Breastfeeding in the military provides additional challenges for the nursing mother, such as pumping at night, in the middle of a field, or the back of an aircraft. Lactalite, a company founded by an emergency room physician and his wife, recently launched a line of breast pump lights to remedy those types of situations.
Lactalite Breast Pump Lights were created out of necessity. Dr. Patrick O’Malley watched as his wife, Kelly, was struggling to see whether or not she was producing milk while pumping. Juggling a breast shield and bottle with one hand and the LED light of her iPhone in the other, they both agreed that there was a better way. They fashioned a rough prototype in their garage, attached it to the breast shield, and in Kelly’s words, “This literally changed my breast pumping experience on the spot. I felt that I had to use the Lactalite every time I pumped, day and night, it was that helpful.”
According to Dr. O’Malley, Lactalite is the first and only hands-free light developed specifically for pumping moms. He states that it helps moms to visualize how much milk they are pumping by lighting up the pump shield and tunnel area, and also allows for better positioning of the shield on the breast for a better fit, and ultimately more milk flow. In addition, Lactalite is marketed to enhance the pumping experience in ‘hard to see’ places mothers often find themselves pumping in such as a dimly lit office spaces, parking garages, or the nursery in the middle of the night.
***BFinCB received a complimentary set of Lactalites for review.***
The Lactalites units are compact and easily slip onto the tunnel area of the breast flanges (I tried them on both a Spectra S1 and a Medela PIS). The switch is right where your fingers would naturally be placed to hold the flanges and it is easy to press the switch from ‘white’ to ‘blue’ to ‘off’. The LED light is soft, but surprisingly bright in the dark, especially the blue color. I believe that for military use it would be much better to replace the blue LED with a red LED to help preserve night vision. It uses a standard hearing aid type battery that is easy to replace. It fits the majority of breast shields sold in the U.S., such as Pumpin’ Pal, Spectra, Medela, Ameda, and Ardo (that I have tested it with); and according to the manufacturer will also fit Lansinoh, Evenflo, Bailey, Hygeia, and Rumble Tuff. It is not compatible with Freemie and I do not know if it fits Limerick pumps.
I can see that using the Lactaltie might help moms worried about their supply to better visualize their milk flow, especially at night. It does allow for hands-free lighting of the breast shield and tunnel area without the need to hold a smart phone to use the LED light. It could be very useful in areas where overhead lighting might be disruptive or annoying, or in military environments such as field training, back of a darkened aircraft, etc. For some moms seeing their milk flow might reduce some of the stress associated with pumping. However, I feel they simply would be most useful in darkened areas for setting up and breaking down the pump, helping to reduce spillage the milk, and would make pumping a better experience overall. At the price point of $25 for set of two these are not cheap. Are Lactalites a necessity? No. Are they something that would be nice to have and won’t take up much room in your pump bag? Yes!
For more information and to order, visit: https://www.lactalite.com
Lactalite, LLC and Breastfeeding in Combat Boots have teamed up together to provide military breastfeeding mothers with the support they need to be successful at breastfeeding while serving in the military. Enter the giveaway (LACTALITE) by Feb 20 and 2 lucky winners will receive a pair of Lactalite Breast Pump Lights and a BFinCB water bottle (pink or clear) total value of $40. Winners will be announced Feb 28. Use code BOOTS for 15% off your order at the Lactalite website during the month of February.
In addition, we are pleased to announce that Lactalite, LLC is sponsoring BFinCB for the months of Feburary and December, to further Advocate, Inform, and Support all military mothers who are Giving the Breast for Baby and Country.
Are you interested in Lactalites? Is this something you would use on a regular basis? Do you think these would be useful in the field, back of a HUMVEE or aircraft when pumping? Leave a comment below.