Need Advice About Breast Pumps

Updated on August 23, 2009
E.K. asks from Tampa, FL
23 answers

Hi. This is my first pregnancy and I am looking for some advice about breast pumps. I am already at home, and will remain at home once I have our son. I plan to breastfeed only. So, the use/need for a breast pump is only for 2 reasons. 1) to have a small "stock" in the freezer and 2) so my husband and I can go out occasionally. I don't really know which pump is better for my "needs". I feel like that all I will need is a single electric pump...does that seem reasonable? I am looking at the Medela Single Deluxe. Anyone had experience with this pump? Please share. If you recommend a diiferent pump, please let me know which one and how you like it. One last thing...is storage. I plan to use the Playtex nursers, so I was looking at the pump and store set Playtex offers. Good? Bad? I read a couple of reviews that said it could be used with the Medela pump. Anyone have experience with this? Let me know please. Thanks so much in advance for the information!!! =)

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much for your responses. I appreciate you taking the time to read and answer. My husband and I are still leaning toward a Medela. We're not sure that we will out the extra money for the double, but if we do, we know it will be worth it thanks to you all. I'm going to check into the double Lanisoh also, as a couple of people recommended it and said it is made by the makers of Medela. Thanks again. Have a good day!

Featured Answers

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D.H.

answers from Fort Myers on

E.-

I used the Medela Single pump, and loved it!! The double probably would have been better (b/c I pumped for 5 months at work), but the single definitely got the job done. I think we paid $150 for it. For storage, we used the Gerber BPA free bags (I think 50 for $10) and they worked great. They were easy to thaw, and were easy to store. Congratulations and good luck!

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K.P.

answers from Boca Raton on

Hi E.,
I use the Ameda pump and love it. Mine is a double electric pump, but I found that I like to only use one at a time so one hand is free. I think it is a great pump and I also think you really need it to be electric for it to be efficient. Best of luck to you.

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J.R.

answers from Boca Raton on

I had the same use/need requirements that you have with my first son (he is now 2). I used the Avent manual hand pump. I found it very easy to use and could get milk as fast as my friends with electric pumps. I did have a strong milk supply, so that may have helped make it easy. I found it worked best without using the cushioned pad on the pump (they say it is optional for comfort). The pump was inexpensive (I believe it was around $40). I do not think that you will be able to pump directly into the playtex nursers, but the milk just goes into an Avent bottle that can easily be poured into whatever container you want. I stored my milk in breast milk storage bags (Lansinoh brand worked great) in the freezer. They make the pump BPA free now, so I will be purchasing a new one to use with my second child due in November. Good luck!

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S.W.

answers from Miami on

It''s been a while; but once your milk comes in, and you must drink plenty of water to keep the supply, you won't need a pump...you'll express right into an empty bottle with little effort. Glass bottles were recommended in my day.
Best advice though is to contact "LaLecheLeague" and someone nearby will talk with you about breastfeeding and the most current pumps, bottles, nipples, storage, etc.
Good luck with the birth and many blessings!

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A.B.

answers from Sarasota on

After being a SAHM to three and breast feeding I would say I love the Medela. This company makes really nice pumps. I worked in Postpartum for a few years in between babies. We used Medela and in some cases sent new mommies home with the harmony. I loved the Medela Harmony. I bought it myself after my third child. It is a manual pump that is very inexpensive and very easy to use. It is easy to clean and you don't have to plug it in or worry about batteris. You can pump anywhere. It is also very light. You can also use the the Playtex system. In a pinch I have even used the Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags in playtex bottles, right out of the fridge/freezer.

I agonized over buying a really nice machine with my first daughter. I would just say for the amount of time you might realistically use it I would try the manual first. I pumped maybe twice a month for storage. Maybe a few times to relieve some pressure. Hope this helps.
Congrats on you sweet baby. Enjoy your time in preparation:) He/She will be here before you know it!!

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R.S.

answers from Tampa on

I can only recommend from experience. I used the single pump with my first child and although it does the job, it is very time consuming. So, with our second i talked my husband into buying a double pump, since i nursed our first for 13 months. I had great experience with the Medela. i also used the platex nursers system and it is very easy to with the Medela pumps. Playtex includes all necessary attachments.

If you are interested in purchasing baby items, i am currently ready to get rid of a lot of baby stuff (pump, strollers, car seat, exersaucer...)I even have the playtex nursing system. It's all plastic and can be sterilized. Email me if you or know anyone that's interested.. [email protected]____.com

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C.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Medela Pump In Style Double pump is the best! My first son would not latch on so I pumped for 13 months using this awesome pump. Used same pump for second baby and it is all ready to go for baby number three! As for freezing breastmilk, I used the Medela pump and save baggies to freeze. They are BPA free which is important.

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C.

answers from Boca Raton on

E.,
You have received very good advice here. I have worked with Healthy STart, am a peer counselor for WIC and currently work in collaboration with NICU's providiing pumps for mother's that need to establsh and maintain their supply until the baby is ready to come home and feed. You will not go wrong with either a medela or a Ameda. You may want to get the double because you can pump and be done in 10-15 minutes. Both have a plug where the tubing fits in where you can plug one hole if you only want to do one side at a time. Please do not get a cheaper model because they will tear you up. Neither should be shared or both used but it happens all the time. I dont know where you live but in my county some of the hospitals provide the kits for you at no cost and also have pumps there where that can be used so a hospital lactation consultant can help you with its use. The kits that fit the hospital grade will also fit your personal pump.You can call the hospital where you plan to deliver and speak to the lactation consultant before you deliver to make sure that this is true at your hospital. Another thing, Please make sure that your OB and the hospital staff are make aware that you are going to exclusively breastfeed so no one will give them a bottle of water or formula. It happens all the time so you have to be very firm about your decision with the staff. It is best if you get your son to the breast within an hour or delivery. Le Leche League is a wonderful resource and they have lots of information on their website. It is wonderful that you are planning to breastfeed. Babies are born to Breastfeed and this is the normal food source for them. Breastmilk has over 300 components of live cells comprised of anitbiotics, vitamins, minerals, etc that cannot be duplicated with formulas-no matter what the manufacters claim. You are to be commended for your desire to provide the best nutrition for your child's physical, develpmental, and cognitive health. Best of luck to you and enjoy your new one.
C.

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L.H.

answers from Miami on

I have used both the Medela and the Ameda.
They both are great!
You are not supposed to 'share' a Medela, but you CAN use an used Ameda! so you mgiht want to look on Ebay or Craig's list!
double is the way to go...

as a new mom, here is a GREAT place to research everything:
http://www.windsorpeak.com/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=3

congratulations!
and research all you can!

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A.C.

answers from Sarasota on

I used the Medela Swing Pump. It too was a single electric pump and it worked great for being a SAHM. However my child would never take a bottle. But I still used it for cereal and to keep a small stock just in case. Good luck!
I have heard horrible things about Playtex's pumps. Try a lactation consultant in your area.

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A.F.

answers from Tampa on

I purchased the Medela Pump-In Style. I absolutely love it. I too am a SAHM but pump almost every morning just to have milk in storage. I've had it for almost 10 months and it's going strong. It is incredibly powerful and I usually only have to pump about 10-15 minutes. It's pricey but well worth the expense. I'm getting ready to take it on a buisness trip for four days as I am unable to take my little one with me and it has a battery option which is nice if you don't have an outlet handy. I'm not sure about other brands but but careful about buying one used. My lactation specialist warned against it because not all of the internal parts can be disinfected like a hospital grade pump. Good luck!

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H.H.

answers from Orlando on

I used to work at a baby registry, and I have a child as well. I definitely recommend an electric pump. Medela is my favorite. It reaches maximum vacuum in a short amount of time, which helps your milk flow. I used my sister's pump in style (with new shields of course) It lasted daily use for almost a year. She had used it for her 3 children prior. So it really had a long life. I suppose I could have done a single pump, but honestly the extra money was worth my time and I didn't have to try to keep track of which breast I had pumped when. Also, you do want to consider the frequency you plan on using it. Storage, relief of let down, increasing milk production etc. The more you use it, the harder the wear and tear on the motor will be. I tried using an Avent manual pump after my Medela broke down. I absolutely HATED it. My hands got so tired, it didn't have the suction it needed and my milk flow was affected by it.

Hope that helps. Congrats!
Good luck and God bless
H. H

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K.B.

answers from Tampa on

You can rent one from the hospital for 30.00 a month....

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S.A.

answers from Tampa on

The Medela freestyle double pump is great. Get twice as much in the same amount of time!!!

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A.N.

answers from Jacksonville on

Medela is GREAT! I have their double electric pump and a single manual pump from them. They both do a fantastic job and are high quality. The double is very good for building up your supply. Hospitals rent out a professional grade dual electric pump. Maybe you can rent one at first, and then either buy your own or just use the manual. I loved them both for different reasons. The manual was more convenient because of size, and ease of travel. The dual electric was nice because you could empty both sides at once and build supply.

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B.H.

answers from Panama City on

I am a first time mom too, due in November. Did anyone help you with this? I've heard the Medela electric pump is good too, but haven't purchased anything. Let me know what you find out!

Thanks!

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K.L.

answers from Tampa on

I am currently exclusively breastfeeding my 9.5 month old son, and I work full time (and have since he was 3.5 months) - I pumped frequently before returning to work to have my "stash" in the freezer as well. Currently I pump 3x a day - occasionally even 4x.
When shopping for my pump I hear rave reviews about the Medella PIS (PUMP IN STYLE), but that is a double pump and you want a single which would be the Medella swing.....I did ALOT of research and read 100's of reviews and found that the Medellas were great, but many people had problems with milk backing up into the tubing and I have 3 friends who have the same problems with theirs.
I found equally great reviews on the Lansinoh Double Electric pump (which is the EXACT same pump as the Ameda) and I bought it bc it was SOO much cheaper - well 9.5 months later it still works amazing! Two of my friends had to replace their Medellas already bc of milk getting into the pump and loosing suction and they replaced them with the Lansinoh as well.

Since the Lansinoh is the same price as a Medella single pump I would say it would be 100% worth it to get a double Lansinoh! (You can even only pump one side at a time if you wanted)....... This pump does not come with a bag, BUT it fits perfectly into the free hospital diaperbag they give you and after a few months my hubby bought me a beatiful Vera Bradley bag to carry it in and now when I go office to office for work no one is the wiser as to what I am carrying with me ;)
Oh and Lansinoh's customer service is TOP NOTCH!!!!
The Lactation consultant in our area that teaches the breastfeeding class warned everyone to stick with either Medella or Ameda/Lansinoh bc the other brands just arent up to the same standard.

Oh and I wanted to add you can use batteries in it as well which is awesome for the times you and DH go out and you can pump in the car. (My DH and I went to a football game in Orlando - it was the 1st time we left our son, and I was able to pump while he was driving down the road!)

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K.M.

answers from Miami on

I was a SAHM my daughter's first year and I've been home with my son for the last 10 months. I'm really happy with the Ameda Purely Yours. You can plug it in or use batteries. It's a double electric pump, but you can pump one side at a time too. The milk does not go through the machine at all so if you replace the tubes it's as good as new. You can definitely buy one used without worry. I think it's easier and faster to get milk with an electric pump than a manual, but maybe that's an individual thing. I think a double is better in that if you need to pump both breasts (say for some reason you're away from your baby for the day for long enough that you need to bring a pump to relieve engorgement or you're needing to pump quickly before the baby wakes up) you can do it faster. I'm not familiar with the Playtex system. I don't have a freezer stash. I just pump earlier in the week if I'm going to be away from my son for a few hours. With my daughter, I attempted a stash. I pumped into the bottles that came with my Ameda and transferred into the Medela storage bags which I then labelled and put in the freezer. One last thing about the electric pump...I like to multitask so I like being able to pump handsfree using elastic hair ties and a nursing bra. It's easy and you can look up online how to do this.

Congrats on your baby and your commitment to breastfeed! www.kellymom.com has excellent into on all things related to breastfeeding.

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S.C.

answers from Boca Raton on

My girlfriend bought a Madela Pump in Style, and it has been passed around our circle of friends as each has a baby (we all buy our own new breast shields, etc). It is about 7 years old and going strong!! I absolutely loved it! It worked great for me. I would definitely recommend a double pump. My girlfriend used a single pump and was really upset that she didn't buy a double, it was so inconvenient. Also, I used evenflo glass bottles, they usually screw into most breast shields. It was so much easier than when I used plastic bags!!!!!! Mainly because when I would finish pumping and I always found it difficult to set one down while undoing the other one from the pump since they are bags and won't stand on their own. With the bottles, I could just place them both on the table when I was finished and then detach everything as I needed. Not sure if this is making any sense. I have made the same recommendation to all of my friends using pumps, and they have agreed that is was much easier. Plus, I always liked storing my breast milk in glass rather than plastic. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Good Luck! Good for you for breastfeeding and pumping! It is such an amazing experience and wonderful gift to your child and any hassle is so worth it! :-)

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J.G.

answers from Orlando on

Hey, E.! Firstly, congratulations! You are in for a wonderful treat.
I used the Playtex Embrace, and loved it. It was a double pump, but I believe it is available as a single. I used the lansinoh bags and never had any problems. The pump was very comfortable and efficient. I had read some reviews of the Medela and heard that the comfort level was not so great for some women. That being said, I did have some friends who used that successfully. I used mine A LOT! I had to return to full-time work outside the home at 7 weeks, and I pumped 4 times a day at work at first, and pumped at least twice a day, 5 days a week, for a year. At one point the cord frayed at the end a bit (this was close to the 1 year mark...) and they sent me a replacement overnight. I think it was less money than the Medela as well.
Whichever you decide, I wish you the best of luck. Breastfeeding is such a wonderful choice. We did it until my daughter was 26 months old. My boobs are pancakes, but what the hay. I have a wonderful little girl who will be 3 in December. Congrats again!

J.

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C.S.

answers from Lakeland on

Hi there. I don't have much advice about pumps, but I wanted to commend you for planning to exclusively bf your baby. I bfed both of mine for over a year and love to see other moms making a commitment to bfing. If you have any troubles in the early days/weeks, please feel free to private message me. I can direct you to a lot of helpful links, one of the better of which is www.kellymom.com.

Congrats on your pregnancy! :)

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L.W.

answers from Fort Myers on

Hi E.,

I have used the Medela single deluxe and loved it. I was a stay at home mom with my son and breastfed him for 8 mo. I used the pump as needed for dinners or if I was away more than a few hours. I would recommend Medela over any other brand, as I went through a few before I bought the Medela. I am currently using the Medela Advanced double breastpump with my 4 mo. old daughter- because I'm working PT and pumping there. And I love it! As far as storage I use the Medela freezer bags and they work great. I don't use Playtex bottles so not sure about that set. Good luck!!

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R.W.

answers from Tampa on

I just used a hand pump. It worked great and didn't cost much.

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