I decided as soon as I got pregnant with Lucas that I was going to try breastfeeding again. I also decided that I would exclusively breastfeed until my milk was fully established and would then pump some in order to still have a bit of a life. That was the plan anyway… I had even picked out a breast pump that I wanted based on recommendations and reviews, so I was all ready to go.
On Day 2 in the hospital and after a horrendous 36 hours of cluster feeding, the feeding team came to see me and we discussed a feeding plan. Lucas was tongue tied and not feeding efficiently and needed regular top ups of breast milk. I was literally running on empty and used donor milk the first few times and then they brought me a pump. They advised that I start pumping twice a day in order to get some top ups of my own and so I was able to get some sleep and replenish.
Any breastfeeding mum knows how difficult pumping is and how frustrating it is to barely have any liquid gold sitting in the bottom of the bottle.
In total I have used 4 different pumps so I thought I would do a review on each and maybe it will help some of you decide which one to go for.
This was the pump that I used at the hospital. It was actually the Medela Swing that I wanted to buy for myself so I was interested to see what this pump was like. Firstly, I liked the cup/funnel part that you put on your boob. It had really good suction and I didn’t have to hold it to my breast too firmly.
The pump has 2 different dials. One for speed and one for suction strength. This was my first time using a breast pump so I started slow and soft and then built up to something that I could still tolerate. I liked the dials because they were very sensitive so it was easy to find a rhythm that worked well quite quickly. My milk had only just come in but I managed to pump 23mls my first try so I thought that was quite successful.
I was going to rent a pump once I got home but I wasn’t able to get one for a few days so my friend loaned me hers. I thought this would be a great fit for me because I had bought everything Tommee Tippee related for my first baby and loved every single product. I was also hoping that Lucas would take to the TT bottles and that would mean just screwing a teat onto the bottle I had expressed into. (Unfortunately he didn’t take to them but there was no problem just pouring the expressed milk into the MAM bottles that he was better with).
I love this pump. It is very easy to put together; I like that it comes completely apart so you can really give it a good clean and sterilise it. The suction cup is brilliant, really makes a good seal around your nipple although I do find that you have to press it against your boob quite hard in order to create the seal.
It has a great feature where you switch it on first and that stimulates your boob as if it were a baby doing its first suckles. Then it has 3 more settings that mimics the more long drawn out suckles of a baby feeding. (I think thats an okay way to describe it). I found this the most successful pump out of the 4 that I’ve used. I got 80mls on my first use and compared to the 30mls I got at the hospital the day before I think it shows how good the pump is. I pumped for about 10 minutes on each boob.
It does come with a little stand which I do recommend using. I stood it on the coffee table the first time and it tipped and I lost some milk. It was only a tiny spill but oh.my.god… I cried.
I guess the hospital got in touch with my local feeding support team because they came by with this one the day after I was home. I was looking forward to trying this because a friend had used this through her entire breastfeeding journey and loved it. It also had the same kind of suction cups that the Medela had in the hospital so I thought that could make expressing a little easier than the Tommee Tippee.
It had the same kind of system that the Medela had as well so you decide the speed and strength to what you can tolerate. However, whereas the Medela had the very sensitive dials to turn, the Ardo only had buttons so you had levels to go up (so hard to describe!) I found that with this it was hard to find a rhythm that worked for me; one up could hurt but one down didn’t feel strong enough etc. I also didn’t express anywhere as much as I did with the Tommee Tippee pump. I used it a few times at different times of day so I could see if my supply was lower at different parts of the day but it still wasn’t as successful for me as the TT. I think the most I got in one sitting was 60mls and I was pumping for about 15 minutes each boob.
So this one isn’t so much of a pump. Its not electric which means not being attached to any wires which I find amazing. Its actually a hands free pump that suctions to your boob with a squeeze of the bottom and catches your let down. I had seen a few mums use it on instagram and actually bought this before he was even born.
So you start feeding the baby on one side and attach the Haaka to the other boob. Instead of your milk just being wasted into a breast pad, it goes into the pump. On average I’m getting around 30-40mls for just sitting there and feeding Lucas. Which lets face it, is amazing. So if you feed 5-6 times a day and attach it each time then you have 150mls by the end of the day. Win win.
I definitely recommend getting one of these. Its brilliant.
And the winner is:
Tommee Tippee was easily the best pump for me. I’m still using it now and find it brilliant. If you have all the TT bottles already then this would be a good buy. You can just whack a teat on your expressed milk and you’re good to go.
This kit actually comes with a microwaveable sterilising box, one bottle and one milk storage pot. It also has 6 breast pads which is handy. Worth the money in my opinion.
If anyone has any questions, feel free to leave comments and I’ll get back to you 🙂