Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Waste or Want #3: Electric Breast Pump

Featured Product: Electric Breast Pump


The electric breast pump is supposed to be a faster and easier way to express milk for those times when you cannot or will not nurse your baby. There are many different styles and manufacturers of breast pumps. (The picture is the Pump In Style Advanced Backpack by Medela and the one I have used)

Average Cost: They can range in price from $60 to over $200.

on the one hand...

An electric breast pump is great to have on hand for those times when you need to pump. They are quick and efficient and make life a lot easier on the working mom! I had to work for about a month and a half after my baby was born before I could quit and the breast pump save me! I was able to pump quickly at work and not be embarrassed about the pump at work.

on the other hand...

Electric pumps can be really expensive! If you don't need one everyday it can be a big cost to swallow. And, certain types of pumps cannot be resold. The pumps that store and cool the milk should not be shared or sold to others do to all the pathogens that can be transferred through breast milk. Also, the hospital that I delivered at gave me a single hand express breast pump when I was released.

and now,
Cast Your Vote!

Electric Breast Pump: Waste or Want?

and don't forget to tell us why!


Erin said...

I would say a want, and I was a stay at home mom! I loved having a pump for those times when I felt engorged and just needed some relief, whether because I had a newborn or when I was weaning. I also loved to have milk in a bottle for the baby when I left her with a babysitter for date nights. I started out with a single electric medela. It was great, but I ended up using it more than I thought I would and I killed it. so I bought a double electric that was meant for pumping more often and I have loved it, and used it for both kids. From what I've researched, Medela is the most loved brand, but I have an Ameda purely yours, and I was really happy with it. It is less expensive too. I borrowed a family member's manual pump and couldn't get a drop out, so an electric is a necessity for me.

Alyssa Harper said...

WANT!!!! DOUBLE WANT! I seriously adored my pump (even though it make me feel like a cow sometimes, hooked up to pumps an' all). My double electric pump (from Medela) saved my nursing-life as I was busy going to school. Plus, pumping up extra and storing it in the freezer was invaluable when I had to leave my baby with babysitters. It helped through the rough times too, when baby didn't want to eat from me (either for teething or other reasons). I had the option of keeping him on pumped breast milk for a few days, rather than having to bag the nursing thing altogether.

I had both a single, hand pump and the double electric. It was amazing, the difference the electric one made. It was so fast. So easy. I loved it. On the other hand, doing the single, hand pump made me want to jump off a cliff (not seriously), but I hated it that badly. It was slow. My wrist got tired, and more often than not, I stopped the pumping session not because I was out of milk, but because I was too tired to finish! I would definitely go double electric, or not do one at all.

Rebecca said...

For me a double-electric pump was an absolute MUST! Due to numerous issues I wasn't able to nurse my baby but I still wanted to be able to give her breastmilk for the first year of her life. I have a Medela Pump-In-Style Advanced and it is a great pump. I was able to establish a decent supply with it and actually produce 50% more than my daughter takes. I use my pump ALL the time and it is still going strong. If you are a working mama I'd highly recommend the Medela PISA or Ameda PY. Both are high quality pumps and don't take very long to drain you. And even if you are a SAHM if you plan on pumping more than once a day I'd recommend getting a double-electric.

Jessie said...

Want. I don't own one, but I have used my SIL's, as well as the hospital's. I don't think, for myself, I will ever buy one, because I am able to be with my babies pretty much all the time, and just don't need to store milk like a working mom would. That being said, when I got mastitis with my second child, the only thing that provided me any immediate relief was completely draining myself, which only the pump was able to do. Also, when my baby was hospitalized with RSV, being able to pump and see how much she was getting and how often (without making her work for it) was a huge benefit--had I not been able to do that, we probably would've had to stop nursing (because the nurses were so concerned about her fluid intake). So I want one, but I probably won't ever buy one myself. :/

Just FYI,--If you ever need one and can't borrow one, I think most hospitals have them available to rent.

Delia said...

Waste... for some. I cannot pump very well. I have tried all the don't give me any more tips. Please. I cannot pump until I am empty. I can only pump my foremilk which makes pumping kind of a waste. I only use it to help me relieve pressure from engorgement and for that a hand pump works fine and is cheap! I cannot pump even with the hospital grade pumps. I just can't do it. For that reason I would be terribly sad if I bought an expensive pump ahead of time and then found I couldn't use it. If I were you I would rent the hospital grade ones from the hospital for a week or so to see if it works for you. You can try the Ameda and Medela brand and see which you like better and then buy after that if it works for you.

Megan said...

this was a total want for me! As I mentioned in the post I use the Medela pump that is pictured. However, I did not buy my pump. When my oldest sister had her fist child my mother bought a pump that all the girls in the family could share. That said, this pump is not the kind that stores and cools the milk as that type is not supposed to be shared.

The pump really saved me when my son was in the NICU for 8 days after he was born. It allowed me to provide breast milk for my son and establish a pretty good supply.
My advice, however, is if you can buy one with a sister or SIL and share it as that will save a ton of money or borrow from a friend.

On The Go Family said...

I love my Medela Pump in Style. I didn't get it 'til my second was a couple months old and oh how I regret that. Maybe I wouldn't have gotten mastitis SIX TIMES with my first if I had had it sooner.

Now I've got a 4-month-old and it is so nice to be able to pump a bottle if I know I'm going to be out and about with the older kids. The heat index has been over 100 for the past two months here in the midwest and I am just not willing to sit outside and nurse in that. Having those bottles has allowed me to still go out without being totally sticky and uncomfortable.

It's also allowed me to get out at night once or twice a week, and this has been HUGE for my sanity. There's always a bottle in the fridge and a couple in the freezer, so I have more freedom with three kids than I ever had with one.

I pump a bottle on Sunday for church so I can hand my baby off to my husband for a couple hours and fulfill my calling without interruption (again, this is more for my sanity than anything else).

I do have friends who are not able to pump, so I agree with the other commenter who suggested trying a pump out first. Don't go drop $200 on a pump until you're sure it will work for your body.

Chris and Laura said...

Well, in going back to work after each of my two babies, I have used two or three different hand pumps, a foot-operated manual pump (yes, I said foot pump), a double electric, and one from the hospital.

If you're working, I say absolute must. Although, and this may seem obvious to some, cover up while you're pumping, even if the door is locked. The janitor has keys and there are some things the janitor just doesn't need to see. ;)

I have the same pump pictured in the post. It worked very well for taking to work. I especially liked the backpack style, so I didn't feel awkward carrying it around. Having double made it much better, too, because it stimulates the milk flow better and allows for faster pumping.

The foot pump was also double, and I did actually get pretty good at it by the end. I only used it, though, because I was able to get it for free. Otherwise, um, it's a little weird. :) It was made by Medela, though, if you're interested.

My favorite for home, though, is the manual hand pump. Neither of my girls would eat very much in the mornings. I could nurse on one side and use the hand pump on the other at the same time. That was convenient. I also liked it--sorry if this is weird--because I could walk around the house and do other things while I was pumping. I made many a breakfast with one hand.

I have used a few different hand pumps, but my favorite is the Ameda one-hand pump. I found it to be a more natural position for my hand, and once my wrists grew accustomed to it, I could go as fast or as slow as I wanted. (Totally use the same muscles to play a guitar as you do to use a hand pump. I was able to pump better after I practiced guitar. (: )

To echo what Delia said, though, I would suggest trying out a few different ones before buying your own if you choose to make the investment. You definitely do NOT want to spend that much money on something only to find out you can't use it!

Tannie Datwyler said...

I think it depends on the lady. You have to look at your circumstances and needs. For me personally as a working mom (with my first) I felt I really needed one. AND pumping is difficult for me and usually took a full 20 minutes with a double electric.

With my second I wasn't working, but still had the pump and it was pretty much a life saver when my son was in the NICU. I expressed milk when I couldn't go to the hospital and it also helped my milk to come in faster. So, I'd say it was extremely useful to me as a working mom and as a mom who didn't work.

My SIL on the other hand never worked while she had newborns and has survived 3 sons without an electric pump. She uses a manual pump and manages to get more milk out in 10 minutes than I can in my 20 with my double electric - some people just have a strong letdown. So for her it is pretty much a waste to get an electric.

So, if you aren't going to be working, but think you might want an electric pump. I'd suggest borrowing one from a hospital (you can usually rent them) or someone you know and trying it out. Then if it is successful for you, think about buying one. If you are a working mom, then you pretty much do need one.

As for brands - I too have an Ameda and it works great. I know Medela is supposed to be the best, but my Ameda is fabulous.

Jes said...

WANT!!!! I am a SAHM too, but I loooove my pump! (I totally just have the single, cheaper Medela brand...'Singer' or something. -simple but does the job!)
All the reasons why I love mine and needed one are already listed, but Id like to add that I regret SOOOOO much not having one until later with my first child! She got sick and for a few days wasnt able to breast feed I didnt know better nor have access to anything and thus lost my milk supply (despite trying all sorts of things to get it back up with the help f both my Dr and finally buying a pump). Because of that I went from producing TONS and having a great milk supply to being forced to stop breast feeding when she was barely 3 months old!
Id much prefer to have my own little one for convenience issues, however, I wish I would have known beforehand that you can rent some like Delia said. I did so before we bought my own, but didnt know in time to save my milk supply. I had rented from the hospital, but theirs was huge, uncomfortable, ghetto and cost money. -did the job though.
My advice? Have one on hand the moment you get home from hospital after baby is born (helps make engorgement when your milk comes in soo much better) and rent it to try before you buy one just in case you have a similar situation as Delia's.


LeeAnne said...

Waste for me, I just never felt the need to have one (but I can see how in other situations it would be very useful). Both my kids nursed very well, and my first absolutely hated bottles, so I found from experience with him that it's a waste to try to store milk for him (I hand expressed, didn't have a pump at all). With my second, he did take bottles pretty well at first, and I got a hand pump to help me deal with mastitis. I was actually quite happy with the hand pump since I only needed it occasionally (to relieve engorgement, or to store some for when I want to go on a date), so I never felt the need to spend a lot of money on an electric one.