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Breast Pumps

Discussion in 'Family, Home & Health' started by megumic, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. megumic
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by megumic » Jul 16, 2012
    I was going to put this in the Pumpers Unite, but I figured there are many PS'ers who may be able to answer this above and beyond the current pumpers.

    Trying to decide the best pump to suit my needs and wanted to ask everyone what their experience has been. What kind of breast pump did you use? What was your experience? What made it convenient or inconvenient? TIA ladies!
     
  2. bobbin
    Shiny_Rock

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    by bobbin » Jul 16, 2012
    I have the Medela Swing. I chose it because it is small and portable, which will make it easy to tote to work and back each day I work. I also like that it has the option of running it from batteries or plugging it into a power point, which means I could theoretically use it anywhere. I find it comfortable and easy to use. It has the two mode Medela system which is said to emulate how an infant feeds - small short sucks at first and then longer sucks after a little bit. It is only a single pump, which may be a downside when I go back to work, but then again Charlotte only usually has one side each feed during the day so it should be fine.

    I have also got an Avent manual pump. I used that for the first week and a half. That was also easy to use. The downside is that it took a while to do and I couldn't do anything else while using it - as it required both hands to use. With an electric pump I can use my phone or laptop whilst using it, and 'tune out' and relax a bit.

    I hired a Medela Lactina pump from 1.5 weeks out to about 4 weeks. This is a really old-school pump which I don't think they make anymore. It was comfortable, but very big and could only be used when plugged into a powerpoint. It was still comfortable and worked though! It was a similar size to the Medela Symphony, which they use in the hospitals over here. I didn't want to buy the Symphony as I didn't want to have to lug that to and from work every day.

    What do you want to use the pump for? Is it just for pumping once you return to work or are you wanting to pump so your DH can feed bubs sometimes? It may be worth waiting until after bubs is born and hiring a pump for a little while before deciding to shell out the cash as they are quite expensive!
     
  3. pancake
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by pancake » Jul 16, 2012
    I have the Medela Swing. It is perfect for my needs, but I only use it from time to time when I pump an entire feed (eg. when I've been out and S has had a bottle, I come home and pump out a replacement feed to store). For "piggy banking" (pumping small amounts and adding to a bottle/bag bit by bit), I just hand express - I find it easier and faster.

    The Swing's advantages are exactly as Bobbin says - it's small, light, portable, and can run off batteries if necessary (I haven't needed that yet though). The two-phase pump is fine, but I usually get impatient and end up just hand-expressing to get the flow started, then go straight to the deeper pump setting. I do like the adjustable suction.

    If I were to pump more often or exclusively pump, I would want a) a double pump, and b) to pump hands-free. By the time I go back to work I expect that I will only be missing one feed a day (currently S has 5 feeds/24 hours, but I think she'll be on 3 or 4 by the time I go back - she will be a year old or maybe just a tad younger) so I think the Swing will be fine.
     
  4. lliang_chi
    Ideal_Rock

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    by lliang_chi » Jul 16, 2012
    I have the Medela Pump In Style Advance (double electric pump). I pump at work since E is at daycare. He takes usually 7-8 bottles a day, about 700ml or 26-28oz. He's a light eater. The PISA can also run on batteries too, (4AA) and I tried using it once. It doens't pump as strong as if it's plugged in but it'll do.
     
  5. megumic
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by megumic » Jul 16, 2012
    Thanks so much for the info, ladies.

    Although I will be home for at least the first few months, I had breast reduction surgery about 10 years ago and the best way t establish a strong supply is for me to pump after every single feed and/or every two hours for the first three weeks. I may r may not have success with the first baby, but if I do not, should have better success with subsequent babies. So, it is super important for me to have a great double pump available immediately after delivery.

    Have read great things about both medela and ameda, but wanted to see what everyone likes. Would love t hear from more ladies!
     
  6. amc80
    Ideal_Rock

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    by amc80 » Jul 16, 2012
    I took a pumping class. The teacher recommended Medela or Ameda. She specifically liked the Medela Pump in Style and the Ameda Purely Yours. I'm registered for the Ameda, mainly based on price. She said these are the only two brands that have done their own research on breast pumps. The other manufacturers are bottle companies who decided to start making breast pumps.
     
  7. mmeowcollins
    Ideal_Rock

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    Sep 5, 2003
    by mmeowcollins » Jul 16, 2012
    I owned the Medela Freestyle and Medela Harmony hand pump and rented an Ameda Elite from the hospital. I LOVED the Freestyle but found that I didn't need the letdown feature very much, but that could've been because I was en exclusive pumper and was used to a pump. What I truly loved was the portability of it; it could literally fit in a coat pocket or be clipped to my pants and I would walk around the house doing minor chores or playing with my kids. It's loud, though. I thought thehandsfree feature wasn't that impressive but then again, I never wore nursing bras and you need one to use the hands free part. I thought hands free bras were much better. I also didn't like the soft shields that came with it, but no big deal- I just bought my own hard shells. The battery life was impressive too.

    The elite was great too. I used that for 9 months and established my supply with it. You may considering renting one first tomestablish your supply. It had suction strength and RPM adjusting controls. No complaints with the Elite, though I admit I don't know how the hospital Amedas compare with the consumer ones.

    I liked the Harmony; used it less than 10 times, primarily as an emergency pump for work. I highly recommend getting a manual backup because there will come the day you forget a pump part at home and will be screwed. If you live close to work, no biggie, but I have an hour-plus commute. Also, keep a spare set of bottles at work too.
     
  8. NewEnglandLady
    Ideal_Rock

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    by NewEnglandLady » Jul 16, 2012
    I had planned to get a Madela Freestyle, but my lactation consultant recommended that I get a Madela Pump in Style. The issue was that I needed it on the max setting (which is very rare) and the Pump in Style was slightly more powerful.

    I (mostly) exclusively pumped for the first few months, so I was tethered to the pump. I think I would have liked the portability of the Freestyle since I was pumping for hours every day when trying to get my supply up. I did use a hands-free bra, so at the very least I could type and pick up the baby if necessary.

    As for hands-free bras, I had a Simple Wishes bra and a PumpEase bra. I much preferred the Simple Wishes one.
     
  9. pavelover
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by pavelover » Jul 16, 2012
    Hi I thought I would let you know my experience. I bought the medela freestyle and it worked great for me. I never tried it before my son was born but only recently realized I could have used it to stimulate labor- this is off topic I promise I will get back but just wanted to say it would have been so handy since my water broke and docs were really pushing pitocin. We (my husband) tried nipple stimulation to get contractions going but it was awkward and tiring. If I had known/thought of it I could have just used a breast pump, lol. Anyhow.
    My son was in the nicu (I knew ahead of time he would be) so I was exclusively pumping for a few weeks, and then trying to breast feed, then pumping and bottle feeding for the next six weeks. The freestyle was super convenient. It seemed very similar to the symphony available in the hospital. I never had any issues with it not being strong enough. I think I used that two phase thing for a while but not forever. My guy finally figured out bf at 9 weeks of age(just when I was ready to give up). After that I just pumped if I was out and missed a bottle. Went back to work when he was nine months and pumped once or twice a shift. When he got older I definitely went to once a shift. I'm not sure if I ever needed to do this twice a day pumps or one would have sufficed. I breast fed until after two but quit work when he was 18 mos because we moved. Seriously though by 18 mos I'm sure he was mostly eating table food and I didn't really need to pump at work even. My work was very understanding though and never questioned it.
    Whew. That was so long. Hope there was some helpful info in there. Who ever mentioned let down above- being inexperienced I did not know what this tingly feeling was but every time I put the flanges on I would get that tingly feeling . Just goes to show you how incredible the human body is. Mine knew plastic cones on my bbs meant let the milk come out!
    Regarding pumping hands free I lived in target nursing tanks and cut holes in a couple so I could put the flanges in the cups instead of using the straps. I used the little connecty straps at work. They are a little bit of a pain but definitely handy. Good luck!
     
  10. megumic
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by megumic » Jul 18, 2012
    This is all super helpful -- thank you all so much!

    AMC, yes I too have heard Medela and Ameda are the only ways to go.

    NEL, good to know the Pump in Style is stronger than the Freestyle. I think I will need the best pump I can get, so that is helpful info!

    Appreciate everyone's input. Anyone else??
     
  11. mayachel
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by mayachel » Jul 18, 2012
    I have an Avent Isis manual hand pump. I also have a large bra cup size, and I don't think it is a good fit for me. I use it to pump for donation and occasional bottles once a day, and I would go crazy if I spent more than the 10-15min a day I do with it. It was inexpensive, I like that it is basically silent and I'm not tethered...but it does not have a long enough flange to allow me to sit up straight or dare lean back, as I will end up spilling the contents back out the front if I do. Major design flaw! Doesn't sound like would suit your needs.

    FWIW, I think it is a good idea to think about how you expect to use milk you pump once your supply is well established. Every time you transfer the milk, you leave behind nutrient dense proteins. I end up pumping most frequently to (1) a bottle, that (2) gets poured into a freezer milk bag (3) goes back to a bottle when thawed and (4) to baby. I know this results in more steps and more lost nutrients, but it is what it is. If I were bottle feeding regularly, I can pump and store in the bottles, Avent (and others) make freezer ready bottles. But the Isis doesn't allow for pumping to a storage bag (boo!).
     
  12. zipzapgirl
    Shiny_Rock

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    by zipzapgirl » Jul 31, 2012
    I used the Medela Pump In Style. I pumped extensively during maternity leave (3 mos) until we had 100 oz. in reserve when I went back to work. I breastfed when at home and pumped twice a day at work for about 20 mins each. I kept it up for 4 months at work until I switched jobs.
    If you plan to pump a lot, the double pump is very important. Just as important was the hands free halter, otherwise you feel unbelievably tethered! Simple wishes bra is highly recommended!
    I lugged my pump to work every day and I came to like the discreet black bag. It was a good size and didn't scream "breast pump".
    Search: Simple Wishes Hands Free Breastpump Bra
     

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