Product Type: Tommee Tippee kids equipment
Newest Review: ... little-bit is terrible at breast-feeding. Usually, I use an electric pump for this but I have nightmares about the motor failing leaving... more
Closer to a torture device than a breast pump.
Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Freedom Breast Pump
Member Name: Mama-Q
Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Freedom Breast Pump
Advantages: allows you express milk
Disadvantages: pain in hands, cramp, painful breasts, spills out milk.
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 ;).