Flanges and Bottles and Breast Pumps, Oh My!

Sponsored by Aeroflow Breastpumps

My breastfeeding experience as a first time mom was not all sunshine and happy times.

Coming from a family that was strictly formula fed, it was an uphill battle for me. I had never even seen a baby breastfeeding, let alone knew what kind of pump to use. They all had so many parts and pieces and there were a million different accessories to consider…it was a nightmare.

I am one of those people that likes to research everything before I get started. I don’t like going into anything without as much information as my brain can possibly handle before it explodes. Breastfeeding was no exception. I researched as much as I could beforehand about techniques, positions, benefits and more.

Talk about a load of stress.

When I was pregnant, I didn’t even know if it was going to be possible to breastfeed Amanda, let alone what size flange I would need. Everyone told me it was so natural and the “best your baby can have.” I felt guilty that I found it so weird and confusing.

There are so many brands and so much information to take in that as a new mom, I eventually kind of shut down and just went with the flow (pun intended). I just bought what was readily available, and I didn’t go further. I wound up using only a manual breast pump for the entire time I breastfed and pumped.

With breast pumps, there is not a lot of room for trial and error. Those puppies are expensive! From my point of view at the time, it wasn’t worth spending a fortune on something I wasn’t sure I was going to need. I realize the error of my ways now.

When I went back to work, that was when my breastfeeding experience got more difficult. I was pumping three times a day at work to keep up my supply and breastfeeding before and after work. Imagine that with a manual breast pump only! It was hard, and I was mentally and physically exhausted.

Luckily, my breastfeeding experience worked out for Amanda and I, and I breastfed her for 16 months.

It wasn’t easy, but I wouldn’t trade that time (or those snuggles) for anything!My breastfeeding experience with Amanda was beautiful and I will never regret it.

Amanda, while she was breastfed, didn’t spit up. She didn’t have colic. Having come from a family where all babies had been formula fed, it surprised me how well the milk set with her tummy. She had gas from time to time, but let it out easily. She also loved to nurse, and I could feel her relax every time she was at the breast. While things were difficult from time to time, in my eyes, it was certainly worth the challenge.

If I had the right support and information to begin with, my breastfeeding experience could have been much easier. There are a few things that I wish I knew about when I was going through the strenuous period when I was deciding which products to use.

That’s why I want to recommend Aeroflow Breastpumps to any mom starting her breastfeeding journey.  They are “a Durable Medical Equipment (DME) provider specializing in helping pregnant and nursing women qualify for their breast pump through their insurance and the Affordable Care Act.”

Qualify through Insurance for your Breast Pump

First, did you know that you can qualify through health insurance for your breast pump under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? While this doesn’t apply to me living in Chile, I think it is a great thing for anyone who is able to take advantage of it! Even just being able to save a few dollars, imagine how much coffee you could buy!

On their site, they have a simple form to fill out that helps them determine whether or not you qualify under your insurance. From there, they take the reins and make contact with your insurance provider to ensure that your breast pump gets covered. They help thousands of women qualify for breast pumps every year through their insurance, and they have specialists online to consult with and answer any questions you may have.

Bottle and Pump Comparisons

breast milk pumping equipments on a nursing chairAeroflow also has a plethora of information for mothers looking to start their breastfeeding journey. Check out this chart that shows how different bottles fit with different pumps. I had no idea that bottles and pumps were interchangeable! Most brands try to rope you into purchasing only their products, which is exactly what happened in my breastfeeding experience. Be smarter than me!

If you are stuck and trying to decide between two different pumps, I also recommend that you check out this comparison chart that looks at the features of each pump side by side. It compares size, power, and even warranty.

Breastfeeding Support Directory

Aeroflow Breastpumps has also put together a complete lactation support directory that is full of additional resources and support for new moms.

In my personal opinion, breastfeeding is a beautiful, if challenging experience. I honestly think that every mother should make a concerted effort to breastfeed, if possible. But, while breastfeeding may be all natural, it is a learning process. If you decide to give breastfeeding a go, my heartfelt recommendation is to make sure that you are as informed as possible before you start.

What kind of information do you wish you had before you started breastfeeding? Were you able to get your breast pump through insurance?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


Caitlin is the managing director of Snuggleosophy and the mother of 1-1/2 year old Amanda. She has lived as an expat in Santiago, Chile for the past 7 years and speaks English and Spanish fluently. She loves to promote reading for children starting from birth as well as multilingual and multicultural parenting. For her day job, she is a pricing and transportation analyst for international freight.


  1. I love how you have made breastfeeding work for you!! I’m nursing my second little one, but she doesn’t take a bottle so any extra milk that I pump, I’m freezing so it can be mixed with baby food or put in a cup haha.

  2. I completely agree!!! Breastfeeding is beautiful and can also be so challenging. Nobody really tells you how hard it is those first few months. I exclusively nursed my daughter for 15 months and I was so proud of myself because it was NOT easy those first several months! Thank you for this post!!! So informative for a first (or 3rd) time mama:)

  3. It’s such a blessing that breast pumps come with our insurance! Mine even sent me replacement storage bottles and parts around the 6 month mark. I didn’t even prompt it they just sent me an email! If I have a second I do think I’d like to get a manuel one for times when I might have been on a date with my husband and didn’t intend on keeping the milk but I might need a little relief.

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