more than one way to raise a child

All you need to know about Breast Pumps

All you need to know about Breast Pumps

This week it’s all about the guest posts! Thanks to @livyloowho for commenting on Instagram about your experience with pumping and prompting this joint guest post.

There are A LOT of breast pump options available, often with a hefty price tag. It is also an item you typically don’t buy secondhand because of hygiene reasons. But with a big price tag (and an important job!), how can you decide which one is right for you? Between @livyloowho, Em and I, we have experience with six pumps! Liv pumped for nearly 10 months for her little one, Em pumped for 4 and a half months and I pumped so that The Girl’s Dad could give her a bottle in the evenings.

There’s that saying: “Don’t cry over spilt milk.” When it comes to spilling expressed milk — it is a reason to cry! Expressed breast milk is like liquid gold – especially when it can sometimes take 10/15 mins for just 1 oz. Choosing the right pump so that your milk is protected, safe and WON’T SPILL is a decision most mums have to face at some point.

We hope our experience guides your journey in deciding which pump to purchase.

Ameda Purely Yours

I (Liv) chose Ameda Purely Yours simply because it was covered by my health insurance and came with a travel bag.

Pros: It is lightweight – alongside the travel bag, it makes it super easy to travel with. You can use it with batteries or electricity. It is also very easy to clean.

Cons: After a day of pumping, my nipples HURT. I think it probably had something to do with the lack of a ‘stimulation’ or ‘let down’ setting. Although it didn’t break on me, I have heard it breaks often.

Price: £95 / $140 (for full kit)

Spectra (S2)

I (Liv) purchased the Spectra S2 after hearing so many rave reviews from mums I know.

Pros: I found it very comfortable to use. It also had lots of extra things that were helpful: a night light, timer, stimulation/let down and you could customise all the settings. I think because of all these ‘extras’, it was a really effective machine. 

Cons: Bottles that fit the pump were hard to find. Despite the benefit of customisation, the buttons were quite confusing! It is a bulky kit and not travel friendly.

Price: £130 / $240 (for full kit)

Medela Pump in Style

This pump is the most commonly sold pump in US and very portable – I (Liv) even pumped while driving!

Pros: I found that replacement parts were very easy to find. It was also lightweight, which made it easy to travel with. It also has the handy-dandy stimulation/let down setting! ALSO, it adapted to different bottles, so I could use it with various types.

Cons: There are WAY too many parts to clean. Alongside the need to change parts often – it really was a pain! I also had some tubing issues whilst I was pumping that were difficult to sort out.

Price: £140-480 / $230 (for full kit)

Philips Avent Hand Pump

Even with having all of the above pumps, I (Liv!) found I still needed a quick on-the-go pump

Pros: In one word: EASY. It is easy to use, easy to clean — something that can be helpful if you’re short of time and don’t want to faff with different pieces.

Cons: When you’re using it, it isn’t quiet. The parts make a squeaking noise with every pump – wouldn’t be ideal if you’re trying to discrete or on a phone call! 

Price: £24 / $40

Lansinoh Manual Hand Pump

I (Kate) chose this pump because I had already ordered the Lansinoh breast milk storage bags and I chose a hand pump because my friend had told me it was eaiser to use than an automatic one.

Pros: I’ve been using it for a year and it’s still in good shape. All the pieces fit in a plastic baggy, so it’s easy to transport in your handbag. It was easy to use – no complaints

Cons: You can’t buy replacement pieces for them in the UK, but if you contact Lansinoh, they’ll send you the piece for free! That’s what I call great customer service. It was a little difficult to figure out how to assemble it at first (I had to ask my husband!), but that could have been my sleep deprived brain not functioning properly! Also, it only fits Lansinoh bottles.

Price: £20 / $18

Medela Swing

I (Em) chose this pump because it was recommended by a friend. I loved that it worked on the mains and on battery – I even managed to pump on the train on the way too and from nights out

Pros: I liked that it was simple to put together and use and was super portable. The let down setting was good and I it was very comfortable to use (or as comfortable as it can be to pump). I never had to use replacement parts and it was relatively easy to clean.

Cons: I also had some tubing issues whilst I was pumping which I worry affected the hygiene of the pump. I also only had one bottle which did not work for The Boy so I had to clean and sterilize that one bottle multiple times in a day

Price: £100 – 110 / $120

What about you – have you had a good / bad experience with a particular pump? Let us know in the comments.

Note: Those of you may have noticed that Em and I post three time a week – we are changing this to two times a week so we have time to focus on other Kate and Em activities! On Tuesdays, you’ll hear from either Em or myself and on Thursdays you’ll hear from us both in a debate post. Occasionally (like this week!) we will have guest posts instead 🙂



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