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Breast Pumps(20 Posts)
So, shit's hitting the fan a bit now that I'm only 9 weeks away from being classed as full term, and my OH and I have recently compiled an extensive list of all the stuff we need for the baby. (we have even managed to buy some of the things on it!)
I have a couple of items on the list of which, quite frankly, I've no idea of what to go for; breast pumps currently being the main source of contemplation.
There's loads of things on Google, all with mixed reviews, all priced differently.
Do any of you ladies know anything about breast pumps? Like, what I need to look out for, do I go manual or electronic, is it better to splash out and buy one of the big brands, or is a cheap thing from Amazon/Boots just as good? Is there anything that you'd personally avoid, or swear by?
Or is there a better way of expressing breast milk without having to use a breast pump?
I'm going to try and breast feed for the first six months, so ideally I'd love to buy something that I can get the full worth out of - it would be lovely to avoid the cost, but I don't mind cashing out on something if I know that it's going to be a massive benefit.
I would wait until the baby is here and feeding is established before you even think about a pump. Or do you want to exclusively express? You might well be wasting your money as expressing is hard work it is easier to feed from the breast and you might have a bottle refuser.
I would definitely say a breast pump is something you don't need initially. If you are looking for hospital standard one I would recommend the medela freestyle it is very compact. If you plan on expressing regularly then I would say you definitely need a double one to save time.
Pumping is tortuous! It takes ages - and for so little result. I bought the medela swing and sobbed at how little came out.
The best advice I can give is to hire a hospital grade one - mine is a medela and it's about £45 a month. I got about half an ounce a breast from the one I bought, but get anything from 1.5-4 ounces a go on the big one. Bear in mind that by the time the baby is a few months old, s/he will zip through 4 ounces at a time!
I should add that it will take a few weeks to get up and running so I agree with the PP - don't worry about it yet!
Definitely wait until baby is here.
I breastfed for 3 months without a pump, I only have one now as I'm a milk donor- before that I could easy get a feed out hand expressing when needed, but ds is a bottle refuser so I have no need to express for him.
If you desperately feel the need to buy one (and I really really recommend you wait) go for a closed system. Open systems (such as the medela swing) can pull milk back in to the motor and mould can grow which can then get back in to your expressed milk.
The breast pump I have (on loan from the milk bank) is an ardo calypso, it's fantastic, I've just expressed 4.5ounces in 7minutes (really good) but I do have great supply.
I have an Avent manual one. I used the same make with all of my sons (aged from 12 to 18) as it was the only one I managed to get a decent amount with so I've got a new one for DS5 due the end of next week.
You might find you don't want one after allall but medella swing is good. I expressed exclusivly for 6 months but not by choice.
How often are you going to pump?
I would agree to wait until baby comes. You really don't need it in the first few weeks when you're establishing supply etc. Then if everything is going well you can get on one needed. I ended up needing to express as DD wouldn't take formula when I needed a break from her or to get my hair done etc.
I got the medela swing which was fab and also the manual medela, harmony I think it's called, which was fab too.
The specialist breast feeding midwife at hospital recommended hiring ardo ones if you wanted a hospital grade pump. I am waiting until baby here and u have started to feeding to decide if I even want\need a pump.
I had a Medala Swing and got on very well with it. It depends what you want it for - a hired hospital grade double pump is great for producing volume, but useless if you want to take it anywhere. If you just want something to pump occasionally for the odd bottle to cover a night out, something like the Medala Swing is very portable. I've used one driving down a motorway. (In the passenger seat, I should add!)
It won't get mould in it if you follow the instructions and use it properly.
Thanks for the responses, they are really helpful!
I suppose for the first month, I'm not going to stray too far away from baby, so perhaps it's a good idea to take the unanimous advice here and wait a bit before I purchase anything, I just thought that it would be nice to get it out of the way.
I wanted to freeze any extra milk expressed so that there was a supply in case I wasn't able to feed, and also so that my OH can have a go at feeding the baby as it would take some of the pressure off of me (especially late at night) and help to strengthen the bond between them.
As for the Medela Swing, are we talking about this thing?
Which closed systems would you recommend going for?
I bet, after all of this, baby doesn't even like bottle feeding
The problem with your husband doing a feed in the night is that you will still need to get up and pump and then sterilise everything etc etc it is an enormous faff. Your husband giving baby a bottle won't help strengthen bonding I am sure of it, he can do all the other things and also feed baby solids.
I didn't plan to pump to start with and was just going to breastfeed but then my baby was born pre-term, was in NICU, tube fed initially then wouldn't latch so the breast pump became my friend. I used one supplied by the hospital until we were discharged then bought a Medela swing. I've been attached to it ever since. I got the double and get 5oz in about 15 minutes.
If you're going to pump a lot get a double and get electric. But agree with others, wait and see. You can pop into boots and get one after the baby arrives.
As others have said, if baby is feeding from you initially then it's recommended that you don't express (except for comfort if engorged or if baby can't latch on - hand expressing works for this) for around 4-6 weeks at least to allow the supply to be established.
Different women get on with different pumps. I never got on with my Medela Swing, but my Tommee Tippee electric (which is a closed system) worked fine.
I used a Medela Swing with DS which was great and I always managed to pump 4-5oz easily in one short sitting (though was lucky and never had any supply problems).
As others have said, if someone else does a feed for you then you will still need to pump at some point to stop yourself getting engorged and to keep your supply up but it does give some flexibility (e.g. I could pump at 9pm and go to bed and DH could stay up and give DS a feed at 11pm or whenever he first woke).
In terms of bottle refusing, my experience was that DS only became a bottle refuser when I stopped giving him one bottle a day (which I did from 6 weeks to 3 months until we went on holiday and it seemed a faff to take bottles and sterilisers and pump etc). When I tried to start him again on a bottle a day at 4 months he refused and wouldn't take one till well established on solids - maybe 7/8 months though can't exactly remember. But possibly just my experience!
I splashed out on a Medula electronic breast pump, thought I'd start off with the best. I didn't manage with it all, had lots of milk for feeding, was often leaking, but couldn't express at all. Then I discovered nipple cups - worked so well for me - just pop them in your bra and when you leak the cups discreetly collect the milk. Two birds one stone!
Thanks for the helpful advice everybody I was struggling with this.
I was looking at the Tommie Tippee pumps in Mothercare the other day - they looked quite good because you got all the extras along with the pump. I've read about the problems with open systems being difficult to sterilise fully, so I'll probably go with a closed system, and definitely nothing second hand because the peace of mind would be worth it. I'll probably also go with something that does both breasts and is electric - as it would help to save time.
As for buying the actual thing; I'm going to stop worrying and wait until baby arrives - like most of you have suggested. It might be that I have trouble expressing so I could end up not needing one at all, but I think I'm going to be okay because I've been able to squeeze small amounts of yellow liquid out of my breasts since week 24 (which I'll take as a healthy sign).
I'll bear in mind about bottle feeding once per day to help prevent baby from refusing the bottle.
Those nipple cups sound great! Waste not want not lol
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