Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.

Do I need a breast pump?!

(22 Posts)
RatherUninspired Thu 01-Aug-13 20:17:17

Hi all,

I am planning to breast feed but have not got a breast pump. Do I need one? Can anyone recommend a cheap one that works?

For anyone with breastfeeding experience... When did you find you needed it ie straight away or after a few months or not at all?

I have been reluctant to buy one so far as I'm really trying not to buy things unnecessarily/not rolling in cash, however I'm not that keen to hand express really.

Any ideas or advice much appreciated

Bunnylion Thu 01-Aug-13 20:26:42

I've got the this one on recommendation from a couple of friends. The other option is an electronic pump - but they freak me out a bit!

I've heard you should exclusively breast feed for 6 weeks before you introduce expresses milk. The baby can be more likely to have problems latching on if you are switching between nipple and bottle early on.

TheYamiOfYawn Thu 01-Aug-13 20:29:39

They can be useful in the early days if you get engorged breasts. alrhough hand-expressing generally works better if you can do it properly. After that, you only need one if you want to express milk for the baby to have later. They are very easy to get hold of, so if you have someone who would be able to go to Boots or a supermarket to get you one if you need one, then you don't need to get one in advance.

TarkaTheOtter Thu 01-Aug-13 20:30:17

You don't need a breast pump. It depends on whether you want to give a bottle of expressed milk. You can hand express if you want a free option. I found it easier just to make sure I was around for feeds tbh.

TheYamiOfYawn Thu 01-Aug-13 20:32:17

Yes, bottles ate not recommended before 6 weeks, but if you have trouble breastfeeding or need to be separated frim the baby and the baby needs milk top-ups, then expressing can be very useful, and the baby can drink from a cup/syringe.

Rowanred Thu 01-Aug-13 20:32:20

I think if you want your baby to take a bottle, you need one. If you do I would try to do one bottle every 1-2 days from 2 weeks.

I used to express in the morning from one side whilst feeding from the other as I got more that way. Then I would give what I got at night in a bottle. At the beginning it might only be 1 or 2 oz but its mainly about getting baby used to bottle. Many babies become bottle refusers if the are not used to it!

Re pumps- I would get an electric one. I had the Medea electric that was about £80 and it was good but it is VERY noisy. The Medea swing is £120 but it is silent and a better pump I think. If I was having another baby I would get that!

I also have an avent manual pump that I only used when I went back to work. It was actually quite efficient at getting milk but it has so many bits it is impossible to clean. I only ever used it for pumping and dumping at work!

lljkk Thu 01-Aug-13 20:34:06

Some women can't express for the pump at all, it's a piece of plastic not a baby.
I wouldn't bother until you can think of a very sound reason why you want one. I had one with DC1-2 because I was a milk donor & had to express at work. I sold all that stuff then found myself expecting DC4 (disorganised me). I only bought a pump when he was 8 months and went on a 36 hour nursing strike & I was painfully engorged. I never would have bothered, otherwise. I tried hand expressing but no good at it, darn.

lljkk Thu 01-Aug-13 20:35:13

ps: X post with Rowan.. I only had Advent manual & it worked quite well for me (daily expressing and all). No trouble cleaning it. Electric ones are quite dear, i think, I thought they were the hard ones to clean(?)

cakeandcustard Thu 01-Aug-13 20:36:43

I wouldn't get one straight away, you need to establish feeding first. I found expressing expressing with DS1 really mucked up my supply with the positive feedback thing I just kept getting uncomfortably engorged. I didn't use a pump at all with DS 2 and just ff on the odd night out. It's a bit suck it and see, don't spend lots of money until you've worked out what'll be best for you smile

Jenijena Thu 01-Aug-13 20:37:57

I used one in hospital as by baby couldn't latched I and I was very engorged, but next day delivery meant there was one at home (Milton tablets are a very easy way to sterilise at home).

lonesomeBiscuit Thu 01-Aug-13 22:07:19

Another vote in favour of not necessarily going out and splashing lots of money on one. It was the one thing I really regretted buying - I spent £70 or so on a Medela one (and was pleased at time as I got a good bargain). However I only used it a couple of times in the first week while having trouble getting baby to latch (but as baby would never drink the expressed milk it was a bit pointless really), and after that found it SO much easier just to feed baby directly. If I needed to express a bit to relieve pressure or for the odd bottle I found that hand expressing worked fine (and often did that rather than bothering to hunt through the cupboards to find the pump) although you wouldn't want to hand express all the time as it is hard work.

The only situation where I think you'd want to have a pump is, as RowanRed says, if you want to be able to get baby to take bottle (e.g. so dad can do one night feed). Like many others I found that after a period of being EBF, baby wouldn't take bottle at all. Made it harder to go out, but I found I didn't actually want to go out that much after he was born and from 7 months he just went straight to cup.

So I'd second (or third) doing some research beforehand (including on local shops that stock pumps) but then waiting to see how things go - it is so easy to get things quickly these days. One thing that made me think afterwards was reading Politics of Breastfeeding, which was talking about how companies try to commercialise breastfeeding by persuading mums that they need all this fancy equipment in order to be able to breastfeed successfully. So by all means get a pump if you need one - but don't be made to THINK that you need one just due to advertising.

RatherUninspired Fri 02-Aug-13 10:51:08

Thanks for all the helpful comments xx

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 02-Aug-13 11:00:38

Not really much point buying one if you don't know if you will be needing one,some women think they are wonderful some can't use them or don't need to.

You can always buy one if you do need one when you need it

toffeem Fri 02-Aug-13 11:07:43

I bought a £20 avent manual one from John Lewis and if it all goes to plan and I can BF and express I will invest in an electric one at that stage. Just seems a lot to shell out on an electric one now when I don't actually know if breastfeeding will work!

Cavort Fri 02-Aug-13 11:18:40

DD (PFB) is 4 weeks and started on a bottle of expressed last week without any issues. I express about 4oz in the morning and give her a bottle some evenings while also saving some for a freezer stash I can start going out without her sometimes.

I would recommend spending the first few weeks EBF and getting used to it before investing in a pump and other expressing gear. I bought a Medela Swing from Amazon for £90 which I have found is very good.

CheeseFondueRocks Fri 02-Aug-13 11:22:46

Been breastfeeding for 18 months and never needed a breast pump. I don't know what for...

comfyonesie2 Fri 02-Aug-13 14:25:09

I think a manual pump is useful to have straight away. I found with my 2 DC when the milk came in at 4 or 5 days, I was so gorged they couldn't latch on properly so I pumped a bit of the milk outfirst and that really helped. Never bothered with expressing apart from that though.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Fri 02-Aug-13 14:29:07

If you do decide to buy one, have a google of open and closed systems. Personally I wouldn't touch the Medela Swing, though lots of people say nice things about them.

I have bf two children and probably used a pump a dozen times in total. ?TBH, if I had my time again I wouldn't bother buying one.

chocolatemartini Fri 02-Aug-13 14:46:10

No you don't need one. 2 friends of mine have had mastitis as a result (in their opinions) of expressing too early, creating too much supply which wasn't then properly drained. One of them ended up in hospital with a horrendous fever on IV antibiotics and the other gave up bf at 2 weeks. I'd say definitely don't express for 6 weeks, preferably longer. The supply and demand principle is very finely balanced and the simplest and most surefire way to get it working correctly is to feed the baby directly yourself on demand. The first few weeks are VERY demanding but it gets easier I promise and is then so much easier than bottle feeding.

chocolatemartini Fri 02-Aug-13 14:50:40

Also, with regard to engorgement, my mw who was also a lactation consultant told me not to express for engorgement in the early days, she just kept saying the best thing you can do with engorged breasts is 'FEED A HUNGRY BABY!' she had me wake him up to feed him when I got uncomfortable. She was very keen on setting up the supply correctly in the first place as a means of avoiding problems later down the line

lucybrad Fri 02-Aug-13 18:27:58

On another note - I used one successfully for 8 weeks - and that was 8 weeks that she wouldn't have been getting breast milk if I hadn't been expressing. I was expressing and feeding her with a bottle which worked for us.

littlemonkey2013 Sat 03-Aug-13 10:49:38

i got the avent manual one on amazon for £20. not had the baby yet but at least its there if i want it. and not a massive outlay if not! i would like to express for 1 bottle feed so dh can feed every now and then. also if i go out or something.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now