Manual or electric pump? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 04-06-2010, 12:18 AM - Thread Starter
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So this is baby #3. I am going to try and breastfeed. Had lots of problems with other two. Maybe 3rd time is the charm. I want to be able to bottle feed and breastfeed. So, I need to know about pumping. Could I get by with just a manual pump? Would like a good one but an economical one too. And how often do you pump?

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#2 of 7 Old 04-06-2010, 09:28 AM
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I only very, very rarely pump as I despise it, personally. I've pumped the last two days for the first time in... oh, gods, I don't know, probably 5 or 6 months, but only because DS2 has croup and isn't nursing like normal and I've been kinda engorged/uncomfortable... As a result of my hating pumping, I'm fine with just a manual. If its something you think your going to want to do on a regular basis you'd probably be better off with an electric.
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#3 of 7 Old 04-06-2010, 10:03 AM
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I read recommendations for occasional pumping when I was pregnant with my first, and bought a good manual pump. I actually really hated it, and I could never get much with it. I had to rent a hospital-grade pump during my DD's infancy due to an auto accident that required me to have surgery and be away from her, and I was amazed at how much easier it was for me to use an electric pump. I had thought I just couldn't pump, but it turned out I just couldn't manually pump. This time I have an electric pump of my own, and although I've only used it once so far, it works well. It's such a personal thing--it's a shame you can't try them out before purchasing. But if you're planning to pump often, I'd think an electric pump would work best simply because you'd have more hands free during that time.

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#4 of 7 Old 04-07-2010, 10:48 AM
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I like my manual (avent isis) for relieving engorgement and as a backup if I need to pump a few ounces at home when I leave my electrical pump at work. I think the manual pump is much easier to control and I get better results with it, but only one breast at a time and if I had to use it a lot, my hand would get tired. So if you just want an occasional bottle to go out or whatever, you may want to give a manual breast pump a try first.

A good double electric pump (love my ameda purely yours) is the way to go if you are going to pump often, don't bother with a single IMO as all doubles can be used as singles if desired.

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#5 of 7 Old 04-07-2010, 10:58 AM
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I have both. I had a manual (avent isis) with DD, but i began to lose my supply, then couldn't get let-down for the pump (due to stress probably) and so it became a bit useless - i did like it for pumping and feeding at the same time, if DD was controlling the letdown the manual pump was fine for collecting from the unsuckled breast.

I got an electric this time too (tomee tippee single) because i imagine it will help me maintain supply if it dips again (i have thyroid issues which can contribute to low supply) better than the manual (i found pumping like tickling myself - it's not tickly, which is why i couldn't get let-down).

I intend to BF as much as possible, so for me the pumps will be for building a freezer stock against low supply later on in the early over-supply weeks, and stimulating supply if i DO suffer with supply issues.
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#6 of 7 Old 04-07-2010, 11:07 AM
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Read books on making milk
Take your herbs
Drink your water
Get a good LC in your pocket
GO ELECTRIC! Rent if you can't buy and WIC often has breastpumps.

Crunchy con wife with 1 DS and 1 lil DD born in Jan. I love breastfeeding, CDing and Friday night family bed.
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#7 of 7 Old 04-07-2010, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by rlmueller View Post
Read books on making milk
Take your herbs
Drink your water
Get a good LC in your pocket
GO ELECTRIC! Rent if you can't buy and WIC often has breastpumps.
I agree with the above. The kind of pump depends on your BFing goals--ie how much milk you need to give via bottles. Also women respond differently to pumps.

Given the difficulties you had the first 2 times it's great you're trying again. A lot of people wouldn't. It'll be good to know what to expect, to know how BFing (esp in the beginning) is different from FFing so you're prepared. Esp since you'll be caring for 2 other LOs. It's good you're here looking for info. Might also check out

Pumping for one or two bottles is different than pumping for a half day of food. If you're doing the latter you're probably better off renting or investing in a good pump.

Good BFing and pumping inside the first 12 weeks is what tells your body to make enough milk. If you're able to just BF for a while, it's goes well (wet/poopy dipes, weight gain) and you establish a good supply, you might do with a cheaper pump.

If you need/want to pump while your supply is still being established it makes sense to rent a hospital-grade or at least a high quality retail. It's tougher to increase supply after the first 12 weeks.
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