One of the more expensive baby items you are likely to invest in while on your journey to motherhood, is a breast pump. Investing in a good quality breast pump will be worth its weight in gold if you plan to express breast milk on regular basis and although not true for all baby products, the more dough you spend, the more likely you are to get a good quality product.
- 1 Do I really need a breast pump?
- 2 Double or single?
- 3 Electric or Manual?
- 4 The contents:
- 5 The pump:
- 6 The bag:
- 7 In conclusion:
Do I really need a breast pump?
The number 1 reason for new mothers purchasing a breast pump is because they wish to continue to breastfeed once they’ve gone back to work.
The reality is that the majority of new mothers have to return to work after their little one is born in order to provide for their families. Statistics has shown that mothers are returning to work much sooner than in the past but thanks to technology, mothers can continue to provide their little ones with breast milk even when they aren’t around.
Other reasons for investing in a breast pump include either you or your baby being hospitalized due to illness, giving birth to a preemie or any other complications that might arise during birth.
A breast pump will also allow for your partner to take over the night feeds if you are in need of some extra sleep and provide them the opportunity to bond with the addition to the family. You could even go out on a date night without having to worry about getting home to feed your little one.
A breast pump can also be used to stimulate the breast in order to increase milk supply or offer you some much-needed relief if your breasts become too full and engorged.
Double or single?
If you plan on expressing milk on a daily basis, our suggestion to you is a double pump or nothing. Yes, a duel milk collection system is a little more expensive but you will thank us when you are sitting in the office, strapped for time.
Most duel breast pumps also have the option of expressing on one side only so you can breastfeed and pump at the same time should you choose to!
If you wish to only use your breast pump every now and again, a single pump will work just fine but if you can afford a double pump, it will definitely save you time!
Electric or Manual?
An electric breast pump will offer you convenience and save time. Most electric breast pumps these days are hands-free which will allow you to continue your activities to some extent.
If you won’t be using your breast pump on a regular basis, a manual pump will suffice, however, be warned: squeezing that pump will most likely end up feeling like a chore!
Our top tips for successful breast pumping:
- Make sure you have everything you need before sitting down, including something to keep you busy such as reading a book or a magazine.
- Clean your pump right after to ensure proper hygiene.
- If you are having difficulty with proper letdown, looking at pictures of your baby will do wonders!
- Find a time that is suitable for you and try to stick to that time. Also, if you are at work, have a fixed time for pumping – if you plan on only pumping when you “find” time, you will never find the time!
- If possible, invest in a pumping bra. This will allow you to be hands-free while pumping.
- Get the best pump you can afford – the better the pump, the easier pumping out your supply will be.
- Build up a supply whenever you can so that if something happens, you have some stock.
Now let’s get down to business – today we are reviewing two very popular duel electric breast pumps available on the market: Ameda Purely Yours and the Medela Pump in Style:
The Ameda Purely Yours breast pump is an electric duel milk collection kit that includes a double electric breast pump motor (and pumping kit), 4 x 4oz milk collection bottles, an AC adaptor, cooler bag and a microfiber CarryAll Tote shoulder bag.
The Medela Pump in Style, also an electric duel milk collection kit, includes a Freestyle pump and double pumping kit, 1 x rechargeable lithium battery, 2 x PersonalFit breast shields in different sizes, 4 x 5 oz. breast milk bottles, an AC adaptor, cooler bag and a portable microfiber bag.
Open vs closed system:
The Ameda Purely Yours breast pump uses a closed system to pump out breast milk. This means that no condensation occurs within the tubes and that there is also no way milk can end up in the tubes, a major advantage seeing that you don’t have to deal with any condensation or mold build-up within the tubes.
The Medela Pump in Style makes use of an open system. An open system often provides better suction but it does mean that condensation can build up in the tubes and though it generally shouldn’t, milk can also find its way into the tubes which leads to mold nesting in the tubes if not cleaned properly.
This is probably one of Medela’s biggest disadvantages as you will regularly have to replace the tubes to ensure that your breast milk does not become contaminated. Fortunately, these spare parts are easy to find online but it will cost you.
We suggest that you run the pump with the tubes detached from the bottles for a minute or so after usage which should clear up the condensation. For someone in a hurry, however, you will feel like you’ve been cheated out of some valuable time.
Ameda: Duel pump, closed circuit.
Medela: Duel pump, open circuit.
Both the Medela Pump in Style and the Ameda Purely Yours comes with an AC Power adaptor so you can simply plug in your pump and start pumping. Both pumps are sold with a battery pack. The Ameda requires 6 x AA batteries to operate and the Medela, 8 x AA batteries.
While we recognize that the battery pack is extremely helpful in case of emergencies, neither of these products have a very long battery life so we suggest that you also invest in a car charger for the different brands, sold separately.
Ameda: AC adaptor, can also use 6 x AA batteries. Car charger available for purchase.
Medela: AC adaptor, can also use 8 x AA batteries. Car charger available for purchase.
Single or double?
Both the Ameda and Medela can be used either as a duel system or as a single breast pump, which makes it very convenient. A lot of mothers pump on the one side while comfortably breastfeeding on the other side. Both can pump with a hands-free pumping bra.
Ameda: Single or double
Medela: Single or double
Let’s get real – breast pumps are loud so don’t bargain on finding a silent breast pump because they simply don’t exist. People will most likely hear you when you use your pump while on the telephone.
Some breast pumps, however, does make a little more noise than others. The Ameda is a little louder compared to the Medela although we consider both these breast pumps to be as discreet as it possibly can be.
What we didn’t like, was the fact that Ameda has a rather annoying beeping sound with every suction cycle.
We can appreciate the fact that the pump beeps erratically if you don’t have a proper seal around the breast but the constant beeping even when the system is working perfectly fine, is what is driving mothers crazy! Ameda could certainly do without it.
Ameda: Moderate noise, very annoying, constant beeping sound.
Medela: Moderate noise level.
Like we’ve mentioned, an open circuit breast pump usually has more suction power, which is also the case when comparing the Ameda and the Medela.
The Medela has more power and is more effective at pumping out breast milk compared to the Ameda breast pump, however, while this might save you some time, remember that you will need to run the Medela for an additional minute or two after pumping to prevent mold build-up.
We also love that the Medela has contains a “Let down” feature, making it easier for you to start pumping and adjusts speed automatically. The Medela also has several suction speed options available but needs to be adjusted manually.
Ameda: Good suction power, suction power can be adjusted manually.
Medela: Better suction power, let-down feature and automatic speed adjustment
The Ameda is a low maintenance pump where cleaning is concerned. There is no need to clean the pump or its tubes due to its closed system and there is no risk of mold or condensation building up within the tubes.
The unique diaphragm system also protects breast milk from any contamination, giving you peace of mind that your breast milk is safe for your little one 100% of the time. You also have the option of selling your breast pump at a later stage should you wish to do so.
Unfortunately, the Medela’s open circuit system, while offering better suction power, does lead to mold issues. Condensation occurs within this system and tiny amounts of milk may find its way into the tubes. If you have the time to properly clean the tubes after each use, you may be able to avoid this but there’s no guarantee.
Replacement tubes are widely available though and running your pump for a minute or two after usage should clear up most of the condensation. Tubes must also be rinsed out at least once a week and left to dry completely.
We recommend that you do not sell (or buy a second-hand version of) any breast pump that makes use of an open circuit due to the risk of contamination.
Ameda: Minimal cleaning required, the possibility of reselling.
Medela: Requires extensive cleaning to avoid milk being contaminated, cannot be sold again.
Both the Ameda Purely yours and the Medela Pump in Style breast pumps are sold in convenient black carry bags that are discreet and easy to travel with. Each bag contains a convenient cooler bag in which to store breast milk while on the go!
The Ameda bag is quite small in size which makes it very comfortable to tag along. Most mothers have had difficulty trying to fit all of the items back into the Ameda bag and rather carry the cooler bag separately in order to avoid the struggle. We viewed this as an inconvenience seeing that as a mother, you don’t need any additional luggage.
The cooler bag sold with the carry bag has the capacity to hold 3 ice packs and 6 x 4 oz. bottles which should be sufficient even if you work late. Unfortunately, there is no space for any keys, laptops, notebooks or cell phones in this bag.
The Medela breast pump on the other side is sold with a much larger carry bag and although everything breast pump related fits perfectly in the bag, there is no extra room for keys, cell phones or tablets if you choose to tag along with the cooler bag.
The Medela cooler bag can also only hold 4 x 5 oz. bottles, compared to the 6 x 4 oz. bottles that the Ameda can accommodate. We feel that the 4 x 5 oz. bottle capacity might not quite be sufficient should you work late on a regular basis. It should, however, be good enough if you only work a half day or a normal 8 hour day, depending on your milk supply.
We love that the bag has a very discreet appearance and outsiders would never guess that you have a breast pump in there!
Ameda: Small, cooler bag can hold 6 x 4 oz. bottles. Impossible to fit everything inside the bag.
Medela: Bigger, but not big enough for any extras. Cooler bag can hold 4 x 5 oz. bottles.
Considering that the Medela carry bag is larger than the Ameda Purely yours, it makes sense that it is also a little heavier. The Ameda, including contents but excluding milk, weighs in at 5 lbs. while the Medela is only 2 lbs. heavier, weighing 7 lbs.
Ameda: 5 lbs. without milk.
Medela: 7 lbs. without milk
The Ameda Purely Yours breast pump is less expensive compared to the Medela Pump in Style and while it does provide a little less suction power, you won’t have to fork out any extra money for a new set of tubes at a later stage.
We love that both breast pumps are electric, duel milk collecting systems that can be operated hands-free when using a pumping bra.
The closed circuit system used by Ameda Purely Yours is a major advantage as it not only saves you time when it comes to cleaning, it also provides parents with peace of mind that their milk is safe for consumption. You can also sell your breast pump when you are done with it.
The constant beeping sound, however, was a major issue and although the carry bag is small and discreet, carrying the cooler bag separately is a nuisance. We must commend Ameda for getting excellent reviews on their customer service!
We loved the Medela bag though it could still be bigger. Medela has stood the test of time and though it cannot be resold due to its open circuit system, their breast pumps do seem to last a little longer. Keeping the Medela clean can be a bit of a burden but the incredible suction power certainly makes up for this.
The Ameda Purely Yours and the Medela Pump in Style differ greatly in the way in which they operate. The Medela has better suction power but takes longer to clean. Ameda as a great closed circuit system but comes with a very annoying beeping sound that may or may not drive you nuts! All in all, both are great options that provide good value for money!