View Full Version : Best pump for infrequent use ?

04-10-2002, 10:29 AM
I'm a new mom to be, who would like to breastfeed--but still take a break every now and then! I'll be staying home with baby (due Aug 17) so I doubt I'll need the Pump in Style (a little overkill I believe). But I'd love for Dad to be able to share in feeding occassionally, and also be able to go out on a date with DH while Grandparents babysit. So, we're talking needing to pump a few times a week. However, I've heard the Avent Isis (manual) is great, but kills your hand, the neck breaks off alot, and takes awhile. I read that a Medela mini-electric is SO LOUD also. So, is there something else I haven't heard of that #1 is quick 15-20 min. and #2 is quiet and #3 isn't close to $200 like the PIS (no amount of convincing will get me to spend that much for my infrequent need to pump. It would be different if I were going to back to work.) I'm also afraid of trying a "double" pump for fear I'll feel like a cow hooked up to a milking machine...sob. If you can't tell, I'm very nervous and unsure about how I'll feel nursing, but strongly believe that's it's best for baby. Thank-you! Amy

04-10-2002, 11:50 AM
I have an Isis and have had NO problems with it. From what I understand it is the least problematic of all the manual pumps on the market.

I used it exclusively from about 2wks until about 2.5/3 months when I went back to work. I know use both the PIS and the Isis. The Isis when I only have to pump one side at home.

They basically take the same amount of time to use and I get comparable output, but I have to double the time on the Isis if I pump both sides.

Good Luck


04-10-2002, 05:35 PM
Hi - I also used the Isis for "infrequent use": I took a dance class once a week starting when my son was 2 months old. It was only for a couple of hours, but what a great break!

Like the poster above, I also had NO probroblems with the Isis - in fact, I preferred it to the PIS (which I purchased when in a very "pregnant" moment LOL!) Pumping my milk was actually faster with the Isis - probably 'cause I was controling the speed and amount of pressure, not a machine. It never broke, was easy to clean/sterilize, and was comfortable in my hands AND on my breasts.

That said, I know that there are moms out there who didn't like the Isis pump because they found it uncomfortable - I guess it's hard to make a product that all people will be equally happy with all the time. Here are a couple of other pumps I've heard good things (and sometimes bad things) about:

The Ameda one-hand pump:

The Medela Manual Ease Pump:

The Medela Spring Express:

Lansinoh Easy Express Pump:

These are just examples to give you ideas - I have not looked them up according to price - If you see something you like you might be able to find a review or a better price through Google or some other search engine. Your only way to really know if you like a pump is to try it yourself...go for one that appeals to you and you think would work well for you. Good Luck!


04-11-2002, 12:46 AM
I like the Isis too. I don't think it "kills your hand". It does take a little getting used to - I didn't like the feel of it at first - but now I love it. It's certainly quieter than any electric pump, which will always have some motor noise.

I also bought an Ameda Purely Yours (online for $120) because I had rented an Ameda hospital pump. It's nice, but I actually use the Isis more often. I can pump a bottle full in about 15 minutes and it seems to extract every last drop better than the PY. Franky I think the PY or PIS is overkill for SAHMs.

AS for breakage of the Isis, the parts are somewhat delicate and you have to treat them with care; you can't just toss them into the bottom of your dishwasher. But this is also true of the horns and bottles of any pump. I just take them apart, soak them in a bowl of soapy water and rinse under the faucet.

04-11-2002, 10:39 AM
Since I've never done this before (#1 is due in August), I don't really understand all the concepts of nursing and pumping. If you don't mind explaining...can you pump just one side and get enough milk to make a bottle? Also, what about the other side--do you just let baby nurse? This is embarrasing to ask, but since we're all mommies (or soon to be here), I will ask it: Do your breasts fill with milk on a scheduled basis (say every 2-3 hrs) acording to how often you usually nurse? Or do you have to start nursing or pumping in order to produce milk each time? is this "let-down" ? Thank-you for the info and advice! Amy

04-11-2002, 10:47 AM
WOW. You guys are really great for us mom "newbies". Thank-you for your words of wisdom and advice. I think I will indeed try the Isis! If anyone has anymore great tips, please keep them coming!
Oh yes--P.S. Do you guys like the Avent bottles that go with the Isis pump? I've read on the BRU website that many people have had leakage problems with them...but Denise and Alan rated them well. Hmmm. Amy

04-11-2002, 04:23 PM
Your body will produce milk based on demand...it will make exactly what your baby demands, so that's why it's important to nurse your baby frequently in the early weeks...to establish a good supply. Your breasts are always making milk...sort of like a leaking faucet. The amount of milk in the milk sinuses will steadily increase until you express it by nursing or pumping...at first you'll feel really "full" when it's time to nurse, but as your body adjusts, you'll make just as much milk but not feel quite so "full." This is perfectly normal.

I began pumping frequently when DS wasabout 10 weeks old. He had already gotten in the habit of just nursing from one breast at a feeding, so I started pumping from the other breast during feedings. Because that's what my body is used to, I can make enough milk so that he's full from one breast and I pump enough for a feeding at the same time.

Let down is actually technically called "milk ejection reflex"...it's a natural process by which your breasts begin to release the milk that has been and is being produced. Milk will flow slowly at first, but once you have let-down, it can actually flow very quickly. Most people can feel let-down...some say it's tingly, others say it's like a mild electric shock. For me it's more like tightness...almost like a muscular contraction. You don't have to be nursing or pumping to have your milk let down...sometimes just thinking about your baby, seeing a baby or hearing one cry, or getting really stressed out about something will trigger the reflex!

I hope this helps...best wishes for a healthy baby and a happy, successful breastfeeding relationship!

And ask away...we're all here to help!


04-11-2002, 04:26 PM
I don't know about Avent bottles leaking...I could never get DS to drink from one! He hated any kind of clear silicone nipple, so all the Avent bottles that I bought because they were supposed to be so good for breastfed babies are sitting in a cabinet unused! I use the Isis pump (also the Medela...I love both) and I like the fact that the short bottles are easy to clean without a brush since the opening is so wide. They don't always fit in diaper bag bottle holders, though...something to keep in mind.

I wouldn't recommend buying too many of any one bottle until you are sure what your child will accept.


04-11-2002, 06:20 PM
what about the best pump for work? i anticipate breastfeeding when at home, pumping at work. will need something small, quick, quiet, efficient as my workplace is male-dominated and not pregnancy/lactation-friendly.

not-even-pregnant-yet overachiever;)

04-11-2002, 09:04 PM
For work I love the Medela Pump-In-Style...very natural suction/cycling with variable settings. It's pretty quiet...I pump in an office where there is only a dividing wall (8' tall, but no ceiling as it's part of a larger, open space) between this office and the next and the woman in the next office can't hear it. It is very quick and efficient. In a 15 minute pump session today, I got 10oz!! It is in a discreet black bag, easy to use and I think the best on the market. It's expensive, but www.knoxbreastfeeding.com usually runs specials on it for $199, and right now it's $189 WITH a free battery pack so you can use it with AA-batteries.

04-11-2002, 10:32 PM
I likes the Avent bottles and didn't have any problem with leakage - I've used both the regular bottles and the ones with the disposable liners. (And I used no-name brand liners with no trouble at all). The problem we had was that my son was so used to nursing at the breast that he would suck too hard on the Avent nipple and managed to invert it! So every minute or two my husband would have to take the top off, fix the nipple, then try again. Within 5 minutes or less, a 4 oz bottle could be totally drained by my own personal Hoover. LOL!

04-12-2002, 10:36 AM
I just like you mostly breastfeed but use a pump on occation. I have the Avent Isis and think it is a great pump. It doesn't take long for me to drain my breast, and it doesn't hurt the hand or the breast at all. The only probalem I have had is the neck piece and the part that screws in to both cracked and started leaking. I took it back to the store I bought it and they told me to phone Avent customer service, who shipped me out both of those pieces the next day. I was very impressed with their customer service and quick response. I think it is a great pump to go with.

04-12-2002, 11:27 AM
I agree with Tara, don't buy lots of any one bottle. If you're staying at home and mostly breastfeeding, you don't need tons of bottles. I'm lucky to have a laid-back daughter that takes most anything that food comes out of. But some babies are very choosy.

The Isis comes with one or two bottles, along with nipple and cap. If your baby likes the Avent nipple, then a 3-pack of the 4-oz bottles will be enough for occasional use. You can also buy the sealing discs separately for storing expressed milk in the bottles.

http://www.kidsurplus.com has good prices on Avent stuff.

05-02-2002, 04:16 PM
I also have an ISIS and love it. As for the cracking neck, when my cracked after 7 weeks of use I called AVENT and they replaced it. Good luck!!

05-03-2002, 08:13 PM
I have used both the Ameda Purely Yours and the Medela Pump in style. Noise-wise I find them to be equal: a low-rythmic pumping noise. I personally like the Ameda Purely Yours better because I feel that I express milk more efficiently when I use it and I like the control for the cycles and stregnth of the pumping action. I also think that if you want to switch between double pumping or single, its easier to make that change with the Ameda ( I often change between the two).

That being said, the PIS is great also. This pump may be more convenient (and discreet)for the work-place because its contained in the carrying bag. Even though I like certain details of the Ameda, this is a good (and fast) pump too and like I said it may be easier to use at work.

Either way you can't go wrong.

05-03-2002, 09:27 PM
I am currently breastfeeding my daughter (she is now 9 months). I don't use bottles much, just once in a while. I used the Gerber Electric/Battery pump (I don't need to use it anymore, I now use formula if she needs a bottle and for her cereal). I really liked it, I used it occasionally, sometimes to store, sometimes for a bottle if I knew I would be out, sometimes for engorgement!, and I also used it for pumping milk for her cereal when she first started solids. I bought it based on a recommendation from my cousin, who used it all the time for her kids, since she had trouble nursing due to inverted nipples. It's not real quiet, but it was only $30... worth it for me! I thought of using the Isis but didn't know anyone at the time who used it.
For bottles, definitely don't buy a lot until you know what your baby will like. My daughter didn't like the Avent nipples. She likes the Gerber Nuk nipples, they are funny looking, but she likes them! I have the Avent Newborn Starter set, I like to use the Avent bottles to store milk/formula for her cereal now, they have discs they sell which cover the hole in the lid, works great! I have about 2-3 4 oz Gerber bottles, which were great for pumping w/ the Gerber pump, and I technically only use 2 8oz Gerber bottles for her to drink from.
Also, I didn't try a bottle w/ my baby for a while, I think at least 3 months. She is pretty easy-going, so she adapted well... one recommendation, once you get established w/ an occasional bottle, try to let the baby get used to others giving it to her, and try sometimes at bedtime. My daughter would pretty much take a bottle from only me (which I could't believe!, and she would drink most of it!), but if I am out, she pretty much refuses it from anyone else. And bedtime is tough for her since I always nurse her at bedtime. Breastfeeding is wonderful, but you can't have your life revolve around it! You need to get out, and having the peace of mind that your baby will eat, is comforting when you're out! Good luck!