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Which Breastpump is Best?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Talk about overwhelming.......There are too many choices for breastpumps as well as prices. Can anyone give me some advice about which pump is the best value and lasts the longest? Anything else I should be concerned about in regards to picking a breastpump? Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 34
What type of pump are you looking for, and how do you plan to use it. For example, do you want a hand held pump for occasional use, or do you want a heavy duty electric pump to pump to go back to work?
post #3 of 34
ooh what a great thread! My doula told us Medela is a good one, but I am also lost when it comes to breast pumps.

I'll be watching this for replies!
post #4 of 34
I don't know enough about pumps to recommend brands, but I will give my opinion on pumps for sahms: really unnecessary. I bought one with the first baby, rarely used it, and for the few times I really needed some milk, it was just as easy to hand-express it into a cup.

For working mamas, I'd recommend making it a serious investment, because as a LLL leader I always heard it was worth the expense to get a faster, more comfy pump.
post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by PancakeGoddess
I don't know enough about pumps to recommend brands, but I will give my opinion on pumps for sahms: really unnecessary. I bought one with the first baby, rarely used it, and for the few times I really needed some milk, it was just as easy to hand-express it into a cup.

For working mamas, I'd recommend making it a serious investment, because as a LLL leader I always heard it was worth the expense to get a faster, more comfy pump.
Is it very likely that a SAHM would express so that her DH could do bottle feedings when she is out of the house doing random things? or so that DH could bond with child?

Or . . . is that not really very likely to happen?
post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxine45
Is it very likely that a SAHM would express so that her DH could do bottle feedings when she is out of the house doing random things? or so that DH could bond with child?

Or . . . is that not really very likely to happen?
I would think while she is out of the house. It depends really I generally didn't spend much time away from my son but our nursing relationship didn't last very long.

if i have the money I am getting a medela pump in style. I will be working *i hope* and even if i won't be working I will be starting college in october.
post #7 of 34
There are three very popular pumps if you are looking at pumping more than the once in a while with a hand-pump. The Isis by Avent is considered to be one of the easiest handpumps to use. I had one but rarely ever got more than about 4 oz between both sides with it. After I accidently killed my Isis... long story but don't forget to turn off the stockpot when you are sterilizing it and leave the house... , thankfully I didn't burn the house down. Just killed the Isis, about half a dozen Avent bottles/nipples and a Calphalon stockpot.

I was never very prolific with hand-expressing either. I think I got a whooping ounce of BM if I was lucky, just couldn't get a good letdown with hand use. Okay that sounds a bit... racy.

Medela Pump in Style, Ameda Purely Yours, and Whisper Wear by Whisper Wear. The Whisper Wear came out after I bought my Purely Yours or I'd have gotten it.

Medela PIS is suppose to be a great dual pump. I didn't like it because it didn't have the closed/sealed pumping i.e. milk "could" back up into the pump system and there isn't anyway to sterilize it. It was very important to me to be able to use the pump for multiple babies if I was making the investment.

Ameda PY. The one I have. I bought it because it
1. has a close vaccum system so milk can't back into the pump and
2. it was quieter than the PIS
3. it had a larger versatility with 3 possible power sources (AC adapter, cigerette lighter OR it will take AA batteries!)
4. the comfort petal inserts to help with letdown (Medela didn't have those then)
5. the greater flexibility in "suction" settings which could simulate the nursing baby better which will increase your letdown and pumping volume.
6 it was also completely independant of the carrying bag so I didn't have to have this HUGE bag sitting on my desk, I still have a small spot on the corner of my computer desk where my little pump sits.

I've had my PY for almost 5 years and have used it with 3 babies... admittedly not as much with the last two as I did with DD because I wasn't a SAHM then BUT it still works perfect. I could routinely get 6-8 oz every time I pumped without having to dedicate the same amount of time or work as I would get I my previous 4 oz with the Isis. I plan on using it a lot more this time around because I'm also going to pump BM for the local Mother's Milk Bank here in Austin. Its such a worthy cause and I really want to help out with it, just need to be able to donate a minimum of 100 oz of BM.

Everyone I know that has a PIS, they last through *maybe* two babies. They purposely make them so that they don't last so that you have to buy another one. :

I've only heard good things about the Whisper Wear and the price is pretty darn good too.

You might look into getting a hospital grade pump really only if you are looking at issues like preemies that can't latch onto the breast, nursing multiples, or more extreme nursing issues. You probably won't need to worry about that until after the baby is here.

Check to see if your insurance will cover the cost of the breast pump, many do. Especially if you've got a very savvy Peditirican that will write a "prescription" for breastmilk and a pump.

A lot of people say you don't "really" need a breastpump but for me I find it extremely useful. Being able to pump milk that will be in the freezer for my baby in case I'm not able to be there is very reassurring. My DH did create a very strong bonding with my DD through feeding her bottles of EBM, he often says he wishes he'd tried to bottle feed both boys a little bit more because he really did miss that one-on-one quiet time that feedings can give. He did make up for it in other ways but he really did enjoy those feedings. I have quite a few pictures of the two of them cuddled up passed out together after feedings.
post #8 of 34
LLLI did an article in their magazine, Leaven, for Leaders about helping mothers choose a breastpump. The article discusses the details about pumps, but they also have a chart that lists the common brands, pros/cons and additional comments about the pump. I'll paste the link below.

http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleade...nJul04p51.html The article has a link to the chart, but if you want to skip the article, the chart is here http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleade...unJul04p52.pdf

Also, for more on choosing a pump from LLLI http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/pump.html

Hope this helps!
post #9 of 34
Oops! I totally forgot to post this cool chart I found on a website that compare the three pumps.

http://www.healthchecksystems.com/br...ps_compare.htm
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxine45
Is it very likely that a SAHM would express so that her DH could do bottle feedings when she is out of the house doing random things? or so that DH could bond with child?

Or . . . is that not really very likely to happen?
For us here is how it worked and why that never happened.

When baby is so young he needed to nurse hourly, he was just not left by me. It didn't feel good. By the time I felt OK leaving, he could easily last an hour without milk, then 2 hours, etc. I guess my babies' ability to go without milk coincided naturally with our comfort separating as a pair. (Also, none of them took an artificial nipple easily at ALL, and it was just such a struggle to force the whole thing. Easier to wrap them in a sling and go.)

eta - it just goes to show how different it is for everyone, having read Samantha's post. In our family, babywearing was Daddy's big bonding method. Same sleepy result
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Everyone I know that has a PIS, they last through *maybe* two babies. They purposely make them so that they don't last so that you have to buy another one.
I agree with most of what's posted, but I strongly disagree about the Medela comment written above. Mine ROCKS. It has been used for FOUR babies so far. Yes, it doesn't have a closed system, but unless you routinely knock the pump over, it is not a problem. I never backed up milk into it. Plus, it is cleanable.

Also, I *exclusively* pumped for 18 months without a problem with this pump. I pumped around the clock every 2 hours. That is a lot more than intended with the pump and it held out well. (Near the end I slowly went down to 3 hours then 4 hours but still kept it up around the clock.

Waaaaayyy back when I pumped, there were actually a lot of motor problems with the PY, which is why everyone went with the PIS. They would send out a new one though. I think that has since been resolved. That's why you'll see a lot of us "old-timers" with PIS pumps.

The whisper wear is too new and was not available when I was pumping so I can't comment on that one...

The style you get really depends upon your needs. If you are working full-time out of the home, get a double-electric like PIS or PY. It is worth the money. I agree the Isis is good for the occassional pumper.

A great resource for pumping is the Pump Moms user group:
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/PumpMoms/

Please stay away from the cheapo over-the-counter pumps. There is a reason they are so cheap. They kill your supply and have been known to permanently damage nipples/breasts. A congresswoman has been trying to get the FDA to regulate them because of the injuries (Carolyn Maloney). I don't know whatever happened with her efforts though. I've been out of the pumping loop recently.
post #12 of 34
I've been in both situations and have breastfed three babies. For my first, I was working part time. (4 hours per day) and did need to pump for her. I also didn't have a whole lot of time to do it at work, so I got the Medela Pump in Style. It worked great, but I agree about the milk backing up. That did happen a few times and I had to watch for it. Also, it didn't have a long life span. By the time I was done pumping, the motor died. I got a new motor. THat one eventually died too with dd #2.

When dd #2 was born, I was finishing college and had quit working. She didn't like bottles, so dh would feed her from a sippy cup starting at%**** weeks when I went back to school. I was only gone 3 hours, taking evening classes, so they didn't need to stay with a babysitter. When the PIS finally died, I got an Avent Isis. This is a manual pump, but I found it nearly as effective as the PIS for a much lower price. I used this with dd #3 as well. By then, I was home and rarely had a need for a pump.

I threw the Isis away when I was finished with dd #3. I figured that she was probably our last. OOPS! We are having #4 now. But the Isis is not expensive, about $50. So I don't mind spending the money again. I don't really know that I'll need it, since I'm home. But I would like one just in case I need it. I work freelance and cover local government meetings for our newspaper. Generally, these are at night and the baby may not even need a bottle if I feed him before I leave. But just in case, I can't stand the thought of leaving him and dh with nothing. So I will get one just in case.

ETA: I wanted to add that I agree with the pp about the cheapo pumps. When the motor died on my Medela, I ran to target and got an evenflo pump. It was the biggest POS I ever saw! I got it because I needed something while I was waiting for the new motor to arrive in the mail. They say you can't return them, but I called the company and pitched a fit. I told them just what I thought of their pump. I got my money back.
post #13 of 34
I've been trying to figure out what to get too
With my DD I borrowed a Medela but I was on the go more.
I will be a SAHM this time & I am just wanting a good pump for the early days home & very occasionally times I need to bottle feed (after 3 mon. or so).

I was thinking about either the Isis Avent or Harmony by Medela?? Anyone ??
post #14 of 34
Thanks for all the excellent advice. Obviously I know nothing about breastfeeding yet. I know my mother had an oversupply issue and I suppose that if I inherit this I might have to get a pump. Although my cousin told me that pumping for oversupply issues might exaserbate it.
Since I will be staying home and don't see myself leaving my baby for any length of time in the first several months I may just wait and see if a pump is something I need or not. I was thinking of putting one on my registry, but there are things I need that are more important and I would hate for someone to buy me one if I don't need it.
post #15 of 34
Question: anyone happen to know if the PIS "horns" would work on a PY? Someone asked me this question and since I don't know much about the PY, I couldn't say for sure. My initial thought is no....
post #16 of 34
Since I WOH, a double electric was mandatory. My PIS has gone through my two babies and my best friends two babies as well - so four total and ready for the next one. Never had an issue with backed up milk. That thing has WAY exceeded my expectations for endurance.

However, for pumping once in a while, I recommend the Avent Isis (hand pump). I think it works great to just pump a bottle here and there and the price is right. I have a voluminous supply (have pumped 9 oz from one breast before), but never was able to get a good letdown through hand expressing either, but never had that problem with the Isis.
post #17 of 34
April - makes sense to hold off, since 1-they are pretty expensive, 2-your friend is right about pumping making it worse anyway, and 3-I honestly don't think we inherit that kind of issue from our mamas. Most of my childbearing-related stuff has been a lot more like my sister than mother.
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by soapdiva
Question: anyone happen to know if the PIS "horns" would work on a PY? Someone asked me this question and since I don't know much about the PY, I couldn't say for sure. My initial thought is no....
I don't think so. The horns attach to the pump in a totally different method. If you mean the "inserts" into the horns or what Medela calls the "softfit breastshields" and Ameda calls the "flexishield" which help with comfort and creating a better enviroment for letdown... I still don't think they would work just because they are probably slighty a different shape. I've never actually compared the Medela and the Ameda side-by-side in person.

Regarding oversuppy and pumping. No, it isn't recommend to "heavily" pump if you've got an oversupply... you'll just be continuing the problem since your body will think the pumping is a feeding and that the baby needs it. Now it is can be good to pump for a minute or two to help keep you from getting engorged and having lots of issues with plugged ducts and/or mastitis because the breast isn't getting drained enough. You might also need to maybe pump enough to kind of take the edge off and soften the breast so that the baby wouldn't have a problem with latching on the engorged nipple.

FYI: just because your mom (or sister) might have had oversupply doesn't mean that you will. It is not uncommon to have oversupply with one baby but not the next (or vise versa). Each individual nursing relationship is totally unique.

April- my advise would be to put an Isis on your registry and if you get one, don't open it until after the baby comes and you find that you do need it. If you end up not opening it, you can return it and use the credit to buy something else. Its a good hand-pump that isn't $$, it's about $50. I've rarely heard of people that couldn't get "something" from pumping with it, yes it does happen but it isn't *typical*... (is there actually anything typcial about pregnancy/nursing/children ) to get nothing out of the breast. The Harmony wasn't available when I got my Isis so I don't know how well it works and haven't really heard any opinions on it, everyone I know used an Isis. The thing I did like about the Isis was it pumped directly into Avent bottles which is what we were using to bottle feed with so I didn't have to worry about transferring the milk to another container and heaven forbid spill any. Especially when I was tired. I got the attachments for my Ameda PY so I could use the Avent bottles to pump into. Didn't have to worry were the standard pumping bottles cleaned and ready for filling when I could just grab an empty Avent bottle.
post #19 of 34
I have lots of experience with the Avent Isis hand pump and absolutely NO experience with anything else. I've gone back to work very quickly - 3 weeks after the first and 6 weeks after the second - and never used anything else. I've never even seen an electric pump. BUT I was never working more than 4 hours or so at a time in the beginning, so I would still call myself an occasional pumper. I would pump once or twice a day, 4 or 5 days a week. I love the Isis which is why I have never tried anything else. If I pumped first thing in the morning, I could easily get 4-6 oz. from one side in 15 minutes or less. That would be enough for the one feeding I would miss. I never liked to pump at work, or had the time, but as I said I was never gone more than 4 hours in the beginning. If I had to be away 6 hours I would definitely have pumped in the interim. As it was, I would get home, feed the baby, and then pump a bottle for the freezer.

Of course, the irony is that I have done this every work day for about a year for each baby, and neither of them EVER took a bottle. Maybe an ounce or two here and there, but they would simply wait for me to get home (and not very happily). And this time I plan to take the baby to work with me - so he or she will probably take a bottle with no complaints
post #20 of 34
Thread Starter 
Jish: I'm definetly looking for an electric one that I can use at work.
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