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Milk Bands Nursing Bracelet Review

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Back in October I wrote a post about the concept of nursing bracelets when I discovered that it actually WASN'T easy to remember what side I had last nursed Emmitt on. Well apparently the good folks over at Milk Bands pay attention when people talk because they contacted me pretty quickly and offered to send me some of their product to try out. Never one to turn down free stuff (or the opportunity to get some more great content on the site) I gave them my address and waited for my package to arrive. I've been wearing my Milk Bands nursing bracelet now for about a month and I think it's time to share my thoughts with Lactivist readers.

The Lactivist Says: Fabulous concept, but room for improvement

Looks good
Gets the job done

Marker pegs are a choking hazard
Hard to manipulate pegs

Milk Bands are one of the few options available when it comes to nursing bracelets, but there's no doubt in my mind that they are one of the best. Having used one now for more than a month, I can pretty much say without a doubt that it will stay on my wrist for at least the next year. In fact, I've already given one away to a friend as part of a "breastfeeding starter kit" that I made up for her baby shower. I've also been asked by at least a dozen people what it is and when I've explained it to them they've all commented on what a great idea it is or how much they would have liked to have had one when they were nursing. Add in the fact that they're less than $6 and you've got a handy item for any breastfeeder. (Note to any of you last minute Christmas shoppers...Milk Bands would be a great stocking stuffer for the nursing mom on your list.)

So the concept goes something like this...Milk Bands are a silicone bracelet in the style of all those other popular silicone bracelets that have flooded the market in the last few years. The main difference is that they've got a slew of holes in them designed to let you mark the time of your last feeding session. Milk Bands are also imprinted with the word "Left" on one side and the word "Right on the other side. Thus, you slide it on your wrist of choice and simply flip it inside out every time you nurse your babe. (Though the bracelets obviously aren't idiot proof...I spent a full day switching it from one hand to the other before I realized that I could simply flip it inside out...DUH!)

I was a little skeptical on the "keep track of your last feeding" idea as I'm a firm supporter of nursing on demand. There is no feeding schedule in my house, so I couldn't see taking the time to mark off the last feeding. (Though now that I have a friend with a baby that you literally have to wake for feedings, I guess I can see the point.) Since I had no use for marking off the time of the last feeding, I took to simply marking the number of feedings per day. This was more out of curiosity than anything, but it's been kind of neat to watch Emmitt's progression from nursing a zillion times a day (ok, ok, not a zillion, but when I first got my Milk Bands he was eating 12+ times in 24 hours) to nursing 8 or 9 times in 24 hours. It makes for an easy way to detect a growth spurt as well since instead of thinking to myself "gee, he seems to be nursing more often today" I can actually say "wow, he nursed 12 times today, he hasn't done that in awhile.)

The thing that keeps me from absolutely adoring Milk Bands is the "hole and marker" concept. For some reason all those little holes remind me of a hospital bracelet and I can't stand hospitals. Beyond that though, and a more legitimate concern is that manipulating those little plastic sticks into the holes is kinda tough. Doing it in the dark when you're nursing in the middle of the night is almost impossible. Add in the fact that if you lose one, you're leaving a nice little choking hazard around for any other toddlers that happen to be in the house. I've never lost one, but I have had visions of sling shotting them across the room if I accidentally let go of the band while I had it stretched out to put the marker in place. (click on the recommended techniques link on the Milk Bands site and you'll see what I mean...)

So overall, a fantastic product. I'll keep using mine and I'd recommend them to anyone else that can't remember their right boob from their left. I just look forward to the time when Milk Bands decides to offer up a little design update that won't require a one-handed stretch and plug act to move those pegs around.


  1. Anonymous Anonymous | 6:32 AM |  

    Thanks for the review. I am putting together a bfing basket for my friends upcoming shower and looking for ideas!

  2. Anonymous Anonymous | 1:10 PM |  

    Avent makes inexpensive rubber nursing bands that have a little window that you can move over the numbers, it does not come off the bracelet and so is not a choking hazard. I got mine at the Evergreen Hospital breastfeeding center in Kirkland WA but Avent does not seem to sell them on their web site. I highly recommend them if you can locate them-- mine cost $1.

  3. Anonymous Anonymous | 4:35 PM |  

    The bracelet that Avent distributes is called the Mothers Minder. You can buy them on their website www.MothersMinder.com. Click on the Buy Product button, then Online Retailer list. www.Wristbands4awareness.com seems to have all the colors and both styles (silicone and stainless steel)

  4. Anonymous Anonymous | 11:38 AM |  

    When I first saw these I didn't GET IT. And so I didn't buy a product that could have really helped me those foggy first few months trying to lactate enough for twins. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    Milk Bands is now "2.0" ... no more holes and pegs, they now have the 'sliders' that others have commented seeing on the Avent bracelet. New colours, too!

  5. Blogger The Parenting Geek | 2:12 PM |  

    I prefer the hand made beaded kind... they're much prettier and just as functional. Check out http://www.thenursingbracelet.com/

  6. Anonymous Breastfeeding Products Online | 2:17 PM |  

    We sell these on our webstore (the version that are easy to use and not a choking hazard). They are so popular with mothers and make a great baby shower gift

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