Going Back to Work Need Advice on Breast Pump.

Updated on May 03, 2009
R.M. asks from Austin, TX
34 answers

Hello ladies, I am going back to work after 8 months of being at home with my boy. He was exclusively breastfed and I am planning on keep on doing it as long as I can. Is there a big difference between the expensive Breast Pumps and the cheaper ones? which one do you recommend?
Thank you

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S.W.

answers from Houston on

I liked the Aveda manual breast pump. Some of the expensive ones are slightly faster and you can be rented. Good for you for still breastfeeding!

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A.M.

answers from El Paso on

I love my Lansinoh. It's a little less expensive than the others and the milk goes straight into the storage bottle. Very easy to clean and as silly as this may sound, I love that it's lavender...

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K.K.

answers from Killeen on

The largest price difference you are going to see will be in hand pumps vs electric pumps. I highly suggest the electric pump for work. You will already be on limited time for pumping and set will take some time...you are not going to want to extend this by having to stop and rest due to being tired from using the hand pump. Especially if you are having a particularly hard day, the hand pump is simply going to annoy you.

It will be well worth the price in the end.

Also, many hospitals will rent out electric pumps...The nice thing about this is you are not stuck with this thing you have no use for later and you only have to pay for the time you are using it...

Good Luck... ;-)

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C.H.

answers from Houston on

R.,

I don't know where you live but I have a used breast pump you may have if you would like it. It is the Medula brand and all you would need to do is purchase from Babies R US the starter pack. I think I used it all of maybe a month as I became so sick I had to be put on medication and therefore had to stop pumping.

If you are interested please email me privately at [email protected]____.com

Congratulations on your baby!
Blessings
Cassie

1 mom found this helpful
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S.S.

answers from San Antonio on

I only had one on the expensive side but I love, love, loved it! Unfortunately I can only remember that it was a Medela but not the specific type off hand but I will recommend that you choose one that can pump both breasts at the same time since you will be at work. It can be time consuming so you get twice the milk for the same amount of time. I also recommend that you have a little cooler for the trip home and even for while waiting in the office fridge. Many of the breast milk bottles are very thick but some will actually pick up the disgusting smell (and therefor taste) of whatever has been left in there to rot. Yuck. Congratulations on your healthy choice and I commend you for your dedication!
S.

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K.P.

answers from Houston on

No matter what you get they suck batteries! I pumped until my son was 9 months. I found the car plug and pumped in my car. My mileage sucked and I went through a lot of gas but it was my only option if I wanted to pump at work.

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A.A.

answers from Waco on

I used the Medela Pump In Style. Best $300 I ever spent!

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T.I.

answers from San Antonio on

Hi R.,
I used the Medela Advanced after a cheaper brand that HURT like you wouldn't believe. It was $300 but totally worth it! You could try to see if your insurance will cover it as medically necessary (ours did not, but we tried w/ dr's recommendation). It was totally worth it. I even drug it to jury duty & on a work trip - VERY durable & will used it for #2 this fall when I return to work myself. You definiltey want the soft cups - it allows the letdown to be much better than w/ the hard ones cups. That was my experience anyway! The container & portable bag made it easy to keep 'hidden' in the community fridge at work too. No one wants breastmilk in their coffee!! My son had BM for 13 months...had to stop nursing at 9 months because he was so distracted, but I pumped for 4 more months so he would have some breast milk every day. The health benefits to them are totally worth it! Hope this helps! Good luck!

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C.T.

answers from Houston on

I recommend Medela Pump In Style Advanced. I have the over the shoulder bag but I wish I had the backpack. It is a lot to carry when you have your purse, diaper bag and pump all on one shoulder.

I took this everywhere even on planes when I had to travel for work. I have pumped in the airport restrooms, car, bathroom at the rodeo, client's offices, everywhere!

It is very lightweight and came with everything I needed. When I did travel I would store everything in the medela pump & store bags that you can put in the freezer.

Also, be sure you get the car charger. It will come in handy on roadtrips.

A.M.

answers from Austin on

my sister uses a single electric pump while she nurses her son. Its faster and easier, the electric one.

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Y.K.

answers from Austin on

Going back to work and pumping can be a challenge, but hang in there. You are doing an important job and providing your child with the best nourishment possible.
Yes, there is a huge difference between the cheaper pumps and the more expensive hospital grade pumps. The best pump is the Lactina, but it is expensive and bulky. When my former employer set up pumping rooms in our office, this is the pump they purchased. The differences in pumps include the action of expressing the milk, the suction type, and the volume of milk you will be able to pump. Since you are planning to pump a large enough volume to provide milk for your child when you are at work, you definitely need a heavy duty pump. I purchased the Medela Pump in Style with my first daugter. I breastfed exclusively for four months. When I returned to work I used the Pump in Style and was able to pump enough milk to provide breastmilk exclusively for the next four months. I also used the Pump In Style for my second daughter. When my sister-in-law had her first child one of my gifts to her was my Pump In Style plus a new set of tubing and shields. She will pass it on to the next person who needs it. This has definitely been a good investment. I had many friends who initially purchased the cheaper pumps, but ended up with the Medela. The less expensive and manual pumps are okay for occasional use or trips out of town, but since you will need to pump daily you should consider a more expensive one. It is not worth it to purchase a $50 pump or rent a pump to try it out, when you will ultimately purchase a more expensive pump. Some insurance companies will accept a prescription from your doctor for the pump and cover the cost with you only paying your typical co-pay (10 - 20% or $15 - $25). You can also find the pumps on ebay for significantly less (around $100). If you purchase from ebay you should sanitize the system and purchase new tubing, breastshields, and membranes.

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S.O.

answers from San Antonio on

I had a hand pump, manual. It always worked fine for me - but I only pumped occasionally. Then, I decided to buy an electric one - a cheapy. It wasn't worth the trouble at all!!!!! If I were going to pump while working full time - I would spend the money and get an expensive one. My friends did this and had no problems like I did with the cheapy.

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L.M.

answers from San Antonio on

I work FT and have been pumping since I returned to work in December. I inherited my SIL's Medela Pump in Style Advanced...it's big and bulky. So I bought myself a Medela Freestyle. I LOVE it. It's tiny, runs great on the battery, and I use it with a Gentle Expressions Bustier to pump hands free. I bought my pump online at www.addalittlelove.com. It's a site run by a lactation consultant and her price was close to $100 less than at BRUS. With a prescription from my OB, I was able to save sales tax as well. One suggestion I have is to have 3 sets of parts. I keep one complete set of everything at work for emergencies. Then I rotate the two sets. The set I pump with today will go home and get washed tonight. When I get home, set #2 goes into my work bag for tomorrow. In the morning, I pack up set #1 for the next day. It cost a few bucks more in the beginning, but I always have a clean set of parts. Good luck...pumping takes a commitment, but it's so worth it.

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M.T.

answers from Austin on

Everyone, including my doctors and instructor of the breastfeeding class I took, recommended the more expensive electric breast pump. I bought it and used it quite often. But when I went back to work as a substitute teacher when my little girl was 6 or 7 months old I found that the hand held manual Medela Harmonhy pump that was given to me by the LC at the hospital was perfect for me. It was more convenient to carry around, faster, and I sseemed to get more milk...I think I just knew how to use it better than the big pump. You could always get a Medela manuel which is not very expensive and try it out. If it isn't what you like, you will know very quickly, then splurge on the expensive one. Good luck to you.

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M.C.

answers from Houston on

I considered the Medela that has been recommended by most responders but found the Ameda Purely Yours. It was less expensive (but still about $150) and worked great. At that time it was directly comparable (in suction, weight, accessories, etc.) to the Medela but again, less expensive. Also, the milk didn't go throught he suction tubes so it was more sanitary. That was 3 years ago so things may have changed but you definitely want a good pump if your going to pump enough milk for all day. Goodluck!

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T.W.

answers from Austin on

i have a medela pump in style advanced and i love it. i bought it at special addition on lamar and would recommend going there to purchase as they are very knowledgable.

i will tell you if you are interested in renting a pump instead of buying, i loved the hospital grade medela. i wish i could afford to buy one, but they're over $1000. i noticed a huge difference in the amt of time it took to pump the same amt - the hospital grade definitely was quicker.

good luck!

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B.S.

answers from Houston on

I would not suggest anything other than a Medela pump. Yes there is a big difference the cheap ones are a waste of time. You can rent a hospital grade pump or purchase the pump N' Style for about $300. I pumped everyday (when I went back to work) twice a day with the medela and it worked great.

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M.M.

answers from San Antonio on

Hello,

I had a medela pump in style and I just hated it. Used it for 3 months and couldnt take it anymore but I wanted to continue pumping so I gave it one last try with a different pump. I tried the Avent Isis IQ Duo. This pump was so much more comfortable to use than the Medela. And the control that it gives you to express your milk is unbelievable. I believe most people dont know about this one because the lactation consultants always push the Medela but I am so happy I found this one. I found it way cheaper on Amazon than at the stores. With the medela, you dont have much of an option of how long the machine suctions. This Avent cut my pumping sessions in half because you could hold the suction for as long as the milk comes out. I would hold the suction for almost a minute and just watch the milk come out. Sounds so funny for me to say it that way but it was so awesome to be able to do that. Can not do that with the medela. The avent is electric and manual. Give it a try, it is a little more complicated than the medela, but so worth it.

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M.V.

answers from Houston on

Congratulations on your determination to continue breastfeeding! It's unfortunate that many moms choose not to once they go back to work.

An excellent pump brand is Medela. There is no getting around it. Yes, they are pricey but they LAST. Mine went through 5 kids all total and the only "trouble" I had with it was it not working quite as well when hooked up to the generator needed during power outages from hurricanes. Those don't happen every day so it's no big deal.

Make sure when you get your pump, that it states it is for daily use. The Pump-in-Style and PIS Advanced are great choices for your needs. It is an easy pump to use and has some great benefits.

You may find that having an extra set of shields will work best for you, just for convenience. If for any reason, you feel friction on your nipples while pumping, an excellent fix is just the slightest amount of olive oil rubbed right around the inside of the shield where your nipple is located. My lactation consultant recommended that to me and it really works great. Medela also has microwaveable bags that you can use to steam your supplies to clean and sterilize them. Just be warned...it doesn't clean off the olive oil. The bags may be an excellent option for you at work.

Medela does have a car adapter as well as the standard wall plug and battery pack. I'd suggest investing in rechargeable batteries if you choose the latter option. Also, if you find moisture in the tubing once you are done pumping, just keep the pump on for a bit longer so it can clear out the condensation. This will help the tubing to remain clear and not grow mold/bacteria. This would go for any pump with tubing, not just Medela.

Being a double breast pump, it will work much more efficiently than a single because of your let-down. I used mine exclusively for my 2nd child because of a muscular deformity he had in his lower lip. Babies are much better at extracting milk then the pumps are but when you want to nurse and cannot, pumping is the way to go. You may find your supply becoming lower toward the end of the week. That is normal and with putting your son to your breast over the weekend, you'll build the supply back up again.

I went on vacation while still nursing my last child and ended up with Mastitis. I HAD to pump to help relieve the pressure but had left my Medela at home. I took peoples advice and purchased the single Avent Isis manual pump and only used it 2 times. I hated it. It was worth the extreme pain that nursing caused because the Isis just didn't do a thing for me!

Medela holds its value but you may be able to find a new one on Ebay or Craig's List for a better price.

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S.A.

answers from Houston on

I used the Medela Pump in Style and went back to work 3 month after I had my daughter. I exclusively breastfed her and had no problems. I weaned her at 15 months of age and this pump was wonderful.

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B.S.

answers from San Antonio on

the medela pump in style advanced is the best electric breast pump. it is better at initiating a let down.

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S.B.

answers from Austin on

I've pumped exclusively since my son was one week old and I can highly recommend the Ameda Purely Yours pump. Its a double pump that came with a carrying bag which is wonderful as its easy to tote with you. You can manually adjust the cycles and suction to mimic what you're used to from your child. I have not had any problems with my pump. Also, there is a car adapter available which I recommend getting. I can't tell you the number of times its come in handy for me, then again, my family and I travel a lot...but I've gone to the car to pump when the power was out while visiting folks in Houston. It beats manual pumping in my opinion. Also, I can recommend getting a hands free pumping and nursing bra. Its made it possible for me to pump and still do other things. My sister-in-law used hers at work and she would email people while she was pumping....I use the Easy Expressions Hands Free Bustier but any of the others on the market will most likely perform just as well. Amazon.com is a great place to get items:

http://www.amazon.com

I hope this helps you, good luck!

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J.R.

answers from San Antonio on

Hi-

This is a tough decision. I did a TON of research - I've breastfed two babies (am still breastfeeding my baby #2 - she's 10 months) and found Ameda Purely Yours to be far superior. Most people don't take the time to really do their research. It is the only one that is completely sanitary and FDA approved.

BUT, with the birth of my baby, we were in the midst of all the BPA stuff. Medela is completely BPA free. You can find the parts for Ameda for around $20 that are BPA free but you may want to add that to cost. Since the Ameda is cheaper, this may have made a difference but if you want bpa free, check into that. The last I looked - about six months ago, Ameda didn't offer the official parts BPA free. I found them - if you need more info, feel free to email me.

I agree with the idea to get the car pack and shawl. I also pump while I drive (to my mom and husband's horror!). They eat a ton of batteries. I also love the tube top that lets you pump hands free. I didn't have it for my first and don't know how I lived without it. Best of luck!

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M.F.

answers from Austin on

Both of my girls were preemies, and I pumped round the clock while they were in the NICU. I rented a hospital-grade pump, and rather than use the bulky carry-case it came in, I kept it in the bottom of a backpack. Lots of fun pockets for all my supplies (including a small cooler bag), and a bit more inconspicuous than the carrying case. As long as you have access to an electrical outlet, you're good to go!

Many women that I've talked to have said that to purchase a good quality pump, it's quite expensive. Depending on how long you intend to pump, a rental might work out being cheaper.

Good luck and best wishes!
M.

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C.W.

answers from Austin on

There is a BIG difference in breast pumps. I would highly recommend the Madela pump-in-style breastpump. It's pretty costly, but maybe you could find someone to borrow from, or you can always rent one. If you just choose to go with a non-hospital grade pump your milk production will greatly decline, if not cease.

Have you given him bottle yet? He may not take to one at first if you haven't. I would start with trying to have someone else give him a bottle (he probally won't take one from you b/c he wants the real thing). You definatley want to have him adjusted to taking a bottle before you go back to work. I would also recommend getting a bottle nipple that is best shaped like yours. Nuk makes a good one.
Hope this advice helps! Good luck with work, it will be tough at first, but it gets easier!

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S.H.

answers from Austin on

Medella double pump is a must! It comes with BPA free bottles, but I purchased glass bottles that I would fill up at work and then place in the refrigerator in the special bottle bag that comes with it. I was able to pump 8 ounces in 8 minutes. Set up and clean up included, I was all done each time in about 15 minutes. The bottle bag comes with blue ice in case you do not have access to a refrigerator right away. Also, an instruction booklet is included and tells about how long breast milk is good under certain conditions. I would also recommend recording the sound of your baby nursing so that you can listen to it at work in case you have trouble getting your milk to "let down." Good luck and kudos to you for continuing to breast feed while going back to work. It's a hassle for sure, but totally worth it. Oh, and you might want to be aware of anyone else who might be using the refrigerator that you store your milk in. I was always hesitant to leave it somewhere unattended.

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A.H.

answers from Houston on

I thought getting a hand pump would be convenient at certain times where electricity was not readily available, so my sister got me the Gerber hand pump. It sucked. I never got any thing out with that thing. I have a double pump, Pump In Style, by Medela and I loved it when I was breastfeeding. If I wasn't near electricity then I either waited for brought along a car plug converter, i.e. like when we went camping without kids.

D.K.

answers from Houston on

I had a friend that breast fed and she rented one and just loved it. She mentioned many times if she was having trouble she could call them and they were so nice to give her advice. I have also heard that the Medela has been a really good one to get as well. Another friend bought hers off of ebay and sterilized it really well before she used it.

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A.C.

answers from Houston on

No matter the brand, a double electric pump is going to be your best choice. I pumped (heavily) for a year and really liked my Ameda. Medela is more readily available and has great customer service.

More expensive pumps generally have more adjustment options and stronger suction.

I exclusively breastfed for 9 months and continued nursing until my daughter was 18 months. After a year, I was nursing on demand when we were together, but had added other foods and fluids to meet her daycare time needs. At that point, pumping wasn't yielding enough to be worth the time and effort.

If you haven't used a pump before, you might consider renting a hospital-grade pump. At this point, your yield may not be what you expect--even though you have plenty for your baby.

I believe that Bay Area Birth Center in Pasadena has some for rental and Mother's Work in Rice Village, as well.

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J.G.

answers from Sherman on

i do recommend the Medela i know that it is expesive, but i know that it works well, and why try to cut corners when it comes to something, pardon me, sucking on your boobies..you want it to be comfortable. and this pump is. go all out and besides it will last forever..you can use it on your other children. if you plan to have more...and you can get all the spare parts for the medela. And Congrats for lasting the 8 months!

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J.S.

answers from San Antonio on

Not all breastpumps are created equal! It does make a difference if they are cheap. One of the best breastpumps on the market is the Medela pump. I don't know the name of it style but is between $200 and $300. When I was nursing my first son, I went on a roadtrip and forgot my breastpump so I had to buy one at WalMart. I thought if I bought one that was middle of the road and a well known brand that it would work ok. I was wrong; I hardly got any milk when I pumped.

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J.T.

answers from Victoria on

Yes there is! I had a cheaper one Evenflow and I never did produce enough milk to feed my son. I switched to a expensive one cant remebmer the name started with a M and it worked so much better. The Leche Leauge told me that some pumps are actually decreasing the milk flow. The pumps had different cups one hard plastic one soft. The softer one was better for milk flow. Good luck.

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W.W.

answers from Houston on

Hi Raquuel,
I had an expensive one and a little manual one. I liked the little manual one the best. It was easy to use, quiet, and it helped me to pump more milk. Also if I was interupted it was easier to unhook and hook up again. It was an Isis by Avent. It is $44 from Babies R'Us.
Good luck.

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T.

answers from Houston on

I am a working mother of two who is currently pumping and I highly recommend the Medala breast pump. It really works teh best.
I know that they are ex[ensive, but you can usually find used ones online like at Craigslist. You can buy all of the replacement parts online or at "A womans work" in Rice village.

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