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When I first discovered I was pregnant with my son I couldn't help but start buying little bits and bobs even though I was only 12 weeks! My first thought was I definatly wanted to breastfeeding so this was one of the first things I purchased. This would however turn out to be one thing I did not need. I found it very easy to breastfeeding my son when be was born and he took to it really well. When my milk started to come I. Properly I thought I might aswell give the breast pump a go and I could freeze my milk in the little storage pots that are given with the pump. When trying it I found it really hard to pump any milk at all and it was very uncomfortable. I ended up getting really frustrated and spent even more on buying an electric pump ( which so far I have not needed ) I found it alot easier to use my hands to empty breasts but I will use an electric one when I want to give my son milk from a bottle. The breast pump comes with a box so that you can microwave steralize the equipment but I however found it to be impossible to steralize everything I need to use the breast pump in one go. It just all would not fit. My suggestion to mums is that if you do decide you want to pump your milk spend a bit more and get an electric pump.
This didn't seem to work for me. I think it may have been easier to milk a cow than it was to use this breast pump. I gave up on expressing after forking out a large sum for this. Rubber seal to go around the nipple however is comfortable, and all the features are correct and as stated.
I inherited this from my sister in law and I'm glad, as I think they cost about £30 new and £12 second-hand. I would have hated to waste money on this thing.
I have to express milk because little-bit is terrible at breast-feeding. Usually, I use an electric pump for this but I have nightmares about the motor failing leaving me full of milk while I try to sort it out. A manual one seemed to be a good back-up - and it WOULD have been had it work.
It was easy enough to put together. I'm not a big fan of the flexible cups - I prefer smooth plastic and the flexible stuff just feels weird against my skin - but apparently some people like them. The problem is, I just can't seem to get the thing to work. I can get as far as let-down, no problem, but then the suction doesn't seem to be enough to DO anything, even suck it into the bottle. It ends up messy - milk on my nipple, milk on the cup, milk running down under my breast and about three drops in the actual bottle.
Not a winner for me I'm afraid, back to my electric pump.
When it comes to breastfeeding you tend to hear mostly about the problems associated with it, so I must have been lucky as I had no problems at all getting my daughter started on breast milk and then weaning her off it gradually, stopping completely at about 20 months of age. One thing that didn't come naturally to me though was expressing milk. Hand expressing was easy to do but too messy, so I bought this Tommee Tippee manual breast pump from Boots with the understanding that it would help me to pump and store milk for when I wasn't home with baby and also so my husband could occasionally do night feeds and let me have more than 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Tommee Tippee is a well established and trusted brand and their breast pump doesn't come cheap. The Closer to Nature manual breast pump cost me £24.99 from Boots, and I chose it based on the brand's reputation. There was a cheaper version of breast pump available at Boots at the time which in hindsight may have been better off with the cheaper brand pump, but more on that shortly.
The breast pump comes in a standard cardboard box with various parts inside for assembling the pump, a plastic sterilising container, a 150ml feeding bottle, a milk storage pot, 6 breast pads and a booklet with information about breastfeeding correctly. The pump itself is a bit tricky to assemble, and although the instructions do help you have to follow them every time as the pump has to be thoroughly washed and sterilised before and after each use. There are 3 parts in total and you have to make sure they are all slotted on well or the pump won't work at all.
The sterilising box is designed for microwave use which is handy, although it does steam up the kitchen a lot. On the other hand so does hob steaming and at least the box/microwave method is a bit quicker. The pieces are all meant to pack away into the box but I never worked out a way of getting them to go back in there snugly enough to close the lid, so they just lived on a kitchen shelf when they were not in use. I would say that this means the Closer to Nature set is not ideal for travelling with, as it claims to be on the box.
The breast pump is designed so that you only have to use one hand to work it, but I always had to use two as I found it didn't get enough suction otherwise. The cup is soft and flexible and shaped so that it cups your breast with no airflow and the nipple goes into the cylinder that links the cup to the pump. The first few times I used the pump I did something wrong and caused myself nipple pain - ow. But I didn't apply too much pressure to the pump to begin with so thankfully no long lasting damage was done. To apply pressure you have to grip and squeeze the pump handle, and while this does create enough suction to collect milk in the bottom cylinder of the pump, it is not an efficient method. Somehow air still gets into the cylinder and in my experience the pump leaked milk every time I used it, no matter how I held it, adjusted it, or how tight I kept it on the breast.
On top of having to clean it every time, sterilise it, etc I found it all too much and ended up packing it away for good despite only having extracted on a few bottles worth of milk from it, which my daughter would drain in a single sitting when we gave it to her from the bottle. Actually that is an understatement - I got so frustrated with the pump at one point and all the mess made by the leaking milk and the tricky suction that I ended up in tears and threw the pump across the room. I also found that my daughter started struggling with latching on and feeding properly after I started using the bottle to feed her, so I spoke to my midwife about this and she said that a bottle teat is a very different design to the breast/nipple and it can interfere with the way baby uses her mouth to feed. So after hearing that the breast pump was given away to another new mum.
Unfortunately for me then this pump was a waste of £24.99 and I have been disappointed with Tommee Tippee ever since. What's maddening too is that other mums have also said how awful this product is so I don't understand why they don't completely revamp it or else take it off the market. As if breastfeeding mums don't have enough on their plates already. So I do not recommend this pump at all and I give it only 1 star.
Breast feeding is a very personal thing. Anything about bringing your children into the world is, but this is one of those areas that for any woman who has breastfed, has its ups and downs. For me, my intential thought when I first became pregnant was I wanted to breastfeed.Being quite a practial person I realised after doing alittle research, but more importantly knowing that things dont always go to plan, I knew I may be able to or not. Luckily, with both of my children I was lucky enough to breastfeed both for 15-16 months each.
My first experience with my son was a revelation. They tell you how important it is to breastfeed, it gives your baby the best start, helps build their immune system, helps build even more of a bond with your child with the the closeness of the act, but they never explain how for alot of people its painful to start off with, sometimes uncomfortable and just because baby needs feeding and is hungry, it doesnt mean you are in an ideal situation, time or place to do that and this is where this particular product is handy.
I bought this when it was on offer in Boots for £12.50.
What is this product?
This breast pump helps a nursing mother express milk from her breast by simulating a similar sucking action to the nipple area as a baby would, which means that if baby needed mothers milk but could not be fed directly from her, the milk could be given in a bottle/beaker/cup form to maintain feeding routine.
As you can imagine, Tommee Tippee have years of experience with providing top quality practical products for mums and babies/young children. Not just specifically for newborns or babies, but quite easily up to toddler age with alot of their weening products. So alot of thought has been put into this particular product.
Firstly, it only comes in three pieces so you dont have to worry about trying to fit zillions of pieces together. These pieces are the small bottle, which the milk is stored in.The pump area which slots into the bottle. This helps you release the milk, and the ' cup ' section which sits around the breast area. All three pieces are easy to clean.
The pump does come with the following other things which means you basically have everything you need to start off with:
Included inside: 1 x Closer to Nature Easi-Vent 150ml Baby Bottle, 1 x Milk Storage Pot, 6 x Disposable Breast Pads, 1 x Microwave Steriliser Box
The product is also BPA free-bisphenol A. BPA is a chemical used in the production of plastic that has been shown can affect the brain as well as prostate glands, so has been over recent years been avoided in production of plastic based products, especially those intended for children. In 2009, major manufacturies of baby products such as bottles, beakers, cups etc actually stopped using this chemical and have labelled their products BPA free. Why would they use BPA anyway in products? It adds strength and durablility to a plastic product and when used allows it to hold its shape more and be more resilient.
How do you use it?
Once you have put the three pieces together ( could be done blindfolded ), you simply pop the cup section over the breast area and with the pump ' dispenser ' gently press it down, continue to keep pressing down til milk appears and stop when you have expressed the desired amount of milk. Make sure pump is cleaned thoroughly after each use by using the provided microwave steriliser box and follow instructions.
How did I find this product
It is manual, so you have to put some welly into pumping. It wasnt hardwork as such, but depending how quickly and freely your milk would flow, it could be very boring and time consumming. To be sat there pumping away for an hour and look down and see the most smallest amount of milk ever is dishearting, as you cant really do anything else really while your doing it. But I would suggest to get some advice on how you can express more milk and quickly if you find it a problem, as different factors can affect it such as time of day, if your feeling stressed or unwell, if your baby is physically near you etc. So flow may be down to the body, not the pump.
The pump itself wasnt loud, alittle on the squeeky side ( if air got into it ) and it was quite comfortable to use. Something likes this can take abit of time to get used to and feel comfortable with, so its abit trail and error.
I bought this product to basically give me alittle break from breastfeeding. Fot the first six months, if you are solely breastfeeding then you have to be near in distance from your child, which sometimes isnt the easiest if you have to work, have other children or commitments or basically just need alittle time for yourself. My children though had other ideas. They werent that keen on taking bottle and much preferred me than anything else which was great for them, but at times made me feel alittle down to be honest as I felt very restricted, but I got used to it and worked with it rather than against. It is for quite a short period when you think about it, so I thought it was best to go with the flow.
When I did express milk I mainly used it to mix in with the childrens cereals when they were below 12 months old. I expressed milk and popped it in the fridge or freezer so I always knew there was some somewhere just in case I needed it. Since my children didnt benefit from drinking from a cup or beaker with breast milk that much, ithe pump wasnt needed in reflection, but a great thing for a back up and I still would buy it again just in case. And at the price I paid, it was still a good purchase.
I bought this breast pump before I gave birth at the end of last year.
I was intending to breast feed but also wanted the option to be able to leave the baby with my husband for a couple of hours and also for him to be able to feel involved in the feeding process.
I bought the pump from Tesco it was £22. I think you can get some good deals if you shop around so its worth checking the internet.
I used the pump from straight away and found that it was brilliant. The pump itself is very easy to use and I found that my daughter had no problems in taking the milk from the bottle after around 4 weeks when I tried.
My husband said that he was really glad I bought this as he loved spending time feeding our daughter and it made him feel really involved with her and I believe it also helped them to bond.
The pump is very simple to use. It is great as it can be put in the microwave, dishwasher and sterilizer. I think that the pump is very effective in getting the milk out I had no problems at all.
The pump comes in a box and it is in parts so it has to be put together. You simply attach the valve to the main pump. The bottle then screws on underneath the pump
I would definitely recommend this pump to anyone who is intending to breast feed as it is great to be able to offer a bottle as well and get your baby used to both so it makes the transition to a bottle/cup easier for later on.
Tommee Tippee closer to nature manual breast pump
When I first found out that I was pregnant it is very easy to be overwhelmed by all the choices and decisions you have to make months before you even meet your little bundle of joy. What pram to buy, which cot you should get, what essentials you really will need, etc, etc. The only thing that I was certain of right from the very beginning was that I wanted to (if all went to plan) was to breast feed. Naively I thought that breast feeding meant that I didn't have to give much thought into bottles or any other accessories - how very wrong I was.
Initially, I didn't give any thought into expressing breast milk I was quite content to be extremely selfish and feed the little one all by myself. However, after a difficult birth for both me and the baby we didn't get off to the best start and my milk didn't come in until day 5, which unfortunately meant that she dropped a little too much weight then remained static for a few days. Therefore, the midwives encouraged me to express as much as possible to increase my supply and to provide my little one with top ups of milk in between her regular feeds. Those early days were tough and having to wake her up to feed every three hours meant I was tired. To begin with I started off hand expressing but the amounts I was getting after half an hour or forty minutes was minuscule and only somewhere between 5 and 10 mls. So I wanted to invest in a breast pump that might help to make the whole process of expressing less stressful and far more productive.
If I'm honest I didn't have a clue where to start when I was looking for a breast pump - there are just so many on the market. What drew me to the Tommee Tippee brand and their closer to nature manual breast pump was some positive reviews and the closer to nature bottles that are meant to be more like breast feeding, or at least as close as a bottle could ever come. Also Tommee Tippee seems to be a well known and trusted brand.
--- What is provided in the box ---
The pump - which comes in five parts that are very easily assembled, or at least it is after you have assembled and taken it apart several times - I'm sure I could do it blindfolded now without any problems.
Breast pads - That I haven't used because I have invested in some nice reusable ones that are very comfortable, but I did think it was a nice addition to include.
A clear plastic box - that you can store the breast pump in and it also acts as a microwave steriliser. Again this isn't something that I have used because I use a cold water steriliser with Milton tablets, but again it is certainly a nice idea to include something like that and it will be handy to store the pump in when it's not in such constant daily use.
A complete 150 ml bottle with newborn (slow flow) teat - And it doubles up as part of the pump when not used as a feeding bottle. In fact all the Tommee Tippee bottles of any size will fit the breast pump, which is extremely handy if you want to express straight into the bottle and then pop it away into the fridge for later use.
--- Using the Tommee Tippee breast pump ---
When I first started using the pump I found that it was a little stiff to use and my hand tired quite easily, but after using it constantly for a week or so the pump seemed to slacken and became far more comfortable. I have now been using the breast pump for several weeks and so far I have found it to be easy to use, reliable and relatively simple to clean and put together.
Initially, when I first started expressing I only managed to get 30 mls (about 1 oz) after approximately 20 - 40 minutes of pumping on both sides. However, that soon increases as your body gets used to it and I'm sure as my technique got a little better. Now I can express just under 90 mls (3 ozs) in about the same time frame, which is currently about a complete feed for my little one unless she is feeling particularly greedy.
I'm quite big chested and even more so now after having a baby, but I have had no problem using the breast pump effectively and comfortably. I'm sure it's not quite the case of this pump will suit everyone, but I believe it's quite large cup area is comfortable enough for a range of various sizes.
As I have already mentioned I have been using the breast pump for several weeks and despite my initial concerns over possible nipple confusion we have had no problems with using the Tommee Tippee bottle and teat at least once a day. And I will continue to do so even thou now there is less of an emphasis on expressing because my little one is gaining the correct amount of weight. Personally, I like the freedom expressing provides as well as the little break I get at night time when my husband gives her the expressed milk before its time to put her down for the night.
The breast pump isn't perfect and I have found that it does leak ever so slightly. I have managed to get better at holding it properly to minimise any spillage (and we are just talking about a few drips rather than anything too substantial), but any wastage of milk when you are desperately trying to get as much as possible is still frustrating.
--- Overall ---
In my opinion, the Tommee Tippee closer to nature breast pump deserves four out of five stars. It is a good basic pump, which has worked well for me and I have found the Tommee Tippee bottles and teats to be really effective to use alongside breast feeding.
If you are looking for something basic and reliable then I can recommend the Tommee Tippee closer to nature manual breast pump. It has so far served me well and although I will be investing in an electric pump in the near future that is because I plan to express every day, otherwise I would have been more than happy to continue to use this breast pump.
You can purchase the Tommee Tippee closer to nature manual breast pump for around £30 from stores such as Mothercare, Argos, Mamas and Papas, etc, etc.
Before my son was born I was unsure if breastfeeding would be for me so just incase I bought a set of Tommee Tippee bottles, a sterilizer and a tin of formula milk. Well once he was born he did take a couple of days to really get to grips with breast feeding, but once he'd figured it out he loved it and we never looked back. But that left me with a bit of a conundrum, what to do with the bottles and sterilizer as it seemed like such a waste of money not to use them.
My husband said he would like to be able to do some of the feeds and it would be nice for me to have help with the night feeds so maybe I should think about expressing. I thought it was a good idea and set about looking for a breast pump. I made the mistake of thinking that an electric pump wasn't right for me, I believed that as I wouldn't be using it enough to justify spending that amount of money on one.
Having bought the Tommee Tippee bottles I decided to stick with the same brand and get the Tommee Tippee breast pump. The advantage of this being I could express straight into the bottles I already owned which would be pretty convenient.
When I purchased the breast pump I was very impressed, it seemed such good value for the amount I paid, not only do you get the closer to nature breast pump, you get a free bottle, some breast pads and best of all a Steri-box. I loved the Steri-box and thought it was a fantastic idea, it's a plastic box that you can use to microwave steam sterilize your pump, you can also use it for your bottles. When it's not being used for sterilizing it doubles as a handy storage box for your pump.
So, then I tried to assemble the pump and this is where my problems began, it's particularly fiddly to assemble and where the pump screws onto the bottle is very easy to cross-thread. Funnily enough it's also pretty hard to dissemble, unscrewing it isn't easy and I was always worried about spilling the milk everywhere as I tried to use brute force to get it unscrewed.
I think part of the reason for the difficulty is that the bottles that fit to the pump are so fat, they really aren't designed for people with small hands, I couldn't even fit one hand all the way around the bottle. The other part of it that I found very unfriendly to my hands was the handle (the bit you actually use to pump it with), it's very thin and has little grip, it seems to have been designed with looks in mind rather than ease of use.
The actual pumping itself was very impractical the pump has a flexible cup that Tommee Tippee say is designed to mould to the shape of your breast and so fits more comfortably. Well if comfort was their aim, they missed. It wasn't comfortable, it was down right annoying. I haven't got oddly shaped breasts, or even overly large/ small ones.. They're distinctly average, and yet I still had to hold them in at a bit of a funny angle to achieve the necessary suction in order to express the milk. Even then it still leaked milk back onto my breast and all over my hand which is such a terrible waste. I also found that my nipples became very sore whilst using the pump and would be very red for some time afterwards.
I have subsequently binned my Tommee Tippee closer to nature breast pump and have invested in an electric one which I now use for my second child. I would really recommend paying the extra to get an electric one as it's so much easier, especially if you were planning on expressing a lot. If you were set on a manual pump however I'd definitely say steer clear of this one.
While i was still pregnant i thought it will be a good idea to buy a breast pump before giving birth. Even though i was going to breast feed i wanted my husband to feed her too using bottle. The idea of it was good but chose the wrong product. I bought this one because it was on deal in Mothercare and the design looked really good. Also it said closer to nature. What a mistake that was.
My baby girl had problem latching on and i had to pump and feed her using bottle and i spent hours and hours pumping and was not getting enough milk. As this was my first baby i just thoght it was me and did not think it could be the pump. I really thought i was not producing enough milk and we had to top up with fomula milk as my baby was not getting enough milk. Later after some research i found out that it was not me it was the pump.
When I was pregnant I bought a Tommee Tippee starter set in Argos which included this manual breast pump. I was planning on having a go at breast feeding my twins and knowing nothing about breast pumps I thought it might be useful.
My first few days of breast feeding in hospital weren't easy and I was expressing using one of the hospital's electric pumps after every feed to help get my milk supply going. When I got home I needed to be able to continue with the expressing so got out my manual pump.
Before using the pump you need to ensure that all the parts have been washed up and sterilised. I used my electric steriliser to do this but included with this pump is it's own steriliser box that can be used in the microwave. This is a great idea for when you are having to express away from the house and even though I didn't get on with this pump I did use this sterilising box a lot for bottles when I was away from home.
Putting it together
The pump only has 3 parts to put together so is very simple to do even when you haven't slept for days! Part of the pump is a Tommee Tippee bottle so you have this for when you want to feed the expressed milk to your baby. All the pump parts are BPA free which is always good to know.
Using the pump
To use the pump you place the cup over your breast and press the plastic handle up and down. This is where I had problems. I didn't find the cup fitted particularly well and the pump would rub when I pressed the handle down, ouch! It was awkward to hold the pump and keep pressing the handle up and down. After suffering the discomfort for a couple of sessions I gave up with it, I wasn't even getting 10ml of milk from it and I just didn't have the energy to keep trying. Luckily I was due a visit from my midwife who arranged for me to borrow one of their electric pumps and I used this until I was producing enough milk for my babies. When I decided to try expressing again a couple of months later I bought a Medela swing pump which was great. I was never tempted to try this manual pump again.
If you've managed to express enough milk to store included with this pump is a milk storage pot. This has small quantities marked on it so you know how much you've produced. I found this pot really useful for mixing medicine for one of my babies so it did get used just not for storing milk!
Included with this pump are 6 Tommee Tippee breast pads, obviously 6 didn't last long but they were good quality and comfortable.
Price and availability
This pump is widely available and currently costs (July 2012) £24.90 at Argos or £29.99 from Amazon. I sold mine on Ebay and there is a good market for these on there.
Would I recommend?
No, I'd save your money towards a more expensive electric pump if you want to express.
When my son was born I wanted to beast feed him however I felt uncomfortable doing it while out and about. So I decided I would try expressing as at least I could bottle feed while I was out but it would still be my breast milk.
I looked at various different types of breast pumps the electric type pumps were expensive and as I didn't know how well it would work I wanted something cheap. I found the Tommee Tippee manual breast pump at the Asda baby event for £10.00. It was the cheapest one I had found and as I had already used Tommee Tippee products before I trusted the quality of them.
When I got home I took all the bits and pieces out I was actually surprised at how much was in there, as you get a microwave steriliser to use to sterilise all bits of the breast pump (this looks like a small lunchbox!), the actual breast pump, 1 x bottle, a milk container with lid and some breast pads! I sterilised them as it advises you to do. Then comes the fun of assembling it! Although it looks daunting it is actually quite simple as there are only 3 parts that have to clip together and the instructions are incredibly easy to follow, I had assembled mine in less then 30 seconds!
The actual cup is a soft rubbery plastic which fits around your breast, there is pictures in the instruction leaflet to show you how to fit it correctly. You then have to pull the trigger of pump and pump it. It is slightly uncomfortable as your breast is sucked into the cup but as the milk begins to flow it becomes less so. I found every now and again while pumping the cup would slip a bit and so the 'seal' was broken meaning I would have to reposition it and this seemed to disrupt the flow of milk that would come out until I got into a rhythm again.
I have to say that I only ever used it twice this was because I found it hard work to express any milk really. Both times I was expressing for around 40 minutes and never got more then 3oz which just wasn't enough for my little milk guzzler! I have to say I don't think this is through fault of the product as it really did feel as though it was squeezing every last drop out of me, I just believe I may not have produced that much milk. Another thing was that the trigger is quite hard to pump and after a while it really did start to ache my hand!
I think if your someone who has the time to express then this would be ideal for you as I just found it too time consuming.
I brought this a few days after giving birth to our daughter, which was 3 years ago and I have noticed that in that in the past 3 years the price hasnt changed much at all.
We had our daughter a week before christmas and with many family gatherings and different people to visit, a breast pump was very handy for us.
I brought it in our local boots store at £19.99 (alot cheaper than some breast pumps they had on the shelves at the time and being a brand name I thought it was a very good price for what you got).
Although the box was very small I was suprised with the amount of things you got in there. It came with the breast pump, 2 bottles plus teats and tops with lids and also a small microwave steriliser, which comes very handy for taking to families homes and sterilising the bottles if you are staying for a long period of time.
The breast pump comes apart for easy cleaning and sterilising which is fantastic as i had a different breast pump when I had my son and it was very hard to get everything clean. You get instructions on how to take the pump apart and clean properly although it was very easy to take apart, you dont really need instructions on how to do it. The instructions also tell you how to use the steriliser for the bottles and pump. I found that with the steriliser the seal around the edge of the lid came loose a couple of times but it simply pops straight back on again and was good as new.
The guard on the pump is very flexable and shapes to your breast as soon as you put it on. On the picture the guard is almost white however mine was clear plastic so you could see if you had it positioned correctly.
the pump works on a trigger so you have to squeeze the handle together to express the milk.
I really liked this pump, it was easy to use and once taken apart it was easy to carry around in the steriliser without being noticable. We was always out of our home a week after my daughter was born, visiting my partners parents and grandparents and my parents so it was so easy to express a bottle before leaving our home and it gave our families the opportunity to feed our daughter and create a bond with her. I was very embarrased about breast feeding in front of family so it took away a little embassasment when we went to my partners parents homes, especially his dad and grandad. It also gave me the chance to catch up on a little sleep at night because my partner had the chance of taking over the night feeds when they got a little too much for me. My daughter never slept at night so it was so nice to be able to pass my partner the bottles and sleep.
I will say that expressing feels nothing like breast feeding at all, it is a little uncomfortable the frst few times you use it however it does get easier the more times you use it. It does hurt alot when you put the pump on wrong, as i found out on the couple of times i did it and i have got to say that it was vry painful.
i would recommend this to parents that want to breast feed but they have busy lives or if they just want a break for a night feed. This was so helpful to us and it was great that i could ask my partner to take the night feeds for me when i was exhausted. The bond i got with my children through breast feeding was amazing, it was great that both me and my children could be apart of something that no one else could be, being able to feed your child from you is magical and with the breast pump my partner and our families could experience this too. A fantasic buy and one i recommend to all my friends
As I've said before, when I fell pregnant I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I didn't feel any pressure in doing this, it just felt like the most normal thing for me :).
However, going into it thinking it would all be smooth sailing (which can be the case for a lot of mums, but certainly wasn't my case) a friend actually recommended this breast pump to me. I decided I'd like to give expressing a go. I was going to be working from home so it wasn't like I needed an excess supply of milk and I didn't plan to leave my son for any great length of time as an infant so it wasn't necessarily something I needed to do, just wanted to try.
Well when my son was born I had a few complications. We were in the same room for hours after his birth but they took several hours to patch me back up (I actually believe now that I was left, legs in the air and everything, for over an hour while there was a shift handover between the midwives but I was so out of it I don't really remember.) I didn't get to feed him straight away like I'd planned and because I'd had an epidural (again because of yet more complications) he was very sleepy. When I did get round to feeding I was shattered from everything I'd gone through that I felt useless at it. This feeling didn't really go away and the reality was that my son was born with a tongue tie they were unwilling to snip which made feeding a nightmare.
A week after my son was born it was my first year wedding anniversary. I toyed with the idea of going out and leaving him with my mum to babysit - the cinema was literally a hop, skip and a jump from where we were so if I needed to get home for any reason then it wouldn't be a problem for me but the only thing was that he was feeding anywhere between every 40 minutes to every 2 hours (sometimes every 20-40 minutes) so I decided that I would feed my son before we left and express some milk for when we were out. We were only going to see a 2 hour film, with a 5 minute walk there and 5 minute walk back from the cinema so I didn't think I would need an awful lot of milk.
I sterilised the pump before using it (as per the manufacturer instructions) and then dried it off before use. I put the pump together, which was a little confusing at first but I managed to work it out. I attached the suction part of the pump onto my breast, had screwed on a bottle to catch any milk on the receiving end of the pump and began to pump. Straight away it felt very strange - more powerful and alien feeling than having an infant attached to the breast, that's for sure.
I also found that after 10 minutes or so of pumping that my hand developed a cramp in it and was very painful - I can only attribute this to using a hand pump and I'm not sure if this is the fault of this model. The suction was also uncomfortable and I found it made my breasts painful every time I expressed. I wasn't a huge at expressing, anyway, because I didn't like doing it.
I managed a few ounces of milk but these didn't really last for my son. Not only was he looking for nutrition from the breast, but he was looking for comfort. The amount of ounces you get in expressing is really dependent on if you're breastfeeding full time or not. My health visitor told me to only express once every 24 hours as I was full time breastfeeding and that I should only expect a few ounces from expressing milk. I used to like to express over a few days and then have my husband do one of the night feeds so that I could sleep through a little longer in order to recover myself.
If I was doing all of this over again I probably wouldn't get a manual pump. They are messy - I found that the area around my breast where I attached the suction cup spilled a lot of milk out which was disappointing as I felt the breast milk was like liquid gold and every drop mattered. I also found them to be uncomfortable and painful to use. Manually pumping this for a good 40 minutes will give you serious cramp, a painful hand and sore breasts. I would imagine that at least with an electric pump you wouldn't get the painful hand cramps and pains.
The one good thing about expressing was that I could sleep through while my husband did a feed and that my mum could feed my son from a bottle - but this isn't the be all and end all and I found it much better for my body to feed him from my breast. We must also be fortunate in that my son didn't get nipple confusion with the bottle as he took both without any problems.
This particular pump was the only one I used as I didn't really take to expressing so I don't have anything to compare it against. However, that being said, the cons outweigh the pros on this one so I can't recommend it to anyone unless you have a thing for hand pains, cramps and sore breasts ;).
When my daughter was born she was sent straight to intensive care due to her being only 27 weeks gestation. After a day or so she was transferred to a different hospital, it was there they started discussing her care with my husband and I. It was stressed to me that she needed breast milk, her tiny stomache wouldn't tolerate formula. I had never actually considered breastfeeding. I Found it a bit 'yucky' to be honest. As a young mum and knowing no one who had breastfed it seemed alien to me. I naively assumed she would just go on to formula.
After reading in to expressing, I knew the importance of starting straight away. It had already been 3 days so that coupled with the fact a pump would be the only way to encourage my milk supply, I was in a rush. Id had an emergency c-section and was not up to shopping so I dispatched my father to argos where he picked up the tommee tippee manual breast pump. It cost me £40 which I realise now was expensive, you can pick them up for £15 in various supermarkets but I didn't have the time to shop around and just looked at argos as I had gift cards for there.
The breast pump comes packaged like the rest of the closer to nature range, silver with a mother and baby on the front. It does look very nice and gives a feeling of quality. The breast pump comes with its own microwaveable sterilising container and one closer to nature bottle. You can pump directly into the bottle. So if you only want to express occasional feeds for your baby then this set would be all you needed to get you going.
Personally I found this pump useless. Having never breastfed before I didn't know what I was supposed to do or how fast I was supposed to do it. I found getting the colostorum out was easy enough but after that I could get nothing with this pump. All I ended up with was sore hands. A point to be aware of is that when you first use the pump there is a stopper which you need to pull out. I never knew this and wasted quite alot as it didn't go into the bottle. Luckily at first my daughter was only on 1ml every 2 hours so I had time to build my supply up.
All in all this breast pump was no good for me as I needed something better as I was exclusively expressing rather than breastfeeding, so the pump was the only thing stimulating my milk supply. I ended up purchasing a medela swing which was fantastic. For expressing occasional feeds after your milk supply is established this set would be perfect and all you'd need. I am giving it 3 stars as it does say in the manual that it is suitable for expressing as much as you want and in my opinion it's just not suitable for heavy use.
I pretty much own the majority of the Tommee Tippee range, from breast pump to bottles, soothers to our baby monitor. It's a brand I know and trust. I purchased the "Closer to Nature" breast pump on offer in Wilkinsons for a bargain price of just £10, considering you get lots of free things with it and it was over half the price Mothercare were asking, I'd have been mad not to snatch it up.
The breast pump and all of the goodies are stored in a neat little Tupperware style tub which can be used for a number of things once you've had enough of the pump. Since I no longer use the pump, mine is now used to store Freya's soothers, spare scoops for the milk formula, lids and spare bottle teets. If you've no use for it after you've gotten rid of the pump you could always use it for your sandwiches? ha! Inside the tub is the breast pump itself, 6 free breast pads, spare valve for the pump, a 150ml closer to nature bottle with teet and lid, and a screw on lid for your bottle which is good for when storing the breast milk in the fridge.
The pump itself is easy to assemble, and just as simple to clean. You simply insert the valve into the bottom of the pump, screw on a plastic ring that allows you to attach the bottle to the bottom of the pump, and then there is the handle which is attached to the top of the pumping mechanism. There is a soft rubber "cup" which you place onto your breast making sure the nipple is in line with the hole. The inside of the silicone cup has little ridges which apparently help when pumping to push milk through the breast. When it comes to cleaning the pump it is just as easy to disassemble as it is putting together, simply detach all the parts and place into the tub it came in, or you can use it in your normal bottle steriliser like I did for convenience really.
There are a few downsides to the Tommee Tippee breast pump which I was actually quite shocked with. Be prepared for some hard grafting when it comes to manually expressing, I never tried expressing with an electric pump but I'm guessing it would be a million times better than manually expressing with a pump. It is VERY time consuming, and very tiring on your poor hands/wrists. It is obviously worth it as it means your baby is getting the best from you if they can't take it themselves but be warned it isn't easy. The handle is quite flimsy and feels like with a good tug it could bend, it does hurt your hand when you are pumping for around 30 minutes a couple of times a day.
Also when you are getting ready to express; always make sure your nipple is spot on with the whole inside the cup or you will end up pinching your breast or ending up with a rather attractive love bite on your breast. This happened to me when I was expressing breast milk in the early hours one morning I thought to myself "ooo this is hurting a bit" pulled the pump off to find a lovely purple mark on my breast. haha!
Another downside is that the rubber cup in which sits on your breast was a little on the small side for me, it makes placement on the breast a little awkward and there was some leakages of milk when it wasn't attached properly. Also after a while the rubber cup does start to change colour, I used it for a couple of months and it started to turn yellow which was staining from the breast milk, so I would recommend that you purchase a new pump if your wanting to express for longer than a couple of months.
Overall it's a brilliant pump but it's only good if your willing to look past the flaws it has and put in the hard work it takes to pump. I'd suggest you put the tv on loud or some music on whilst your pumping though to hide the sound of the squeeky pump, it sounded a bit like a squeeky shoe on a freshly polished floor and is quite embarrassing if your pumping in front of people, my boyfriend found it hilarious hearing it squeek for half an hour while I was expressing.
It was good value for money when it was on sale, but knowing what I know about the pump now there was no way I'd have spent the full asking price of around £30 for it. If I was able to continue expressing/breast feeding I probably would have forked out the extra £50 and bought an electric pump.
The Freedom Breast Pump has been designed to be easy to use, effective and comfortable. Because it only has 3 pieces, its very quick and easy to clean and put together. The flexible cup moulds to the shape of your breast so it fits comfortably. Comes complete with steriliser box and milk storage container. The tommee tippee steri storage box can be used to microwave steam sterilize all of your breast feeding equipment or to sterilize 2 full size closer to nature bottles and accessories.