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manual or electric breast pump? Is it worth forking out the extra ££?

(30 Posts)
emeraldgirl1 Fri 22-Feb-13 08:47:24

I have bought a manual breast pump but a friend (who breast fed v successfully BUT who is also loaded...) has just told me that an electric one will be much more use. She had a super-swanky Medela (?) one that costs over £200. I've seen a more affordable Avent one for £70ish but is it worth returning the manual one I've bought and paying the extra for an electric one?

Obviously I don't yet know if I'll be successful at breast feeding but I want to give it the best shot possible. I certainly wouldn't want to waste money on a manual pump if it would just be a false economy and better to use an electric one.

So two questions really: are electric pumps worth it and if so, which one? Do I need to spend hundreds or is an Avent one at about £70 just as good?

Thank you v much smile

learnermummy Tue 26-Feb-13 12:44:05

I had the avent isis pump which is electric but converted to manual too. Very easy to use. Will probably get another one this time. I found it useful to have in the early days when breasts were so full DS couldn't latch. Also, good to have the option of a bottle.

shieldbug Mon 25-Feb-13 00:16:26

I used the Avent electric one and never had any problems. It can be used manually as well if you get fed up of the noise. I found it useful to allow dh to give nighttime feeds on occasion. Also, if you are going anywhere that you don't want to bf it allows you to give a bottle instead (although as I grew in confidence with bfing I just used to do it anywhere!) From a purely selfish point of view, when feeds got a bit further apart, it also meant I could have a glass of wine if I had expressed in advance. In other words, I think a pump is well worth it and have already dug out mine again ready for dc2 due v soon.

VegemiteSandwich Sun 24-Feb-13 13:59:17

My husband picked up an avent starter kit with a microwave steriliser, cheap hand pump and various bottles. It is great! If I was pumping with any regularity I'd have to buy a decent one, but for now it is ok and hadn't cost too much. Id recommend getting some bottles and cartons of formula - nearly everyone in our nct group had to do top ups unfortunately, and it's a stressful enough time without having to go shopping!

clarehk Sun 24-Feb-13 12:02:28

I breastfed DD1 for two years, my advice is to not pump in the first coupl e of weeks while you get your milk established. I started pumping in about week 3, just once or twice a day, to get some milk in the freezer so hubby could do a late feed whilst I slept. Medela is the only one that worked for me. I used a Mini electric. My friend hired a Medela Symphony and said it was amazing, twice as much milk in half the time. I'm pregnant again and will def hire one this time, I only pumped for a three or four months so it's better to hire if you can.

DigestivesWithCheese Fri 22-Feb-13 19:54:13

Don't assume the medela one is better just because it's more expensive. I used Medela electric and manual ones in hospital and found that they hurt and I didn't like the hard plastic cup against my skin (I tried bigger ones but it made no difference).

I bought the Avent electric one when I got home and I loved it and got more milk out because I was more comfortable. It has a kind of padded suction in the cup bit that feels more natural, plus it's easy to set your own rythym and strength.

rrreow Fri 22-Feb-13 13:03:02

I have the AVENT one that is electric but also converts to manual. I'm very happy with it and look forward to using it again for DS2.

I think manual vs electric is a question of how often you use it, and how easy you find expressing. In the early days I found expressing quite difficult (I'd have to do the whole darkened room, cup of herbal tea, soft music, deep breathing to get the milk to flow at all), but then I got better at it and it became really fast (5mins each side). If I were expressing just one feed a day I'd be happy with a manual one (I get more milk out & more quickly by using the manual setting), but any more than that and I'd say get an electric.

Also be aware that some breastpumps don't work for some people. I tried a Medela Mini electric one (was forced to buy it as was on holiday without breastpump, horribly blocked ducts as DS1 wasn't latching properly, and that one was the only one available - I still shudder when I think about how horribly overpriced it was as well!) and I just didn't get on with it. It sucked either too weakly or too strongly, and didn't get the milk out very effectively. However I then gave it to a friend who said she didn't get on with any other pump but this one was perfect for her.

I bought a tommie tippee electric one this time as I couldn't get on with a manual one last time.

This one works fine and far less faff than manual. It was half price at tesco a few weeks ago which is another reason I bought it.

Miaow Was it the comfort one?

MiaowTheCat Fri 22-Feb-13 12:19:00

I had an Avent electric one - it lasted a fortnight. If I need to pump again - I'm hiring an industrial strength, norks wooshing up and down at a rate of knots (sadly quite hypnotic to watch) one.

I started with an Avent manual and it was awful, my hands and my boobs were killing me and there wasn't much even coming out. The hospital then lent me a Medela which didn't seem to agree with me either, I had a lot more luck hand expressing.

I'm looking to try that one that was tested on here for this baby that you can use lying down.

lotsofcheese Fri 22-Feb-13 11:58:12

I expressed for DS as he was born prematurely. An electric pump was definitely worthwhile, and one that has a double-pumping option is even better (this can help to increase supply).

IME, very few units lend out pumps - mine certainly didn't, even though DS was in nicu for 95 days.

Beatrixpotty Fri 22-Feb-13 10:13:50

I used a Medela and it was great,easy to use.Was so knackered in the first couple of weeks with a newborn that it was a huge relief to actually be able to express a bottle so I could go to bed at 9 & DH could do a feed.

Preposteroushypothesis Fri 22-Feb-13 09:55:08

I think having the option to express is really useful for when you leave the baby or also to let your partner do a feed once bf is fully established. That said, definitely rent until you know that bf is right for you. I had a Medea electric pump (wasn't anywhere near £200 though!) and it was brilliant, I had mastitis a couple of weeks after my DD was born though and was staying at my mums without my pump! Had to go and buy a manual to keep constantly expressing to help with the infection and it was a bloody nightmare, so I definitely would not bother with a manual one!!! Such a faff and takes forever, an electric you can just hold to your breast and get on with watching telly or reading a book and not worry about it!

emeraldgirl1 Fri 22-Feb-13 09:26:41

Thanks v much indeed everyone!
I would like to have the option to express as I will need to be leaving the baby for short periods during the day for work from about 3m onwards. But I don't know if I will get on with expressing or not. It seems very complicated to me anyway, and I'm not wild about all the hard-looking plastic bits you have to clamp on!!
I think it's probably best to hold off and see how I manage at first, you get this weird sense with an imminent baby that you HAVE to have everything prepared and ready before they arrive because you'll never manage to pop into town/send DH into town/order something online EVER AGAIN, which obviously isn't true smile

wonkylegs Fri 22-Feb-13 09:23:46

I used the Medela Swing and it was great. Check out prices though as it can vary alot between retailers. Tesco have it cheap or watch out for Baby events at Boots / Tesco/Asda etc

redandyellowandpinkandgreen Fri 22-Feb-13 09:14:47

It still used to take me ages to express a decent amount. This time round if I leave the baby for an hour or so I plan to use the odd bit of formula as I really hated expressing.

redandyellowandpinkandgreen Fri 22-Feb-13 09:13:06

I had. Medela which is Fab but hardly ever used it. If you're going to be away from your baby you'll need one, if not I don't think I'd bother.

Weissdorn Fri 22-Feb-13 09:05:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Woodifer Fri 22-Feb-13 09:04:28

I love cycling so was fab for me to be able to express then go on a ride and know DD was sorted food wise. Another advantage of electric is you can express on one side while feeding on the other and this makes the let down come much easier (for me), also easier to express in morning.

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Fri 22-Feb-13 08:59:52

I wouldn't bother at this stage. Yes, electric ones are better, and if you're going to get one then I'd not bother with anything but a medela.

I used a tommee tippee manual to start but found it v uncomfortable. Moved on to avent manual which was great. Though to be honest DS had a great latch and a huge appetite so my boobs rarely had enough in them to express more than an ounce in half an hour anyway. Electric pump wouldn't have made any difference for me. Other advantage of manual is portability, so if you're away from your baby for a few hours you can just take the pump with you.

If you're struggling to feed, you will be lent a hospital grade electric pump and can then choose to buy one if its working of for you.
Or you could think about second hand and replace the necessary parts.

I'd stick with the manual and choose later.

Scootee Fri 22-Feb-13 08:56:25

You don't actually need to express. I exclusively bf both my dc with no equipment.

emeraldgirl1 Fri 22-Feb-13 08:56:01

funions yes I remember the irritating 'whirr whirr' noise my friend's (pricey!) one used to make. It was soothing at first and then just got on my nerves!

Rockchick1984 Fri 22-Feb-13 08:55:46

I hated my manual pump - hurt my hand as it was so repetitive pumping with it and I barely expressed anything when using it! Electric one was loads better, but I have friends who couldn't express anything no matter what they used!

Personally I wouldn't bother with any at first until you know if you've managed to establish breastfeeding, and then only when you're thinking about needing to express eg to leave baby with someone else.

I had the tommee tippee electric pump which I got for about £45 in tesco baby event, have heard mixed reviews but it worked perfectly well for what I needed smile

emeraldgirl1 Fri 22-Feb-13 08:55:13

Thanks v much everyone! I think I'll return the manual one anyway as it sounds as if it may be what my mum would call 'neither one thing nor the other' and then wait to see if I need one before buying electric.

Funions Fri 22-Feb-13 08:54:25

Definitely rent before buying, you won't know what you'll get on with until the time comes. Electric ones can be annoyingly noisy too.

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