Finding the Breast Pump That is Right for You
By Maurenne Griese, RNC, BSN
Certified Childbirth and Breastfeeding Educator
One of the most common questions lactation consultants, breastfeeding
educators and childbirth educators get is, "What breastpump would you
recommend?" Having worked full and part time and nursed four
children, as well as helped many women find a pump that works for them, I've
listed the most helpful and comfortable pumps here and categorized them.
Renting a breast pump is a large
investment in the long term, but some mothers believe breastfeeding may not work
for them and are afraid to invest a lot of money, especially in the beginning.
Keep in mind that a visit by a lactation consultant is far more important,
helpful and worth the money. When there is a need, especially when there is a
separation, I would suggest "The Classic" by Medela as the best
choice, followed by the Medela Lactina.
Pump in Style
The Pump in Style is a large initial expense for new moms
especially who are unsure about breastfeeding. However, it is sturdy and great
for long term usage such as for a mom going back to work, and can be used for
additional children. It is very stylish and concealing, especially the new
backpack. You can buy adapters for hands free pumping.
The Pump In Style Breastpump provides
professional performance for today's active mothers. This is the only pump you
can buy that features high performance and the appearance that busy mothers
The pump is stored in a stylish
designer-look shoulder bag that can be discreetly carried wherever busy mothers
need to go. The bag holds the fully automatic pump, a double-pumping kit,
collection bottles and cooling elements to chill expressed milk.
Pump In Style's double-pumping option can
be a great timesaver and also helps maintain milk production. Its automatic
suck-release-relax cycle mimics baby's natural nursing pattern, and features
adjustable pumping speed and vacuum within safe limits.
Pump In Style features these accessory
products to make this pump more versatile and convenient: Manual Conversion Kit,
CSFTM Starter Pack, PureLanTM 100 sample and a set or
breastfeeding information sheets for mother's reference.
An optional PowerPakTM powers
the pump with a rechargeable battery when electricity is not available. An
adapter for use in a motor vehicle is also available.
The Purely Yours offers the utmost in
flexibility and portability. This value-packed portable breast pump offers eight
(8) adjustable suction levels and four (4) cycle speeds to create a stimulation
that feels both natural and comfortable. It provides numerous variations to
mimic baby’s suckling, even as baby matures and grows.
It operates on three (3) power sources,
including AC adapter, AA batteries, or optional car adapter. Weighing only one
pound, Purely Yours fits into its own compact tote bag designed to hold the pump
and all accessories while safely storing collected milk up to 10 hours in the
insulated cooling compartment.
The new DoubleEase Breastpump and
CarryAll from Medela offer the convenience of double pumping for mothers who
need to pump during short-term separations from baby. The DoubleEase has an
advanced motor design for quiet operation, and features more convenient
selective controls, enhanced ease of use, and complete portability. The
mother’s comfort is ensured with the pump’s Autocycle™ pumping action,
which simulates a baby’s nursing pattern. Adjustable vacuum lets mothers set
the pump to a level that is comfortable and within safe limits. The DoubleEase
can be operated by electricity, or by two C batteries.
Ideal for moms on the go, the DoubleEase
comes in a discreet, black CarryAll™ bag with an adjustable shoulder strap.
The CarryAll features two storage compartments — one for the pump, accessory
kit and transformer, and a second, insulated compartment which holds four breast
milk collection bottles and three cooling elements (included).
The Medela Mini Electric Breastpump is
perfect for short-term separations of mother and baby. It is lightweight and
completely portable, so traveling is convenient.
Like Medela's electric breastpumps, the
Mini Electric mimics the natural suck-release-relax cycling of a nursing baby.
An adjustable vacuum allows you to select your own comfort level. For added
versatility, universal threads on the breastshield allow the pump to be attached
to any standard baby bottle.
The pump comes with a companion
transformer that allows you to plug it into any electric outlet. Or power the
pump with two AA batteries (not included). If electricity is not available or if
batteries are low, the Mini Electric comes with a manual pump adapter.
The Mini Electric is dishwasher safe
(excluding motor and transformer).
Nurture III Double Electric Breast Pump
Nurture III is a small, quiet, efficient electric breast pump which can be used
for double or single pumping. Five settings for suction control and
user-regulated cycle time allow imitation of baby's sucking. Its light weight
and compact design make it extremely portable and it is durable and reliable
enough for many years of frequent use. The instructions are clearly illustrated
and easy to understand. Includes: Nurture III Pump Motor, Double Collection Kit,
and Instruction Manual.
Pump: Avent Isis One Handed Pump
The new Avent Isis Breast Pump is fast,
gentle and quiet, and provides efficiency without the use of batteries or
electricity. The secret is the combination of its soft cushion
"petals" and silicone diaphragm which work together to mimic
breastfeeding. The soft "petals" in the cushion massage the breast
while pumping to stimulate a natural let-down reflex. The silicone diaphragm
creates a vacuum like baby does while breastfeeding. These two design
breakthroughs work together to help express more milk quickly and naturally.
Each pump set includes feeding bottle, nipple and sealing disc.
Isis Stimulates Letdown
While breastfeeding, your baby latches on to the whole area behind the nipple
(areola) and feeds using a suckling motion combining tongue, cheek and jaw. This
suckling motion helps massage the breast to stimulate letdown. To imitate this
process, the funnel of the Avent Isis Breast Pump has a soft silicone stimulator
cushion with five "petal" massagers. The stimulator cushion fits
snugly around the areola allowing the "petals" to flex in and out to
massage the breast while pumping much as your baby’s suckling motion does
while breastfeeding which stimulates the letdown reflex
Isis Applies Reliable, Gentle
The Avent Isis Breast Pump’s silicone diaphragm works to gently draw the milk
from the breast that has already been let down by the petal stimulation. The
silicone diaphragm does this by creating a reliable vacuum while pumping which
in turn causes a seal around the breast just as your baby does while
breastfeeding. This creates such efficient suction that with each depression of
the handle, a rhythm can be maintained and an even flow of milk expressed. The
result is more milk with much less effort for you. And, the silicone diaphragm
helps make pumping comfortable by allowing you to easily adjust the suction to
your own comfort level by simply controlling the pressure of your fingertips on
An Efficient Combination
The Avent Isis Breast Pump’s design breakthroughs all work together to make it
a fast, gentle, and efficient breast pump for everyday use. And the Avent Isis
Breast Pump is effective in another important way. It is quiet, giving you the
ability to pump discreetly anywhere. All of which means you can have the freedom
you need to continue breastfeeding for as long as you choose.
The control you have with the hand pumps
can make all the difference. They are very inexpensive, lightweight, portable
and there's no need for plugs or batteries. Many moms buy two for double pumping
and it is still a substantial savings over the electric pumps. Pumping is a
learned art in any case.
The Avent Isis is great for
stay-at-home-moms, moms working part-time, to relieve engorgement, nights out,
inverted nipples, etc. Moms with carpal tunnel problems or weak
hands may not do well with hand pumps. They may not be ideal for full time
employed moms. Avent's pump can not be used with the standard size bottle. You
have to purchase and use the Avent bottles which are expensive and not
universal. You can get around this by simply using your bottles on hand
for storage and just pumping into the bottle provided.
There are others on the market but I think they are far inferior, especially
ones made by formula companies. Medela's hand pump is too cumbersome and takes
too many hands to use.
Links for More Information:
America For more information on the Avent Isis
Medical Products For More Information on the Nurture 3 Breast Pump
For more information on Hollister Breastfeeding Products.
For more information on the Medela Classic, Pump In Style, Mini-Electric and
Double Ease Pumps.