Monday, February 15, 2010

Breast Pump Help! (may be some TMI, if you're squeamish)

My breast pump is croaking. That's a nasty surprise at midnight the day you get home from the hospital, let me tell you.

I hear the Medela talked up a lot, but I also know a lot of people who are less than impressed and think it's overrated, especially for the price. I was hoping for some recommendations here. I was also wondering about the Mii Pump. It's fairly inexpensive and portable, but it's also a newish product. I don't know how much I trust a product that hasn't had a decent amount of time on the market.

I'll tell you what I'm especially looking for and what features I don't really care about.

1) Soft flanges preferred, or at least having them as an option. The breast pump I have now has them as something you can attached to the hard shell flange, but they're actually made only for people with smaller nipples, something I found out only AFTER I spent a ridiculous amount of money on one. Feh.

2) Decent portability, but it doesn't have to fit in a purse or anything.

3) Must be electric.

4) A breastpump that is similar to a nursing baby creates 200-230 mm Hg negative pressure and cycles about once every second.

5) I don't care if it's a double or single pump. I know pumping both sides simultaneously is the most efficient, but I've never done it. I don't have enough hands, and I'm not going to go buy a special bra. I'd rather pay more for a higher-quality single pump than for a mediocre double pump.

6) This needs to be something I can buy at Walmart or Target or possibly Babies R Us (though that's the least convenient store for me to go to).

7) We're willing to spend up to $200 unless it's impossible to get a decent breast pump for that amount. Assuming we still want more children after this (2 under 2! Ack!), I'll probably use it through two or three nursing babies, about a year or more each. So it's worth it to pay for one that will last a while. At the same time, we also like to spend our money on a mortgage and food and other such luxuries.

Obviously not all of you know the exact specs or availability of good breast pumps, but I'd like to get a feel for stuff before I go looking at online reviews. There's just SO MUCH out there I'd like to narrow things down. I'd like to go buy this today because I'm just a wee bit uncomfortable, and my daughter, while a pretty good eater, is so small she just can't consume enough to give me relief. I'd like to pump instead of wait it out because I'd like to have a good supply of frozen saved up, something I didn't have last time, which was a pain in the rear when I wanted a social life. Thanks a lot!


  1. I don't know a whole lot about breast pumps, so I'm not sure if this will fit your needs, but I splurged with baby number 3 and got an Ameda Purely Yours. With my first used a Medela Single Electric (hated it), and with my second I got an Avent Manual pump (better than the Medela but hand got too tired).

    If you order from the Ameda can come it 1-2 days. Here's a link (and also, it says it's on sale but $149 is the only price I've ever seen):

  2. Sorry I can't help you, I had a manual single breast pump for my first two babies. For this one I got an electric Medela dual-breast pump with new tubing and flanges, but I haven't tried it yet so I can't really speak as to how it works. But I hope you find the perfect one soon so that you can get some relief! If you end up with extra breast milk, you might consider looking into donating your extra if there's anywhere nearby. I want to do that this time, as I seem to produce plenty of milk as long as I keep the pumping up.

  3. I have the Medela In-Style Advanced, and love it like crazy; (Make sure to get the Advanced, though!). I am a working mom, so I pumped with it multiple times daily until my son was 1 1/2, and it worked perfectly.

    Speaking of TMI, at least for me, I was able to sit against the table, let the pump equipment rest between me and the table, and double pump while still having both hands free to surf the net (my only time free to do so :). I don't know if they sell the soft flanges, though it wouldn't surprise me...

    Mine retailed at $265 when I bought it, but I had a 25% off coupon from Babies R Us, and that brought it to the 200 price range. I am about 38 weeks pregnant now, and I am planning on using the same pump again (should probably pull it out of the closet and check everything... hmmm, something else for the to-do list).

    And no, I do not work for, get paid by, or play anything to do with Medela on TV, just a happy mom.

  4. I have a medela. Its a PIS Advanced. I have the soft flanges. . . they do NOT go over the hard ones flanges so they are large enough. I believe you have to buy the soft flanges seperately.

    I like it as much as you can like a breast pump. Its pretty bulky and a double electric. . . but I don't have a lot of time so I need to multi task. :)

    I've heard good things about the Ameda pumps too though, and they are cheaper than Medela. (My pump retails at $350 (bought off ebay so it was more like $175, don't worry it had all its seals!))

    Melody W.

  5. So, I had my heart set on a PIS (James and I cringed at the cost, but he decided it would probably be worth it and approved), and there wasn't one at the store. There was a Medela Swing. It's slower than a double pump, for sure, but I LOVE it. And it was cheaper. Lots cheaper.

    My biggest complaint with the old one was that just a minute or two of pumping would have me in a lot of pain. I don't need to pump a lot, just enough to store a little and to get some relief during these super fun early days. Thanks for the suggestions! I know we didn't end up going with the PIS, but if I hadn't decided on that, we wouldn't have found the Swing.