Originally Posted by rootzdawta
My good friend had more success with an Avent hand pump than with the way more expensive Medela Pump-in-Style.
I had that experience at first. I would bring my Avent hand pump to the NICU and pump there because I didn't have much luck with the hospital pumps. Once I got the hang of the hospital pumps, though, and realized what triggered letdown when I wasn't actually with my baby (think of her smell = milk flow like crazy!) I never used the Avent again.
OP ~ when I left the hospital I looked into renting a hospital-grade pump. They really are great, particularly the Medela Symphony. It is incredibly expensive though and if I'm remembering correctly, the cost to rent the Symphony for two months was more than the cost of buying a Medela Pump In Style. I decided to go with the Pump In Style and I absolutely love it. It makes more noise than the Symphony but it's not overwhelmingly loud. When I was sleep-deprived and pumping at 4am it drove me crazy because the noise it made started to sound like a little robotic voice saying "rock out! rock out! rock out!" over and over again
but other than that, it's a great pump and it's very easy to transport. Another PP mentioned that the hospital pumps are not portable ~ I agree with that 100%, they are very big and not discreet at all (if that is important to you). The Pump In Style that I have is built into a carrying case with a side pocket for batteries and electrical wires, plus a little extra room in the top for bottles, breastmilk bags, etc. You couldn't use it as a diaper bag or anything, there's not THAT much room, but it is very handy to have everything all together in one place.