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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

Pizzaexpress2 Fri 22-Feb-13 08:50:58

Electric is far better in my opinion. I suppose it doe depend on how much you will use it though.
Have you looked into hiring one. You can hire hospital grade ones very reasonably.

Passmethecrisps Fri 22-Feb-13 08:51:20

I pumped exclusively for my DD's first fortnight. I had the Spectra 3 which is electric. It costs about £60 with an extra cup available to make it a double pumper.

I could get 4oz from each breast in 10 minutes with it.

Whether you buy one probably depends on your needs. For me it was vital but you might find you don't pump often enough to make it worth your while.

TheCountessOlenska Fri 22-Feb-13 08:52:11

Why do you think you'll need a breast pump? All you need for successful breastfeeding is breasts. Also, one of the main attractions of breastfeeding for me is that it's free - I can't believe anyone needs to spend £200 in advance!! Or £70 for that matter!

Passmethecrisps Fri 22-Feb-13 08:53:03

Oh, and the spectra 3 was just as efficient as the hospital grade Medela IMO. It wasn't as slick though - plasticky

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.

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.

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 08:56:01

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!

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

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

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.

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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.

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

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

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!

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.

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.

SchroSawMargeryDaw Fri 22-Feb-13 12:13:10

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.

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.

SchroSawMargeryDaw Fri 22-Feb-13 12:20:09

Miaow Was it the comfort one?

Moominsarescary Fri 22-Feb-13 12:27:08

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.

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.

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