Medela Breast Pumps
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- Medela pump vs. hospital-grade pump
- Experience with various Medela models?
Reviews of Specific Models:
- Medela Double Ease
- Medela Pump-In-Style
- Medela Mini-Electric
I am interested in hearing from women who have used both the
Medela Pump In Style and a hospital-grade pump like the Ameda
Dual Pump which is available in the campus lactation rooms. Is
there a significant difference in terms of time spent pumping,
output and ease-of-use between portable pumps and hospital grade
I used the campus lactation room with my Pump in Style and the
hospital pump with kit. My experience was that they were about
equal in terms of how much I pumped, how fast it was, etc. There
were slight differences in cleaning (the kit warns you to be very
careful cleaning a certain part but I guess I wasn't because
eventually it tore and I had to get it replaced, but the campus
program was very helpful).
I went from the Pump in Style to the hospital kit after just a
few weeks because I needed a pump at home to supplement my 2/day
pumpings at work (and it was nice once when I stayed home sick
but baby went to daycare to be able to pump). Also, it was a
little easier to tote the kit instead of the whole pump to the
lactation room. I liked the fact the kit came with a little hand
pump which was a good backup.
I first rented a Medela hospital grade pump from Rockridge Kids
when I went home from the hospital after a c-section (and was
having difficulties with engorgement, baby accepting the breast,
etc); I used it at home off and on for about 3 months. When my
baby was 10 weeks old, I went to a conference and so I really
had to buy a portable pump to take with me and, after that, I
was returning to work more frequently and for longer hours. I
bought the Medela pump in style, which best fit my particular
situation (see below), after researching the campus resources.
So, for a few weeks I had both the hospital-grade pump and the
Medela P-I-S. I loved the P-I-S so much that I returned the
rented pump (I had considered continuing the rental and having
both pumps, one for home, one for work but found this wasn't
necessary). I also looked into using the lactation rooms on
campus, but, since I have a private office, I was lucky enough
to be able to use the Medela in my office [Some of my co-workers
without a private office were able to make arrangements with
their office mates to pump or to arrange a special room for
pumping -- don't worry, NOT the bathroom !]. I would say that
while the campus lactation rooms are a great resource (and
probably a great way to meet other moms that I missed out on!),
it is more convenient to pump in or near your office if
arrangements can be made. It certainly does save time (unless
you're actually located in Evans, for example), and I found that
I was rushed enough just to pump without considering running to
and from another building. Also, there are times you are likely
to really want a pump at home or away from campus and you may
not want to rely solely on a campus pump. The Medela P-I-S
works great for this, too, as it is in an attractive,
professional looking bag and can be taken anywhere, even to a
fancy restaurant, professional meeting, etc. (only other pumping
moms and associated dads will know it is a breastpump!). I was
worried about carrying all this junk around -- my purse, my
pump, and my computer/briefcase, but the Medela P-I-S is fairly
lightweight (and I suffered from new mom carpal tunnel problems,
too, so I was very concerned about lugging all this stuff
around). As for compatibility between pumps: the Ameda brand
pumps are completely interchangeable with both the Avent (wide
bottle) pump accessories and the Medela (standard size bottle)
pump accessories. So, you could still mix and match a portable
vs a hospital grade system if you need to (in terms of the
bottles you pump into; you might need a different set of tubes
attaching to the pump itself, I don't remember). So, overall, I
chose to buy the Medela P-I-S over the portable Ameda pumps that
the university gets a discount on because I already had so much
Medela stuff from the hospital(bottles, horns, etc.), because I
liked the style and specific ''layout'' of the Medela pump more
than the Ameda pump (I really liked the ''built-in'' pump, for
example -- it was very steady and made for a very quick set-up
and take-down), and because I just somehow had a brand loyalty
to Medela through using the hospital pump and reading lots of
online reviews whereas I had never heard of Ameda. One of my
coworkers had the Ameda portable pump she bought through the
university and she really liked that (and both of us did lots of
pumping !). Let me know if you have any more questions; I found
getting this type of information quickly when I needed it was
somewhat difficult for a sleep-deprived new mom.
I found the hospital pump to be much better than a madela
pump. I have a pump in style and hardly used it. The
hospital pump's motor is much stronger. It got the job done
quicker. If I have another child I will rent or buy a hospital
grade pump. Each person is different though, my milk never
seemed to come out easily. Some people have a river
flowing very quickly. Try a hospital pump for a few days and
you will see a difference depending on your milk supply.
I have used both a hospital pump (can't remember what kind) and
a Medela Pump, and I prefer the Medela, hands down. First,
there's cost: I could have paid for a Medela easily with what I
shelled out to rent the hospital pump for the few months I did
that. Second, there's portability: the nifty backpack that the
Pump In Style comes in is extremely convenient, or you can take
the different parts out (the pump itself and/or the cooler) if
you don't need everything. I used the Medela at work for many
months, and now that I'm only nursing my daughter two times a
day, I'm glad I have the Medela for those rare times I'm going
to be away from her overnight. There's no way a hospital pump
would be worthwhile to keep around for occasional use.
As for comfort/ease of use, I honestly don't remember what I
thought of the hospital pump, I think it was fine, and so is the
Medela. I think they both have variable speeds and strength of
I got a good deal for my Medela on eBay. They have (or had) new
ones (factory sealed, etc.) for less money than the prices I saw
Good luck finding the right pump for you!
A Medela fan
The hospital pump is much stronger and more effective. The
downside is that it's not portable. If you want to try one, I
rented one from Birth & Bonding in Albany for $50 a month. They
prorate to $3 (?) a day if you want to just try it out.
I exclusively pumped for about the first month of my baby's
life as he was born prematurely and could not breast feed. In
my experience, the hospital pumps generate more pressure and
stimulated more milk production. I think both are equally easy
to use. Obviously the hospital pumps are not portable and are
big and bulky.
I used the hospital grade pump for the first month and a half
(to establish supply) based on the advice of a lactation
consultant. Then because I needed to go somewhere that took me
away from home (and the pump) for more than 3 hours, I tried the
Pump In Style a friend had loaned me. While they felt different
in terms of the force of the pull and the speed of the cycles,
they were identical for me in terms of output and time spent
pumping. With regards to ease of use, the Madela Pump In Style
had a huge advantage over the hospital pump in that it was so
portable--it gave me so much for fredom in terms of getting out.
So I returned the rental pump and switched for good. You can
even use the Madela in the car with an adapter attachment or
while camping by using a battery adapter.
I used a Medela pump with my first baby and an Ameda Purely
Yours Dual Pump with my second baby. Both were exellent but
I liked the Ameda better because I could remove the pump from the
carrying case and leave it on my nightstand. My old Medela was an
all-in-one design. Also the Ameda is much cheaper (I was able to
purchase mine from the Kaiser Pharmacy).
If cost is a consideration, you can usually find used pumps
through the Marketplace newsletter.
I rented the top-of-the-line Medela pump with my first child
9 years ago. Used it daily for a year. This time I bought the
Pump-In-Style. The two pumps seem quite comparable although from
my recollection, I think the Pump-In-Style has simpler tubing.
(The Pump-In-Style tubing connects to the collection bottle with a
peg in the bottle's top, and the other tubing ended in a screw-cap
that screwed to the collection bottle's top--but I used the same
collection bottles with both pumps.)
I've used both pumps, and while the hospital grade pump is considerably quieter
than the Medela Pump In Style, I found them to be equally efficient and easy to use.
I am interested in learning about people's experiences with the
following types of non-rental Medela Professional Breast
Pumps: ''Pump In Style - Original,'' ''Pump In Style Traveler,''
and ''Pump In Style Companion.''
It appears from Medela's products website that the differences
among these electric pumps are that the latter two include
a ''removable motor unit'' and a ''microfiber backpack,'' which the
original version does not, and that the original model has
a ''built in cooler compartment,'' which is not featured in either
of the other two.
How critical have these features proven to be for working
mothers in terms of efficient milk collection, pumping action
comfortability, or other criteria not grounded purely on
aesthetic preferences? Overall, what are the perceived
advantages and disadvantages of each of these models? Any
insight would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.
I used the Pump In Style Traveler, and found the backpack to be
extremely useful and convenient. The pump itself never had to be
removed from the backpack (which allowed discreet transportation
of the pump, even on airplanes after 9/11) -- not even to be used,
and all the bits and pieces necessary, including a removable
cooler unit, fit nicely into the top of the backpack. I actually
like having the cooler compartment removable rather than built in,
as I could use it to transport milk to my babysitter's house; and
now that I am not nursing, I can transport other things (milk,
tofu, fruit, etc.).
Medela Double Ease
Just to add in my two cents worth on this topic of breast pumps other than
the Pump in Style. I haven't noticed anyone else talking about Medela's
newer pump, the Double Ease. I got one when my baby was born back in the
fall. I think it was around the same price that another person was quoting
for the Ameda "Purely Yours." My Double Ease came in a carrying case that
is decent-looking, with extra bottles and ice packs. It can pump one side
or two and can be run on batteries too. It isn't suitable for someone who
has to pump a lot, but it fine for pumping once a day. It doesn't have too
many parts and they are also really easy to clean.
Hands-free Use of Pump-in-Style
As for pump recommendations: I used the Pump In Style and loved it. The
latest model has both suction and speed control settings just like the Purely
Yours does. I know several moms who purchased their Pump In Styles from
internet sources in Canada. Because of the favorable exchange rate they only
spent about $150. The Pump in Style and the Purely Yours are considered
equivalent pumps in the industry. It seems that Medela still has the lions
of the market, but probably that will change as the Ameda's become more
popular. Unfortunately it seems that Ameda is starting to raise their
. I had hoped that the competition would cause Medela to lower theirs.
The one piece of advice that I have is to NEVER buy one of those cheap
little Gerber, Evenflo, or First Years electric pumps. (Those are the only
ones I could think of... but there are many others that are also horrible.)
From the moms I have talked to only 1 in 10 can actually get them to work
well for her. Also, the lactation consultants I have talked to have actually
seen women whose breasts and nipples have been severely damaged by these
pumps. If you really need an in expensive pump you would do better with the
manual Avent Isis, than with one of these... but if you plan to pump at work
spend the money, for the amount you will save on formula, the pump will
pay for itself.
I bought a Medela Pump-In-Style out of desperation. It was very
expensive $270. The lactation consultant recommended it to start up my
milk supply. You can probably find a much cheaper price on the web if
you're not in a hurry. It seems like the description of the Ameda
Egnell. It has several selections (min-med-high)--I think that's for
how strong the suction is. You can also adjust the number of pumps in a
given time from 1-5. You just adjust it until you're comfortable. It
comes in a nice black bag with 20 bags, 4 bottles, and other sutff (ac
adaptor, blue ice, bottle stands, a manual pump, etc.) The bag is
divided into parts for the motor, storage, and cool storage. You can
use other bags if you'd like. I use Avent bags so I can use Avent
bottles. I also have an Avent Isis pump. I got that when my milk first
came in, and I like that just fine. It fits with the Avent bottles that
I know most mothers like. The only reason I got the Medela was because
it mimics the baby's sucking. There is also an adaptor if you want to
pump while in your car.
Date: Dec 1998
From: a mom
I have been meaning to post this info for the woman who is looking for a
Medela Pump In Style but doesn't want to pay full price. Apparently due to
current exchange rates you can get a great deal if you order from a
Canadian retailer. Here is one catalog that I found online (You can't order
on line, but the catalog is on line so you can see their products, and then
either order by mail, fax or phone). http://www.babyloveproducts.com/
that says that the Canadian Dollar is at about $.68 to the American dollar.
They sell the Pump In Style for $225 Canadian. When you use the rate they
are talking about it comes to about $150. I first read about this option on
the Baby Bargains website: www.babybargains.com. In the letters section of
the site. The woman who wrote about it said it took 3 weeks to get it in
Personally, I think breast milk is wonderful. However, it is
inconvenient if you plan to go back to work right away. I went back
to work when my daughter, who is now 16 months, was 6 weeks old. I
chose to buy the Medela Pump-in-Style breast pump instead of renting
one of the other models as I figured that if I used it for more than
six months, it would be cheaper to buy than to rent (and if you have
another child, it's much more economical). It has dual pumps, several
pumping speeds (I pumped 6-8 ounces in 15 minutes), a pump- release
cycle that is comfortable, and comes with a built-in cooler and ice
packs to store the milk. It's kind of expensive (around $200), but in
my opinion, well worth the price.
Several other young mothers at work used the Gerber electric pump.
However, I heard stories that they were not very comfortable. They
are also less efficient as they pump one side at a time.
I have been using a Medela Pump In Style for about 2 months. It works
very well and I recommend it highly. It is double-barreled, but I have
recently begun using it on one breast at a time. It is nice to have a
second hand free for reading, drinking, or whatever. However, in a
pinch, I find pumping both breasts at once can decrease the time
somewhat, but I do sacrifice on amount when double pumping.
I have had to pump in my car because I work at a place with cubicles,
glass offices, and useless bathrooms (not recommended for pumping
anyway). The car battery adapter works very well, and it is a nice
break in the day to drive to a park and pump! I have been able to keep
ahead of my daughter, now 4.5 months old. However, she has only been in
daycare for about 2 weeks and she had a cold this weekend so I wasn't
able to pump much extra those two days. I normally feed Kela around 3
or 4 am (her choice, not mine), then get up before she does in the
morning (around 6am) and pump around 6-8 ounces. I pump at least once
during the day, again getting around 6-8 ounces. Sometimes, I also pump
after I pick her up because she isn't hungry.
When my son was this age, I used a Medela hand pump which worked okay.
I couldn't easily get 12 ounces per day, which is the lower amount I get
using the Pump and Style, and it took me more than twice the time. I
was poorer then and couldn't afford to rent or buy an electric pump. I
had to supplement Maren's diet with formula, because I could not keep up
with his demand. By 9 months, he was mainly drinking formula (and
eating), and breastfeeding only in the morning and nights for comfort.
By 14 months, he pushed the breast away and said "no more."
The rentals will quickly get you to the same price as a Pump and Style.
I bought mine for a very special price $184 (discounted more than 10%
off the Medela suggested retail price), but you can still get a 10%
discount from the mail order business Lactation Innovations in Ohio.
If you are interested, I can get the telephone number for you. You can
send me email.
Hope this helps. I have been involved in a Mom's group since Kela was
born, and all of us (about 10) bought Pump In Style's and nearly all of
us from the woman in Ohio. We each have our own way of making it work,
and I can recount other stories about how to "got milk!" Baby pictures
This is the top of the line
Medela to buy. It retails for around $200. On the whole, this is a great
pump. It's a double pump, so you have the option to do both breasts at
once, cutting your pumping time somewhat. The motor is strong and quiet,
and the suction is fully adjustable (though the knob is hard to use). My
friend at La Leche League tells me that this one is made to last around a
year of heavy use (several times daily). It comes in a discrete black
leather case (the woman who sold it to me wondered if someone would try to
steal it, thinking it's a computer!), with a cold storage area for your
milk, as well as blue ice, bottles, and other gadgets.
I'm using a Medela Pump-In-Style (bought for about $200)
which has worked very well. Once, it started making funny sounds
(possibly due to being played with by the baby) so i called
customer service which was GREAT. They fedexed me a Mini-Electric
to tide me over, while I sent them my big pump, which they fixed
(or replaced??) in one day and fedexed back to me.
The Pump-In-Style is MUCH better than the Mini-Electric,
whose only advantage over the Medela hand pump is that you only
need one hand and can relax. The pumping action of the Mini-Electric
is not very strong.
I'm planning on using the pump for a fairly extended period
(at least a year, maybe more?) so buying was better than renting for us.
Medela (as I'm sure you will hear from everyone) is the recommended brand
I also hear that Ameda/Egnell makes some good pumps but they're not as
well-known in this part of the country or something? Apparently they
have a one-hand hand pump, as well as heavy-duty ones.
If time is important to you, then being able to pump both breasts at
once is essential.
Someone (I think it was my lactation consultant) told me that once you
get good at it, just expressing milk by hand is very efficient--that
you can express from both breasts at one time once the milk starts
flowing. I only managed that once--when my breasts were very full (a
situation you don't want to be in anyway because waiting that long
lessens milk production in the long run).
One last thought: for me, starting the let-down was the hardest part.
Whatever works best to get there should work best over all for you.
If you will be pumping regularly and will have access to an outlet, it's
best to get an electric. There are a number of brands on the market to buy
or rent. The two I have are both Medela.
The smaller one is a Medela Mini Electric, which retails for about $80 to
$90. The advantage of this one is its extreme versatility. It runs on an
adapter or batteries, and also has a conversion kit so you can use it as a
manual pump too. However, the small motor is not made to last for heavy
use, and I find the suction somewhat erratic. I have friends who have used
this once daily for the better part of a year, and been very happy, though.
It is adjustable, by the way.
The larger Medela I have is the Pump In Style.
From: Kathleen (6/98)
about breast pumps - I loved my Medela mini-electric - it got me through
two kids - 19months the first time and 22 months the second - plus I
loaned it to my sister-in-law for her second child and it's still going
strong. Very portable and efficient.
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