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435 of 438 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2005
Everyone on Earth told me, "Don't cheap out and get a manual pump! Get the Medela!!!" I do like the Medela, but...well, read on.

Last week, when my baby hit 4 weeks, my husband and I spent the weekend on a mini-vacation while my mother-in-law took care of the baby. I didn't want to take my big, luggy Pump-in-Style along and set it up in the hotel room, just to express milk that I wouldn't keep because I had nowhere to keep it. So I went to the drugstore and bought the Avent Isis, about which I'd heard good things.

Compared to the electric pump, this was SOOOOOOO CONVENIENT. All you have to do is hook up an Avent bottle (or disposable breastmilk cup) and go. There's no tubing to plug in, no bag to lug around, etc. I got just as much milk out of this as I do from my Medela P.I.S. It was easy on my hand, too, and I have a tiny, tiny bit of residual carpal tunnel syndrome left over from pregnancy. The milk just flowed.

Also, I was already using Avent bottles, so that makes this even easier. If you want to store your milk in Avent bottles but use another brand of pump, you have to buy Avent's bottle-neck adapters. (I have these, too, for the electric pump.)

With the electric pump (for the unfamiliar out there), you have to hook up tubing between the part that gets the milk from your breast, and your electric pump unit (concealed in the fashionable bag). You also have to hook up a plug from your bag/pump unit to the wall. It is annoying if one end of the tubing, say, touches the floor or your pet comes up and gets his face on it before you get started (have to re-clean and start over). There are other annoyances, but the setting up is the most inconvenient part of the electric pump. With the manual pump--and the Avent Isis is a particularly good one--you just hook the bottle to one end of the pump, put it up to your breast, and get milk.

I guess the one advantage of the electric pump is that you can pump both breasts at the same time.

I don't find the Isis to be remarkably slower than the P.I.S. And I get just as much milk. (Some people don't.) If I had less money and economy were more of a consideration, I'd surely try this pump first before trying an electric pump.



--easy setup

--very portable

--gets as much milk as an electric pump (at least, for me)

--economical (much cheaper than electric)

--if you use Avent bottles, it's easy storage

--almost as fast as electric pump (at least, for me)

--hooks right up to Avent bottles OR disposable cups

--Avent adapters separately available for use with other brands of bottles


--only pumps one breast at a time

--doesn't always get good milk from all people, but does from many

Oh! One more thing: if you want to store your milk in bags, whether you use an electric or manual pump, just express the milk into a clean bottle and pour it into a bag. The Medela has a complicated method for expressing right into a bag, but it takes EVEN LONGER to set up. And use Lansinoh bags.
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196 of 199 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2002
Recently, while on vacation I misplaced the membranes for my "Medela, Pump In Style Breast pump", which are vital for operation. The spare parts were safe at home, and with a hungry boy on my hands, I was in a predicament. Unable to nurse, I have provided my son with breast milk by pumping three times a day since birth. I was concerned about maintaining my milk supply, not to mention the discomfort of very full breasts, so I purchased the Isis Breast pump because I use Avent products and liked the idea of being able to pump right into the feeding bottle, 4-ounce, 9-ounce or disposable. I am amazed by the comfort, control and power this little hand pump provides. In addition, I enjoy the convenience of not having to be "plugged in" and the reduced amount of bottles to wash. I found this pump to be great in a pinch, or for a weekend away. However, for my particular situation having to express 30 ounces a day in order to keep up with my little guy, the "Pump In Style" is superior to the Isis in both speed and quantity of milk expressed.
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2002
Before giving birth I purchased the Avent Isis pump (after reading the reviews) with the plan to pump just occasionally. I first tried to use it in the hospital, but couldn't draw a drop! Unfortunately I had a lot of problems breastfeeding (extreme pain) and decided to buy the Medela Pump in Style so that I could pump all my milk and feed the baby by bottle. This worked fine for 3 months - I'd double pump for 15-20 mins and get a total of 4-5oz. The downside to the Medela though is it is heavy to carry around, noisy and requires electricity, so is not very practical if you're traveling or out shopping for the day! Also, if you are double pumping it "ties up" your hands so if you're alone with the baby and have to retrieve a pacifier or answer the phone you have to turn the whole thing off, un-attach the bottles (otherwise they easily tip over) and clean yourself up! The Avent's much easier in this regard.
I had tried the Avent again (since leaving the hospital), but still couldn't get more than a couple of drops, so was reluctantly preparing to stop breast pumping altogether (before going on vacation) and reverting to formula. Yesterday I decided to give it one last try and after re-adjusting it on the breast a couple of times I got amazing suction and pumped 2.5oz from one breast in just 3 minutes. I think the trick is to press it really firmly against your breast (so it's air-tight)and position your nipple in the center. You have to pump a couple of times to get it going (feels a bit uncomfortable), but then the milk really starts flowing. If you re-adjust every few mins. you can get even more milk by pressing on different ducts. I'm now using this pump INSTEAD of the electric one as it's so much quicker. Your shoulder and arm get a bit sore, but as I'm able to pump a good amount in just 5 mins this is a small price to pay. So, if you want to pump while traveling or just to relieve engorgement, this is definitely the pump for you. It's quick and easy to use and much more discreet than the Medela. I'm so glad I persevered!
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2002
Although it's a manual pump - you'd never know it. I had an electric one w/my first son and it was noisy, painful, and slow. This pump is awesome. I can pump 4-8 oz in 10 minutes! It's quiet and quick. Once you learn how to assemble it - there's nothing to it. After you get the milk to flow you don't even have to pump, just hold down the handle and keep the suction and then you can take your free hand to put pressure on varying parts of your breast to make the flow move along even quicker. Only problem w/it - as you'll see in other reviews, the neck piece will probably crack. I was extra careful w/it and it still cracked. Not sure if I was tightening the pieces together too hard or if I had it in the boiling water too long. Either way, I called and they sent a one time complimentary replacement part. I had it in hand 3 days from the day I called - NO QUESTIONS ASKED!!! That's some serious customer service!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2005
Near the end of my pregnancy I bought the Isis manual pump in anticipation of relieving any engorgement between feedings. I thought I would need to invest in the Medela electric pump when I went back to work. Not so. The Isis has been the perfect pump. At work it's fast and completely quiet. In 10-15 minutes I've been able to comfortably pump up to 10 ounces of milk at the office (or just about anywhere, for that matter). I just pour it out of the bottle and into a bag and I'm done! My son is now 15 months old and it's still the only pump I use.

Early on I had problems with getting enough (or sometimes any) suction. While pushing the pump securely to the breast is important, making sure the little star shaped valve is pushed completely in (with stars facing up) is critical. Once I figured that out, I never had a problem.

Cleanup is very easy too. I'm glad I didn't waste $300+ dollars on a big electric pump. For 1-4 pumpings a day, this is the only pump I've ever needed.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2007
I have used this pump through all 3 of my children (I bought it in 1999), I can definitely say I've gotten my money's worth! I have nursed a total of 6 years, and this little pump has held up so well - I've not had a single problem with it.

The pump is small, very portable (compared with electric counterparts), and 20% of the price of the popular double electric models.

Your milk pumps directly into an Avent bottle, in which you can then store the milk or feed immediately.

There are some small pieces that need to be washed after each use - this can be difficult when on the road - this was really the only thing I considered less than ideal about the pump (although I'm not sure there's any avoiding that).

Every woman's body is different, so I cannot claim that this pump will work for everyone as well as it has for me. I didn't plan to use it as much as I did when I bought it (I didn't return to work full time, so I didn't think I'd need a double electric pump), however I ended up donating milk to a local milk bank after my first child was born. With this pump only, I pumped 12 oz every morning for my oldest child's first year. This took me about 15 minutes each morning.

For me, this pump has been economical, efficient, portable, and easy to use. It's obviously a personal thing - a pump can work great for one woman and poorly for another, but I have been extremely happy with this one.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2006
I bought this pump before my child was born... It had so many positive reviews that I thought it's popularity must be a sign of its functionalitly... But I was wrong. I ended up buying the Medela Harmony manual pump by the third week. It is FAR superior!And it is cheaper! Plus it works with many bottle systems. Clearly Avent spends far more on marketing and product placement while the Medela Harmony focuses on being a great product.

Isis vs Harmony

Isis is creeky, awkward and leaky... a third of the milk would pour out onto my lap. Also, as another reviewer noted, you have to contort into an akward forward crunch position to get the milk inside the pump. I soooo wish I had the Harmony when my milk came in. Using the Isis with my engorged breasts was HORRIBLE! So painful and uncomfortable!

The harmony doesn't leak at all, is easy to pump, is totally silent and best yet... works with all bottles.

Unfortunately I bought, opened and used many Avent bottles before I realized that I hated the pump. Now they are esentially useless. Start with the Harmony. You'll be happy you did!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2003
This pump is awesome!!! I have tried the expensive Medela electric pumps (which turned my nipples purple from the suction), and this pump far surpasses the others!! I have two and use both at the same time. The "petals" press into your breast with each pump of the handle and simulate the baby's tongue. No other pump has this feature!! The other pumps just pull your nipple out two inches, and it isn't the pulling that stimulates let down, it's the massaging that the "petals" and your baby does that stimulates let down. That is a huge misconception for many women. They assume that if the pump doesn't hurt and your nipple isn't being pulled two inches from your body that it isn't working. If the pump hurts, you shouldn't be using it. This pump does not hurt!! I have to admit when I first tried it, I was one of those women who thought, "well this doesn't feel like much; must not work very well." I was wrong! I let down faster for this pump than I ever have for the Medela pumps! My arm doesn't get tired like it did when I used the Medela manual pump (pulling out the plunger), and it's easy to clean. It's also easy to sterilize. It is very compact compared to other pumps as well. I can't say enough good things about this pump. I am also very impressed with the company and the wonderful service I received when I called them!! The representative spoke with me on the phone for 40 minutes instructing me on the proper use and cleaning of the pump. She went through step by step how to assemble it and even sat on the phone with me while I tried it for the first time! She also advised that using antibacterial dishsoap was not recommeded as it breaks down the nipples after long term use. She had great tips on sterilizing and expressing. I really felt at ease and taken care of.
As far as the cracking that other reviewers spoke of, I was advised that you should NEVER over tighten the neck of the pump just above the bottle. This is the part that will crack and it's operator error and not poor quality of the pump.
Expressing is something to be learned and mastered. For some it isn't easy and it takes practice. It shouldn't be given up on after one try! Your body also needs time to adjust and get used to the feel of the pump. One thing that the representative shared with me is to pump at the same time as nursing. That way, your body becomes accustomed to it.
I would recommend this pump over any other! I am very pleased with the results and the company!! Don't buy the 200 dollar pump without first trying this one!!!!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2005
I had extremely sore nipples even with a proper latch and my lactation consultant in the hospital suggested pumping. She told me don't even bother with an electric pump if I had this one. I was skeptical and bought a playtex embrace as well just in case. Weelllllll, this pump works 100% better!!! Just this morning I pumped over 7 oz for my 2 and a half week old (almost 3 feedings!!!). With the embrace I was only getting maybe 4 oz. Even though it didn't take as long because it is a duel one. I'd rather pump a lil longer and get more! Also the isis pump doesn't hurt as much as the embrace does. However, I did have to take the massaging let down cushion out of the isis because i wasnt getting much with it and my nipples are too large for it. The best thing about this pump is despite all the articles saying I wouldnt be able to feed him breastmilk for every feeding I'm able to and I'm also able to freeze half of what I pump every day since I pump way more than enough!!! My milk supply has even gone way up since my milk first came in just by using this pump. I can't say enough good things about it!!!

I havent had any problems with the pump losing its suction or anything breaking. It's easy to clean...if you wash it in warm soapy water after every use you wont have any problems with the silicone parts wearing down or turning colors. I dont wash my baby items in the dishwasher. I trust my hands more.

Like I said I use only this pump full time 10-12 times a day and have never had any problems!!!
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2004
In my experience, I have found this breast pump to be perfect for those of us who need to pump an occasional bottle or to relieve engorgement. The Isis pump is easy to use once your milk supply has been pretty well established. Also, it is very handy, simple to assemble, easy to clean, and comfortable to use. You may find it helpful to consult a breastfeeding book or La Leche League leader if you encounter any initial trouble getting milk out (I did the latter and it helped tremendously!) However, if you plan to work outside of the home and/or pump numerous bottles throughout the day, I recommend the Medela Pump-In-Style. Otherwise, the Avent Isis Pump will serve you well.
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