Advice of Buying a Breast Pump

Updated on September 30, 2009
A.K. asks from Plant City, FL
32 answers

Where can I get a good breast pump without paying an arm and a leg. I like the Ameda and Medela but both of very expensive. In the long run it will be cheaper to buy instead of rent if I nurse for any length of time but I at a lost as to where would be the cheapest place. Any ideas???

I really appreciate all of your advice but I am a little confused. I have a friend that will loan me her Medela Pump in Style, but I researched online about used pumps and everything that I found warned against it even it you change the tubes because the milk goes through the internal parts of the machine and there is no way to clean that part. This particular pump is not hospital grade so could someone please tell me if it would be safe to borrow her pump. The reason that I asked this question is because I am nervous about borrowing someone's pump and my baby drinking milk out of something that had someone else's milk in it.

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C.P.

answers from Lakeland on

Hi A.,

When my son was born I bought my breast pump at JC Penneys. I can't remember the price or the brand but I know I paid less than $30 for it (this was also 6 years ago too). It worked great and was very easy to operate and most of all comfortable. Sorry I couldn't be more help. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.P.

answers from Tampa on

I have a Medela Pump in Style that I need to get around to selling. Send me a message if you are interested.

T.J.

answers from Fort Walton Beach on

I agree with Robin about the cross contamination. Everyone is right about going on Ebay or Craigslist. When I stayed at home, I bought a hand pump. I used it once in a while and didn't need the electric. Those are only $15 (appx) and very easy to clean. If you plan on having more kids, then an electric is the best way to go. Especially if you have to work.

Good luck :)

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R.S.

answers from Tampa on

hi A.

my advice is to purchase used. all pumps nowadays are made to where cross contamination is near impossible to take place. As i have mentioned to others on this site. I am looking to sell a lot of my baby stuff (medela double electric pump, exersaucer, highchair, strollers -double & single-, and other items). If you are interested please email me [email protected]____.com and we can discuss it.

1 mom found this helpful
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K.M.

answers from Miami on

I also recommend a double electric pump. The Ameda Purely Yours is excellent and there is no chance of contamination with it. The milk does NOT go through the tubing or the internal parts of the machine at all. If you bought one used, you could purchase new tubing and horns. Honestly, I'd be inclined to buy a used one because they are so expensive and the chance of contamination is very small. I wouldn't think twice about borrowing one from someone I knew personally either.

Congrats on breastfeeding!

1 mom found this helpful
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K.B.

answers from Orlando on

Check out craigslist.com or ebay. I was able to get a Medela Pump in style for $99. I used the tubing and pumps that the hospital provided (for free!) and sterilized the storage bottles and caps. I was so happy to not spend over $200! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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R.S.

answers from Sarasota on

A double electric is a must in my opinion. I would have been lost without mine. I have the ameda one and love it. I bought mine online for about $175 I beleive about 1.5 years ago. I just bought the Double electric embrace playtex one about a month ago for a friend and she decided that she didn't want it afterall. I kept it in case I knew someone that would need it. I bought it at target. If you are interested I am trying to get rid of it now beings I don't really know anyone that needs it now. It still has the tape on top to show that it has never been opened. I just posted it on craigslist actually for $110. If you would be interested, let me know. It seems like it would be just as good as the others. Let me know. [email protected]____.com or call me at ###-###-####. R.

1 mom found this helpful

J.M.

answers from Orlando on

I know that Medela says not to share a pump, but the milk doesn't go anywhere except into the breast sheilds and then into the bottle. They are just being super cautious, saying that it COULD get into the suction tubes. I have a Medela Pump in Style that I have used while nursing two kids, and I pumped every day at work as well as at home and never had that happen. It has had over two years of daily use and still never had the milk go anywhere except where it was supposed to go. So I'd say it would be fine to borrow your friend's pump. Just replace the breast shields and bottles if you are concerned.

If you really want to get your own pump, consider asking family/friends for gift cards to Babies R Us or where ever you plan to buy it. Then you won't have to shoulder the whole cost yourself. Good luck with whatever you decide!

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J.S.

answers from Boca Raton on

SUCCTION! That's the key. How much do you require to pump enough milk? I recommend a hospital grade breast pump. Do not rent if you can afford to buy one. I borrowed a breast pump and bought new tubing/breast shields/valves/membranes etc and feel I have not endagered my baby in any way. If milk/moisture truly seeped into the machine part of a pump it would quickly stop working. The pumps are designed to prevent milk from backing up into the mechanism of the pump. If milk/moisture is backing up into the pump then the pump is malfunctioning and it should be returned to the manufacturer. Many many women borrow one anothers breast pump. I have two Medela's: a borrowed one for home use and the Medela portable for travel. They come w/a gaurantee/new replacement policy. I nurse and pump. Happy Pumping!

P.G.

answers from Daytona Beach on

I use the Avent Isis manual pump. I'm using it for the second time (new pump on the second round). It is a manual which many people don't like but honestly, it allows you to be in control of how the pumping occurs. I'm using it for the second time and I think that says a lot. It runs about $40 and I got both from Target. The first time I bought it was 10 years ago and I just had another baby this past March. I've been nursing/pumping now for about seven months. It's a great pump!

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D.G.

answers from Boca Raton on

Try Freecycle.com for people in your area giving away stuff they no longer need. You can also get great baby clothes and toys, as well as anything else you might need. The idea behind the program is to keep the landfills from filling up by throwing away perfectly good items that you just might no longer want. Personally, I use it as a "pay it forward" in my life and have given away tons of great stuff to people who need it, as well as having gotten a few items. I havent gotten nearly as much as I have given, but whatever. It felt wonderful to give away a whole bunch of baby stuff to a rather unfortunate family who was not prepared for their 2 1/2 mth premature addition. Be aware, you will get upwards of 50 e-mails a day of people posting things they are giving away.

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D.H.

answers from Miami on

You can get Medela pumps way cheaper at www.addalittlelove.com. Good luck!

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P.B.

answers from Miami on

My best advice is to rent one, probably at the hospital where you will go to delivery the baby they offer the service. And it's good for different things like:
Parts in contact with milk and your body are brand new (you have to buy them, aprox $ 20 - $ 25)
Power is amazing!
You won't be sure if you will have enough milk, it's doesn't worth buy a good one, they are expensive ($400 - $ 600)
Rent is $ 40 per month and you will use it as you need
Good luck!
Patty

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J.K.

answers from Gainesville on

You can use your friend's pump, just sterilize the bottles, the pump attachments, and the tubes before using it. The milk does NOT go through the tubes or into the pump. I have this pump and actually my friend gave me hers so I did what you are wondering about and it's no problem. I repeat: I have this pump, used, and the milk DOES NOT GO THROUGH THE TUBES OR INTO THE PUMP. You are safe in borrowing it, but just to be absolutely certain I would boil the the bottles, the tubes, and the parts that attach to your breasts. Go ahead and use your friend's and save yourself some money.

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H.B.

answers from Tampa on

I think my Medela pump in style double electric was one of the best baby item purchases I made.... Far beats all the fad items that you spend money on and hardly use!!! I think having the Medela double electric was a big reason I was able to stay successful at breastfeeding long term.... It was easy to use, QUICK! and the parts and supplies are available at many local places.

I would get one gently used or else use a 15 or 20% off coupon that comes out for Babies R Us and buy it new.... If you get on used you can cheaply replace the tubing - and probably should anyway if they haven't been used in a while... Not sure where you are located but the Lactation Station in the Morton Plant hospital sells all the replacement parts and will personally help you.

Good luck and way to go on breastfeeding! You have made a wonderful choice!!

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C.M.

answers from Miami on

The used one should be fine. No milk goes into the machine - only air flows out of the machine and into the tubes (that you should buy new). I used the Medela Pump In Style for both of my kids. The first time I borrowed my friend's. The second time I bought a used one (and loaned it to a friend before I used it). I never had a problem either time with milk going into the machine or any performance issues. I recommend getting a used one from a reliable source.

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L.W.

answers from Miami on

I used a used Medela that a friend gave me, and later bought a similar one. The first was an open system, the second closed. They warn you against the hazards of using a used one because there are cleaning issues etc. that have to be taken into consideration and it is on their heads if they don't warn you. It is a guard against getting sued. And it makes them money when you buy new. However, the milk does NOT go anywhere into the machine itself. Air flows through the tubes to create suction. The milk flows directly from the cone part you put on your breast into the bottle, NOT into the tubing. You just clean the cone and bottle parts thoroughly after each use. If it's an open system, you can see in the tubing if there is any moisture because they are clear. You can pull them off and replace them. But mine never had any problem. I chose to replace the tubing anyway before I gave it back just to be nice. It's no different then getting bottles from a friend. I would highly recommend you either save up or borrow a nice one like a Medela. Right at first, I used a cheap one we could afford. It never emptied my breasts and it made me sore. The Medela worked wonderfully, as did the other one (I can't remember the brand but it was set up identically and I got it at Wal-Mart). The difference with an open system, is the lack of a valve where the tubing meets the cone. So there is a small risk of some milk being sucked in, but it doesn't suck the milk in normally. A closed system has a valve that lets in the air but stops milk. If you are concerned you can get replacement tubing, bottles, valves, etc. I pumped for all 4 of my kids.

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N.J.

answers from Tampa on

A.,
Not sure if you have talk to a lactation nurse, you may want to do that before you start pumping. Most hospitals have the nurse available to answer these types of questions and so many more. I suggest this because every nursing mom should talk to that lactation nurse they are very helpful. I have nurse 4 children and each one of them were different. So thatI would have a good flow to my milk I was told wait until my baby was 3 months old. However, I was off from work for 9 months. I rented the Medela for about 2 months from the hospital until i was able to purchase my own. I bought the Medela pump in style, when I was finished I gave it to a friend from church. It has been 3 years but if memory serves me correct my medela pump stated no milk went through the internal pumps. If that was the case then you wouldn't want to rent the pumps because they are pretty much the same. However, I am very meticulous about my things so it still looked brand new and I kept my pump clean and it was in very good condition. I would say follow your intuition. Because you are the one that has seen the condition of the pump and you know your friend.

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J.G.

answers from Orlando on

I think that they pretty much have to say that you can't use someone else's pump because of the tiniest chance of cross-contamination, but I think it's highly unlikely. I never could see any of my milk getting into any of the tubing in my Medela Pump-in-Style, and I used it with all 3 of my children, whom I breastfed up to 12 months. If there was a problem, I would think it would be "old" milk getting into your baby's milk, not the fact that it came from another mom. In that case, your own baby could get contaminated if you brought a new one for yourself! :) I wouldn't worry about it.

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R.A.

answers from Boca Raton on

much less disgusting than giving your child milk that is pumped from a cow. Your friend has less germs-no e coli, antibiotics, steroids and other harmful pathogens. Not to mention not as gross as giving your child artificial breast milk. I think it's fantastic that you're so concerned about giving your child the proper nutrients and nursing. Good for you!!!

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D.H.

answers from Tampa on

I bought my Medela used on ebay for $100 and have no qualms about it. The milk doesnt go through the internal parts of the machine. The milk doesnt even touch the machine or the tubes. The tube goes from the machine to the back of the breast horn to provide the suction. Milk never touches it. The milk only touches the breast horn and the bottle. It goes from the breast, through the horn, and drips into the bottle. I figure that Medela doesnt want people to use used pumps, because they want you to spend $300 on a new pump. It's how they make their money.

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K.Z.

answers from Gainesville on

I would highly recommend the one I used. I used an Avent Isis iQ Duo. This is the only non-hospital closed system electric breastpump, so it would be safe to buy or borrow a used one. (Obviously when you rent one from the hospital someone else has already used it but they consider it safe). It was easy, portable, and comfortable. It was expensive, but the same price as the Medela Pump-in-Style, with the added benefit of not having all the tubes with milk in them to clean out. You can buy new parts for it as well, so with the closed system and new parts, there is not reason not to get a used one (I got mine as a gift).

There is a small risk of disease transmission with an open system, so you probably do want to stay away from buying or borrowing one. Plus I just thought it was gross to have to clean out tubes with milk in them. It seems like they would never be really clean.

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B.T.

answers from Jacksonville on

The internal parts are to create the suction. The milk does not go into the internal parts.

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L.H.

answers from Miami on

the Ameda CAN be used by multiple users- get one on ebay or Craig's list- you then just buy all new tubing etc.
I researched it!
the Medela can NOT be used by more than one person bcse of cross contamination,etc. I'm not sure I totally agree w/ this- I happen to think they say that so that more people will have to buy brand new pumps!

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W.T.

answers from Jacksonville on

The milk does not go inside the machine. It doesn't even go in the tubes. If you get new bottles and breast cups your milk will never touch hers.

You will definitely want a good pump. Cheaper quality pumps will just frustrate you and make the experience very difficult. It's your call about borrowing the one from your friend - but don't go with a cheaper brand.

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S.R.

answers from Tampa on

I bought my Medela Pump in Style new, and cleaned the tubing regularly by steaming them in a microwave steam bag then pouring rubbing alcohol inside them. To get the moisture out, I would spin the tubes real fast for a minute then hang them to dry overnight. I would buy new tubing for a used machine, but if you don't, this method should make you feel more comfortable with using used tubing. I once in a while saw a droplet of milk in the tubing, which would edge its way toward the pump but never got even halfway close. That being said, I feel confident no milk ever got inside my pump. Borrow your friend's pump, get new accessories (or steam sterilize - it is your friend, after all, not a stranger), and have fun pumping :-).

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J.P.

answers from Tallahassee on

If you want a new double electric pump because you are worried about a used one, the Lansinoh pump is the exact same pump as Ameda Purely Yours (from what I have heard). It is also on sale for 102.99 at amazon and drugstore.com, so that's not as bad as a new Medela. If you're staying home, you might not need one at all. I had a small manual pump and still managed to pump enough to work half-days a couple times a week.

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S.C.

answers from Boca Raton on

My girlfriend bought a Medela Pump in Style about six years ago, and since then it has been passed around our circle of frineds four times, each time someone has a new baby. We each just buy new equipment like bottles,breast shields,etc. The tubes do not get milk in them so no worries there. It is an awesome pump and I loved it. If you have a chance to borrow one, I would jump at it! Also, as a tip, I used the evenflo glass bottles (small ones)with the pump and they were great. Even thought the bags and plastic bottle don't have BPA in them, I like the idea of glass over plastic anyday. Good luck and good for you for breastfeeding!! If you haven't yet take a breastfeeding class at the hospital or wherever one is located and make your husband go! THe info we both learned there really helped me have a successful nursing relationship with my daughter. What a wonderful experience!

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A.S.

answers from Tampa on

I like the playtex for comfort of pumping, but it did not last a full year. I purchased the medela with my second and am going to use it with third. The hospitals recommend medela. It is suppose to last longer, but it is more expensive. Search the internet for the medela, you will be able to find the best available price. I am not sure how much renting will cost, but I would expect it would cost more if you plan on pumping for a year or more.

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M.M.

answers from Tampa on

Check out craigslist for tampa florida or ebay you can get new ones there from someone who has got extra at shower or so on.

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B.R.

answers from Boca Raton on

You can buy a used pump safely if you buy what is known as a closed system. This what the lacatation consultant at the hospital told me. Research brands/models that are "closed system". I have a closed system which I bought used. I only had to buy a few parts such as the flanges (which goes on your breast)the valves, and the diaphragm. These are the only parts that actually come in contact with any milk. Even if you were getting a brand new one for yourself always buy a closed system because as you mentioned the open system lets milk into the tubing which can cause an infection or bacteria build up (child getting sick). You can also go online to Ameda.com and look up the information to research it for yourself. I wouldn't use your friend's pump simply because it's the open system. Hopes this helps you out. I got mine on eBay and to be on the safe side I just bought new parts for it. In fact I had to get specialized flanges because the standard size was too small for my breasts. Hope this helps and if you need any other information feel free to contact me.

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L.T.

answers from Jacksonville on

A.,
the milk does NOT go through the machine. the only parts that touch you or your milk are the breast shield, the membrane, and the bottle. these can all be sterilized and reused. since it is possible that the tubing can get some backflow and can't really be sterilized, you must replace it. all of these parts may be available from your hospital at delivery and paid by insurance or free of charge to you. i suspect that what you have read about cross-contamination is written to convince people to increase new pump sales. borrow in confidence! best to you.

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