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I bought this as an upgrade to a manual avent model and the difference was fantastic. Ideally I would have bought the full size medulla swing, but given that this was cheaper, I thought I would try it. I wasn't disappointed. Having struggled with the manual type, this was much easier. Advantages include the ease of assembly and disassembly for sterilisation, the size and the comfort. This is small enough to store and pop in a bag if you need to use this out and about and has a useful base to stand it in when not using it. The only real disadvantage is that it is noisy. You certainly can't be discreet with it! Before purchasing, I read a number of reviews which said that the motor often dies after some use and that this model is only really meant for occasional use. However, I used this for 2 children and mine is still going strong. There are a couple of fiddly small components which can get lost down the plug hole or broken easily but extras are provided in the box when you buy it. I also found that the small bottle with teat which comes with the system was great for my new born baby as it is smaller than the usual baby bottles. I would say that it is worth spending the money to get an electric rather than manual model but no need to go for the really expensive ones.
I bought this pump following the birth of my 1st daughter to try to increase my milk supply. I used it about 2 to 3 times a day for a couple of months.
To be honest i found this pump to be really noisy so much so i couldnt even hear the tv when pumping :-S it made me feel a little bit like daisy the cow in the dairy. there is no way i could have ever used this pump whilst out say in a public loo as the motor is SO loud and not discreet at all.
It does not attach to wide neck bottles either which was a bit of a pain to transfer the milk into my Avent bottles each time i pumped.
On the plus side it is one of the cheaper electric pumps and half the price of some other pumps on the market. it is also useful that most of the parts can be sterilised in a steam steriliser.
I did use this pump again for a few weeks following the birth of my 2nd daughter but then splashed out on the Medela Swing which is in a different league to the Medela Mini.
Before purchasing this product I began with a hand pump which after maybe just 2 attempts I ditched. For me, the hand pump was a strain on the wrist and hand joints and I couldn't keep a consistent pumping action. I ended up with tiny amounts of milk which was not worth preserving.
The Medela electric pump however, different story. Absolutely fabulous ladies (in my opinion). I would wait until my baby was feeding from one breast and then grad the pump straight away and put it on the other breast. Having my baby feed on one breast encouraged flow to the other one. Expressing milk this way was very successful for me. If anyone is struggling to express milk at all then, if you haven't already done so, you may want to try this method where you feed your baby and expressed at the same time.
The pump can be operated by electricity when plugged into the mains. The lead is quite short and when plugged into the wall, can sometimes make it difficult for you to get comfortable on the sofa. Batteries can be used instead of electricity but this, I found, lowered the power considerably. So much so that in fact, I could not express any milk using the pump when operated by battery power.
Before you attach the pump to your breast ensure you switch the power to the lowest setting to ease you into it. You may feel discomfort at first, especially if you begin on medium to full power. After a minute or two I was able to reach full power without any discomfort at all.
The product comes with a spare valve which I did not need in the ten months I was using the pump as the original valve stayed in good condition. The tube of cream supplied in the kit was of course useful for nourishing your dry nipples and also doubled up as a great lip salve.
I would recommend the Medela mini electric pump to women wanting to express a decent amount of milk that they can preserve for future use. I understand that all women are different and ability to express successfully varies greatly. I can only go off my experience which was very good.
Good luck in whatever you decide is right for you and your baby.
First time round I didn't buy a breast pump as my son was completely uninterested in the idea of breastfeeding, preferring a bottle from virtually day 1. My baby daughter, on the other hand, latched on straight away and ten weeks on, she is still exclusively breastfed. After six weeks, I decided that if I was going to be able to go out and leave her occasionally, I would need to invest in a breast pump and start expressing some milk.
I have two pumps, a manual one borrowed from my sister which I used initially to see whether my baby girl would actually take a bottle (no problems there, as long as it's milk, she doesn't care where it comes from!) and an electric one which I bought second-hand when I realised that the expressing was going to work out for us.
The electric pump is the Medela Mini Electric breast-pump. Before purchasing it, I read a few reviews which were all fairly positive but my main deciding factor was that a friend was selling hers and offered it to me at a good price. I had previously been looking at the Medela Swing, but they are expensive even second-hand from eBay, so I decided to go for the slightly cheaper option.
The pump comes in a box with all the parts stored separately. Assembling it is very quick and easy. You first need to fit the filter into the end of the pump tube and then attached the bottle which is supplied with the pump to the end of the tube which has the filter on. Once this is done, you attach the motor unit to the opposite end of the pump, plug it in and you're ready to go. It can also be run using two AA batteries which makes it convenient to take with you if you're travelling and need to express while you are away from home. It also comes with a teat, lid and screw-on bottle top so that you can feed directly from the bottle if required.
I find expressing milk with the pump relatively easy, definitely easier than with my manual pump which just makes my hand ache. It works by gently massaging your breast using a vacuum and pulling the nipple slightly into the tube to draw out the milk. The suction isn't too strong and it is comfortable to use - it certainly doesn't cause me any pain when using it. If you break the suction by moving too much it will stop working but it is easy to put it back on and get it all going again. You can also adjust the speed of the pump to the level which works best for you.
Once finished, I tend to store the milk in sterile milk bags either in the fridge or freezer, depending on when I'm planning to use them. You need to take the pump apart to clean it - the plastic pump unit, bottle and filter can all be washed up in hot soapy water and then sterilised. They are also dishwasher-proof if you prefer that as a method of sterilisation. I'm still using the steriliser as my baby is so young, but we started doing the bottles in the dishwasher when our son was six months old and may well do the same again this time - after all, how sterile can you keep things when they're picking everything up and putting it straight in their mouths?
The quantities that I can express with the pump vary depending on the level of my supply and the time of day. In the morning / middle of the day I can usually get at least 100ml, but late evening it is closer to 60ml. Apparently the more you use it, the more you can pump - although four weeks on I haven't really found that to be the case for me. All women are different though and some may find it easier than others to get larger quantise of milk.
The only reservations I have about the Medela Mini Electric is that it is quite noisy when it is running - however, I only use it for a short period of time so it's not that big an issue for me - and that it doesn't seem to be that efficient at expressing the hindmilk. As we only really use the expressed milk for a dreamfeed, and for the rare occasions when I'm out for a few hours, this isn't a real problem for us as I know my daughter gets enough hindmilk the majority of the time. However, if you were using it to express the majority of a baby's feeds, this could be an issue.
The cost of this pump is about £55.00 to buy new, however you can probably get it cheaper by shopping around (there is currently one on Amazon for £30). They also have good re-sale value on eBay if you want to sell it on when you've finished with it.
Overall, I have been very pleased with this pump so far and it has definitely made a difference to our lives. My husband is delighted to be able to give his little girl a bottle each night as it makes him feel more involved (especially after we bottle-fed our son) and I appreciate the little bit of freedom that it gives me. I would definitely recommend it, especially for those Mums who only want to express for one or two feeds a day.
Before I start I want to clarify how I'm using the pump - it supplements rather than replaces breastfeeding, so I'm only pumping 2-3 times a day as opposed to the three-hourly pumping I'd need if the monster were taking breast milk exclusively from the bottle. It allows Daddy to get in on the feeding occasionally and allows Mummy to go out sometimes without the infant in tow, but we're primarily breastfeeding.
I bought the electric pump having heard horror stories of people spending hours with a manual pump and ending up with muscles like Popeye ... but on only one side.
I'm not disappointed at all. This mini pump is much cheaper than many of the larger models out there but does a wonderful job. The box contains the battery pack, the pump attachment (a soft plastic tube with a funnel for the breast, a valve to allow milk to flow through and a place to attach the battery pack), a bottle to catch expressed milk, a stand for the whole thing and a mains adaptor. The whole thing was £49.99, but you can find it cheaper according to one of the other reviews so shop around.
The battery pack requires 2 AA batteries. I'm using rechargeable ones and they last about three or four weeks, although since my baby's quite a hungry one and I'm not exclusively expressing the pump doesn't get the use it would if I was expressing all the time.
The pump fits together very easily. The motor fastens into the breastshield with two twists and the bottle screws into the bottom of the shield. The valve is positioned at the top of the bottle neck. Simple assembly that can be done very quickly and with one hand and two knees to hold one part between if you have to.
The pump has variable suction, but you should always start it on minimum and work up. Place the funnel over the breast and turn it on, turning it up as and when you're comfortable. When you're finished, you can store the bottle in the fridge, transfer the milk to another bottle for fridge storage or empty the milk into sterile breastmilk freezer bags, where it will keep for up to three months.
The only downside to this pump is the noise - the motor makes a lawnmower sort of sound and can be extremely annoying. It's also completely indiscreet - you'd have to be very self-confident to take it to work and pump in a toilet stall, for example!
Sterilise the funnel and the bottle after every use - this is where the mini pump falls down, I think - my manual pump came with a microwave steriliser container and it would have been a useful addition to the pack.
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION MAY NOT BE FOR MALE AUDIENCES. UNLESS YOU WANT TO KNOW INTIMATE DETAILS OF BREASTS AND THE EXTRACTION OF MILK, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER.
YOU CAN HOWEVER PUT A VERY USEFUL RATING IN FULL FAITH OF MY WRITING SKILLS.
When pregnant with my daughter who was my first child I went through some tough times as a thought of the different things I thought I would have to give up, like soccer, horse riding and going out with my girl friends. Some things would have to change but I still hoped to have some independence.
I had already decided to breast feed my child so I didn't think I would be able to leave her with me boyfriend, as she would need to feed quite often during the first few months. Little did I know of the technology available. And when a friend suggested a breast pump, for a moment I was horrified. A pump? Like what they use to milk cows, I envisioned a metal contraption shaped like a cone that would swallow my chest alive.
But walking in a section in Boots I had never thought I would go down, I saw that they had a few on display, and none of them the horrifying nightmare I had imagined. I picked out the Medela Electric version, as being new to this I didn't see myself doing by hand something that must be difficult or they wouldn't need to make pumps with batteries.
The pump set cost me 48 euros and included:
- One small 250ml bottle.
- One stand, for the bottle.
- The breast part that is shaped like a flattened cone and attaches to the motor and bottle.
- The motor, which can be either plugged in or used with two AA batteries.
- And last but not least (well it is pretty small) a tiny little plastic valve that looks like a flap, this needs to be fitted in the breast part in order to create proper suction.
All this fits easily together and is not difficult to figure out with the help of the instruction manual, which comes with the set.
To use simply put the cone on your breast and start the motor, there are different settings so you can start slow and increase the tempo, as you get used to it. The suction is made to simulate a baby's sucking method, which is a steady pull release and then pull release again
I found that the lowest tempo would not express any milk and would only use the highest setting.
The noise is quite bothering, while not so loud that it will bother people in the next room, it is a constant hum, which will not be easy to ignore if you try to watch the television at the same time.
In order to remove the pump, be careful not to when the power is on, as you might pull when the machine is sucking and thus end up with a very sore nipple.
Your nipples will appear to be VERY large after using this breast pump, but don't be alarmed they will shrink back to their normal size in only a few minutes after use.
One word of warning is that when washing be careful not to lose the little plastic valve, as the breast pump will not work without it.
The batteries will not last very long if you don't alternate with using the mains electricity. On their own they will only last about a week and a half.
To be honest shortly after I bought this pump I received the Medela manual breast pump, which is used by hand. I found it to be much better and as I never had a problem with milk flow, I found it easier and quicker to extract by hand, as I could pump faster then the machine could.
This electric pump is a good alternative, if you do not want to pump by hand but I personally preferred the hand pump, also its lack of noise was a plus.
Just a word of warning, when you are in a public bathroom and need to express milk because your breasts are exploding, the noise does sound quite similar to something else, used on the other half of your body...
I liked this breast pump for when I was lazy and just wanted to let the machine do the work. For going out I preferred the hand pump as it didn't have any noise and was quicker to extract with. But this is a good pump as it is not as expensive as some other brands, and I was happy with the quality.
Only four stars as I did prefer the manual to the electric, as I found that it was pretty slow going to extract a whole bottle, as the highest speed just wasn't up to par.
I know a few people who have used it and had to switch to the Avent pump as this hurt their nipples. It didnt hurt me but I didnt like it as I use avent bottles and the avent bottle is to large to attach to this pump so I had to keep transfering over the milk. Its also pretty noisy and makes you feel like Daisy the cow. Advantages is that its small and easy to use, but I found the parts fiddley to clean. Its also very expensive at £55 but the Avent is more expensive so I suppose for an electric pump its not so bad. This is the pump they always recommend using in the hospital. My friend uses the double pump as expressing is very time consuming and she thinks its brilliant but that one is even more expensive. Id recommend to try a friends before you buy as if you dont get on with it you cant take it back to the shops.
I was adamant that I was going to breastfeed whilst pregnant with my first baby. I really wanted to as I knew it would be the best start fior my baby but I wasn't too keen on the fact that it would mean that I would have to do all the night feeds. So I decided to get a breast pump. The Medela mini seemed to get a lot of good reviews but was a bit on the expensive side, so I got one secondhand.
I found it very easy to use as the suction works in a rhythm that mimics the way that a baby feeds from the breast. There is a rocker switch that allows you to alter the stength of the suction so you won't get sore nipples. I particularly loved the fact that it could run from bot batteries and the mains so I could use it on the move. I've used it with both my babies and it's still going strong andI have to admit to having dropped it on the floor a few times. The only downside is the amount of noise that it makes. Goodness knows what my neighbours think I've been doing every morning and night!
Hand pumping is virtually impossible (unless you have arnie muscles and a will of iron)- especially following a c-section, when the slightest muscle movement can be painful. I used this pump with both my children and it saved our lives. Its very easy to sterilise and clean with no awkward nooks and crannies.
True it is noisy, (the noise use to put my babies to sleep!) but it has a good strong suction, making expressing relatively quick and easy. You need to be careful about positioning, but once you've got the nack its straightforward.
It is very useful to help your milk come in, if there has been a delay, or you and baby have struggled to get positioning right for feeding.
Most importantly, it is a reliable product which will extract milk, meaning you have one less thing to worry about! I would recommend it above other brands out there.
Pregnant women are often told ?breast is best? and breastfeeding is highly promoted by midwives and health visitors alike. When I was pregnant with Jacob I decided I would like to give breastfeeding a go and see how I got on although I was staying open minded. With a holiday, a hen night and a wedding beckoning in the few weeks after Jacob?s birth, I also realised that breastfeeding wasn?t going to be 100% practical all of the time and so I was drawn more to the idea of expressing as a good compromise. With the expense of a first child, I bought a manual pump, that being the cheapest option ? well except physically squeezing my own boobs which, I would imagine, would just take forever. Due to a melting accident (somehow I forgot to put water into the steriliser!) the pump didn?t last until child number two so when I was expecting Jon I made the decision to splash out on an electric pump. To be honest I never really got on with the manual pump. Within weeks of using it, it was becoming harder and harder to express enough milk to satisfy a growing baby and so I thought an electric one might stimulate milk production more effectively. ~ ~ ~ Buying The Pump ~ ~ ~ So the search for an electric pump began. And it really was a search. Mothercare World in Derby had no electric pumps of any description. They phoned through to the Nottingham store ? no joy. I looked in Argos, Boots and Tesco but still nothing. Electric breast pumps must have been in high demand. A couple of weeks later we were back in Derby?s Mothercare World and there was one electric breast pump. It was made by Medela, a company I?d never heard of but as my due date was getting ever closer I really couldn?t afford to be too picky. I paid my £39.99 and it stayed neatly packed away awaiting
Jon?s arrival. ~ ~ ~ Assembling The Pump ~ ~ ~ It didn?t take all that long before it was taken out of its box. Jon?s feeding habits are erratic to say the least and after one evening of feeding him more or less constantly for five hours, I was struggling to keep up with him. Expressing my milk was the way to regain control of the situation. Time to discover what my forty pounds had purchased. Included was the motor (excluding batteries), the breastshield, a small bottle, a plug, a stand to place the bottle into and a valve which is only small but vital as if it is missing or not fitted correctly, the suction action doesn?t happen and therefore no milk is expressed. The pump fits together very easily. The motor screws into the breastshield with one twist and the bottle screws onto the bottom of the shield. The valve is positioned at the top of the bottle neck. The pump can be used immediately, even if you have no batteries to hand, as it can be plugged in and used from the mains. Of course, this is quite restricting as you must be sat near a plug socket and the wire is of standard length meaning you can?t go very far. I prefer to use it with the batteries. It requires 2 AA batteries and these are placed in the motor section. Battery life is a little on the short side. In order for milk to be produced in sufficient quantities, expressing should be done several times a day, copying a real baby?s feeding pattern. I express in total for around an hour a day and the batteries last about 2 weeks. Having said this you can tell that they are running down after about a week as the suction gets slower and the noise lessens but it is possible to keep using them until the suction becomes uncomfortable. ~ ~ ~ Using The Pump ~ ~ ~ Once the pump is positioned on the breast, the on-off switch, loc
ated at the far end of the motor, is easily reached. Switching the pump on will start the suction action straight away. One thing to note is that the suction can be adjusted so I start off on the minimum setting and gradually increase the level as my nipples get used to the feeling. I?ve found the lowest setting is too gentle for any milk to actually be expressed but it?s a good starting point and doesn?t hurt at all. I?ve also found it necessary to turn off the pump when it is not sucking my nipple into the breastshield. This way the pump can be easily removed from the breast. It can be quite difficult and painful to take off the pump if your nipple is halfway up the tube! (Ouch!!) After activating the pump the first thing I noticed was the noise level. It really is quite loud and makes watching the TV quite difficult. This is a shame as it makes the pump quite indiscreet to use. I couldn?t imagine, for example, that I could use it in the toilets at work if Jon is still on breastmilk in 4 months time. The pump supposedly mimics the suck-release-relax action of a baby to stimulate the milk flow. The advantage over a baby is, however, that it doesn?t fall asleep while attached to the breast, making the whole process a lot quicker! Jon is currently having bottles of 4 fluid oz and it usually takes me between 10 and 20 minutes to express this from each breast, making up two feeds in one go. Compare this to the half an hour to an hour Jon would feed from the breast for one feed and you can soon see which is the more time-consuming. One downside of using the pump is the bottle that is provided only holds 5 fluid oz. When you consider that Jon is already having 4oz and this will increase as he gets bigger, pouring the milk into another bottle is necessary. However I have discovered that my Mothercare bottles with narrower necks also
fit onto the breastshield and these hold 9oz which is far more convenient. ~ ~ ~ Cleaning The Pump ~ ~ ~ Of course, when dealing with feeding equipment for young babies, cleaning and sterilising is of the utmost importance and this breast pump is very easy to clean. The breastshield, valve and bottle can all be washed in warm, soapy water and all the parts fit well in my steriliser. All the washable parts are dishwasher safe too. ~ ~ ~ Overall ~ ~ ~ If you can put up with the noise this pump is a good buy. I was expecting to pay a lot more than £40 for an electric pump and so far it has been good value. It is easy to use and easy to clean and due to the adjustable suction there has been no sign of my milk supply giving up on me just yet. Compared to the manual pump I had, I am pleased at the speed at which it expresses the milk requiring very little effort. With a toddler also running around this is important to me. I?ve found through two attempts at breastfeeding that expressing gives me more control and freedom, yet my children have still had what is considered the ?best? for them. More importantly having my milk in a bottle means that Paul cannot escape the night feeds! For that reason alone I am thankful I found the Medela breast pump.
My little girl (currently 6mths) was exclusively breast fed until 4months old, I however had to return to work when she was just 4 weeks old so I bought a breast-pump..or rather I bought 2. I started with the much recommended ISIS hand operated, try as I did I could not manage to get more than 1oz at a time even after an hour, it never once managed to induce the let-down reflex and I found it fiddly...so I bought a Medela mini-electric. Operation wise this is fab, by adjusting the suction you can mimic babies suck pattern (I used 1min of low to get nips accustomed, then 5 mins of fairly high to induce let-down then back to low for 10mins, swap to next side and repeat) I was able to get about 6oz's each side in a morning and 5oz's each side in an afternoon, using for about 20mins each time. Its easy to clean and the parts can be put in a microwave steriliser (excepting the motor!) even though the instructions say not to. It comes with a sealing disc for the bottle and make sure you do detach the bottle and seal, if left attached with milk in then it can leak back out. It also features the main pump motor section and then a seperate funnel type attachment to place around breast. ANother advantage is that this comes with an insert for those who aren't suffering from massive mammaries. It can be battery or main operated and comes with the mains adapter. It takes AA bateries. The main downsides are the noise...the whole building knew when I was pumping, so it does make you feel like an inmate at a dairy farm. Also the bottle is narrow and small so a pain as you need to decant into a normal size bottle. I purchased mine from Mothercare for £34. I recommend using the mains where poss as I found it didnt perform to top standard on battery.
Tired of using a manual breast pump I decided to bite the bullet and pay the extra cost for an electric breast pump. Surely it had to be better, after all, it would be quicker to express as your hand wouldn't get so tired. I went along to my local baby stores, both Boots and Mothercare had the Medela Mini Electric Breast Pump for £39.99 with no alternatives so I purchased one anticipating the joy I'd feel when I got home to use it. The pump consists of a yellow battery pack and pump/motor (requiring two AA batteries to run if you don't use the mains power adaptor) which attaches to a kit of soft clear moulded plastic attachments, including the bottle. It comes with a rigid plastic base to offset the weight of the motor and batteries. It is reasonably small and compact and therefore very portable. The quality of the materials didn't seem equal to other breast pumps such as Avent or Ameda yet I set it up as per the instructions which are reasonably clear. It comes with a special attachment which can make it easier to express if you have small breasts. I found it quite comfortable, although a little unnatural until I got used to it though it would benefit from an insert similar to that of the Avent Isis Breast Pump made of a soft rubber like material. The pump has an adjustable vacuum cycle so you can set it according to your comfort level and can complete 35 cycles of pressure and release per minute which is designed to mimic the rhythmic sucking of your baby. This action is very effective and I find it helps to start on a low vacuum and gradually increase it to the highest setting over five minutes. It takes around seven to fifteen minutes per breast depending on your milk flow. The functional side of the breast pump is pretty good I have to admit. There's just one MAJOR problem, and that is the noise the pump makes. How can I describe it, well it's not unlike having a neighbour drill
ing into their wall or the friendly sound of the dentist drill. It's loud, and unpleasant, and unless you have an incredible baby, it's likely to wake them up. If you have more than one adult in the house, you can't use this at night, it's just not practical. You can't even watch TV without the subtitles while you're using it which for me is devastating as expressing tends to be one of the times I have to myself. How very disappointing. Overall this breast pump is quite an effective and affordable machine, it's just the noise and in confession I used it three times before returning to the shop and asking for my money back. It was impractical for me as I was living with my parents at the time and it's not particularly discreet when out and about. You could hardly get away with nipping into the toilets at the Supermarket hoping no-one will notice you. Therefore it's worth considering where and when you will need to use the pump before you choose this one, if you need quiet and discreet I'd go for either a manual breast pump or one of the quieter electric pumps.
I bought a Medela mini-pump before my son was born, as I intended to breastfeed, and wanted the freedom a pump buys you. I wanted an electric pump, because a manual pump sounded like too much work. I found it pretty easy to use. The suction is adjustable, so you can find a comfortable level for you. I found the suction wasn't that strong, so I would end up pumping for longer than I would have liked to, but it worked fine. It disassembles into four or five pieces for sterilizing, and is easy to reassemble. The bottle isn't a standard size, so it isn't very useful on its own - at least, it didn't fit with my Avent kit. But the big problem was, the noise. It makes a *lot*. Watching telly or talking to someone while it's going isn't very feasible. In the long run, the noise was just too much. I knew some mums who were happy with the Avent hand pump, so I bought one of those. Once I got used to using it, I gave up on the Medela. I haven't tried any other electric pumps, but I gather that only the (really expensive) hospital models are reasonably quiet. Certainly if I was considering another electric pump, I'd want to hear how noisy it was first before buying it.
The Medela Mini Electric is the ideal solution for milk expression when you are out and about or at home. For use with batteries or with the mains adapter. Simple operation / Gentle, rapid build-up of vacuum / Easy to clean and assemble / Infinitely varia