Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A word from the queen of pumping. that would be me, of course.

If you don't care about or know what lactation is, forgo reading this post and just wait to come back for tomorrow's wordless wednesday. But I have been meaning to say a few words about breast pumps and share my new-found (and lets be honest, its still pretty amateur, since I've only been doing it just over 5 months) knowledge.

My sister sent me this link today, titled "Pumping sucks" (ahaha play on words...but I digress.). And it reminded me that I never did give my "review" on the two pumps that I own. Long story short on that, I bought the Medela pump when Baby D was born, the motor crapped out 4 months in, but since we had a warranty on it, they reimbursed us and we bought another one, but in the meantime I needed an "emergency" pump, so I bought an Evenflo one at Wa!mart that I still keep in case of emergency. So here we go....

Medela Pump in Style Advanced Metro Bag

The pricetag. Averaging at about $350, it is quite a pricey purchase. But I recommend buying it at Babies R Us and using a 20% off coupon, then using the money you save to purchase a buyer protection plan (2 years at $50 or 3 years at $80), where they will reimburse you to buy a new one if your pump breaks before your plan is up, no matter how it broke. AND, Medela will also send you a brand new pump within the first year if your motor dies, all you have to do is send back the old one (they pay for shipping).

I never realized how wonderful this pump really is until I had to use the Evenflo one. It is a total workhorse, which was essential for me, who pumped/nursed 7-8 times a day for the first two months and now I pump exclusively about 6 times a day. I never feel pain when I pump (or after I pump) and with the double expression technology (it mimics a baby's suckling by going fast fast fast for about a minute then suckling slow for the rest of the time) it completely expresses my milk, draining me in about 8-10 minutes. It's lightweight, so usually I am able to hold both sides of the pump with one arm, and hold a book/turn the pages to read with the other arm. I know, I am quite the multitasking diva. But you do what you gotta do to feed your baby and keep pinching your pennies, right? Its also much quieter than the Evenflo, which is a huge plus for me because if I am not reading while pumping, I am catching up on phone calls. Cleanup is a breeze once you get the hang of it, especially since they have Medela steam-clean microwave bags (I use them while at work) and when I pump at night, my Playtex Ventaire Advanced (crooked neck) bottles can attach so I can pump right into those bottles (as opposed to the smaller ones that the pump comes with, which I usually pour into a storage bag and stick on the fridge) and feed it to Baby D for his first AM feeding. Saves me a trip to the fridge since fresh milk will stand for about 8 hours before gathering bacteria, as opposed to the 1-2 hours refrigerated milk allows. TMI?

Evenflo Double Electric Pump
At $45, its a decent pump for the price. If you are only planning on pumping once a day, I'm sure it would be fine to use, and won't break the bank. But lets be honest. With pumps, you will get what you pay for...

Pain. I did NOT like the way this pump felt and was almost constantly in SO much pain when I had to use it to pump for a few days. Even though it is my emergency "go-to," I hope and pray every day that if my Medela craps out on me again, it happens during the day so that I can run to get a new one at Babies R Us. I despised this pump and only used it because the only feeling that compares to how this pump feels is not pumping. It is also super bulky/heavy and hurt my hands to hold up for the required 8 minutes or so. It didn't express my milk as efficiently as the Medela and is SO LOUD!!! The breast shields (there are basic ones and some softer ones that attach and attempt to mimic the Medela ones) are difficult to clean and since they are multiple pieces, if you use too-hot water, the softer shields will shrink or warp and not fit properly on the shield base. You also can only use straight necked bottles if you want to pump directly into a bottle, which I don't use to feed Baby D. It is also only recommended for occasional use, so I am sure that would mean if I used it as often as I used my other pump, it would probably break down much sooner.

BOTTOM LINE: My personal opinion is that the Medela is absolutely worth forking over the $350. So thank you, Mr. D for letting me make that (seemingly at the time ridiculous) purchase. Best investment I (we?) ever made. 'Nuff said.

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