10 Best Pregnancy Test Brands

Pregnancy is a wonderful time for a woman, but 6.1 million American women struggle to conceive each year. If you are trying to conceive, and want the most accurate results for the best price, then you should purchase the best pregnancy test for your needs. In this comprehensive list, we include the best pregnancy test for accuracy, price per test and other qualities. 

Product FAQ

1. What Is An At-Home Pregnancy Test? 

2. What Types Of At-Home Pregnancy Tests Are There?

3. How Do They Work? 

4. Where Can You Buy Them?

5. Price Range

How We Reviewed

When you think you are pregnant, you want an accurate answer as soon as possible so you can start planning for the newest addition to your family. We reviewed these tests based on features, pros and cons and price. All these tests can be purchased discreetly through Amazon. We selected only tests with at least 99% accuracy, which were FDA approved, easy to use, with clear results and positive reviews online by consumers and third-party testers, not just manufacturer's testers. 


We invested a lot of time and effort to research different types of pregnancy tests. Rest assured, no matter which type of test you are looking for, you will find the best brand and model on this list.

Products comparison table

Overall Price Range Of The Best Pregnancy Test

The best pregnancy test for your needs may run you between $1 for a single test or $30 for six tests. The more expensive tests are faster, more accurate and detect pregnancy four to eight days earlier than the less expensive tests. 

What We Reviewed

When you think you are pregnant, you want an accurate answer as soon as possible so you can start planning for the newest addition to your family. We reviewed these tests based on features, pros and cons and price. All these tests can be purchased discreetly through Amazon. We selected only tests with at least 99% accuracy, which were FDA approved, easy to use, with clear results and positive reviews online by consumers and third-party testers, not just manufacturer's testers. 


We invested a lot of time and effort to research different types of pregnancy tests. Rest assured, no matter which type of test you are looking for, you will find the best brand and model on this list.

  • Easy@Home Pregnancy Urine Test Strips Pack
  • Wondfo Pregnancy Urine Test Strips
  • Clinical Guard Pregnancy Test Strips
  • Arvolife Early Results Pregnancy Test Sticks
  • Premier Value Early Test Pregnancy Kit
  • First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test
  • NEW CHOICE Pregnancy Tests
  • Accu-Clear Pregnancy Tests
  • MIBEST HCG Pregnancy Test Stick
  • PREGMATE Midstream Pregnancy Test Sticks
Easy@Home 25 Pregnancy (HCG) Urine Test Strips, FSA Eligible, Powered...
  • Easy to Use, Accurate, Early Pregnancy HCG Test Strip, same science as lab test; Most cost effective;
  • Easy to test : simply dip the test in urine for seconds until dye rises into the result window; Easy to read: two lines...
  • Levels of hCG as low as 25 mIU/ml ( FDA standard) can be detected within 3 to 5 minutes. Results are over 99% accurate;

Features

Easy@Home pregnancy urine test strips pack are much more expensive than the Wondfo, but just as accurate. Pregnancy hormones can be detected within three to five minutes at the same levels as the blood test you can get in a doctor's office. To test, pee in a cup, then dip the stick into the urine for three to five seconds until dye rises into the result window. Detect pregnancy as early as a day before your expected period.

Pros

  • Get results two days before Wondfo
  • FDA approved

Cons

  • More expensive than Wondfo
  • Detects several days after early pregnancy tests
  • Price
  • Where to buy
Wondfo Pregnancy Test Strips - Rapid Test Detection, HCG Fertility...
  • Over 99% Accurate - Levels of hCG as low as 25 mIU/ml ( FDA standard) can be detected within 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Easy to Use Design - Each test is sealed in individual pouch. It can be carried anywhere with privacy protection.
  • Quick and Reliable Result: Dip the test in urine for 3 seconds and read the result in 3-5 minutes (Double lines for...

Features

Wondfo features the best pregnancy test if you are looking for a one-line test strip. To use this test, urinate into a cup, dip the stick into the urine, and wait five minutes. A single line will appear if you are not pregnant and two lines will appear if you are pregnant. The instructions say the Wondfo is accurate the day after your missed period, but some women have gotten accurate results as early as eight days after ovulation.

Pros

  • Detects levels of hCG as low as 25 mIU/ml, which is the FDA standard, with 99% accuracy
  • Only $0.50 per test, so you don't have to feel guilty about taking multiple tests
  • Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed
  • Each test is sealed in an individual pouch

Cons

  • Some batches are missing the control line
  • Some batches require you to dip for longer to get a good read
  • Price
  • Where to buy
ClinicalGuard HCG Pregnancy Test Strips (Individually-Sealed, Pack of...
  • ClinicalGuard Urine Pregnancy Test is an accurate and easy-to-use pregnancy test.
  • Test strips have sensitivity of 25 mIU, or 25 ng/L
  • Negative: Only one color band appears in the Control Zone, with no band in the Test Zone.

Features

This pregnancy test is fast, accurate and designed for ease of use. The color intensity of the test bands may vary depending on the concentration of hCG hormone detected. The test strips have a sensitivity of 25 mIU. If you are pregnant, distinct color bands appear in both the control and test zones. If you are not pregnant, one color band will appear in the control zone, but no band will appear in the test zone. To test, pee in a cup, then dip the strip into the urine. If your sample is clean, results can display in less than 30 seconds.

Pros

  • Detects pregnancy three to four days past implantation, which typically occurs five to 10 days after ovulation
  • Tests are guaranteed for three years
  • Accurate
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Urinate first thing in the morning for best results
  • There have been bad batches distributed
  • Price
  • Where to buy
Arvolife Early Result Pregnancy Test 3 Count Rapid Detection Pregnancy...
  • Fast & Easy to Test: Either simply urinate to the test absorbent pad for 10 seconds, no cup needed; Or Dip the Test Tip...
  • Quick & Sooner to Know: Get an accurate result after 5 days conception. Reading the result within 5 minutes, Knowing...
  • Accurate & Reliable Result: FDA Approved and Results are over 99% accuracy compared to the other urine membrane hCG...

Features

To use this midstream test, remove the cap and hold the midstream test by the capped thumb grip with the exposed absorbent tip pointing downward directly into your urine stream for at least 10 seconds until it is thoroughly wet. If you do not feel comfortable with the midstream test, you can collect your urine in a container and dip the absorbent tip of the test into the urine for at least 10 seconds. If you are pregnant, two red lines are visible in both the test and control region. If you are not pregnant, one red line is visible in the control region. If your test is invalid, no red line will appear in the control region. You need to retest.

Pros

  • Over 99% accurate
  • Sensitive to as little as 25mIU/ml
  • Results are easy to read

Cons

  • A false positive may occur and then disappear rather than darken with time
  • Some people may find it difficult to pee on a stick, but you can always still collect your sample in a cup 
  • Price
  • Where to buy
Tiny Ideas Baby's Hospital Keepsake Photo Frame, Perfect Unique Gift...
  • This Tiny Ideas Hospital Bracelet Keepsake Frame makes it easy to proudly display the most valuable bracelet you'll ever...
  • Includes: 1 Tiny Ideas Baby Hospital Bracelet Keepsake with plastic frame, 1 photo slot and hospital bracelet display,...
  • Easily display in your home with an attached wall mount or optional easel stand

Features

To use this midstream test, hold by the capped end and urinate onto the absorbent tip for several seconds. Wait only a few minutes, and you will have your test results

Pros

  • Early detection
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Accurate

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Less comfortable to hold than other midstream tests
  • Price
  • Where to buy

This product can be found on Amazon. 

Features

First Response Early Result is the best pregnancy test for accuracy. It is over 99% accurate from the day of your expected period and 76% accurate five days beforehand. For the most accurate results, use this test when you first wake up as your pregnancy hormones may be higher at this time. It is a typical pee-on-a-stick test featuring a wide tip and curved shape for easy use. To use, hold it in your urine stream, and if there are any pregnancy hormones in your urine, three minutes later the test will show two pink lines. It will only show one pink line if you are not pregnant, so if you see even a faint second line, you are pregnant.

Pros

  • Detects all four types of hCG
  • Over 99% accurate and FDA approved. 
  • Detects pregnancy six days before your missed period. No other pregnancy test on the market can do that. 
  • Large, easy-to-read window. 
  • Key on stick, so you know what the results mean.

Cons

  • More expensive than other midstream tests on this list, but still less expensive than a blood test
  • Line results rather than a digital display
  • Price
  • Where to buy
New choice pregnancy tests

Features

New Choice pregnancy tests are the best pregnancy test for those who are highly doubtful if they are pregnant and do not want to buy an expensive at-home test. To take this test, urinate in a cup, then use the dropper in your kit to add several drops of your urine to a specific test area. Like First Response, two lines indicate pregnancy while only one line appears if you are not pregnant. The company claims it is 99% accurate without stating which day that refers to. However, the test is more sensitive than EPTs that use blue dye indicators.

Pros

  • Get results within 60 seconds
  • Option to use as a midstream or cup test
  • Clear results
  • Over 99% accurate
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Expensive on Amazon can be purchased for $1 per test at the Dollar Tree, Dollar General or Dollar Store if you have one available
  • Cannot touch the strip with your hands or else you may contaminate it 
  • Price
  • Where to buy
Accuclear Pregnancy Test, 2-Count (Pack of 2)
  • Results 5 Days Sooner than missed period.
  • Over 99% accurate from the day of your expected period. 99% accurate at detecting typical pregnancy hormone levels.
  • Easy to use: Simply remove the cap and point the wide absorbent tip in the urine stream for 5 seconds only.

Features

The Accu-Clear pregnancy test is a midstream test which features either a plus or minus sign for results. A plus indicates a positive result for hCG in the urine and a negative indicates a negative result. There is really nothing to complain about here. It is comfortable, accurate and offers lightning-fast results.

Pros

  • Two-minute results
  • Greater than 99% accuracy
  • Wide absorbent tip for easy use
  • Sealed splashguard
  • Comfortable grip

Cons

  • This test is more expensive than strip tests
  • Offers a line test rather than words
  • Price
  • Where to buy

This product can be found on Amazon. 

Mi best

Features

To test, immerse the strip into the urine for five seconds, lay it flat and wait for three to read the results. Two pink lines mean you are pregnant (one control and one test), one pink line (control) means you are not pregnant and no pink line in the control window means you have to retake the test.

Pros

  • Over 99% accuracy
  • FDA-approved
  • FDA-recommended sensitivity level
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Great value for the quality
  • Easy to understand results

Cons

  • Can be difficult to tell if the line is gray or pink if urine is diluted
  • Does not detect as early as more expensive EPTs
  • Price
  • Where to buy
PREGMATE 8 Pregnancy Midstream Tests HCG Urine Test Sticks Strips Kit...
  • Easy to use, accurate and highly reliable pregnancy tests.
  • Earliest detection, greatest sensitivity level: 25 mIU/mL.
  • Will work 5 days before your missed period. Results are over 99.8% accurate.

Features

To test, hold the absorbent tip in the urine stream or dip into a sample for 10 seconds. Read after five minutes to get the most accurate results.

Pros

  • Over 99.8% accurate
  • Works four to seven days before your missed period
  • Easy to use
  • Early detection at FDA standard sensitivity level
  • Clear distinction between test and control window
  • Comfortable grip and wide tip

Cons

  • Must interpret results at five minutes or else a negative could turn into a false positive as time passes
  • Results may be hard to read if you scratch your window 
  • Price
  • Where to buy

This product can be found on Amazon.

The Verdict

Pregnancy is a life-changing experience, and you want to be prepared. For the best pregnancy test, choose either First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test, Accu-Clear Pregnancy Test or PREGMATE midstream pregnancy test sticks. We really struggled to find any negatives associated with these tests. 


What are you waiting for? Go online and choose the best pregnancy test for your needs based on how comfortable it looks to you and price with shipping included if any. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

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Spectra Breast Pump: Our In-Depth Review

Breast milk is the best form of nutrition for infants. It is vital for health, growth, immunity, and development of the baby. Breast milk is easy to digest and contains protein, fat, carbohydrates and nutrients in the right amount for the growth and development of your baby. For up to two years, the baby should be breastfed. However, this may not be always possible due to various reasons. Under such situations, a breast pump such as the Spectra breast pump is ideal for feeding the baby with breast milk.

A mother cannot breastfeed her baby in certain situations. For instance, if the baby is born prematurely or sick, breastfeeding may not be possible. If the mother is preoccupied with a job or schooling, she may not be able to feed the baby at a regular frequency. Whenever a breastfeeding schedule is affected, you can use the Spectra breast pump to preserve breastmilk for feeding the baby either by the mother or others in the family.

A personal breast pump enables you to feed your baby with breast milk whenever you want without any interruption. When comparing pumps for purchase, consider the features such as how well the nipples can fit into the Spectra breast pump opening or the “nipple tunnel” during the pumping operation in order to choose the right one.  A single electric breast pump is ideal for expressing from time to time. A double breast pump that draws milk from both breasts simultaneously is ideal for drawing milk regularly.

What is the Spectra Breast Pump?

The Spectra breast pump is committed to assisting nursing mothers to offer their babies the best nutrition through breastfeeding. Spectra is renowned for its quality. The double electric breast pumps are designed to bring comfort and confidence to both the mother and the child. The Spectra breast pump is backed by a team of registered nurses, lactation consultants, and fellow mothers who are committed to providing nursing mothers with the best breast pumps, accessories, education, and customer care. Since breastfeeding is the best for the baby, Spectra strives to make the breastfeeding experience as natural and comfortable as it can be.

Pricing

Four different brands of breast pumps were compared, including the Spectra pump. The lowest-priced brand was GL Gland Electronics Double Electric Breast Pump sold on Amazon. The highest-priced brand was Medela Symphony Breast Pump. Others were between these two extremes.

How it Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.


Sale
Spectra Baby USA - S1 Plus Premier Rechargeable Electric Breast Pump,...
  • INCLUDES: Spectra S1 Hospital Grade Double/Single Breast Pump, 12 Volt AC Power Adapter, Detachable Power Cord Prongs,...
  • CLOSED SYSTEM: No need to clean the narrow tubing because Spectra S1 has a closed pumping system that keeps tubing dry...
  • RECHARGEABLE BATTERY: Spectra S1 has a convenient, inbuilt rechargeable battery.

The S1 Plus Hospital Strength Double Electric pump comes with inbuilt rechargeable battery and other features of model S2. This increases the efficiency, power, and performance of a hospital strength breast pump, without compromising on its portability. The model S1 comes with many great features to make life much easier for the mother.

Like all Spectra pumps, the S1 is a closed system with a physical barrier between the milk and the pump. This ensures hygiene and motor performance. It offers the maximum suction strength of 250 mmHg. The machine can be used either as a single or double pump. This pump is flexible with touch button digital controls that allow you to set the pumping program to the speed and rhythm that suits your body.

The suction is adjustable in both the let-down and expression mode. The pump is quiet during operation, and it comes with a timer and night light. The pump comes with 12 Volt AC power adapter, built-in rechargeable battery, detachable power cord prongs, (2) Spectra wide neck bottles, (2) Spectra backflow protector, (2) Spectra duckbill valves, (2) Spectra tubing, (4) Flanges (2-24mm & 2-28mm)

The closed pumping system keeps the tubing dry by preventing air flow between the pumped milk and the pump tubing.  As a result, there is no need to clean the narrow tubing. This feature aids in protecting breast milk from contamination by bacteria, mold, and viruses while pumping. The mother can customize the pump settings as per the body’s response by following the flow rate with the fully adjustable suction and 2 phase cycling in the let-down and expression modes.

  • Eas​e of Use
  • Assembly Time
  • Design Quality

Easy for use

Pros

  • The closed pumping system prevents air flow between the pumped milk and the pump tubing. This helps to prevent the milk from contamination by bacteria, mold, and viruses.
  • The machine can be used either as a single or double pump.
  • The touch-button digital controls allow
    setting the pumping program to the speed and rhythm that suits the body.
  • Rechargeable and portable.

Cons

  • Check if it causes any stress for the mother.
  • Check for the noise level during operation.

Medela Symphony Breast Pump, Hospital Grade Breast Pump, Convenient...
  • Medela is the #1 Physician Recommended Breast Pump Product in the U.S.*
  • HOSPITAL GRADE BREAST PUMP WITH PROVEN PERFORMANCE: A powerful hospital grade breast pump made for daily use, Symphony...
  • INNOVATIVE DESIGN FEATURING OVERFLOW PROTECTION: The Symphony Breast Pump's kit (sold separately) is independent from...

Medela Symphony Breast Pump is a hospital-grade double-electric breast pump. It is the first breast pump with 2-Phase Expression technology proven to achieve faster milk ejection and a faster milk flow that mimics a baby's natural nursing rhythm. It is efficient and comfortable
.
The one touch let-down button enables to easily return to the stimulation phase. The pump helps to start and maintain milk supply if direct breastfeeding is not possible. It also helps to collect breast milk while at work or during prolonged absence between mother and baby. It features convenient single or double pumping. The Symphony breast pump (Item #0240108) comes with English Symphony 2.0 Program Card, Container stand, Quick Start card, Protector for card/cord, instructions for use, and 3-year limited warranty.

The required kit for the Symphony Double Pumping System is sold separately (Model #67099). This kit includes tubes, bottles, membranes, breast shields and valves required for pumping. The kit is separate from the pumping mechanism and is protected from overflow by a specially designed membrane.
Two separate, independent membrane units allow the switching between single and double pumping operation by applying or removing the second collection kit to the breast.

  • Eas​e of Use
  • Assembly Time
  • Design Quality

Easy for use

Pros

  • It comes with the 2-Phase Expression technology which helps in faster milk ejection and a faster milk flow that mimics a baby's natural nursing rhythm.
  • The pump helps to initiate and maintain milk supply when direct breastfeeding is not possible.
  • It helps to collect breast milk while at work or during any prolonged absence of the mother from the baby.

Cons

  • Check if the pump causes any stress to the mother during operation.
  • Check for the noise level.

GLAND Double Electric Breast Pump, Breastfeeding Pump with Backflow...
  • Safe and Hygienic: Germany imported PPSU raw material for breastfeeding bottle, safe and hygiene, CE and FDA...
  • Save Time and Comfortable : Double electric breast pump has 2 care modes: Massage, Expression. Adjustable 9 suction...
  • Memory Function: The breast pump can help to record the most comfortable level you use, so you don't need to set it over...

GL is an international maternal & infant products inventor and provider renowned for quality products and innovative service. The GL Gland Electronics Double Electric Breast Pump is safe and comfortable for use. Made of imported PPSU materials, 100%BPA-free, non-toxic and non-odorous.

It comes with 9 adjustable levels for massage suction and memory function. The ultra-quiet, double breast pump can save you 50% of the pumping time. The bilateral lactation feature enables easier breast emptying in about 15 minutes.

The USB rechargeable feature makes it easy for charging by chargers, computers, or power banks. This pump is suitable for working women for breastfeeding kids with no hassles. The pump comes with 2 Covers, 2 Cushions, 2 Windpipe Covers, 2 Silicone Diaphragms, 2 Bottle Caps, 2 Teats, 2 Screw rings, 2 Tube Connectors, 2 Bottle Stands, 2 Bottles, 2 Pump Bodies, 1 Valve, 1 AC Adapter, 1 Main Device, and a 24-month warranty.

  • Eas​e of Use
  • Assembly Time
  • Design Quality

Easy for use

Pros

  • The Breast Pump is safe and comfortable for use.
  • Made of imported PPSU materials, 100%BPA-free, non-toxic and non-odorous.
  • This ultra-quiet, double breast pump can save 50% of the pumping time.

Cons

  • Check if the pump operation causes any stress for the mother.
  • Check if cleaning is easy.

Sale
Lansinoh Smartpump Double Electric Bluetooth-Enabled Breast Pump
  • SMART PUMP: This Double Electric Breast Pump connects to the Lansinoh Baby App via bluetooth to track & simplify breast...
  • VERSATILE & EFFICIENT: This double electric breast pump is the ultimate in comfort, with 3 pumping styles & 8 suction...
  • CONVENIENT & HYGIENIC: Lansinoh breast pumps allow you to pump directly into our pre-sterilized Lansinoh breastmilk...

The Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump comes with an LCD screen, hygienic closed system design, adjustable suction levels, and customizable pumping styles for maximum milk production. It is designed with improved adjustability. This electric breast pump offers comfort, flexibility, and comfort for the nursing mothers either as a single or double electric breast pump.

The Lansinoh breast pumping system is efficient and timesaving. It does not cause pain or discomfort for the mother while pumping milk. It comes with 3 pumping styles and 8 suction levels to match the babies' feeding patterns.  The Lansinoh breast pumps allows you to pump milk directly into the milk bag. The hygienic closed system ensures that no breast milk backups into the tubing or motor. This feature helps to prevent mold and bacteria buildup and contamination of milk.

The pump comes with breast cups with soft rims, BPA-free baby bottles, and nipples for easy pumping, storage, and feeding. The pump fits in a diaper bag and can be used with breast pump bras.

  • Eas​e of Use
  • Assembly Time
  • Design Quality

About 15 minutes

Pros

  • It offers comfort and flexibility for nursing mothers either as a single or double electric breast pump.
  • It causes no pain or discomfort for the mother while pumping milk.
  • The hygienic closed system prevents the contamination of milk since no backups of breast milk into the tubing or motor.

Cons

  • Check for the cleaning instructions.

Conclusion

Baby lying on a bed

​Image via Pexels

Four different brands of breast pumps were compared, including the Spectra breast pump. They varied in price ranging from $​ to $​$$. The lowest-priced brand was GL Gland Electronics Double Electric Breast Pump sold on Amazon for about $​. The highest-priced brand was Medela Symphony Breast Pump that came with a price tag of about $​$$. They all are designed for pumping breastmilk. They are expected to be efficient, safe, easy for operation, and cleaning.

The closed pumping system of the Spectra breast pump prevents air flow between the pumped milk and the pump tubing. This helps to prevent the milk from contamination by bacteria, mold, and viruses. The touch button digital controls of Spectra's pump also allows you to set the pumping program that suits the body.

The Spectra pump is rechargeable, safe, comfortable, easy to operate, and portable. It can be used either as a single or double pump. With these features and an affordable price of $​$ on Amazon, the Spectra breast pump is the preferable choice of these four pumps reviewed today.

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10 Benefits Of Breastfeeding: Mental And Emotional Benefits For The Baby

Breastfeeding is a very personal decision. There are many benefits of breastfeeding and almost any lactating woman can do it, but it does not come without challenges. Only in rare circumstances such as HIV, AIDS or hard drug use is a mother recommended to not breastfeed. Despite the challenges, to which there are solutions, many professionals and mothers alike believe the benefits outweigh the challenges.

According to several professional organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, it is recommended that you breastfeed your baby exclusively for the first six months of his or her life. This means no formula, no dairy milk, and no water. Your baby should still be breastfed from the age of six months to one-year-old, but at this point, you can slowly introduce grains, vegetables, protein, and fruit. Today we will discuss 10 benefits of breastfeeding your baby.

Benefits For The Mother

Benefits of breastfeeding for the mother can be both physical and emotional in nature. Let's discuss a few common ones.

Emotional Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Mom

Breastfeeding your infant does not just only save you time and money buying formula, warming nipples, measuring and cleaning. It also gives you more time to spend bonding with your newborn baby. By nursing your child, you get closeness, skin-to-skin contact and eye contact crucial for your child to bond with you and you to bond with your child.

Physical Breastfeeding Benefits For Mom

Breastfeeding incinerates calories meaning you will return to your pre-pregnancy weight much faster than if you did not breastfeed your baby. This is especially beneficial if you had a C-section and are not yet ready to start exercising.

mother breastfeeding the baby

Breastfeeding releases the hormone oxytocin which will quickly return your uterus to pre-pregnancy size. It also significantly reduces the risk of post-pregnancy uterine bleeding. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer and may even reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Benefits For The Baby

There are many benefits of breastfeeding for the infant as well.

Physical Benefits for the Baby

Breast milk contains the ideal nutrition for your infant. It contains nearly the perfect mix of protein, fat and micronutrients your baby needs to grow. It is always the right temperature and always available. For the first few days your body will produce colostrum which will gently help your baby's digestive tract accept nutrients.

Breast milk is much more easily digested than formula. As a result, your baby will have fewer bouts of diarrhea and fewer trips to the doctor or hospital. It contains antibodies to help your baby fight off infections like ear infections, the common cold, and other respiratory illnesses. It also reduces the risk of asthma and allergies.

Infants who breastfeed during the first six months of their life are much less likely to become overweight as they grow up. They need to consume fewer calories to get all the nutrition they need to grow and mothers learn subtle satiety cues which prevent overfeeding. Babies who grow up to be a healthy weight and avoid obesity also mitigate the risks associated with obesity including type 2 diabetes and a host of other medical conditions such as pancreatitis, heart attack, stroke, and fatty liver disease.

According to the AAP, breastfeeding significantly reduces the risk of SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome.

Mental And Emotional Benefits For The Baby

Research suggests breastfeeding results in a higher IQ and it is definitely a great way for your infant to bond with you. Children know their mother's voice from their time in the womb, so feeding is a great opportunity to talk or sing to your baby.

Common Challenges

Many mothers face common challenges both perceived and real regarding breastfeeding. For example, many women fear they cannot produce enough breast milk to feed their baby, when in reality most women do produce sufficient quantities of breast milk. To help ease any qualms you have about breastfeeding, we will discuss common challenges new mothers face and how to deal with them.

Sore Nipples

mother breastfeeding her baby

New mothers will sometimes complain of sore nipples. Babies should not suck from just the nipple. They should suck from most of the areola and the nipple. If your child has a poor latch, gently break the seal with your finger and adjust the baby's position. Try changing positions every time you breastfeed. Let your nipples air dry after feeding or wear a loose, cotton shirt. Do not wear restrictive undergarments or shirts that will put excessive pressure on your nipples. If they are dry and cracked, rub milk on them with a clean finger. Human breast milk contains soothing oils and natural healing properties. Do not put off feeding due to pain as this can cause issues with the milk.

Nursing Strike

Your baby may successfully breastfeed for months and then suddenly refuse your nipple. This does not mean he or she is ready to go off breast milk completely right away. This is a child's way of communicating to you that something is wrong. Common problems a baby may be having you want to look out for include:

  • A sore mouth from teething, an infection such as thrush or a cold sore
  • An ear infection which will cause pressure when lying on one side or pain while sucking
  • Distress over a change in the mother's routine
  • Having a stuffy nose or cold, causing breathing to be difficult while sucking
  • Being upset by hearing harsh voices while attempting to breastfeed, the repeated denial of feeding when hungry or the mother's reaction to being bitten while breastfeeding.

It is natural to be upset when your baby refuses your nipple or is fussy when it is offered, but be patient. Remember, babies can't communicate with words, so they have to communicate through actions. Your child is probably either in pain due to an infection, immunization or teething or emotionally distraught by others nearby being upset or a change in your routine that he or she does not understand. Try pumping your breast milk if your baby is refusing to feed. This mitigates the risk of engorgement and you can offer it to your baby as an alternative if the time is not yet right for weaning.

Mastitis

Some mothers develop a breast infection called mastitis when breastfeeding. They may experience flu-like symptoms such as lethargy and achiness, fever, nausea, vomiting. It may also result in breasts that feel hot to the touch or very warm and pink or red in color with yellowish discharge from the nipple that looks like colostrum. Mastitis often occurs when a member of the household has a cold or the flu and it usually only affects one breast. As the symptoms are similar, it can be difficult to tell the difference between plugged ducts and mastitis. Although symptoms go away on their own within 24 to 48 hours, seek advice from your doctor if they do not get better after a period of time.

Benefits of breastfeeding

In the meantime, wear supportive bras that will not constrict your breast and put too much pressure on the milk ducts. Apply moist heat to the sore area. Massage the area, starting behind the sore spot in a circular motion towards the nipple. Ask for help from friends and family so you can stay off your feet as much as possible and rest. Breastfeed on the infected side every two hours or more frequently to prevent engorgement.

Conclusion

There are certain circumstances where you should not breastfeed your baby, such as if you have an active infection or are on hard drugs. However, for the most part, the decision to breastfeed is a personal one that you can make either way without harming your child. Multiple professional organizations recommend for the sake of you and your baby that your baby is breastfed exclusively for the first six months of their life. From there, infants should be slowly introduced to dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and grains.

The benefits of breastfeeding for mothers includes safe, significant weight loss, reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancer, the possible reduced risk of osteoporosis, the return of the uterus to pre-pregnancy size and reduced risk of post-pregnancy uterine bleeding. Less tangible benefits include significant bonding time with the child to talk or sing, be close and have skin-to-skin and eye contact. Mothers will learn subtle satiety cues that will help them when they start to feed their children solids and they will save a lot of time and money.

The benefits of breastfeeding for babies include safely growing to a healthy weight, reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome, optimal nutrition immediately at the right temperature which is easily digested and improved immune systems.

There are several common challenges associated with breastfeeding but between your baby's pediatrician and your lactation consultant, these problems can be resolved. A few of the most common include sore nipples, mastitis, and a nursing strike. If your nipples are sore, gently adjust your baby's latch on your breast so he or she is not sucking on just the nipple. If you develop mastitis, feed from the infected breast at least every two hours to prevent engorgement and get as much rest as you can. Seek medical attention if symptoms do not improve. If your baby goes on a hunger strike, he or she is trying to tell you there is something wrong. This may be a physical pain or discomfort caused by an infection, cold sore or teething, or an emotional discomfort caused by nearby arguing, rejection when hungry or a change in your schedule.

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How To Induce Labor: Exercise, Massage, And More

Many expecting mothers and their partners wonder how to induce labor. If your baby is getting too big and your doctor is concerned your newborn will not be able to fit through your birth canal, your specialist may recommend inducing labor. This is especially important if the expecting mother is older and a C-section would be dangerous, should the baby get too big.

 Please note, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine strongly encourage you to speak to your doctor before inducing labor. Today, babies born 39 weeks and 0 days past gestation to 40 weeks and 6 days past gestation are considered full term. Babies born through the 41st week are known as late-term babies, and babies born 42 weeks past gestation or more are known as post-term babies.

In this article, we will discuss simple tips and tricks of how to induce labor. These include light cardiovascular and calisthenic exercises, eating spicy food and other foods that induce labor, chemical induction from EPO, sexual intercourse and much more.

Are You Wondering How To Induce Labor?

Pregnant woman

Exercise

Wonder no more. You can use gravity to your advantage by exercising when trying to induce labor. Walking gently guides your baby's head lower into your pelvis. This puts pressure on your cervix, causing it to dilate. Try to walk 30 minutes a day. Walking up steep hills puts your body at an even better angle to guide your baby in the right direction. If you don't have any steep hills nearby, try a treadmill. Other great exercises while inducing labor include walking up and down stairs and squats.

 Even if exercise does not work for you, it is a great way to relieve stress and keep you physically fit for the task ahead. Once in labor, expect it to last an average of eight hours but no longer than 18. Your baby will require around one to two hours of pushing once your cervix has dilated to 10cm, so you want to be in great physical condition. So what are you waiting for? Get moving!

Spicy Food

For the most part, foods that induce labor are old wives' tales with no scientific backing. However, some foods do have certain chemical properties that are actually effective in inducing labor. Spicy foods stimulate the colon. This can cause irritated intestines and this cramping can spread to the uterus, inducing labor.

Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain which is known to ripen the cervix, thus inducing labor. Other foods which chemically yet naturally induce labor include basil, oregano and ginger.

If you want to introduce more oxytocin into your life, but to not feel up to having sex to orgasm, eat foods such as eggs with pepper or bananas. Oxytocin has been shown to raise your spirits and induce labor.

Sexual Intercourse

Anyone who has given birth knows they do not feel their sexiest towards the end of their pregnancy. However, sex is clinically shown to prepare the body for labor. This is because semen contains a chemical known as prostaglandins. The more often you have sex before labor, the better this technique will work. However, there are natural herbal supplements if you are not in the mood. Do not engage in sexual intercourse if your water has already broken as this can lead to an infection.

Raspberry Leaf Tea

Who doesn't love a delicious iced tea during the summer or hot tea during the winter? Drink raspberry leaf tea to induce labor as it strengthens and tones your uterine muscles. Strong muscles make labor much easier when the time comes. Enjoy this tea after your birth as well to strengthen your uterus again. While the tea will keep you hydrated, if you can't stomach tea, you can take this in a supplemental pill form. This process usually starts at 34 weeks.

Evening Primrose Oil

There are several methods of using evening primrose oil to induce labor. It is effective because it contains a chemical that your body converts to prostaglandins. This is effectively the same as having sex as your partner's semen naturally contains prostaglandins. This chemical softens your cervix.

Many women take this capsule orally. However, you can break the EPO capsule and manually spread the oil on your cervix at night. Another option is to insert the whole capsule vaginally and allow the moist environment of the vagina to disintegrate the capsule and disperse the gel to your cervix. Be sure to wear a panty liner, pad or towel underneath you to prevent the gel from leaking onto your bedsheets. This method is started orally at around 36 weeks and internally at around 38 weeks.

Castor Oil

Ask several midwives how to induce labor and many will tell you castor oil will do the trick better than spicy food. Castor oil is a very strong laxative that does a great job at inducing labor. In some women sensitive to laxatives, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea and severe intestinal cramping. This intestinal cramping stimulates your uterus into inducing labor. Add two ounces of castor oil to orange juice and drink quickly or add to your favorite ice cream. The latter is not the best method as some women struggle to swallow it so slowly. Try this method if you have an iron stomach. Professional recommend you use this extremely effective method at around 41 or 42 weeks when you show no signs of labor beginning.

Acupuncture/Massage

An acupuncturist will insert super fine needles underneath the skin at key pressure points. This avoids the pain associated with needles that puncture and rest in the layer of skin itself. Puncturing these points balances your energy flow inducing labor. Many people will say acupuncture is not an effective method of how to induce labor, however, the research proving the opposite is sound.

If needles are not for you, seek a licensed massage therapist who is experienced in labor inducing massages. It may take two or three appointments, but 60 to 70% of pregnant women found massages specifically targeted to induce labor were helpful. This special massage relaxes the muscles around your baby and signals to your body it is time to induce labor. Acupressure may also be used in combination with massage therapy. Key pressure points which induce labor are located just above the ankle and in the webbing between the thumb and forefinger. Acupressure reduces pain, eliminates discomfort and releases oxytocin which helps you induce labor.

When Not To Induce Labor

As important as it is to know how to induce labor, it is equally important to know why not to induce labor. Your specialist will explain the risks and rewards of naturally inducing labor. Reasons why you should not naturally induce labor include:

  • One-third of your baby's brain growth occurs between weeks 35 and 40
  • Reduced risk of jaundice, infections and low blood sugar
  • Babies born two weeks prematurely are more than twice as likely to have respiratory complications
  • More time for your baby to grow and develop muscle strength
  • Better feeding habits leading to a healthy weight after birth

Remember, your due date is just an educated guess of when your baby will be born. Do not panic if it has come and gone and you are not showing signs of giving birth. Typically, your newborn will come when the time is right. Babies are most likely to be healthy when born between 39 weeks and 40 weeks 6 days. Try consulting your specialist in the middle of your 41st week as he or she may want you to start taking action.

Pregnant woman

Conclusion

There are many reasons to know how to induce labor. Some women may want to avoid activities to trigger labor prematurely while others may have medical reasons to induce labor. Luckily, there are many simple tips and tricks of how to induce labor. If you are in the mood and can stomach it, try sexual intercourse, spicy foods and castor oil. The female orgasm releases the hormone oxytocin which relieves pain and prepares the body for labor. Similarly, semen contains the chemical prostaglandins which helps the induction of labor. Spicy foods can cause intestinal cramping which spreads to the uterus which induces labor, and castor oil is a very strong laxative which produces the same effects of consuming spicy foods.

If you are not in the mood for sex, consume gentle foods such as eggs and bananas to introduce more oxytocin into your body. Prostaglandins can be found in evening primrose oil which can be taken orally in pill form or inserted vaginally in capsule form. Other great simple methods for how to induce labor include exercise, important to keep you in shape for the marathon of contractions you are about to face, massage therapy, acupuncture or acupressure and raspberry leaf tea or pill supplements.

Remember, speak to your specialists before naturally inducing labor yourself. There is a plethora of reasons to keep your baby developing safely inside your womb until its due date or even beyond. Examples include a reduced risk of infections, jaundice and low blood sugar, fewer respiratory complications after birth, significant brain growth, more time for muscles to grow stronger and better feeding habits. Relax and enjoy the new life you and your partner have created when it is ready to meet you.

 

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10 Best Nursing Pillow Brands For You And Your Baby

When a woman finds out she's pregnant; it's an exciting time. However, it can also be overwhelming when she starts to try to collect the things she'll need to have for when the baby arrives. A nursing pillow is a staple for being ready for a baby. But there are so many kinds of nursing pillows and different brands of nursing pillows; it can become overwhelming very quickly.

Every woman's body is different, so it makes sense that a single nursing pillow style or brand would not fit every person. In this article, we will tell you the 10 best nursing pillow brands, and we hope it will help to guide you as you try to figure out what nursing pillow will work best for you and your baby.

Nursing Pillow FAQ

1. What Is A Nursing Pillow?

2. What Does It Do?

3. How Does It Work?

4. Where Can You Buy It?

5. Price Range

How We Reviewed

The products listed below have been carefully chosen based on their features, pros & cons, how much they cost, where you can buy them, and a warranty. We want to be sure that you can compare and contrast all of the best nursing pillows and choose what works best for you based on what you believe to be the most important factors.

You can be sure that our opinions are completely based on the products themselves and that we're not being given anything from any company to put their item on the list. We know you will be spending countless hours using this pillow with your baby and it's important to us that you have the best information before you make your decision.

Overall Price Range Of The Products

A nursing pillow is not a cheap product to purchase. But when you consider how much time you will spend using it to feed your baby, it makes sense that it should cost a little extra money compared to a regular pillow. Nursing pillows come in all different shapes, sizes, and with different accessories.

A lower priced model in the $25 range may not have a removable, washable cover and may be smaller than a higher priced model might be. A higher priced model in the $75-$100 range may have a pocket to store small items in, be made of more expensive material inside and outside, or be much bigger to accommodate feeding more than one baby at a time.

What We Reviewed

Our Top Picks of Nursing Pillow


Sale
Boppy Original Nursing Pillow and Positioner, Notebook Black and Gold,...
  • 30 YEARS OF COMFORT AND SUPPORT WHILE NURSING: The award-winning Boppy Original Pillow provides your arms and back...
  • VERSATILE USES FOR 0-12 MONTHS: The Boppy Original Nursing Pillow supports your newborn through their entire first year...
  • EASY CARE, MACHINE WASHABLE: The Boppy Pillow and Boppy Pillow Cover are machine washable because little messes happen....

Pros

  • The C shape hugs the mother's body closely
  • The cover is removable and machine washable
  • Close, structured fit
  • Pillow is machine washable

Cons

  • The C shape makes this pillow less versatile for different nursing positions
  • A little more expensive than other nursing pillows

Sale
My Brest Friend Original Nursing Posture Pillow, Sunshine Poppy
  • FEEL THE SUPPORT: Encourages better posture during breastfeeding, alleviating strain in your back, neck, and arms
  • FIRM AND FLAT: Prevents baby from rolling out of position during nursing
  • CONVENIENT POCKET: Handy pouch keeps your maternity supplies within easy reach

Pros

  • Attaches to the torso
  • Comes with a pocket to hold burp cloths, a pacifier, nipple cream, cell phone, or a bottle of water
  • Flat surface for wriggly newborns
  • Offers back support for the mother

Cons

  • Not as versatile—can only be used for nursing
  • Doesn't fit larger moms as well

The Nesting Pillow - Organic Nursing Pillow with Washable Slip Cover
  • 100% Organic - ideal for even the most sensitive babies
  • Quarter moon-shaped support provides the perfect "nest" for nursing babies
  • Unique filling conforms to baby's body, similar to a bean-bag

Pros

  • A moldable pillow means you can shape it to best fit you and your baby
  • A machine washable, organic cover

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

All American Collection New Comfortable Bamboo Nursing Pillow
  • PREMIUM QUALITY MATERIAL: The Nursing Pillow is made of 100% polyester. The cover is 40% bamboo and 60% polyester that...
  • MOM AND BABY'S COMFORT: The Nursing Pillow is certainly designed to meet the needs of both the mother and the baby. The...
  • MULTIPURPOSE: The Nursing pillow is exclusively designed for mom and baby in Breastfeeding, Bottle Feeding, and Propping...

Pros

  • A soft pillow for a comfortable surface for your baby
  • Made of bamboo for added comfort
  • Removable cover
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • C shape makes it less versatile
  • Might be too soft for some mothers' preference

Sale
Leachco Natural Boost - Adjustable Nursing Pillow - Denim
  • Adjustable boost pillow provides the lift baby needs to create the perfect angle for you and baby
  • Boost pillow flips from side to side as baby changes nursing positions
  • Firm contoured support lessens strain on back and shoulders. Nursing pillow fits around waist

Pros

  • Removable, adjustable pillow to help your baby be at just the right angle
  • Firm structure

Cons

  • The cover is not removable and therefore not washable

Comfort & Harmony Mombo Slipcover in Bloom Burst
  • Polyester
  • Fits all Mombo feeding & infant support pillows
  • "2 looks in 1" slipcover

Pros

  • Differently designed sides for nursing your baby and letting your baby lounge
  • Removable, washable cover

Cons

  • Only one side is intended to be used for nursing

Pros

  • Can be used in 6 different positions
  • Removable, washable cover
  • Allows 2 babies to be nursed at the same time
  • Clips around the torso

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Large and heavy

Sale
Ergobaby Breastfeeding Pillow with Cover, Natural Curve, Heathered...
  • Developed with lactation experts and lots of nursing moms, the pillow addresses the main concerns for nursing mothers,...
  • Unique contour positions baby tummy-to-tummy for comfortable breastfeeding support and pillow wraps around waist to...
  • Places baby at a comfortable height and position to reduce back pain from slouching and baby's head rests above tummy...

Pros

  • Solid foam interior gives your baby lots of support
  • Removable, washable cover
  • Cover has a handle for easy transporting

Cons

  • Smaller than other nursing pillows
  • More expensive than other brands of nursing pillows

Sale
Luna Lullaby Nursing Pillow - Chocolate Dot
  • Helps correctly position baby for breast-feeding so that the mom is more relaxed
  • Fits women of any size comfortably and has no belt or Velcro straps
  • Supports elbows and shoulders while holding baby so parent can relax

Pros

  • Versatile L shape makes nursing and tummy time/sitting up easy for mom and baby
  • Super soft 100% cotton machine washable cover

Cons

  • Does not have any straps or velcro to help baby stay on
  • No back support for the mother
  • More expensive than other brands of nursing pillows

Dr. Brown's Gia Nursing Pillow
  • 100% Cotton Shell. 100% Polyester fill
  • Thick-to-thin design to grow with baby for virtually limitless nursing positions
  • Machine wash and dry/retains shape throughout washing

Pros

  • Offers support to mothers who have larger breasts
  • Entire pillow and its cover are both machine washable
  • Can help keep your baby from having reflux
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Not as versatile as other nursing pillows

The Verdict

Now that we've looked at 10 of the best nursing pillows available, we'd like to tell you what we recommend. Of all of these pillows, our favorite is the Boppy. We love the classic C shape of the Boppy which can fit any sized body. We also love that it comes with a removable, washable cover and has a soft but supportive surface for your baby. It also comes with different many options of covers, including the Luxe covers which offer a super soft surface. The naked Boppy is also machine washable for those times when the unexpected messes may happen.

We also love that the Boppy is versatile enough to use when your baby is ready to start doing tummy time or trying to sit up. This pillow is also ideal for brand new moms who are learning the ropes of how to nurse as well as the well-experienced mom who has nursed many babies. The pillow can fit babies as small as newborns up thru toddlerhood and provides a great help to moms when they need it. You can grab it and simply position it around your body, and it's ready to go, no hassling with buckles or velcro to adjust it to the right spot.

The Boppy is also a good size if you need to travel and take it on the road with you—not too big and not too small. It wraps around the sides of the mom and gives her arms support as well as the baby in the front. Although this is not the cheapest pillow we reviewed, we feel that all of the benefits offered by the Boppy make the bit of extra money you'll spend worth it. As you consider what will work best for you and your baby, we hope our reviews have been helpful as you search for just the right pillow.

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