Renting one first is a good idea to be sure it works for your before you buy one. I tried a Phillips avent one but I got next to no milk out and it made my boobs sore. Then I was given a medela one which was amazing. Some brands you can change the size of the flange, that goes on your boob, too which helped find the right fit and maximise how much milk I was getting.
I'd recommended starting to find one as soon as you can, and start stock piling your freezer
I wish they had a place where you could go and try pumps, because I found them to be wildly variant in the amount of milk I could get (suppose wouldn't be brilliantly hygienic but the milk could be thrown away...)
Bought the Medela Swing after reading lots of good reviews and for my breasts (small but with long/big nipples) it was hopeless (tried different size flanges but the small was too small for my nipples and the medium too large to make a good seal on the breast). Could only get 30ml from each side with loads of effort. Then bought a Phillips hand pump and found it much better at extracting milk though action quite wearying. In the end I could get almost as much from hand-expressing, though. Also rented a hospital grade pump from Ardo for a bit and that was terrific though big and cumbersome and not worth cost unless you have to go back to work early/ have a lot of supply problems (as I did).
I had a Medela electric pump and thought it was great. I've got quite big boobs (or did have when I was breast feeding - 32G) and it seemed to work really well for me, especially as others have said, because you can get different sized flanges to attatch. To be honest it's not particularly quiet, but I preferred listening to it hum like a hair dryer for 5 minutes over using a manual pump! Lots quicker and a worthwhile investment IMO
I had a medela swing pump and it was fab, got loads of milk out. I started using it at 6 months when I went back to work - worked from home at the time so was pumping at my desk!
I don't have it anymore (5 years since last baby and got rid of almost everything) so looking at what to get this time.
Something to bear in mind is the bottles you'll use for your baby, I found that the Medela bottles were too difficult for DS, and used the tommee tippee ones instead. I like the look of the MAM bottles this time and have heard lots of good things.
If I remember rightly I had a couple of medela bottles I would pump into then transferred them to the tommee tippee...So I'm considering getting a MAM or TT pump this time to save this step?? But not sure..
So much to think about! Baby isn't here yet so I'm going into this blindly. DustPan I'm a primary school teacher so I'm not sure parents will be impressed if I pump in my classroom so it will be in the toilets! 😅. Is this a mad idea, I live about 2 minutes drive from school, would I be able to drive home and express at lunchtime? Or will I have to do it a lot more often than that?
Yes I can pump in the staff room :-). And I have a private toilet (adults only, we are the only classroom in that part of the building) I can use. Which was very convenient during the morning sickness phase!
Hmm difficult to predict how often you will need to pump as it will depend on how frequently you've been nursing at the point you go back to work. Assuming you can bf baby in morning before work, then perhaps pump at 4h intervals during the day til you get home? Or can you bf baby at lunch if you can get home? Your milk supply will adjust to what you request of it via bf or pumping. If you get issues with supply, look on here for advice or try the Kelly Mom site which has good practical tips.
Don't whatever you do just stop bf or pumping cold turkey, the engorgement is horrendous and can cause blocked ducts.