8 answers

Bottles and Breast Pumps

Hi moms!

I'm in the begining of my third trimester with my first baby and I'm trying to figure out what I need. I know I need to pump because I'll be a working mom. I'm planning to rent a hospital grade pump and maybe buy it if it seems to work. But, I'm wondering now about bottles. I'd like to register for some and buy some before the baby comes. Does anyone know if you have to use a certain kind of bottle for most pumps or do most pumps work with any kind of bottle?

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Featured Answers

I didn't have a problem finding a bottle my daughter would use...she just used what we gave her =) Yeah, we're lucky. We started using the Playtex ventaire. I DO like them, but after a while, wanted to get away from plastics. Now we use Evenflow glass bottles. The best part is that they fit onto the pump too!! No additional parts/converters needed. yeah!
I've also heard WONDERFUL things about Dr Browns.
Hope that helps
Devon

More Answers

I don't have much recommendations, but I will warn you, the hospital pumps are several thousand dollars. The Medela ones work well for most moms and are just a few hundred dollars. If your baby has jaundice or other feeding problems, insurance will pay for the attachments for the hospital pump, but usually don't cover other expenses without a huge fight. Congratulations! Enjoy your soon-to-be arrival.

I don't know much about the rented pumps, but I will tell you my recommendation regarding a great breast pump and bottles. I got the Medela Pump'n'Style - double pump, so you can pump both breasts at the same time. For a working mom, every minute counts! The carrying case has a cooler where you can store the bottles on your way home (refrigerate them at work). It also has a car plug you can buy so you can sit and pump in your car if you prefer the privacy or the convenience. I loved that option!

Bottles come with it (but only four very small ones). I used the Avent System Bottles, and they offer many options and sizes for your growing baby. They also have lids you can buy that convert to the size of the opening of the Medela pump bottles so you can pump right into the Avent bottle itself.

I pumped for 10 months for my daughter, as she wouldn't nurse from me. Long story. Anyway, I didn't go anywhere without my pump - it went on many plane rides, and on every excursion from the house. I used it like crazy and never had ONE problem! It was probably about $250 and worth every penny!

There are also bags you can buy to steam clean/disinfect bottles, lids, nipples, and your pump parts to keep them clean. They are amazing - I also used them to disinfect my daughter's pacifiers. You could easily fit one in your pump bag or purse and they are good for about 20 uses each. Just add 2 ounces of water to the bag with the parts you want to disinfect and microwave. Ta-da!

There are so many products out there, I just wanted to share my story and my recommendation. Congrats on your upcoming arrival and enjoy every moment. They go by way too fast!

I rented a hospital pump and they come with their own bottles. As far as what to use for your baby, I went through many bottles and nipples before we came to the avent. So if you want to register for some register for a few kinds so you don't have to fork over the money to try different kinds. Good luck and congrats.

M.,

This might be more than you were looking for, but here goes...

Most hospitals rent Medelas (as others have said). I went to Medela's website and compared the pump power of the hospital grade to the Medela Pump In Style and found that the Pump In Style had more power! I used the PIS Advanced during my first pregnancy and it worked well. Advanced has a let down button that helps simulate the first few minutes of sucking so that it flows easier. The attachments are nice too, including a car adapter, so you can pump in the car if you can't find anywhere at work to do it comfortably.

What I wish I would have done was to take the pump with me to the hospital and have it on hand. The lactation consultants can help you learn to use it and can also verify that the flange (the plastic part you stick your boob in) is correctly fitted. Some women have smaller and some larger breasts than average and you may not get great suction if your boobs aren't fitted to the flange.

I'd suggest buying if you really intend to breastfeed. I bought my last pump for $100 less than it retails at Babies R US at BestBuyBaby.com.

Also, your milk comes in within the first few days and you will likely have an excess. As a working mom, I wish I had taken advantage of that and started pumping then instead of waiting until 3-4 weeks in. That way, you can fake your body into believing your baby wants more and can stock up the excess by freezing it. Fantastic for later months when your milk seems to wane and the stress of trying to pump at work take it's toll on you.

I think most pumps come with their own collection containers. I used the bottles that came with the pump only to contain the milk when I pumped and when transporting it and never tried to attach a different bottle to it. They came with lids so you can cap them and send the bottle at daycare if you want. The thing is that babies are picky about nipples and you may have to try a few different nipples before you find one that your child likes (I compared my own breast nipples to the bottle nipples to help me decide). That's the bottle I would go with. Also, take note that bottle nipples have different flow rates. Give a breastfed baby a slow flowing nipple so they don't start preferring the bottle. Because no matter how much you pump, it won't ever quite work as well as your baby and you want to try keeping them addicted to your breasts to make the whole breastfeeding thing easier for you. I used Avent bottles with 0 flow nipples until he was 6 mths and then switched to the Avent sippies (tops fit the bottles). But I had friends that loved Playtex drop ins and some that swore by Dr. Browns. Register for a few different kinds of bottles and test them each out.

I heartily agree with everything Stephanie said above. She is a champ for pumping all those months w/o any breastfeeding. Hopefully you'll only have to pump when you are away from your baby. But a good pump is every bit as important and worth the investment. Medela is the brand used in all the Denver area hospitals and the pumps they use in the hospitals are the ones that are rented. They cost $1000-$2000; that's why people rent them. If you need to pump for some reason while in the hospital, the Kit (bottles, tubing etc.) will be given to you there. It is not routine though if your baby is doing well.

I suggest that if you know you are going back to work and will be using a pump then, go ahead & buy it before the baby comes. You may not use it for a couple of months, but if you need a pump for engorgement or something in the beginning, it'll be handy to have. Occasionally, there is a real need for that rented hospital-grade pump: baby in intensive care, etc. You can still rent for a month at that point and come back to the one you have purchased.

Medela also makes pumps for purchase: Pump in Style Advanced, Freestyle. Most of the parts are interchangeable with the parts used for rental pumps.

The bottle you use might be the one that comes with the pump, but that's not really a limiting factor. Stephanie mentioned the converter if you end up using Avent bottles. Some babies have a strong preference; others don't care. If possible, let your baby get to be a pro at the breast before starting a bottle anyway.

My disclaimer: I am a lactation consultant and the owner of Bosom Buddies.

S.

I didn't have a problem finding a bottle my daughter would use...she just used what we gave her =) Yeah, we're lucky. We started using the Playtex ventaire. I DO like them, but after a while, wanted to get away from plastics. Now we use Evenflow glass bottles. The best part is that they fit onto the pump too!! No additional parts/converters needed. yeah!
I've also heard WONDERFUL things about Dr Browns.
Hope that helps
Devon

Avent pumps will work with the wide-mouthed avent bottles. Other pumps will work with the regular narrow mouthed bottles. Probably best to choose a pump first and then get the bottles that fit.
I've used several and I really liked the Avent system.
Good luck to you!

Medela seems to be one of the best when it comes to pumps. They have a new pump out called the Freestyle. I don't have it (wish I did), but it sounds great. It weighs 1 lb. and fits in the palm of your hand. It would be easy to pack if you are taking it to/from work. It is a double pump, electronic and has clips so you can pump hands free. Pumps are one of the pricier items, but they are worth their weight in gold. I would say buy one vs. renting, especially if you think you will have more children. If you rent one, after a few months it would have been the same to just have purchased one. Plus the ones you can buy are smaller and less cumbersome than the hospital grade rented pumps.

As for bottles Medela bottles are BPA free and work with the pump so you can pump directly into the bottles. I hear that Dr. Browns bottles fit the Medela pump as well but I'm not positive. We use Medela and Born Free bottles, both are BPA free. Alot of people seem to use the glass Dr. Browns bottles but I didn't want to hassle with glass bottles. Avent makes good ones as well, but they aren't BPA free, if that is something you are looking for. We started with Avent then returned them for BPA free bottles.

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