast milk production.

Through this innovation, BabyBuddha Products has achieved the INC 5000 Award as one of the top 100 fastest growing consumer products in America. They are also a recipient of the Parent Tested – Parent Approved Best Products Award.

BabyBuddha is always innovating to offer the best advantages in the smallest pump. Recently, they added an additional setting to add comfort for mums who prefer a softer experience.

Don’t worry, this little powerhouse still achieves that one of a kind top end strength that made BabyBuddha so famous.

Overall, this breast pump is the best on the market with it comes to size and performance. Mums are raving fans!

✔️ Verified review: “I’ve been using this pump for about a month now and WOW! The suction strength is amazing. I can produce the same amount that I pump with my spectra for 30 minutes, in 15 minutes with this one! I bring this pump to work as it’s quick and efficient. Highly recommend.” – Brittany

Medela

Designed by experts and featuring Medela’s researched-based technology, the new Freestyle Hands Free in-bra double pump has been adapted to further support the modern mother.

The wearable pump not only adapts to fit each mum’s individual shape for maximum comfort, but it also produces more milk in less time, thanks to its 2-Phase Expression technology, which mimics baby’s natural sucking rhythm.

Designed with multitasking mums in mind, the latest pump is compact, discreet, and easy to use, ensuring it seamlessly fits into mum’s daily routine. Whether pumping on a daily walk, whilst playing with their little one, when working or reading a book, the USB chargeable Freestyle Hands Free adapts to fit around the user, supporting every breastfeeding journey whether at home or on the go.

Fitting within most nursing bras, the cups are created to maximise milk expression whilst offering comfort by reducing compression of breast tissue.

✔️ Verified review: “After struggling with the manual pump for a while now, I believe Medela pump was a godsend. It did improve my life in so many ways and I can now do my chores and move freely when I use it as it’s so comfortable and lightweight. It cleans up really easy and I can take it with me everywhere.” – Lucy

Spectra

A hospital grade breast pump, the Spectra 2, compared to its previous iteration, comes with a rechargeable battery so you can move around with ease and, for women with bigger breasts, the flanges are slightly larger than normal.

Features an ultra-hygienic closed system to protect your baby’s milk from anything going on in the motor itself, as well as a night light to make those middle of the night feeds less daunting.

Plus, as a double electric breast pump, Spectra 2 enables postpartum mamas to be more efficient in their new busy lives.

It is extremely quiet allowing you to express even next to your sleeping baby. Customers love it for its great suction power.

✔️ Verified review: “I am in love with this product. The Spectra was recommended to me by my sister-in-law as my baby wouldn’t latch and I wished to express milk for feeds. The pump was a game changer.” – Sharon

Lansinoh

The Lansinoh SmartPump 2.0 Double Electric Breast Pump is the brand’s quietest breast pump yet while still having adjustable hospital strength suction levels.

It has two separate phases which simulate the baby’s natural suction pattern. The ‘let down’ phase delivers rapid suction that initiates milk flow, while the ‘expression’ phase offers slower and deeper suction.

You are also able to tailor the pumping style to suit your own needs with three different effective pumping styles to choose from within the ‘expression’ phase.

The pump has an LCD display that is backlit for easy reading and it is lightweight with an ergonomic carrying handle, which means it is easy for you to take it to work or on your next big trip.

The pump also connects to the Lansinoh Baby 2.0 app to allow you to track your pumping sessions and monitor your schedules.

✔️ Verified review: “I’m so glad I went with the Lansinoh! It is capable of reaching the “hospital strength” suction requirement and is very budget friendly.” – Zoe

Willow

A hands-free option, the Willow is a useful pump for working parents and anyone frequently on the move because it fits inside your bra without the need for cords – an extremely popular option for those who need to pump on the go.

With hospital-grade suction, it pumps quietly and discreetly, so you can do it all without sacrificing efficiency or capacity.

The Willow wearable breast pump is also app-connected, making it easy to control your pumps, chat with experts and access resources.

It is easy to assemble with just one hand and dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup and its rechargeable battery lasts up to three pumping sessions.

✔️ Verified review: “Absolutely recommend to get this pump! I love the adjustable settings of suction and stages of pumping and the ability to control from the app. The parts are so easy to clean and reuse.” – Rose

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Everything you should know about PCOS

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PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility, affecting six per cent to 12 per cent of US women of reproductive age but, according to the CDC, it’s a lot more than that. This lifelong health condition continues far beyond the child-bearing years. Here, we look at everything you should know about it.

 

What is PCOS?

PCOS is a condition in which the ovaries produce an abnormal amount of androgens, male sex hormones that are usually present in women in small amounts. The name polycystic ovary syndrome describes the numerous small cysts (fluid-filled sacs) that form in the ovaries. However, some women with this disorder do not have cysts, while some women without the disorder do develop cysts.

Polycystic ovaries contain a large number of harmless follicles that are up to 8mm (approximately 0.3in) in size.

The follicles are underdeveloped sacs in which eggs develop. In PCOS, these sacs are often unable to release an egg, which means ovulation does not take place.

The three main features of the condition are:

  • irregular periods
  • excess androgen
  • polycystic ovaries

If you have at least two of these features, you may be diagnosed with PCOS.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

The symptoms may include:

  • Missed periods, irregular periods, or very light periods
  • Ovaries that are large or have many cysts
  • Excess body hair, including the chest, stomach, and back
  • Weight gain, especially around the abdomen
  • Acne or oily skin
  • Male-pattern baldness or thinning hair
  • Infertility
  • Small pieces of excess skin on the neck or armpits (skin tags)
What causes PCOS?

The exact cause of PCOS is not clear. Many women with the condition have insulin resistance. This means the body can’t use insulin well. Insulin levels build up in the body and may cause higher androgen levels. Obesity can also increase insulin levels and make PCOS symptoms worse.

PCOS may also run in families. It’s common for sisters or a mother and daughter to have it.

Genes, insulin resistance and inflammation have all been linked to excess androgen production.

What are the complications of PCOS?

Women with PCOS are more likely to develop certain serious health problems. These include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, problems with the heart and blood vessels, and uterine cancer.

Women with the condition also tend to have difficulty getting pregnant.

How is PCOS treated?

There’s no cure for PCOS, but the symptoms can be treated.

According to the NHS website, if you have PCOS and you are overweight, losing weight and eating a healthy, balanced diet can make some symptoms better. Medicines are also available to treat symptoms such as excessive hair growth, irregular periods and fertility problems.

If fertility medicines are not effective, a surgical procedure called laparoscopic ovarian drilling (LOD) may be recommended.

This involves using heat or a laser to destroy the tissue in the ovaries that’s producing androgens, such as testosterone. With treatment, most women with PCOS are able to get pregnant.

When should I seek help?

Experts recommend to see your doctor if your body has skipped periods, or you have other symptoms like hair growth on your face or body. Also, you should see a doctor if you’ve been trying to get pregnant for 12 months or more without success.

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Driving women’s health innovation: the launch of the Springboard Enterprise women’s health cohort

By Natalie Buford-Young, CEO of Springboard Enterprises

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Springboard founder Kay Koplovitz speaking at the Springboard Annual Gala

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, addressing the unique needs of women has long been a neglected area.

However, with the emergence of initiatives like the recent announcement of White House Women’s Health Initiative and the ARPA-H Sprint for Women’s Health, there’s a promising shift towards fostering innovation and putting more resources towards advancing women’s health.

At Springboard Enterprises, we are proud to contribute to fuelling growth in this sector.

Springboard was founded in 2000 as the first official accelerator to mentor and accelerate the growth of women-led ventures. We have now officially launched our women’s health innovation program to identify and accelerate the growth of women-led companies innovating in health areas that uniquely, solely or predominantly impact women.

The announcement of the 2024 Women’s Health Innovation Program Cohort marks a significant milestone in the journey towards redefining healthcare solutions tailored specifically for women. This cohort comprises ten women’s health companies, each led by founders and CEOs committed to revolutionising women’s health. 

According to a report by Silicon Valley Bank, investment in women’s health has experienced an astounding 314 per cent growth since 2018, starkly contrasting with the overall healthcare investments. 

This incredible growth has really shown the abundance of opportunity, which was especially evident during our competitive process for our inaugural program. With countless innovative companies to choose from, we ultimately selected ten standout candidates after much deliberation.

  1. Navigate Maternity: Founded by Ariana McGee, Navigate Maternity has created a system that allows clinicians and care teams to remotely monitor prenatal and postpartum patients. The goal is to improve outcomes and avoid inequitable care through real-time data.
  2. Bone Health Technologies: Under the leadership of Laura Yecies, Bone Health Technologies (BHT) has developed the Osteoboost belt, the first and only safe and effective treatment for the 63 million people in the US with Osteoporosis or Osteopenia as well as a comprehensive digital therapeutic platform and services – a personalised digital health and telehealth solution for optimising bone health.
  3. Visana Health: Co-founded by Shelly Lanning, Visana Health pioneers a comprehensive virtual women’s health clinic, offering integrated care across various women’s health conditions. By adopting a holistic approach to healthcare delivery, Visana Health strives to empower women through personalised and longitudinal care.
  4. Herself Health: Founded by Kristen Helton, Herself Health is dedicated to addressing the unique healthcare needs of women on Medicare, ages 65 and up. Through a patient-centred approach, the company links women’s health goals with their life goals, taking into account a patient’s physical, mental, social, sexual, and spiritual needs and targeting common concerns like bone health, weight loss, and emotional wellbeing. The company hires top providers and trains them in the intricacies of person-centred geriatric and women’s care, delivering value-based care focused on patient outcomes.
  5. Marma: Co-founded by Meredith McAllister, Marma addresses critical gaps in maternal health by providing personalised nutritional guidance throughout the journey of motherhood. Marma works with patients to understand their unique needs and provide individualised, holistic nutrition advice at every stage of motherhood.
  6. Kegg: Founded by Kristina Cahojova, Kegg empowers women with accurate and personalised fertility tracking solutions. By harnessing cervical fluid data, Kegg enables women to make informed decisions regarding their reproductive health.  Already in the hands of 25,000 women in the US, the company now has the world’s largest dataset on vaginal health and the unique ability to use machine learning to help drive predictive healthcare for women at scale.
  7. Cntrl+ Inc: Founded by Karen Brunet, Cntrl+ Inc. is a pioneering life science firm specialising in female wellness. Their company has innovatively crafted an over-the-counter reusable solution addressing female stress urinary incontinence. They are dedicated to exporting and distributing this product globally, offering an effective and environmentally friendly solution for women.
  8. Multitude Health: Founded by Casey Langwith, Multitude Health alleviates the pain of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) through an app-based clinical program that teaches members cognitive behavioural therapy skills, plus a tightly integrated therapist-led peer community to restore a healthy brain-body connection.
  9. Myri Health: Founded by Dr Pinky Patel, Myri Health introduces a comprehensive postpartum resource app, catering to the diverse needs of new parents. By providing personalised rehabilitation, evidence-based resources and a community platform, Myri Health seeks to support the postpartum journey.
  10. Ursamin: Founded by Shannon Aylesworth, Ursamin offers a SaaS-based care coordination platform for patients living with multiple chronic illnesses. By fostering a team-based approach to care delivery, Ursamin aims to improve outcomes and reduce administrative burden for providers and patients alike.

The diversity of solutions to advancing women’s health exemplified by the participants of the Springboard Enterprises women’s health cohort gives us a preview into the transformative potential of innovation in women’s health on various fronts.

At Springboard Enterprises, we play a pivotal role in catalysing innovation and driving meaningful change within the healthcare industry. By empowering women-led companies and amplifying their impact, we move closer towards achieving equitable and comprehensive healthcare solutions.

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The 5 best period tracking apps of 2024

Whether you’re looking for a way to monitor your ovulation or you simply want to map your periods, look no further than these five apps

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Period tracking apps have gained significant popularity in recent years. As awareness around menstrual cycles has increased, so has the demand for tools to help monitor and manage them.

Data suggests that more than 50 million women worldwide use apps to track their menstruation. But is an app really necessary? Can’t a reminder on your phone’s calendar do the same thing?

Well, tracking your menstrual cycle is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it helps you better understand your body and aids in predicting and managing fertility. Knowing when you’re ovulating can be invaluable if you’re trying to conceive or avoid pregnancy.

Secondly, it can help you manage your menstrual symptoms. Many women and girls experience fluctuations in mood, energy levels and physical symptoms throughout their cycle. By tracking how you feel, you can anticipate when symptoms might arise and identify patterns, which in turn will help you take proactive steps to manage them.

Tracking your menstrual cycle can also provide insights into your overall health. Irregularities in the menstrual cycle could be indicative of underlying health issues such as hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

We know choosing which app to download can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together a list of five of the best ones we’ve come across.

Note: all are free to download, but some charge extra for premium features.

Clue 

Clue is a Berlin-based, women-led menstrual and reproductive health app that harnesses the power of full cycle intelligence to help you understand your body’s inner workings, beyond bleeding.

What do people who use Clue love the most? No pink. No myths. And no taboos. Clue is an intuitive, science-based, data-driven cycle health tracker with 100+ different tracking options and a powerful algorithm to help you live a life more in sync with your full cycle – not just to predict your period (although it does that too!).

Loved by over 10 million monthly active users across 190+ countries, and available in 20+ languages, the Clue app intuitively guides you through each cycle, change, and choice. From general cycle health awareness and education to fertility, pregnancy, and even navigating perimenopause.

New in 2024, is Clue’s My Health Record feature which uses de-identified data for good, to help close the diagnosis gap for female health conditions.

You can enter confirmed diagnoses for up to 21 different health conditions including endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), uterine fibroids, bleeding disorders, anxiety disorders, and more. With this feature, the Clue community is collectively building an unprecedented dataset linking confirmed diagnoses and tracked cycle data to enable impactful research on the most commonly misdiagnosed and under-researched female health conditions.

The Clue app is free to download and you can unlock deeper insights and additional personalised modes like Clue Conceive, Clue Pregnancy, and Clue Perimenopause  with the premium subscription, Clue Plus.

For more, visit helloclue.com.

Flo

Flo’s mission is to build a better future for female health by helping to harness the power of body signals. Flo’s team of 100+ doctors and health experts create evidence-based medical articles, tips and recommendations designed to improve your health.

The app uses AI so you can easily know when you ovulate, track your period and view future cycles. In Flo, you can track more than 70+ symptoms and events for more personalised tips, relevant content and even more precise cycle and ovulation predictions.

Flo also offers Pregnancy Mode which provides you with the information you need during pregnancy. You will be able to receive insight each day into how the baby is developing, what happens in your body as a mum-to-be, which supplements and foods you should include in your diet and which you should avoid, how to recognise the approaching labour, what you could expect from the postpartum period and much more.

Within the app you can also discuss sensitive topics, questions and get support from other Flo community members anonymously.

Flo ensures that your data is safe with end-to-end encryption, secure access (Face or touch ID), anonymous mode (no name or email) and control over what you share. Your data won’t be shared with third parties.

For more, visit app.flo.health.

luna

luna is on a mission to be the go to digital health and wellbeing resource for teens.

Taking a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, luna’s objective is to educate, empower and support teens in all the tricky situations they find themselves in – from period leaks to skin problems and toxic friendships.

On luna (‘we are luna’ on the App Store), teens can track their periods, moods, skin, sleep and pain symptoms, and they’ll receive personalised insights and recommendations based on that.

Alongside period tracking, teens can ask anonymous questions, and learn about topics tailored to them. Behind the articles, videos and answers to questions is a team of doctors and safeguarding experts, who make sure content is medically accurate and appropriate for a teenage audience – there’s no user generated content on luna, so parents know their teen is in safe hands.

This app is designed to help teen girls own and understand their cycles, ensuring they know what steps to take when they feel something isn’t normal for them personally – luna equips them with the right tools to open lines of communication with parents, and seek support when they need.

There are also lots more features designed to spark joy and keep the app sticky – whether that’s a mood-boosting quote based on what members log, quizzes to help cement learning, or polling on topics they might want to share their thoughts on.

All of these features mean luna is much more than just a teen-friendly period tracker and is an app that parents and daughters alike will love.

For more, visit weareluna.app

femble

femble is the next-generation AI-powered female health assistant, designed to be an assistant in every woman’s pocket. This innovative platform combines cutting-edge artificial intelligence with a wealth of scientific knowledge and insights from practitioners to offer personalised guidance and support.

Imagine having a health assistant in your pocket, one that knows the ins and outs of women’s health, blending all that expert advice into recommendations just for you. Femble does just that. The app combines the insights of different health practitioners into one accessible platform, always ready to give you a daily nudge towards feeling your best.

Whether it’s navigating the complexities of sexual health, addressing mental wellbeing, or managing gut health, femble is tailored to meet the unique needs of each user. With a focus on supporting women to take control of their health, femble provides accessible, accurate and actionable advice to help users make informed decisions about their wellbeing.

It’s more than just an app; it’s a female health assistant in your pocket, a trusted partner in the journey toward optimal wellbeing.

For more, visit femble.co

WomanLog

There are dozens of complex processes that take over a woman’s body every day. Why not be aware of them and be prepared for everything?

WomanLog is an easy-to-use period tracker app that helps you do just that. With an encyclopedia of more than 200 symptoms that may occur during a woman’s menstrual cycle, it is much more than a digital calendar that tracks menstruation cycle, sex life and contraception.

The app has three modes: period tracker, pregnancy and menopause mode. WomanLogBaby app helps to track every step of baby’s daily activities while “Intelligent Assistant” with cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology offers even more detailed analysis.

WomanLog also provides an extensive library of articles on sexual wellbeing, menstruation, the ins and outs of pregnancy and other health-related issues.

The Latvia-based start-up is among the leaders in the global market for more than 10 years. Translated into 30 languages, it has more than one and a half million monthly active users worldwide and more than 20 million installs.

Data safety in the key point of every app, and WomanLog is the leader with the highest security level that meets all the GDPR standards.

Moreover, the web version of WomanLog, available without even signing-in, features online calculators that count the days left until your next period or fertility windows within seconds.

For more, visit womanlog.com.

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