20 answers

Breast Feeding - Cleveland,OH

Hey moms out there, love this website for help so I am back t ask another question. Just found out that we are expecting (due in June or July) and I am thinking about breast feeding. However, i know nothing about this area. Looking for some help about breast pumps, what to buy, what to avoid, any tips at all. I am thinking about feeding and also pumping. Any tips would be great. Also was wondering about your thoughts on buying a pump off craigslist. It seems a little weird to me just wondering if I can do that but buy like the tubing and stuff for the same product or is there a way to sanitize the whole product.

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I would not buy a pump. Look around, many places rent the really good (and expensive ones), and you just buy new nipple shields and bottles and the like. The little hand pumps and the affordable ones just do not work if you are needing to pump enough for an actual feeding. I was luck to get half an ounce with my hand pump.

I would be a little bit leary of buying a USED pump off of Craigslist or e-bay, but you can find new ones on there all the time for a lot cheaper than at the retail store. If you know the person that you are getting a used one from, then I wouldn't worry about it too much, and yes - you can get new tubing to replace the used stuff. I personally LOVE breastfeeding. I have found that a hand pump is quicker for me to pump than an electric pump....so you may just try that!

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Consumer pumps are not to be used by multiple people -- I would not buy a used pump off of craigslist despite the savings. Not worth the health risk to your baby. I would recommend the Medela Pump in Style Double Electric with the battery backup and option to single pump. I would also suggest getting a great book like The Nursing Mother's Companion: Revised Edition by Kathleen Huggins and/or taking a breastfeeding class (like the birthing classes). Most of the maternity services at the hospitals offer them for a small cost. Some of my friends even had their husbands take it too so they would know how to be supportive. Also, before you head to the hospital, post a request on here or somewhere else for the name of a great lactation consultant and La Leche League group in your area or look them up on-line in case you have trouble. Better to be armed with information BEFORE the baby is born :) And, don't be afraid to ask to see a lactation consultant at the hospital if you need to -- that is what they are there for.

Best wishes mama!
From former-nursing mother of 2 and 1 on the way

I highly recommend breastfeeding!! Kudos for making this decision!! YAY for you and for baby!!!

I used Medela pumps and loved them all. I used the Harmony handhelp pump while out (between classes at school), a Lactina Select (hospital grade, borrowed from WIC) while at home, and a Pump 'n' Style once I returned the Select. I liked the features and the trusted name. And the price! (I got them used and they worked just fine!)

If you buy used, it is recommended to use all new tubes, etc. I don't understand that, as no milk ever contacts the tubes. If you sanitize everything before using, it should be safe.

Call your insurance company and ask if they pay for a breastpump. Many of them do but few people realize it. Mine covered it once I got a "prescription" from my doctor for it.

I haven't read all the responses, but wanted to answer a few questions from my experience. I knew nothing about breastfeeding, other than I wanted to do it. With my first, many circumstances made that very difficult and we only made it a few weeks. However, I didn't let that experience deter me from trying again. And I did successfully breastfeed my other two children, one until 13 months and the other until 11 months when they both weaned themselves.
I used a Medella (sp?) pump in style and I loved it. It is an electical pump, not a hand operated, and it was efficient and quick which was what I needed as I pumped during breaks at work. You can buy off craigslist or ebay, just don't purchase the tubing and bottles and nipple guards and stuff. You can order those online or find a medical supply store (check with your hospital). You will need to sanitize the new supplies, but you can't completely sanitize used tubing/etc. to a degree of safety that I would be comfortable with.
Also, contact your LaLeche group. Check with your hospital lactation consultant. Find a local breastfeeding support group. By beginning the learning process now, you are doing yourself and your baby a wonderful service by being as prepared as possible and setting yourself up for the greatest chance of successfully doing this! Best of luck!

You can rent a pump ~~the hospital will fill you in on the details, its the better way to go financially. I never had to use one on a regular basis and just had a manual one to eliminate engorgement on occasion or to make a bottle of milk if my mom was coming to town and would want to hold and feed the baby.... and I nursed for 3 years...
You will love breastfeeding, it is SO AWESOME.
Congratulations!!

I would not buy a pump. Look around, many places rent the really good (and expensive ones), and you just buy new nipple shields and bottles and the like. The little hand pumps and the affordable ones just do not work if you are needing to pump enough for an actual feeding. I was luck to get half an ounce with my hand pump.

Breastfeeding is a wonderful and nurturing experience. The first couple weeks can be a struggle, but once you find your own system with your baby it is worth it.
I love my Medela and have recommended it to all my friends who have also loved theirs. They do cost a more, but if you know you are going to have more than one child and use it a lot it is worth the extra money. If you do go with buying from craigslist or ebay make sure the unit was well maintained and cleaned properly before storing.
I would recommend the book "So That's What They're for!" by Janet Tamaro. It is a very informative book that makes you laugh too.
Best of luck and congrats.

A fantastic resource for breastfeeding moms: http://www.kellymom.com/

Breastfeeding can be demanding and tough in the beginning or it can be super easy but either way it is a wonderful and amazing journey that you take with your little one. I had it both ways. Demanding and tough with my preemie until he learned to nurse (then it was a breeze) and a snap with my little champ eater second baby! But it was so rewarding with my preemie because the whole time he was in the hospital pumping for him and my milk was the one thing *I* could do for him. And thank goodness I did. He had to be off my milk for 2 weeks because I had to get the rubella vac and his little tummy was so upset the whole time.

Martha Sears has a great no-nonsense breastfeeding book that I highly recommend. Read and learn as much as you can ahead of time. While it is natural it's really something you have to do your homework on so that you feel confident in your ability to feed your baby. And you def can! If you follow baby's lead you won't go wrong. Even when you aren't sure where baby is going lol! But, trust me, even when you aren't sure it will all make sense later.

I recommend looking into renting a pump. I purchased the Medela Style shoulder bag and love it. It did cost a lot but I have used with two of my kids. I wish I would have known I could have rented one at our county health department for only a $50 deposit which I would get back after it is returned. If you are very determined to make breastfeeding work I would also avoid getting a pump any time soon or even buying formula or bottles. With one of my babies I got discouraged around two weeks of breastfeeding broke down and gave a bottle of breastmilk and a few weeks after that I was using formula. Now with baby #3 I have been exclusively breastfeeding for almost 4 months and enjoy every bit of it. The first 3-4 weeks were the hardest though, just learning to get baby to latch correctly and getting use to the demanding schedule took time to get use too. The best advice i can offer is not to be afraid to ask for help especially from the nurses and lactation consultants at your hospital. Good luck.

Congratulations! It is great that you are thinking of breastfeeding. It is the best thing you can do for your child!

Check with lactation consultants about pumps. I would not buy one off of craig's list. You would have no clue what kind of diseases might be lurking in the pump.

Learn as much as you can before the baby comes. Then you'll be prepared for the challenges and "let downs" hahahahahahahahaha (that is a breastfeeding joke. If you didn't get it, you will!). Sorry, I don't get out much apparently.

Blessings to you and your family!

Congratulations! The pump that I recommend is Medela double electric pump. It is more expensive but so worth the cost. I used the hospital grade one while in the hospital. I know those can be used by multiple users because they have special barriers in place for that purpose. Those models are the symphony and Lactina. The ones you buy in the store are for single users only even if you purchase new tubing and filters.

I used PJ Comfort's breastpump because my husband's workplace paid for it. It was a hospital grade pump and could be used by multiple users also. It is not the most stylish pump, but worked great. I actually sold mine on Craigslist but only because in the manual it stated "safe for multiple users".

I know some people do buy used ones on-line. I know the chance of something happening because of contamination are very low, but I wasn't willing to take that chance with my newborn.

If you are planning on having more than one kid and breastfeeding them, it is worth it in the long run to buy a new one. They can burn out after a few years of usage so why pay for a used pump twice.

Hope this helps.

I highly recommend breastfeeding... we have 3 that I nursed for at least 15 months each (until they could have regular milk). I went to LaLeche meetings when I was about 6-7 mo. preg. It was really good to learn MEFORE you need to know. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is a great book that will answer any questions you have... if you want, you can ask me anything!

I would be a little bit leary of buying a USED pump off of Craigslist or e-bay, but you can find new ones on there all the time for a lot cheaper than at the retail store. If you know the person that you are getting a used one from, then I wouldn't worry about it too much, and yes - you can get new tubing to replace the used stuff. I personally LOVE breastfeeding. I have found that a hand pump is quicker for me to pump than an electric pump....so you may just try that!

I would wait to get the pump till after the baby is born. You never know how the whole breast feeding thing is going to go and really you won't need to pump for the first few weeks anyway. Me personally would buy a new one, but I know other people have different opinions. I definitely don't think I would get one from craigslist! I stayed home, so I only had a manual one, so I can't really point you in the direction of the more $ automatic ones. I nursed for a year and it was great. Congrats on the baby to come!

I would be fine with Craigslist...you are just buying the machine. However you will need to get new tubing. Very rewarding. I loved BF my baby. My issue was I didnt have must extra milk for when I pumped. I got out a little but not as much as my daughter would. I had a Medela. They are a great company and its a great product. If you are not sure how long you want to do it, check with your hospital..they rent them by the month (like $30 I think..maybe a little more) but that is cheaper to rent for 2 or 3 months vs buying a machine.
OH a tip, you only need about 4 bottle for the machine. I just washed them after every use and rotated between the 4...and sometimes I would only have to pump 1 side because she ate. You dont need the nipples that attach to them..just dump it in your own bottle. I never had issues with chaffing either. someone told me that after you feed the baby, squeeze a little milk out and rub it over your nipple and let it air dry for about 30 secs. Once your b**bs get used to feeding (a couple weeks) you wont have to do that anymore. I also suggest taking a BF class if they offer it through your hospital
Good luck and congrats.

I highly recommend the book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, and getting involved with your local Le Leche League.

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural things you may do, and also the most challenging. It's not easy, but it's SO worth it! Read as much as you can. Talk to other moms you know who breastfed/are breastfeeding. And after the baby's born, don't be afraid to ask for help. I never used a breast pump, so I can't help you there.

I think it's great that you're already thinking about giving your baby the best you can :)

Congratulations!
In my opinion, breastfeeding is the best thing you can do for your baby. Therefore, I recommend splurging on a great pump over any other baby stuff. I have an electric PumpNStyle double pump and it has lastest through three kids and a full time job. I paid around $279 for it almost 7 years ago. Worth every single penny x3. Sharing and buying used isn't advised because of the sanitary issues, but I think buying the motor part and buying new tubing would be better than not pumping at all.

If you are nervous about breastfeeding, ask your ObGyn for contact information for a lactation consultant. While I love and greatly respect La Leche League, the first time I attended a meeting I was overwhelmed. The most reassurance I found was from a family member who breastfed and a lactation consultant when I met with her shortly after my first baby's birth.

Enjoy :)

Congratulations!
I breast fed my first for a year and I am currently breastfeeding my second who is 9 weeks. First off its one of the most rewarding experiences. With my DS I had the Medela Freestyle and I loved it, never had a single problem and it made pumping so easy. Between my DS and DD (four years) I lost the pump. So a few months before my due date I got the same pump again. And again I love it and couldnt be more happy. I pump twice a day when I am at my fullest (first thing in the morning and before bed) My first time around BF was a breeze but with my second I had pneumonia when I delivered and the meds I was on were drying my supply and the only thing that saved me was being able to pump inbetween her feeding to increase the supply. So if it is something that you are really wanting to give a go at then I would get your pump before baby comes.
I dont know anything about being able to buy new tubes if you bought it off craigslist but I agree about calling your insurance company. And if not shop around. I bought mine from albeebaby.com for 30 percent off which really helped.

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