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Medela Pump In Style Double Breast pump
*** Please note - this review contains information that some of you may think is of too personal a nature. ***
~~~ Our back story ~~~
My daughter's entry into the world was by an emergency c-section that followed my induction of labour for pre-eclampsia which was heading into HELLP syndrome. It was therefore of no surprise to us that my breast milk was slow to make an appearance.
Unfortunately our daughter was jaundiced at a level requiring inpatient care. One of the main treatments for jaundice in the neonatal period is breast milk; the more the baby drinks, the more bilirubin the baby's body will break down and remove.
It was therefore very important to us that I did whatever I could to ensure I had enough breast milk. The midwives and an experienced lactation consultant recommended expressing breast milk from both sides after each and every one of my feeds to encourage my supply. ie every two hours!
~~~ The fantastic workhorse ~~~
Several friends had already recommended I buy a Medela breast pump, so thankfully I had it waiting for me at home. I used Medela's Pump in Style double electric breast pump for six months, from 2 - 5 times a day.
This portable pump is designed for a moderate usage level of several times a day. It is housed in the bottom third of a regular-appearing black backpack that has a waterproof, wipe-clean microfiber outer layer. The top two-thirds form a storage area for bottles, a cooler bag, breast shields and other relevant pumping accoutrements. This area is accessed through an easy-to-open zip. There is a second, smaller zipped compartment at the front through which the breast pump's controls are accessed. The controls - knobs -are located on a faceplate.
I only used mains electricity to power this item. I understand that there is a battery option and also a car lighter option, neither of which I have experienced.
~~~ Set up and Use ~~~
The breast pump is really easy to set up. Prior to starting a expressing session - which can sometimes feel like a marathon - I recommend having tissues or paper towels and a drink within reach. If your baby is in a different room or location then make sure that you have pictures of her or videos of her that you can watch as this stimulates and augments milk let down.
All the required equipment is included. Ensure the electric flex is plugged into the mains electricity that is switched on. First, a membrane is attached to what I describe as a valve and connector, which is in turn attached to a bottle or storage bag at one end and the breast shield at the other. The transparent tubing is then connected between the filter piece and the machine's faceplate. One or both breasts can be pumped at the same time. If the user is only pumping one side, an attached cap must be placed over one of the suction holes on the faceplate. Place the breast shield/s on the breast/s.
Note: Applying specially designed cream to this area prior to pumping helps protect the Mum's tissue and reduces the chance of there being cracking and bleeding.
Next, select the pumping phase, which is again found on the faceplate. According to the company's website, there are two distinct phases of how babies breastfeed:
~~ Stimulation Phase - when babies first go to breast, they suck fast and light to stimulate milk flow.
~~Expression Phase - after milk flow or "let-down" starts, babies breastfeed with a slower, deeper suck, bringing out more milk faster.
Then the user is ready to start pumping. Sometimes milk will appear almost immediately, but usually in the early days it can take what seems to be a lifetime before milk appears.....think more than 15 minutes!
Once you have finished expressing, simply switch the knob to the off position. Take care to keep the bottles upright.
~~~ Cleaning ~~~
Cleaning is easy. Simply wash as you would your kitchen dishes, and then sterilise using your preferred method. The only parts that need to be cleaned are those that come in contact with the skin and the breast milk: the shields, connectors, valves and membranes.
~~~ My experience and recommendation? ~~~
I used this pump regularly in two locations: at home and at the library while studying for an exam. Sometimes I had my daughter on one breast and pumped the other. Other times I pumped singly or doubly.
I never had any problems with this breast pump, which helped initiate and maintain my often-dwindling supply. The pump was reliable, more than did the job, and portable. That said, if I were to need to purchase another electric pump, I would think very seriously about the smaller, more portable but more expensive Medela Freestyle as it would enable me to be mobile with the older sibling and it would be lighter in my work bag.
Five stars from me.
I bought this double pump after using a Medela single pump for three months due to exclusively expressing feeds.
I bought a double pump due to the single pump taking too long to express and I was getting frustrated at wasting precious time I could be spending with my Daughter.
I can honestly say that this is the best investment I have ever made. It may have cost £219.99 from Boots at the time - although they are currently 20% off at present but it really is priceless. I actually paid £179.95 in March 2010 from www.expressyourselfmums.co.uk as I had found a discount code at the time, however it has now been reduced to £175.
The Boots website describes this item:
The Medela Pump In Style is a dual electric breast pump with hospital grade technology in a trendy rucksack. The active and working mother is fully equipped for expressing - any time, any place, every day. The Medela Pump In Style Advanced Dual Electric Breast pump is ideal for frequent and extended use.
The Medela Pump In Style Advanced Dual Electric Breastpump Features:-
Two-Phase Expression hospital technology
Single of double pumping
Gently massaging SoftFit Breast shield
Removable motor unit and Cooler Carrier
Electric or battery-powered
I have used this for 5 months now and for 6-7 times per day. I can easily get a full 5oz/150ml in 20 minutes. This is enough for my Daughter and I have even managed to freeze the excess. I have purchased the car adaptor - so if I am ever stranded in my car, I am able to express a feed for my Daughter in an emergency. I have not had to use this extra item yet, but it is worth it just in case!
I have bought an extra set of expressing accessories, so that I can allow one set to fully dry before using them again. The best website to purchase all additional accessories and replacement items has been www.expressyourselfmums.co.uk
I cannot really find fault with this item and the only thing I could say is that it is a little noisy. However, I find it bearable and I use this pump in the same room as my sleeping baby on occasions and she does not stir. I cannot say the same for my Husband - who has complained about the noise!
I would recommend this to anyone that is exclusively expressing like me, who really does not want to waste time pumping when it can be spent with your baby.
For someone that only expresses occasionally, you could get away with one of the cheaper single pumps.
My daughter has Down's Syndrome and could not feed directly from me for the first 7 weeks. I had another electric pump Lactaline which broke from over use! I tried a small electric pump b Medela and a Tommee Tippee hand pump before deciding it was worth the expense t get this model.
The Pump In Style is a twin pumping unit that is much quieter than the others I've tried - even the hand held one that seemed to squeak!
Everything you need comes in one stylish black rucksack. The power pumping unit is housed in the bottom part of the bag and this compartment can be zipped up to reduce the noise level even more. I can easily watch TV and listen to the radio whilst using this pump.
Two plastic tubes attach to the pump unit and then into the back of the pump funnels. There are 2 pieces tot he funnel and then also a filter and membrane that ensure efficient pumping.
I get a really good amount of milk from this machine and it's quick and easy to use.
Once the machine has been on for 2 minutes the suction changes to a longer draw of suction to mimic a real baby#s feeding pattern.
Once pumping has finished you can easily store the milk in the accompanying cool bag , which comes with an ice pack that fits perfectly around 4 250 bottles. I've used the machine with standard bottles too with no problem. Medela also now make 250ml bottles so you could easily use these too.
The bag is discreet in that it has no marking s on it all so you could easily leave this by your desk in the office and no one would ask any questions.
I originally used this for all my pumping 6-7 times a day and now i use it for night time and middle of the night pumping every night and the odd extra pumping for back up milk supply.
When i go back to work i will be pumping in a meeting room with a thin wall next to another meeting room and I'm confident that it will not be heard by anyone in the room next door, which is such a relief as i don;t think i would successfully pump otherwise.
Yes the pump is expensive - i found it for £185 on a website but I saw one sell on ebay for £140 so i have no hesitation that i will get a good re-sale value for it when I'm eventually finished with it.
Medela and other websites sell spare parts for this machine and if you have used Medela breast pump in hospital it is also compatible with the suction cups they give you to use whilst there - just don;t throw them away and bring them home with you.
As well as the double pumping you can choose to single pump by taking off one of the tubes and using the attached plug to ensure full suction to the one pump funnel.
It's so easy to use that i even use it to collect a small amount of milk after my daughter has fed without worrying about the faff that i used to have with other pumps.
The manufactures photo of this product seems to insinuate that there is a photo pouch on the bag to place a photo of your baby. There is't but there is a pocket that you could easily tape one too.
It comes with a mains adapter and battery adapter - though the battery adapter requires 10 x AA batteries. You can also purchase a car charger if required.
I should also add to for those who have tried breast pumps before that the breast funnels are soft not rigid plastic making for a comfy experience.
With my first child I bought and used a Boots Hand Pump. Whilst I managed to get a few feeds out with it, mostly it was hit and miss and very hard work. I now have a second child and bought out this old hand pump again. After using it for a couple of days I realised that for whatever reason I just wasn't getting on with it. My second son isn't a great feeder at the breast but I don't want to change him over to formula yet, so I wanted to find a good pump. I'd heard on the internet about Medela electric pumps and thought they sounded good. I contacted a local baby equipment hire outlet and rented a Medela from them for a week at a cost of seven pounds. The first time I used it I got 4oz out no trouble. Sometimes it takes a while for the milk to flow, but generally speaking I can express enough milk for a feed with relative ease. The pump itself consists of a bottle, stand, power lead (it can also work off of batteries), a breastshield, valve head, funnel and a membrane. You need to sterilise the bottle, breastshield and valve head after each use. You must NOT sterilise the membrane - a small piece of thin rubber- but just rinse it off. The funnel can be placed inside the breastshield at aid suction if your nipples are small/medium!! Though how you know whether they are or not I don't know!! As I said, I've hired mine, but you can buy them in Boots for about 39 pounds. That may seem quite a bit of money, but honestly, compared to the hand pumps, it's money well spent.
I have tried several different pumps and the Medela is by far the best. The suction on this pump is comfortable, but efficient. It is easy to use and easy to clean. You can use both batteries or mains for this pump and unlike other brands where you have to pay extra for a mains adapter you are supplied with one for this pump. The pump can be fitted to any standard size baby bottle making it easy to express and store in the fridge without pouring to another bottle. The Medela pump is expensive but well worth the extra cost as you will get a much greater amount of milk out in less time than with other brands. All in all well worth it.
I am an american and have a Medala Pump in Style. When the twins were born I wanted a good quality pump knowing that I would have to return to work. I did quite a bit of research on the pumps and thought that this pump would be best for my needs. I was surprised at the price though, $277 (US funds). I learned through my research that the pumps made by formula companies are horrible. Which makes sense if they make a lousy pump that is painful or troublesome to use people may give up and buy their formula. I was going to purchase a cheaper Medala model but my fiancee switch it for the Pump In Style when I said I wanted to nurse for at least a year. The pump is all contained inside a shoulder bag, many people think I have a computer in the bag so I bring it in the stores with me if I run an errand after work. The only person that I met who knew it was a breast pump was someone who owned one herself. In the center of the bag is the pump which is installed and there is an access panel for the electrical adapter and tubing to plug into. The access panel also has the speed control and suction control. On one side is an insulated zippered area for storing the milk. You receive four 5oz bottles and three ice packs. I have twins and pumped more than 20 oz a day so I would bring extra bottles in another bag. Now that they eat solids and do not drink as much I use two of my own 10 oz bottles and two of the bottles that came with the pump places on their side on top of the other bottles. The other side has a storage area for the tubing, electrical adapter and breast horns. The zippered top on that side has a little pouch for your childs picture. The is also a side pocket for your personal belongings (I do not carry a purse (handbag) anymore I either am carrying a diaper bag or the breast pump). I am still pumping at 15 months (I plan to stop pumping at 18 mos) they get mommy's milk instead of cow's milk right now. The pump has been great and
I will pass it along to my little sister who is planning to get pregnant in couple months. The extra parts cost about $10 to $25 dollars (tubing, horns, bottles etc.) to use with the pump. I would definately reccomend this pump to anyone who is returning to work or will be feeding expressed breastmilk instead of nursing (for people whose baby was ill or couldn't seem to latch on, etc.) It is well worth the expense I would have spent more renting a pump for 4 months than I did purchasing this pump.
I decided to purchase one of these pumps after hearing such great things about them by our American counterparts. This pump is unavailable in the shops, I had to purchase mine from a medical suppliers. Most of the UK shops only supply hand pumps, and you can hire hospital grade pumps from organisations like the NCT. The PIS is a double electric pump, with variable suction, and is encased in a leather bag and looks pretty much like a shoulder bag. It comes with 3 ice packs, 4 bottles and a power adaptor. There are other accessories available - mainly a rechargeable batterypack and an in car adaptor. The pump is fairly portable, and I found very easy to use. The main advantage is that this is a double pump and can halve the time required to express milk. The main downside is that it needs electricity to work - the room at work where I used to pump didn't have an electric socket and I didn't find out about the battery pack until later.