Being a working mama is hard work! Pumping, bottle washing, transferring milk, freezing milk, thawing milk, and rotating your stash of “liquid gold.” For those who are already in the thick of this process, I’m sure you’re nodding your head. For first time mamas who haven’t yet experienced the “fun” of pumping and storing milk, you’ll soon understand that the person who coined the phrase “don’t cry over spilled milk,” had NO idea what they were talking about; you *will* cry over spilled milk if it happens to you.
I nursed and pumped with my daughter until she was 18 months old. The system I used then was very similar to what I described above. Toward the end of our pumping time, though, the bottle warmer stopped working. For our second baby, I invested in the Kozii by Kiinde. (It’s not an inexpensive warmer, $69.99 on Amazon.) I was drawn to this specific bottle warmer because of its ability to warm frozen breastmilk without the in-between “thaw-in-the-refrigerator” step. It’s also a way to gently warm the breastmilk with warm flowing tap water. You can view more info on the Kiinde website!
At some point, before I returned to work after baby #2, I made contact with Kiinde about some questions I had with the Kozii. In an email conversation with one of the owners (yes, the owners of the company handle the support questions – how awesome is that?!), he informed me that a new product was launching at the end of May that would be an all-in-one solution for pumping, storing, and feeding breastmlk.
I stalked my local Bed, Bath, and Beyond store for the launch of the Twist system, and actually had an associate call me the same day it landed on the shelves. The Twist system is unique and innovative, and saves so much time for pumping mamas, whether you’re pumping full-time (EPing) or working and pumping. I started using it at the end of May, and really don’t know how I would go back to the traditional method of pumping into bottles, transferring into bags, refrigerating/freezing, and thawing. So many steps, so much washing/cleaning/storing!! I would much rather spend time with my toddler and baby rather than spend time at the sink!
I started out with the starter kit (available on Amazon and retailing for $39.99). The starter kit has everything you’ll need to get started, except the Kozii. However, you can purchase a Kozii with the set, and that is available as the “gift set” (retails for $99.99 on Amazon). The system fits all major pump brands on the market, and the included adapters fit Medela (standard adapter), Tommee Tippee, Phillips AVENT, Evenflo, Simplisse, Ameda, Playtex, and Lansinoh. I use a Freestyle pump and am also currently renting a Symphony (both Medela), so the standard adapters are the only ones I have used. The adapters attach to the breast shield/valve/membrane assembly and also to the pouch. The pouch fills during the pumping session just as the bottle would if you were pumping “traditionally.” The pouch is sealed with a little blue cap that “twists” on (great name, right?!). There is a marking area on the pouch, but I’ve just used the top of the blue cap for labeling with a Sharpie.
Instead of transferring milk from the pouch, though, here’s where it’s all different! The pouch that you just pumped into can be used to feed your baby directly! The Twist system includes two Squeeze natural feeding bottles and two Active Latch nipples (slow flow nipples in the starter kit; medium and fast flow nipples sold separately). The pouch clicks into place in the bottle, and the nipple attaches to the top of the pouch. Before attaching the nipple, you squeeze the air out (move the liquid all the way to the top of the pouch), and you’ve now created an essentially gas free meal for baby. No extra valves, vents, or parts to wash and sterilize!
The Active Latch nipple is designed to be similar to the breast, and encourages deep, wide, natural latching. This helps to ease the transition between bottle and breast. For the mamas that are worried about going back to work, and baby having a difficult time with the transition, this can relieve some of that stress! Initially, our son did have some trouble with the nipples, but it wasn’t that he would not take it, just that the flow was too slow for him. We almost immediately went to medium flow nipples, and those have been successful now for the two months that I’ve been back to work.
Now, when I come home from work, the hand washing of bottle parts/nipples is super quick! I’m only washing the nipples and pump parts. The Squeeze natural feeding bottle doesn’t need washed, and can be used over and over again. With two included in the starter kit, you can label one and leave it at your daycare facility too, if that’s the situation that you’re in with your baby. Besides being an efficient and time-saving method for pumping and feeding your baby, Twist is also environmentally friendly. The pouches are recyclable, and both the pouch and the cap can be tossed into your recycling bin!
One question I’ve received is about the cost comparison to traditional pumping/storing methods. With my daughter, I used Lansinoh bags and Medela bottles. I had 12 Medela bottles that I used in rotation. A set of 3 bottles is $18.00, for a total cost of $54.00. The Lansinoh bags were about $18 for 100 bags. The Twist pouches are $17.99 for a 40 count package, or about $0.45/pouch. So, yes, the price is a bit higher per pouch/bag, but the ease of use, and the time savings that the Twist system provides, makes the added cost an acceptable value in my book.
Another question I’ve received is about whether or not the pouches are reusable, as most of us who are familiar with pumping know that you can just wash the bottle and use it over and over again. The pouches are not reusable, but in my second YouTube video, I do describe how I collect/store milk during any one given working shift. (Link to that video below!) I will add cooled milk to cooled milk (as per KellyMom guidelines) during any given shift to make enough for a single feeding.
I recommend the Twist system to all of my pregnant and nursing mama friends. It’s truly revolutionized how I pump and store milk for my baby, and given me the freedom to spend more time with my family. For more information, check out Kiinde’s website or my YouTube videos, including an out-of-the-box review and some tips and tricks that I learned along the way (one month into using the system).
You can purchase the starter/gift sets or the individual pieces (extra nipples, Squeeze bottles, adapters, or pouches) from Kiinde directly, Amazon (eligible for Prime shipping!), Bed, Bath, and Beyond online, or in the brick and mortar BBB stores.
Andrea is a mama of 2 little ones – Addison and Myles. Addison is an active toddler, learning and exploring new things about her world on a daily basis. Myles is her squishable baby, born in March of 2013, who is in the rolly-polly stage of infanthood. When not at home with her children, Andrea is a full-time small animal veterinarian. In her quest to make her life easier, she is always on the hunt for new and innovative baby products that shave time off of her busy schedule or are lighter/smaller than products that she may have used for her daughter. Andrea is also excited about babywearing, and enjoys wrapping Myles with one of her several woven wraps or wearing him in a soft-structured carrier. Outside of work and family time, Andrea enjoys being outside with her husband, Mark. If grandma has the babies, the couple can be found attending a baseball game, kayaking, or checking out the latest movie (a rare treat with two children)! Andrea recognizes that the baby product market is always changing and evolving, and enjoys trying new things to find what works best for her and her family.