- Family and Parenting
The Best Products for the Breast Feeder
Bottle Fed Breast Milk
I'm approaching this as a topic as a mother who had difficulties actually nursing my child. I did decide that I wanted my child to have the best of what I could. Thankfully, breast pumps were made and allow mothers who nurse to work and still provide breast milk for their child. This didn't help me, at least that's what I thought. How was I going to provide milk for my child even though he wasn't able to do his part? My milk was in and fine, and I didn't want to waste this. The lactation consultant at the hospital insisted I didn't give up trying, and helped us rent a hospital grade pump to keep up my supply while I tried to make a wailing baby cooperate with something he just couldn't do. This hospital grade pump was enormous. It was heavy, and it was bulky. My husband, realizing how large this was and my anxiety in using it, asked about what he should look for if we chose to buy our own elsewhere. Everything in the hospital was from Medela, so we assumed that this was what we needed. Medela seemed like the go-to for all items for Moms. The lactation consultant agreed with this assessment.
When we got home, I tried this hospital pump. It was awkward feeling, but I suppose any machine that tugs at your body would feel a little awkward. I decided that I could live with this, but I needed something with more portability. My husband, just an hour after being home from the hospital, ran to Babies 'R Us to buy me my own pump. He came home with a Medela "Pump In Style" with Medela breast pads. For months, I used this pump and I was happy with it for the most part. There were occasions where the breast shield would leak from the underside of it, covering you with your own milk. I'm not sure if that was me, or just the design of the hard plastic. It had power to it, and it was quieter than most though it still was a little louder than I'd like.
I used that pump for about 10 months. I took it on vacation with me, and the unthinkable horrible thing happened: I had left it there. I was already too close to home to turn around and get it. Out of necessity, we had to get something new but equivalent to it without the big expense. (The Pump In Style ran about $249.) We looked at the option of a single pump, but that ran about $169, and I'd have to do double the work. The double pump spoiled me. So we opted for the double pump styles. The Medela ones were more pricy than we wanted for a back up pump. I picked up the Playtex double pump, for $99 and I looked at it until out of the corner of my eyes I noticed that Lansinoh made a double pump called "Affinity Pro Double Pump". I knew the name from the breast pads I happened to buy at the grocery store and loved more than the Medela disposable ones. (The Lansinoh breast pads feel more like cloth, better protect you, and has double adhesive strips so they stay in place better than the Medela ones.) At $139, this was just right enough for the price.
I was nervous to try it. When I opened the box, the first thing I noticed was that the pump itself is small and very portable. I wasn't sure if this was a good or bad thing. It's small and unassuming. The breast shield became my favorite part instantly when I looked at them. They weren't a hard plastic at the end that would be against your body. It has a rubber edging to it that makes it more comfortable and no leaks. My first time pumping, I didn't feel like I was attached to a machine like a milk cow. The pump even ran a lot quieter than the Medela one. I was afraid that this pump was $100 cheaper than my original purchase, and might be equal to or better than my Medela. I haven't tried it on full force, but the standard pumping settings do the job for me just fine. It seems to also have more settings to work with than the Medela one. The timer on it just seals the deal.
Pumps are an important part of breast feeding your child. As a person who relies on mine full time for my son, I use them a lot. Imagine how often you nurse your child, and that's how often I'm pumping for mine. In my opinion, Medela might be the bigger name but Lansinoh is going to give them a run for their money if people are willing to give them a chance.
Medela Pump In Style
- It's the biggest name in breast feeding supplies. Their line of sleep bras and post-partum support are common and excellent quality. This makes them the most trust worthy.
- It packs a punch. The motor on this pumps hard and an excellent amount of milk. This pump seems to be the more powerful of the non-hospital grade pumps.
- The box has everything in it. You have a couple of different shield sizes to try on, it comes with a small ice pack and container to hold 4 bottles in, and has a comfortable and large messenger back for portability.
- With name brand status comes a whole section at the store dedicated to it. All the supplies you could hope for and need are at your finger tips at your local baby store.
- No timer built into it. I bought an app on my phone called "Baby ESP", which was an app that cost $4.99 but well worth it. It was able to keep track of feedings, diapers, medicines, growth chart, nursing time and pump timers.
- It was still loud. They are supposed to be the quieter of the brands, but even still it was a little loud for my taste.
- The cost. It ran about $249, in store which was still a bargain in comparison to the $285 one the hospital was going to sell me.
- No real customization. You get one dial to turn to make it pump harder and a button to make it go faster. Being able to customize the cycles as I wanted ended up spoiling me.
Lansinoh Affinity Pro
- The biggest pro for me is the built in LCD timer. This also tells you the power level and what mode you're in.
- Second biggest pro is the breast shield it comes with. It's comfortable and seems to be leak free. The rubber edging seems to conform to your shape, making a nice airtight seal against you without feeling uncomfortable. I've actually forgotten they were on a few times.
- It's much quieter.
- The pump motor is small. I could probably tuck it away in my purse if I needed to go away with it quickly.
- It has different modes and cycling. You can also add power to modes as you go.
- The price. At $139, it's cheaper than most other pumps out there with better or equal quality.
- The kit didn't come with much. You only received one set of shields and I couldn't find bigger ones in the store. It also only came with one set of bottles, and a cheap feeling carrying case. Also, I couldn't find extra bottles or nipples to go with them in store.
- The tubing seems to pinch easier. It is a different plastic than Medela uses, and it's more flexible but flexible must mean "pinches easier at the joints".
- When wearing a bustier for double pumping, I find it's a little more difficult to detach yourself from the machine. I've pinched myself a few times squeezing the shield to get detached from the machine.