37 answers

Breast Pump Advice

I am due to have a baby soon and would like to try breastfeeding and I am looking for a good pump. There are so many out there I have had a hard time deciding which one to get. I don't mind spending money for a good one, but I was just wondering if any of you had any recomendations for a pump you loved or ones I should stay away from. I didn't really like the one I used with my other babies. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!

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So What Happened?™

Thanks to everyone for your imput and advice. It has been extremely helpful and I have learned things I didn't know before. I think I may wait to purchase a pump until after the baby comes, but before I have to go back to work. I want to see if breastfeeding will even work for me. Thanks again!

Featured Answers

Definitely get a Medela. If you're a working mom they have some styles that are stored in a bag which is amazing because it's not obvious you're carrying a pump and it stays really organized. They have other models too which are great... you can spend between $150 to $300

My best suggestion is to rent a Medela pump from a medical supply. They will even deliver it to you for free. You will get the best machine which will make pumping easier and faster and you won't have the expense.

I rented with my first daughter and bought a wonderful Medela with my second one but really you don't need to buy one.

Best wishes on you impending arrival,

L.

I used the Medela Pump in Style with my first three and liked it. However, when in the hospital with my last one, I got to try the new Medela Freestyle and loved it. I loved it so much that I have have ordered one to replace the Pump in Style that I already have. It is a bit pricey, but very worth it, in my opinion.

More Answers

Hi, S.--
Exactly which pump to use depends a lot on what your lifestyle is like.
If you are a stay-at-home mom who just wants an occasional dinner out, you can get by with hand expressing or using a small hand pump. A single electric or battery-operated pump is useful if you are not pumping more than about once a week. If you will be away from Baby for full-time employment after a maternity leave, you need a double electric pump that offers 40 to 60 cycles per minute. Pumps in this category include Whisper Wear (hands-free pumping), Medela Pump in Style, Medela Double Ease and Ameda Purely Yours. If you are completely pumping for a baby who is premature or ill, you need a hospital-grade rental pump, such as a Medela Lactina, Medela Symphony Ameda Elite or Ameda Lact-E, and Nurture III or Double Up.
Many moms new to breastfeeding assume a pump is a required piece of equipmnt, but it's often not. . . you already have all the gear you need. ;) I notice you are in Sandy--I highly recommend you contact your local La Leche League Leader and ask her this question, and then keep LLL's number handy while you are settling in with your new baby. She will send you informational handouts if you'd like, and you can attend a meeting if you'd like in-person help. All LLL services are free and the Leaders are accredited to know their stuff about nursing according to the most current research--I have three boys and they've saved my life quite a few times! One Leader in the Sandy area is Jessica; her number is ###-###-####. You can find others under "resources" and "find local LLL" at www.llli.org. There's also a Leader named Timbra who is in the Murray area who is nice and very well-informed--there's a link to her blog at the Utah page of www.llli.org.
You should know that while the Medela Pump in Style is very popular and I would agree it's very nice and simple to use, it's not the only high-quality double electric pump out there. . . Medela has spent tons of money marketing it, which doesn't make it superior to others, necessarily, just more familiar and better-known. Replacement parts for Medela and Ameda brands are both fairly easy to find locally in Utah. Primary Children's Medical Center uses Ameda pumps, but again, that's as much about marketing as about preference.
You should know it's easy to find a used pump on craigslist.com or ksl.com, and then purchase your own hygiene equipment brand-new for about $30. Yes, that voids the warranty, since pumps are considered single-user items by the manufacturers, but it will save you a bundle if you need a double electric pump and you're on a budget, and does not compromise safety or cleanliness, since milk never touches the motor, which is what costs a lot. Some hospitals will even give you the hygiene kit of tubing to use their hospital-grade pump, and then it's yours to keep and use with any compatible pump.
You may also want to consider waiting until after Baby comes to determine which, if any, pump you need. Many moms fall into a trap of thinking a pump is necessary, and then set themselves up for chronic engorgement and latch issues by pumping a lot right at first. . . . All Baby's sucking should be at the breast, and nursing early and often will help you establish your supply and avoid and minimize a lot of challenges. It is much, MUCH easier and more fun to be a breastfeeding mom instead of a breast-milk-feeding mom. I suggest you don't ever judge your milk supply based on how much you can pump out (the baby's always better than any pump at removing milk) and avoid pumping and offering a bottle of your milk to your baby if you are right there with the real gear.
A great book on breastfeeding is "So That's What They're For" by Janet Tamaro. It's funny and accurate and you could borrow it for free from LLL or find it at any big bookstore.
Congratulations and best wishes to you and your family!

1 mom found this helpful

S.:

I am going to add to the advice you've already received from a number of women about the Medela Pump In Style double, electric pump. I used mine for two children over the course of about three years. I worked full-time and pumped several times a day during the week. It did a great job!!! I agree you can look into renting an electric pump from the hospital, but depending on how long you're going to nurse/pump, it might be more costly than buying your own.

I am now a stay-at-home mom with my third child and only needed something that I could use every once in while when I was away from my son. I researched all of the manual pumps, read a lot of reviews and went with the Avent Isis Pump. It is very affordable and does a great job. It only takes me about 15-20 minutes to pump both breasts and I get just as much milk as when I used the electric pump. It's a little cumbersome because you have to use both hands to hold it onto the breast to create the suction needed and then to use the hand pump, but it's easier than just using your hands to express milk.

I ordered the Avent Isis On the Go Set because it came with ice packs, an insulated carrying case, the pump and 4 Avent bottles (2 - 4 oz bottles and 2 - 9 oz bottles). The set was only $65.00! I have not been happy with the bottles though. They leak badly and make noises when the baby is sucking on them. I just bought Playtex VentAire Advanced bottles and love them. I used them with my other two babies and should've stuck with them in the first place. They work wonderfully, help prevent gas and are BPA free (the new ones)! So, you can just buy the manual pump alone (which is what I recommend, unless you've had a better experience with the bottles) and it'll be around $45, I think. You can compare prices online if you just google Avent Isis Pump. I couldn't believe the price discrepancies between different stores!!!

Good luck with your decision and best wishes to you!!!

I have a medela pump in style and really like it. I worked full time until my son was almost one and it's still going strong. I also got the medela harmony (i think thats what it's called) hand pump when i went on vacation. It was really nice and is easy to use if you're just pumping once in a while.

I used the Medela Pump in Style. It works really well and always, for years has consistent good reviews from other moms as well. I have one, still in the box, that has never been used if you want to buy it. I've been trying to find a good home for it. :) They usually cost almost $200 but I won't be using it so I can give it to you for $100. Let me know. ____@____.com. I live in Farmington, UT.

Hi S.,

I was a breastfeeding mom for about 4 years (between two children) and bought the very best breastpump I could find. I figured I should use the best to preserve my breasts the best I could! I have the traveling Medela breastpump for sale. If you're interested, email me at ____@____.com.

Thanks,
J.

I use the Lansinoh Double Electric Breast Pump and I LOVE it. It works well and is small enough to throw in a suitcase while I'm traveling. Here is a link to look at: http://refs05.securesites.net/snap038/index.php?src=direc....
Good luck!

I used a Medela pump and loved it!!! Also a good word of advice, you may be able to rent one at the hospital you deliver at. Many hospitals are pushing for mothers to breastfeed so you can ask there. The great thing about the hospital pumps is that they are designed for all mothers. They tend to be the best quality because they are also intended for mothers with premature babies.

If you live in Salt Lake County, go to Maternal Instincts. They are located at 676 Union Sq Sandy, UT 84070 (9400 South); their phone number is ###-###-####.

You can try her pumps before you buy them (you can't keep the milk because she has "tester" models). Heidi, the owner, is an RN and world-renowned lactation educator.
http://themomshop.com/index.html

I highly recommend the Medela Pump in Style. I got the 'Advanced' version which starts off with a stimulation of a 'let-down' and it was in the backpack which was convenient for me since I returned to work. But the over-the-shoulder handbag version works just as good.
Best of luck!

I used the Medela Pump In Style Advanced with my two girls. It is a really great pump-easy to use, comfortable with adjustable suction and easy to clean. I actually got the best price for it through the hospital lactation office.

Get an electric one that does both breasts at the same time. I had the Medela and it worked well. I used it with both my kids, and it held up great!

the Medela Pump in Style pumps are so wonderful! They come in a stylish tote (or backpack) and they are way easy to use and FAST (I could pump in 7 min). You can do both breasts at the same time. Don't waste your money on a mid-range pump, I have bought a few $60-$100 pumps from Walmart and they never were any good. I ended up using the cheapy manual pump that I bought at the breastfeeding supply store located in the hospital (Mother's Touch); it was $30.00 and lasted thru 2 kids. It was actually pretty powerful and I never got hand cramps. I could pump in about 20-25 min, you can only do one side at a time with this one. Here is the link for that pump: http://www.ameda.com/products/manual.aspx. Seriously, this one was better than the $100 ones! But mine finally gave out and I found out that my insurance covered pumps! So you should check and see if your does too. If they do, just have your OBGYN write you a prescription and then you can pick it up at a medical supply store like Cache Valley Oxygen. It cost me $40.00 total... I think those Medela ones run $250-$300.00.

I know you received your responses and I didn't read any of them. But I wanted to let you know that I had a baby boy 4 months ago. I tried to do the breastfeeding but he didn't want to have anything to do with it. But I had in my mind that I wanted him to have the breast milk. So I have been pumping milk for 4 months straight. I have a bunch in my freezer and I think I might start to ween myself. But I believe the breast milk is the best thing for your kids. I have a 4 1/2 year old and I didn't even get the breast milk so he had formula. He was always sick with ear ache after each ache. Not the second. He has just gotten sick because of our lovely weather. But I have a Medela pump that I purchased at Babies R Us and it did cost around $300 but I figured I would have it paid off in a couple of months. Formula is very expensive and by me pumping the breast milk it has saved a ton of money. Good luck.

Definitely get a Medela. If you're a working mom they have some styles that are stored in a bag which is amazing because it's not obvious you're carrying a pump and it stays really organized. They have other models too which are great... you can spend between $150 to $300

I have a Medela Pump In-Style that I'm now using with my second child and it's been great! It can double or single pump. I have a car adapter so that I can pump in the car (when my hubby's driving of course) if needed. I got it on eBay new, but I don't remember the cost. It was cheaper than buying it in the store. Good luck!

I am a WAHM and I used the Medela pump. I loved it — well, as much as you can love pumping! If you're buying a pump to go back to work, the Pump in Style is discreet and comes in a nice looking bag. Personally, there were so many times when I would have done anything to have a hands-free/cordless pump. Medela has the new Freestyle pump that came out after my daughter was a few months old. If I had to do all over I would get the hands-free one. Hands down.

Another thing that no one told me about pumping is that you have to sit upright the whole time. Which is fine when you're feeling awake and alert. But if you want to recline back a bit, they won't work. There are aftermarket reclining extensions that you can buy. You can also buy aftermarket hands-free bands that will help make your regular pump a little more hands-free.

Bosom Buddies is a GREAT store to help you get set up. There are two locations — I think one in Littleton and one in Westminster. http://www.bosombuddies.com/ Even if you don't buy from there — you will get tons of great information to help you make the right choice for your situation. I would highly recommend a visit.

Oh, and I just learned that our medical flex spending account will pay for the entire cost of any nursing supplies — including the entire cost of the pump.

I was going to tell you exactly what Deb did. No reason to buy something you aren't going to use forever, and the pumps they have at the hospital are top notch.

I did a lot of research and ended up going with the Avent Isis Iq duo. I am a first time mom so I can't compare it with a lot of other pumps on personal experience, but i did talk with a pump specialist. He said that the ones from the hospital are the best, but renting one adds up if you are going to be breastfedding for a while and he said that most moms are fine with other electric pumps. He said that the pump in the Medela Pump in Style Advance compares with the Avent Iq Duo (and he said I should decide between those two on personal preference), but he recommended the Avent because there is no way to get milk in the tubing. Also I wanted to use Avent bottles and so I wanted to be able to pump right into them. Also the silicon cup has these bumps that are meant to help stimulate your breast for better milk production. And of course the feature that I really like is that it memorizes your pumping pattern. There is a great variety of different speeds. I love it. The pump is easy to use and put together and I love the bag that it comes with. I have used a manuel pump and I must say that an electric is sooooo much better and faster. I pump about once a day if that gives you an idea of how much I use it. I love it so far. Also look online for the best deal. I found a great deal through amazon.com. I got more than $50 off the retail price.

I use the Medela Swing and it works great.

The Medela Pump in Style Advanced has been an amazing breast pump. I have used it for six years and its effectiveness has been worth every penny I paid for it. I spent a little more up front, but I've never had to pay a penny for formula--and I'm nursing my fifth baby! (I got the shoulder bag style and have loved it.)

I used the Medela In Style which worked just as well for me as the hospital grade pump (which I rented for a month before I realized I got the same amount of milk as with my In-Style pump). If you want mine, you can have it. It's an older version, the kind that is built-in to a black carrying case with a couple of pockets in it. I would still be using it but I never produced much milk with my second so we are already on formula.

S.:

After reading through the replies you have gotten with excellent information, I need to add one piece of information. I am the owner of Bosom Buddies and I need to say there are potential issues with reusing pumps which were intended as personal use pumps.

I used to think it was just self-serving for the pump companies to want you to buy new pumps. But after looking at a couple of used/discarded pumps we ended up with (my husband wanted to tear them open), I have changed my attitude. The diaphragms which cover and seal the motor section of the pump are actually porous. In the ones that we tore open I saw a hair (dog hair?), dust and milk drips. It reminded me a little of the bottom of my refrigerator when I get around to cleaning it: "How could I have not noticed all this mess down here?!" (By the way, the FDA also recommends against reusing pumps.)

The real issue is potential cross contamination from bacteria or viruses which might find a home inside the pump. You can't see these. Replacing the exterior parts, while I would definitely do that with each child, doesn't remove the risk of internal contamination.

Why isn't that a risk with a second, third etc. child for the same mom? I know that moms make antibodies to everything within their environment, so I think a mom would be fine with reusing her own pump.

Our attitude & approach at our stores is that every mom needs to understand the information and weigh it before making a decision (informed consent). We'll support her in her decision by having (and fighting with the manufacturers for) spare pump parts along with new pumps.

But when it came time for my daughters to pump, I made sure they had a new pump.

i didn't like the Evenflo manual or electric pumps. they were either ridiculously difficult or too weak. i like my The First Years double electric pump so much better. it is noisy, but i don't know how the noise compares to other double electric pumps. you definitely need a double electric with 3 kids because it is a time saver.

I have the Medela Pump in Style. I think it may be the advanced. It is pretty costly but worth every penny. I worked away from home and successfully pumped for seven months after I had my son. I would highly recommend it.

S.,

First of all good luck finding the right pump. Having a low budget and depending on hammy downs for my first one I was lucky to receive a pump from a friend. All I had to do was purchase $50 worth of new plastic parts because they should not be shared. I am not sure if you can order the exact model I have anymore, but Lactation Connection was very helpful to use to order the new pieces. I would HIGHLY recommend this electrical pump for use as it has been so easy and I have gotten a large milk supply from pumping from the beginning. It's also easy to tote around and you can get storage bags at target even.

Ask me if you have any questions - C.

Company Information
Medela Inc,
PO Box 660 McHenry, IL 60051
Phone - 800 435 8316 or
###-###-####
Pump Type
8P91 Breastpump (possibly classic pump style)

I have used the Medela Pump in Style advanced in the backpack for two years now. I pumped for my first daughter for 11 months and now am pumping for my second daughter for 7 months so far. I plan to pump to about 1 year.

It works great, dual pumping, no complaints. The backpack is very mobile for on the go, school, work, airports, etc... If you want to ask me specifics, feel free to contact me. Good luck! G.

I've been using the Medela pump and I really like it, it's got good sturdy cups to pump through and it's well made. It looks like a purse and you can take it wherever you go. So that would be my recommendation, congratulations and good luck!
S.

CONGRATS on your new arrival coming! Very exciting.

You can save your money in the sense of you can rent them from the hospital most of the time and get really nice ones. I did that through the hospital with both of my babies. It was like $20 a month, depending on how long you plan on pumping/breast feeding but it was a really top notch one and the lactation nurse came in and helped me with learning how to use it. There are independent companies that work with the hospital too to rent them out. They will deliver it to your home even. Comes with new internal components to it is sanitary, new bottles and so on.

I have to ditto a bunch of others and go with the Medela Pump In Style. I got mine through the hospital lactation people also, and it was $150 brand new rather than the $200-$300 if you just go find one anywhere. I tried other pumps with my first (manual and electric) and this one was by far the easiest, most efficient one to use. I had no problems with it and I got tons of milk for my twin boys with it. Good luck finding the right one for you!

Medela Pump in Style Advanced double pump is amazing.

I had both the ameda purely yours and the medela PISA. If I had to do it again I would have originally bought the medela. The let down feature is great. It only took me 15 minutes to pump compaired to 20 to 25 to get the same amount with the ameda. Good luck with breastfeeding.

I love my Medela Breast Pump (it comes in either a black shoulder bag or a backpack). It was somewhere in the $300-400 range - can't remember exactly, but it was so worth the price. It even comes with a "battery" adapter so you can pump without an outlet.

I used the Medela Pump in Style with my first three and liked it. However, when in the hospital with my last one, I got to try the new Medela Freestyle and loved it. I loved it so much that I have have ordered one to replace the Pump in Style that I already have. It is a bit pricey, but very worth it, in my opinion.

i don't have pump advice, but if you're planning to breastfeed, check out a La Leche League meeting in your area, even before baby comes along. Murray, UT meets the first Tuesday of each month lllofmurray.blogspot.com Sandy, UT the second Tuesday of each month, Downtown Salt Lake meets three Thursdays/month. Pumping isn't NECESSARY unless returning to work or something of that nature. If you are just wanting an "emergency supply" or to pump once in a while for an evening out with husband and leaving kiddos with a sitter, i'd recommend a simple and inexpensive hand pump. . good luck!

My best suggestion is to rent a Medela pump from a medical supply. They will even deliver it to you for free. You will get the best machine which will make pumping easier and faster and you won't have the expense.

I rented with my first daughter and bought a wonderful Medela with my second one but really you don't need to buy one.

Best wishes on you impending arrival,

L.

I used a Medela pump and it worked well. I would recommend checking with your health insurance. It paid for most of mine.

I have a Medela. You can either get it in a back pack or purse type bag. Very easy to use and I have had mine for both of my girls (3 years and 10 months. Good lukc and congratulations.

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