Reviews on Breast Pump I Came Across...

Last week, Khayla turned 4months old and I am happy to say that she has been growing up healthy and strong, despite coming out 2 weeks earlier than her EDD. Suffice to say, her chubbiness and strong immune system is largely contributed by the milk she drinks - breast-milk :) Yes, Khayla is 100% and exclusively breastfed since she was born, Alhamdulillah!

I am very grateful to be among the mothers who are blessed with abundant milk supply. However, at the beginning, I was also worried that I wouldn't be able to give as much milk as little Khayla wanted. After returning from the hospital, I fed Khayla mostly expressed breast-milk (EBM) as she still struggled to feed directly from me. I first tried to express the milk through hand expression - which was not only slow, but tiring as well. After half an hour, I would get at the most 1 oz. AT THE MOST. That 1 oz soon was gulped down by Khayla and after that I would have to start over again because I knew she would wake up again to ask for more milk!


Then I tried Pureen manual pump:

Pureen Manual Breast Pump


Photo credit: Pureen website

This pump was slightly better than hand expression. But after the third usage, the pump broke! Yes, literally broke. Patah. End of story :|

So, there I was, pump-less, with engorged breasts, and hungry baby. That was when I looked up the Oracle of Knowledge - Google, to find a better (and hopefully lasting) alternative to manual pump.

I stumbled into a blog that raves about the benefits of double-pumping. Apparently, the lady claimed that her breast-milk tripled or quadrupled when she starts using double-pump. She has the before and after photos to support her claim. Intrigued, I wasted no time in looking for the same pump she uses - Ameda. Unfortunately, many stores near my place do not sell this brand. So I had to settle with the second most raved-about double pump - Medela Mini Electric Plus:

Medela Mini Electric Plus


I convinced Hubby to invest in this pump because we want Khayla to have continuous supply of EBM once I started work (photo credit: amazon.co.uk)

This pump is easy to assemble, and the manual is easy to understand. Unlike Ameda Purely Yours, this pump has only suction speed (Ameda has both suction and cycle time controls). In no time at all, I managed to put together the parts (after boiling some parts to sterilise them, of course) and began using it.

The first few pumping sessions, I did not see any increase in the amount of milk I expressed. Plus, for a first-time breastfeeding mother, the pump can cause pain and the highest suction level I can tolerate was 1. But over the next few weeks, I started to notice that my EBM did increase and soon, I could pump more than 10 oz - 10 times more than using manual pump or hand expression (maximum amount that I managed to pump after waking up was 14oz!).

That day, this pump made it to the list of Carneyz Hall of Fame - Top 10 Purchases Worth The Ka-ching!. I don't have to worry about resorting to formula because thanks to this pump, I managed to store plenty of EBM that I ran out of space (and storage bottles)...

...Until recently.

You see, the pump also has some major weaknesses. One of it is coz it is an open system pump as opposed to Ameda's closed-system pump. Read here to find out more. Due to this MAJOR weakness, on a few occasions during pumping, the milk enters the tubing and directly into the pump motor. This caused the pump to slow down and the suction became slow and interrupted.

After several occasions of milk going into the pump motor, recently the pump lost its suction. I was of course, devastated. For a few days, the pump did not pump effectively and suddenly, my milk production decreased dramatically! Eceh. Drama kau. Actually it was partly my fault - somehow I got into my head that I need to reduce my pumping session because the fridge has become crowded and I ran out of storage bottles. It was a BIG mistake. Never ever tinkle with milk production - I should have discarded the excess milk instead of messing with my pumping schedule.

If normally, I got 10 oz per session, I only managed to express 5 oz after the pump broke down. To make it worse, Khayla went into growth spurt - which makes her hungrier than usual and instead of finishing only 2 bottles (10 oz) per day while she was in daycare, she required 3 bottles or 15 oz per day! So with 2 pumping sessions instead of 4 sessions, it was clear that demand exceed supply.

Luckily the pump is still under warranty. So I decided to send it to the service centre at Bangsar OU and to avoid any disruptions in the future, I also persuaded En Suami to buy a back-up pump. I had my heart set on Medela Freestyle pump, but once again, the shops failed me. Plus, the price was totally out of our range. We were recommended this single pump instead:

Tommy Tippee closer to nature (R) Electric Breast Pump


Tommy Tippee closer to nature® Electric Breast Pump (photo credit: Tommy Tippee website)

I must admit that the pump looks cute. I simply love the white surface, the portability of its design (lightweight) and the bottle and bottle nipple that come free with this pump. Also, this pump comes with a container to sterilise the pump's parts using a microwave (easy! I loike!). Compared to my Medela pump, Tommy Tippee's motor is less noisy.

But when it comes to assembling those parts and its performance, I still prefer my Medela pump. It took me 15 minutes just to put the parts together the first time. And, there are so many parts! Pumping-wise, I got 5 oz after half hour pumping, and after the third time using it, I got 9 oz. The top speed is 3, compared to Medela's 5. Although the pump is designed in such a way that there's little possibility of the milk going into the tubing, condensed water still form inside the tube and can go into the motor. So, Medela still top my list.

I also like Medela's service centre promptness. They examined my pump, figured out that my valve needed replacing (one of the reason my milk backed up into the tube) and my motor needed servicing (not sure how they managed to clean the breast-milk inside the pump). Words of advice to Moms who wants to send their pump for servicing - bring along all the parts including the funnels and tubes, and don't forget the warranty card and receipt of purchase as Medela will not accept second-hand pump. But if yours is second-hand, they will still service it with a fee (RM45, I was informed). Within 10 minutes, I got back my pump and it is still working fine till now :)

Excuse me, it's time for my pumping session. To all breastfeeding moms out there, happy breastfeeding! ;)

2 comments:

  1. good reviews. later when i need one i'll consult u or ur blogpost here hehe

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amy: Yup, every working mom needs a good breast pump to motivate them to continue with breastfeeding :)

    ReplyDelete