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Is it worth getting a breast pump?

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by jubileebabe, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. I'm planning on breast feeding but I'm thinking it might be useful to have the option of giving breast milk from a bottle as well once feeding is established.
    Are breast pumps hard to use? Are manual or electric ones better?
    The electric ones are quite a bit more expensive and I'm not sure how much I'd use it so I'd prefer to get a manual one but if they're hard to use it might not be worth it in the long run.
    I'd welcome any advice from experienced mums!
  2. I'm planning on breast feeding but I'm thinking it might be useful to have the option of giving breast milk from a bottle as well once feeding is established.
    Are breast pumps hard to use? Are manual or electric ones better?
    The electric ones are quite a bit more expensive and I'm not sure how much I'd use it so I'd prefer to get a manual one but if they're hard to use it might not be worth it in the long run.
    I'd welcome any advice from experienced mums!
  3. i had an electric one - medela swing for £70 new - did a google shopping search to get the best price. it took me about 20 mins to do - which i imagine is pretty tough on the old hands if pumping manually! it was nice to take a bottle out with me from time to time as i was nervous about breast feeding in public at first, and it was also nice for OH to get to feed his son.
  4. I got quite a good full-starter kit on special offer - microwave steriliser, 6 bottles with all the different stages of teats, bottle brush, a couple of BM storage pots, cool bag and a manual breastpump in by Avent for something like just under £50 on a special offer in Toys R Us a while back. I figured it was good as a starting point and if I decided something was terrible, or got more heavily into pumping and wanted to go electric from there - it was better than shelling out for everything top of the range in advance.
  5. I cannot speak from personal experience as bump has yet to arrive however my friend has a 10month old. She had an electric and a manual pump but said she much preferred the manual one as she could do it quicker as the electric one was too gentle! Maybe just get a cheap manual one until you have established breast feeding and made sure your baby will take the bottle before investing in an electric pump if you feel it'd be worth it?
  6. I BF DD for a year, but we got off to a terrible start and I pumped for 7 weeks before getting properly going. I mainly used an avent hand pump that I got really cheap in the sale. I also hired an electric one from the hospital, and it was really noisy and put me off. It was massive and awkward, but it was quicker than the hand pump and I could have one hand free to drink a cuppa!
    I wished that I had bought an electric one several times, especially when I went back to work. When I have another baby I will get one, but I think a hand pump is brill to start off with.
  7. I had hand pump with first and relied on it during complications with feeding in first 3 weeks or so - she was syringe fed my expressed milk one side and fed normally the other side. Really easy to get from 24 hour tesco or kiddicare would deliver next day so even if you feel you need it early doors it's simple to get one fast.
    I also expressed for a bit each time my daughter dropped a feed in first couple of months to build a store in freezer as I loved the freedom of being out and about on my own sometimes.
    This time, knowing how I used the pump I have forked out on a medela swing (ex display so greatly reduced).
    Wouldn't fork out a lot when you don't know whether you'll use it or not.... wait and see?
  8. Paradoxicalgirly

    Paradoxicalgirly New commenter

    I used a manual pump initially - took ages for my milk to come in, baby had tongue tie and feeding was a bit of a nightmare. I used it a lot. Thought I'd give an electric one a go - much preferred the manual one! By then though, I'd press the lever down once and it'd just keep coming out!
  9. I had a manual pump and 2 electric pumps (after the first one burned out). I barely used the manual pump as I couldn't get much milk out with it, not sure why. I used the medela mini electric for a while and thought it was fine, until it burned out (I was using it twice a day to build up a supply for going back to work). I then bought an avent isis IQ. I loved that one, you start off as a sort of manual pump then once you've got the rhythm right you press a button and it continues on it's own. I used to get way more out with that one than I ever did with the mini electric. Not sure what I'll get for the next baby, I might not even bother seeing as neither dd1 or dd2 ever actually took a bottle successfully, it seemed like a bit of a waste of time.
  10. undiwear

    undiwear New commenter

    It may be worth waiting to buy a pump. In the first 2 or 3 days, hand expression is better with collection in a syringe or teaspoon as colostrum is produced in small amounts. If this early you have latching issues, your midwife or HV should be able to lend you a pump. If not you can rent one from the NCT or other breastfeeding organisations.

    Some women get on v well with a manual pump (cheap) and some women do well with hand expression (free) too. The single electric pumps work well for occasional expressing (like once a day) but if you are considering expressing after you go back to work then a double electric works best (and most expensive). However they can be picked up on ebay for about half the price of new.

    If you decide to buy a second hand pump. Look for one that is a closed system pump. The Ameda Lactaline, Ardo and Lanisoh pumps are closed systems and are identical expect for branding. The Medela Swing and Harmony are also closed system pumps. Closed system means that no moisture gets into the motor compartment which is possible with open systems. For the implications of closed vs open systems have a google. Because all the parts of manual pumps can be washed, then this is not a problem.
    Double electric pumps can also work as single pumps as some women feed off one side and express from the other at the same time.

  11. all_heart

    all_heart New commenter

    Just check the stores policy for returning them - I brought all tommy tippee close to nature planning of breastfeeding but due to circumstances it didn't happen and LO hated tommy tippee bottles so had to rebuy everything.
    Couldn't take back as I had been too organised and opened and sterilized everything!!!
    Hope it all goes well for you though x
  12. What a pain, allheart! I think that with baby clothes and equipment it's well worth trying not to get everything washed and done beforehand - for example I was glad that any newborn clothes I had were still new with labels as my daughter was in 0-3 months from birth. My new pump this time round is sitting in it's box unsterilised, will do it as and when I need it. There are so many things that are 'essential' for one mum that another will say were their biggest waste of money... each of us and each of these babies is so different!! Such a minefield preparing for the arrivals.
  13. Thanks for the all the advice! I think I'm going to go for a manual pump, now I just have to decide which one! I was leaning towards the tommee tippee close to nature but I see that someone had a problem with their baby not liking it. It is so difficult to decide!
    I should have said before that I'm in Italy and all kinds of baby equipment is crazily expensive here so my plan was to get something from the UK and have my Mum bring it with her when she comes after the baby is born.
  14. SLC, how in earth do you express so much? I have a Medela Swing but normally just get 2floz at a time. Useless! :(
  15. I'd honestly avoid any tommy tippee elec pumps - I never got anything from mine but get loads from my Medela Swing.
  16. sunshinesarah

    sunshinesarah New commenter

    I can hightly reccommend the medela swing- definatly worth every penny. I did not buy one until baby was born and knew was going to continue breast feeding- breast fed until 8 months. Expressed alot and froze for when i went back to work. 15-20 mins on the medela swing would get me 7-9 oz. ( have to say that i did express regularly and did increase my supply of milk that way- only got 2 oz in 40 mins first time used.)
  17. My baby loves the Tommee Tippee bottles and I like my TT electric pump. Breastfeeding has been the hardest thing I have ever done, but now I've got going, I don't want to stop! In the UK, the midwives tend to make out that formula milk is really bad, but I've had to combination feed from the start. Now my baby has half his feeds from me, and half formula and I'm happy with that. He has been really adaptable, bottle, breast, cup, anything goes. I personally couldn't use a manual pump, but have heard lots of women can, and I found the Avent bottles leaked when I shook them. Good luck!
  18. I was really bad at expressing - not at getting quantity etc but just finding the time! But to be perfectly honest I found that bar two ocassions when I was out for the evening I didn't really need to... I could easily have hand expressed and saved the money!

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