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Makes me wonder why I bought the Medela Pump In Style
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.
--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.