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My partner bought this for me during a late night frantic dash to the local 24hr Tesco when I was begging him to "just make it easier" during the start of breastfeeding.
And what a good buy! This pump can be used immediately when you decide to breast feed. It can be mains operated, battery operated or used manually as it also has a handheld pump adaptor in the box for when you need to step away from the mains.
The silicone breast cup is comfortable and pretty big, with the aim of it hopefully being able to successfully express from all of the milk ducts. It comes with a bottle that is attached to collect the expressed milk, that you then either give straight to the baby by putting the teat on the bottle, or pour in to a storage vessel to put in your fridge or freezer.
The pump is easy to build, as you just have to attach the silicone cup to a plastic frame, put a one way valve in, and then attach it to the bottle. You then break it all up again for cleaning, and it all fits in to your steriliser for it's next use.
The idea is that you use the pump manually at the start and then it learns your rhythym and carries on for you at the same pace without you having to do any more pumping. I found it definitely has a max speed (which isn't really that fast) but that it was handy that it would do all the work for you. This was much better than the medela pump that I also tried when I lost my power cord on one occasion, as the medela didn't really want to change it's speed for me at all.
I would recommend this to anybody who wants to express breast milk, or even when they just want some relief from being engorged so need to properly empty the breast.
I wasn't expecting to have to use my breast pump so early but my baby wouldn't breast feed for the first week so I had to express milk to give him as I didn't want to give formula milk.
I'm so glad I had already bought this pump (and paid a bit extra for a really good one). The pumps available in the hospital were old and you had to wait your turn to use it, so I was very relieved that I had my own.
I continued to use it throughout the 9 months I breast fed for. I would express a bottle for dad to give to baby last thing at night, and I kept a small supply of expressed milk in the freezer for when baby was extra hungry. You can also use the pump to stimulate your natural supply if you run low.
The reason to pay extra and get this pump? Well, manual pumps are a complete pain, if you are tired it's the last thing you want to do. This electric pump will not only do the work for you but it will mimic your speed, just do a few pumps at the speed you are comfortable with and the pump will remember it and continue.
I was initially worried that it would be painful, and whilst it took a few times to position it comfortably, it isn't painful at all. There is a removable pad which makes it more comfortable to use, however I found that I could express quicker without the pad once I had got used to using it.
I'm sure it will vary person to person, but I could express 250mls in about 10 minutes. So much faster than a manual pump would manage.
Make sure that when you have finished, you empty the last bit of milk from the pump mechanism into the bottle - every last bit is precious!!!
Handheld electronic breast pump.