Maternity Musings of a Mother & Baby Tester


Sarah describes the experience of testing some breast-feeding products for this years Mother & Baby Awards, the results to be announced on  28th November 2012.  


I love her bizarre experiences as a new mum, it reminded me of things I’d forgotten especially as my first baby is now sixteen!


Over to Sarah, her Adventures of the Double Pumper! is sure to make you snigger.


“There tend to be some universally accepted facts about having a baby and being on maternity leave:


    1. In the first week of having a baby – you will probably cry… a lot!
    2. The first sneeze post birth provides an ‘interesting’ sensation!
    3. You can never have too many muslin cloths.
    4. You will have a lot of fascinating conversations about poo.
    5. One smile from your baby is all it takes to melt your heart!
    6. You will probably drink a lot of coffee and/or eat a lot of cake.
    7. Clothing choices are more complicated for breastfeeding than you ever anticipated.
    8. Antibacterial wipes may well become your new best friend.
    9. However much you protest, (believe me, I protested A LOT!) you will at some point find yourself singing to your baby in public.
    10. 10. Buying for a new baby is a complicated business, there is so much choice out there– where do you start?


That brings me to how I found myself early this year, heavily pregnant,  surfing the internet, trying to find reviews on the best value and quality cots on the market. I suddenly realised that when I had been cruising round various baby shops in a pre-baby haze of anticipation, I had kept seeing award seals stamped on the products, surely this would be a good unbiased place to start.  Cue Google search…. ‘Mother and Baby Awards’… and then many lost hours and a newfound addiction of trawling through all of the good stuff on the ‘askamum’ webpage, which led to me completing an application to become a tester for the Mother and Baby Awards…


Fast forward an eventful couple of months (that included introducing my gorgeous baby girl to the world!) and I found out to my delight that I was going to be a tester for breastfeeding products. In no time at all, as if by magic, parcels galore started arriving at my door – It was like Christmas!


Then came the serious task of testing…easy enough for the breastfeeding tops and the lovely selection of pillows, however the breast pumps were a different matter…!


Breast pumps are a complicated beast, there are so many factors to consider in a review; ease to assemble and clean, speed, noise, practicality, quality, value for money, portability, to name just a few. There was also the matter of finding the time with a small, baby to actually complete my pumping testing, especially as if I ever dared test in front of her she started to get very possessive about her food source and wasn’t happy about these contraptions stealing her milk! (I once tried to be clever and express on one side whilst feeding my baby on the other – needless to say it didn’t end well and there was more than a little spilt milk and a very angry baby!)


The pumping highlight for me though has to be my introduction to the double pumper (dual breast pump to give it it’s official title)!! To start with, the highly comprehensive instruction booklet gave detailed information on  ‘fitting of the flange for pumping’ which made the immature teenager in me titter, and immediately share this with most other people I know, who luckily share my juvenile humour. Then without further ado, I was fitted up and ready to go and about to be indoctrinated into a new world of speed pumping!


If you have never used a double pumper (‘dp’) before, I can only describe the sensation as surreal; it’s as though your boobs are having a drag race and you will easily identify which is your ‘turbo boob’!!  The only down fall is that there’s no hiding what you are doing or pumping discretely and my husband’s face was an absolute picture when he first walked in on me using the dp!!  In all seriousness though, I have found that now that I have tried double pumping, I can’t go back to a single pump and the associated double time it takes to express – so be warned there is no going back!!


So I’m not being flippant when I say that the last 6 months have truly being eye-opening and being a Mother and Baby Award tester truly has changed my life. (Becoming a mum has had a small impact too!!)  I only hope that some of the reviews that I’ve contributed to help provide some guidance to new/expectant mums out there frantically trying to navigate through the minefield of baby products……Good luck and enjoy!”


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