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If you are going to pump full time or going back to work and pumping on a daily basis, make sure you do not skimp on your pump. I vote for Medela. They have hospital grade gears in each one so you are less liekly to blow a motor before its up.
If you use it occasionally, you may be able to get away with something else. The two lesser expensive ones is the Ameda/Lansinoh or the Avent. I've heard good things about them both....but only by those who use them infrequently!
I am very disappointed that you didn't include Hygeia on your list. Unlike Medela, they are WHO-Code compliant!
I used the Medela Pump N Style, and cannot recommend it enough. I was an EP mom, so it was my lifesaver for a baby that wouldn't latch. I do have a beware though, which is The First Years/Breastflow pump. It is HORRID. It is painful. I tried it twice, when the dog chewed all my Medela accessories and it was New Years' Eve and I oh so desperately needed to pump, so I bought this one as a for the moment, until I can get to a store that sells Medela sort of thing. Within twenty minutes, I was bleeding. It tore my nipples to shreds, and I produced almost NOTHING. It pinched, and chafed, and scraped, until I was nothing but a bloody mess. Unfortunately, it was the cause of the beginning of the end for me. Within six weeks, I had developed a massive infection in one breast from a tear that would not heal, and had to stop pumping. So that pump was the reason I had to stop breastfeeding.
If you need a small hand pump, I definitel recommend the Lansinoh. With my twins, I didn't think I'd have time to pump very often, so I started with a cheap Playtex pump a friend gave me. It worked, but it fell apart after a month. Being cheap, I then bought an Evenflo single hand pump. That may have lasted 6 weeks. Finally I upgraded a bit to the Lansinoh. I love it! I used it for another 11 months for the twins, then put it away for 6 months until my yongest dd was born. For various reasons, I had to pump a lot more with her and used the Medela PIS (of course!), but I have still used the Lansinoh pump occasionally over the last 11 months. It still works, and has not fallen apart.
I didn't see any Ameda pumps on this list... Sad! Some of the best pumps out there!
This may be a "stupid" question, but is it possible to rent a quality pump somewhere? I'm due in January and it will be my first time breast-feeding exclusively and I'm not positive it will work out for me, so I obviously don't want to throw money away....any tips and/or advice would be awesome! Thanks ladies!
@zombiemommy- you can normally rent a hospital grade pump from a "breastfeeding boutique". You might have to look for one around you. There are 2 hospitals in my area that have breastfeeding boutiques in them, they rent them out there and sell all kinds of goodies for babies and breastfeeding. The one near me also only employs lactation consultants to work there, so you can go anytime and get hands on help to get your little one to latch. Good luck.
I looked into renting the Medela Symphony, which is the gold standard in hospital grade pumping (I EP, so I need a GOOD one), and it was like $80 a month, but insurance covered it. Turned out I didn't need it though, I use an old school Medela Lactina system. Works for me, although it's heavy and not super comfortable to transport. But it was better than spending money, as it was a lender. It's been through three moms so far and still rocking.
I used a Medela pump.
i used an Ameda purely yours...it was ok