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Testing. Testing. A (limited) review of pumps

March 6, 2011
by

My most favorite person is having a baby, which makes me feel like I’m having a baby all over again. She has asked me to give her a review of the two most popular Medela pumps: the Freestyle (hands-free) and the Pump In Style Advanced.  I was on a limited budget when we had our baby and, although would have loved the hands free, convinced my parents to buy me the cheaper (but not much) Pump in Style as a birthday present. yea.  So this is what I used throughout my postpartum until I stopped pumping (at one year pp). And initially I was in ignorant bliss. I never had any issues with my pump, it always worked, I liked the little bottle freezer bag. And then I met Kelli. and Kelli had the Freestyle. And she could sit at her desk and do..ANYTHING. Meanwhile I had learned to contort myself so I could have one hand free to write or text or scratch an itch while the other arm steadied one bottle, with that hand holding another, all delicately balanced on my knees/chest. My back would be killing me from leaning slightly forward so I could use my legs to hold the bottles in place while my arm and hand made sure everything stayed suctioned properly. Awful. Oh and adjusting the speed or turning it off? Forget it – major balancing act. Now if I just wanted to sit and stare at the wall and hold each pump with one hand, well, then I could sit up properly and my legs weren’t in some weird tippy toe position (I’m short. its hard for me to reach my boobs and the floor at the same time). What exactly is the point of pumping at work if you can’t actually work?

So I used my pumping time as a time out. A breather. I would chat with Kelli, usually about how much I wished I had her pump. And now I do! So as I type this (with both hands) I am pumping.  The Freestyle actually straps into your nursing bra and is held in place just like that. The suction cups are bigger, allowing more boob to be used to hold the suction. They are also made of a softer, more pliable plastic rather than the hard plastic cups of the Pump In Style. Much more comfortable. The Freestyle also has a timer to shut off if you want, a battery pack (which the Pump in Style does too), and can plug into the wall. All in all, completely worth the 400$, especially if you plan on pumping for an extended period of time. I feel like, even if I wasn’t at work, I could tend to a multitude of things while pumping rather than just sitting and waiting.

To be fair, I’ve also tried pumping with a manual pump and I do not recommend it unless your husband/partner/very nice friend is willing to do the actual pumping.I used one in south africa b/c I didn’t want to travel with my whole electric pump get up (I was afraid it might be mistaken for a bomb at airport security). I found that when I was trying to pump, I would have to flex my pecs to pump and wouldn’t be able to get any milk out. I don’t know if that’s just me, but I found it extremely annoying and tiring. And my husband didn’t really enjoy helping out either. It takes  a good 20 minutes of serious pumping to get a decent bottle full.

I know I sound like a spokesperson for Medela and I don’t mean to. These are the pumps I have tried. I’m sure there are other brands just as good and would love to try those too. Or hear if anyone else has a different favorite?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 15, 2011 12:36 pm

    The blog PhD in Parenting also just did a post about pumps and an interesting lawsuit involving Dr. Sears:

    http://www.phdinparenting.com/2011/03/12/not-all-breast-pumps-are-made-equal-ouch/

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