About a week ago, I asked for advice on electric breast pumps. I had been doing some research, but I wanted to hear from the front lines–the ladies currently or recently pumping and feeding. I received many tips and bits of advice as a result, and I thought it would be appropriate to share these on my blog for anyone interested.
For all those that offered advice on specific pumps (this includes votes from the non-bloggers in my life) with the thought in mind that I will be exclusively pumping, there is a clear winner. The stats are…
1. The Medela Pump In Style received 8 votes
2. The Medela Symphony (hospital grade) received 2 votes
3. The Medela hand pump received 1 vote
There were a couple women who purchased an Ameda pumps that didn’t make it more than a couple of months with these pumps before needing to purchase/rent a better pump to bring their milk supply back up. One of these women had nothing but trouble with the pump motor and battery from beginning to end, requiring replacement parts to be overnight shipped to her on three different occasions. She finally went to see her lactation specialist who set her up with a hospital grade rental pump instead.
Now, 4 women suggested to me that I rent/purchase a hospital grade pump if it is available/affordable to me. Of those 4 women, 2 very specifically recommended the Medela Symphony. It retails somewhere in the area of $1,500 so I don’t see a purchase in my future. I will research the rental possibility to see if it can be covered by my insurance, but from what the insurance lady told me and sent me I won’t be able to upgrade to a hospital grade rental unless it is deemed medically necessary by a doctor. Now, I also received a few tips. Here they are below:
1. Buy a pumping bra so I can pump both breasts hands-free at the same time,
2. Be prepared for sore nipples no matter what you do,
3. Buy and use lanolin on my sore nipples,
4. (from two ladies) Don’t buy lanolin or use it because my nipples will never toughen up,
5. Keep spare tubing, valves, and flanges on hand for whatever pump I purchase,
6. Be prepared to buy different size flanges for a better fit,
7. Decide on a storage system and invest in an attachment to directly pump into the storage container, and
8. Don’t settle for a pump that doesn’t completely empty my breasts or I run the risk of mastitis and losing my milk supply.
I was also reminded time and again that the best way to bring my milk in is skin-to-skin contact (feeding directly from the source–da boobies). So, I will try while in the hospital to breast feed without pumping. This has opened another can of worms which entails researching things like latch and cluster feedings. I purchased a book, Ina May’s Guide To Breastfeeding, which I am hoping will help enlighten me a bit and I am asking for any other breastfeeding reading recommendations.
The paperwork sent to me by my insurance has listed a Medela Advanced Personal Double Pump as an available option. It comes with a shoulder bag and cooler, a battery pack, and a double pumping kit with standard size breast shields and 4-150 mL breast milk storage bottles. From the Googling I have done, I think this is the same as the Medela Pump In Style Advanced. Anyone have anything to offer up on this?
Thank you again to all the women that took time out of their very busy day to offer up their experiences and opinions!