Breast Pump FAQs


breast pumps

Medela Pump in Style, $280,

Hooking the girls up to a manual or electric suction device for extended periods of time may not be super-fun, but for some moms, it's a necessary means to an end -- breast milk for baby when the boobs are MIA.

Do you really need a breast pump? Which one should you buy? From around CafeMom, here's a compilation of real-mom answers to breast pump FAQs.

Is a breast pump a must-have?

If you're planning on breastfeeding, but will be returning to work or want the flexibility of family and friends being able to feed the baby breast milk, a pump of some sort is a necessity. What kind you need may depend on how long the periods away from baby will be -- will it be just the occasional feeding here and there or will you be away full days?

You might be able to get away with a manual pump -- and some moms even find these are more effective at expressing milk -- or you may need a double electric in order to produce the most milk in the shortest amount of time.

Many moms say that, even though they're expensive, it's best to take the plunge and go for the double electric if you can. Just think of what you'll be saving on formula.

Which pump is the best?

The names that frequently emerged from the moms were the Medela Pump in Style (which comes in a discreet carrying bag, and costs about $280 - $350), the Lansinoh Double Electric (about $150), and the Ameda Purely Yours (also around $150.)

All three are double pumps (so you're expressing both breasts simultaneously) and they allow you to adjust speed and suction. (Word to the wise: Best not to crank up suction to the max the first time you use a pump -- just as with breastfeeding, it may take the girls a little time to adjust to this new activity.)  :)

What's the deal with renting a pump?

It is possible to rent a pump instead of buying. Ask your doctor or midwife for suggestions on where to go in your local area. Hospitals usually rent them, and you may be able to give a pump a test run after birth in the facility where you'll be delivering -- check in advance to see if that's an option.

Where can I get more info?

La Leche League and WIC (Women, Infants, Children) may be able to assist you in finding a place to rent a pump or even in purchasing one. Contact your local group or program.

Are you planning on buying a breast pump? Which one are you going with, and why?

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Peajewel Peajewel

I love my Medella breast pump! 

young... youngs_wifey05

My local WIC office gave me a nice Medela pump after I came in with nipple trouble from a cheaper pump I bought. I love it. I especially love the interchangeable sizes for nipple pieces.

Ashley53 Ashley53

I hand express, it is faster, easier, I don't have to lug around a big pump or clean all the pump accessories, and it is free.  

DeTor... DeTora_Family

Medela Pump In Style is awesome.  I was able to pump five ounces from each side twice a day for the first nine months.  I had a lot of excess milk at the beginning and this pump saved me from mastitis quite a few times.

Katie... KatieCrandall

I have the Ameda and love it!

One thing I'd recommend to pregnant women: figure out what pump you're most interested in (start your research, at least) and wait until after baby gets here.  Chances are you won't need it right away, and JUST IN CASE breastfeeding doesn't work for you, you're not out $100+.  Breastfeeding can be stressful enough in the beginning, and I think it would've been that much harder knowing I had this expensive machine that would go to waste if I didn't figure things out.  Stress is a big hinderance to my let-down, so I'm glad I waited to get my pump...but maybe that's just me. :)

Katie... KatieCrandall

Oh, and I'd also recommend getting the replacement parts kit when you purchase your pump, if there is one available.  My Mom's dog ate a part of my pump when it was new and I freaked out when I couldn't use it. :) Bonus: if some freak thing were to happen (I envisioned one of the suction cups getting run over in my garage--not sure how that would happen!) and you'd lose or break a piece, you don't have to worry about it!

RanaA... RanaAurora

Good article. :)

If I can find the pieces for my cheap electric pump I bought 5 years ago, I'm going to use that.  If I can't, I'm talking to the lady at WIC to see what I can buy through them.  I'm a SAHM, so I won't pump often, but they're good to have just in case you need to up your supply, want to donate milk to someone else, or have the rare occasion you leave your munchkin.

Wouldn't life be so much easier if we could just take off our boobs?  No one would ever need formula, LOL.

proud... proud2Bmomma

I've used Medela and loved it.  I'll be getting an Ameda through the state once my twins come.  I'm anxious to try it as my Medela finally pooped out on me.  I'm hoping nursing the twins will be successful, but it not, I'm hoping the Ameda will pull through for me!

sunmo... sunmoonstars

I have the pump in style advanced, and am using it for the second baby!  All I have had to replace was the power cord (I didn't take care in packing it up, so over 2 years of use, it was badly frayed).  I chose to replace the tubes and "flappers".

A note about renting a pump - you can only rent hospital grade pumps that are ment for multiple users.  All the pumps mentioned in this article are for single users only.  Also, a hospital grade pump isn't very easy to take to work.


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