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« Q&A: post-partum insomnia and irrational fears | Main | Q&A: pacifiers: boon to society or bane of your existence? »



I have a Medela Pump In Style, that is now 3+ years old. I used it to pump at work for a year from my eldest, and am pumping with it again at work for new baby. Love it. But I do think it seems less effective this time around - maybe it needs a tuneup after being out of service for 2 years? Does anyone know if thats even possible?

One super duper pumping must have if you're going to be doing it frequently is the ability to double pump hands free - you can buy pricey bras made just for that, or what I do its wear a 2nd bra, very lightweight, no wires/padding, cut slits where the nipples are, then you pull down your nursing flaps on the over bra, slip the horns through the slits, and the 2nd one holds the horns on your breasts for you. I can type and pick up the phone, etc. without jostling the bottles.


I'm a big fan of the Medela Pump in Style, going on 2+ years now. One key purchase is extra little white valves - they are tiny, thus easy to lose, and the pump won't work without them! I'm also a big fan of the micro-steam bags for cleaning (depends on how you feel about plastic in the microwave, though).

I learned a lot from a post at "a little pregnant" about the Internet's collective wisdom on pumping a few years back: http://www.alittlepregnant.com/alittlepregnant/2005/03/heres_to_the_la.html.


A friend of mine used a Pump in Style for 14 months (w/one baby) and was very happy.

I have used an Isis and a PIS at various times and have been satisfied with both.

Now on the infrequent occasions that I need to leave milk (my son eats food now and is only interested in "from the source" in the middle of the night), I just hand express because I get equal results to the Isis and there are no parts to clean afterwards. But I was never a great pumper.


I have used a Pump in Style and it was fine. As a warning, they are pretty heavy and the pump is built into the bag, so if you will be carrying it around much (i.e. commuting) that is a consideration. Some people only pump at work and leave the bag there all the time, just carrying the parts home, but I like to have the pump at home just in case, and in some phases I have had to pump daily at home as well as at work to keep up with my kids.

My main pump is the Ameda/Hollister Purely Yours. This has a couple of advantages: it's much lighter than the PiS and I don't use the carrying case, just put it in a much smaller bag and take it to and from work every day inside my tote. It also is fully washable/sterilizable, unlike the PiS, so you can share with other women or buy one used and sterilize it yourself. They are widely available on Ebay (some being sold by people who basically never used them) for about $50, which is also a great advantage over the PiS. The potential down side to it is the reason I had to buy one on Ebay - mine died unexpectedly on me. It was used when it came to me, but I knew the previous owner; total the one that died lasted about 9-10 months of 2+ daily pumping. I don't know if that one was just a dud or if it's a problem with the brand - I'd be interested to hear others' comments on reliability.

For all pumps, I suggest getting extra parts. If you are pumping 2-3-more times a day, the fewer times you have to wash stuff the better. There are lots of resources on the web to buy each tiny little part separately.

I am a champion pumper, though I find supply varies as my child grows. At best I can get 6 ounces in 5 minutes, so I only have to pump twice a day. (I love my wonderful breasts - and I'm a smallish B cup - it has nothing to do with size!) I don't hate pumping, but I am now in my 7th month pumping for my second child (pumped for 10 months with my first, until she was 13 mos.) and I am looking forward to the end of the routine!


I have a small electric Medela pump (mine is called the MiniElectric, but I think it's called the Single Deluxe in the States).
I bought it through my midwife.

I pump occasionally - usually a couple of times a week. I started with the Isis but I'm a weenie and my hand got tired. I really like having an electric pump, but I didn't need hospital-grade. It's very small, lightweight, portable, and effective.


I have a Medela PIS and love it. WORD on getting extra valves & membranes. The dishwasher eats them for lunch. I pump once a day and freeze for emergencies. My freezer looks like I'm pumping for armageddon. I use the Medela Pump & Save storage bags and have only had one leak because I didn't zip it closed the whole way. Remember to freeze flat instead of upright for more efficient sotrage.

FYI, I did get my PIS at a greatly reduced price on Ebay. I KNOW you're not supposed to do that, so "officially" I guess I wouldn't recommend it, but I bought all the parts and accessories new, so nothing that touched the seller's breasts or milk ever touched my breasts or milk, so I feel pretty safe. Plus we saved AT LEAST $150. You can also get them brand-new and much cheaper on Ebay as well.

I also kept the Medela hand pump on my nightstand for the first few weeks to pump right before nighttime feedings to help with trouble latching due to engorgement. I screwed on a bottle and let it sit there overnight, so I had to pitch what I pumped in the morning ... but the hand pump worked surprisingly well.


I also used the Medela Pump in Style for 12 months with my daughter. I pumped exclusively since she couldn't make the transition to the breast after her time in the NICU, so that pump got used A LOT. It held up and I'd use it again in a heartbeat.

One piece of advice I give anyone who ever asks me about pumps is this: if you're going to pump often, a lot, daily, etc., SPEND THE MONEY on a good pump. I never would have been able to do it for a year if I had bought a less hearty or less gentle pump. (Mine had an adjustable setting for how hard to draw.) I justified the purchase by considering how much I was saving on formula plus the benefits of breast milk to the tot.

Also, if you're usure about pumping and have heard horror stories about how painful it is (and have ~$80 to spend), rent a hospital grade pump for a month. I rented a hospital grade Medela (Serenity?) for the first month, and that pump was downright gentle.

Another up side to pumping? no pump ever bit down on me.



HA! to your comment about the learning curve for nursing twins. I can hardly remember the details of attempting to nurse one, giving her to my husband who gave her breastmilk in a bottle with a special nipple, attempting to nurse baby #2, giving her to my husband to feed with a bottle, then pumping. The whole process took at least an hour and you know how often newborns want to eat. Gah. It DID get better and for the record, I did exclusively nurse them from about 6-8 weeks to 13 months.

I didn't mention in the question (because I didn't expect my own post!) that I need to pump for work (part-time) and the occasional bottle for a night out.


I just re-read my comment, and I feel like I should add that justifying the money was my own external motivation to keep pumping when it was getting tiresome. No mom should feel like she *has* to pump unless it's her choice.

Also, if I had it to do over again, I would have bought a handheld pump to toss in my diaper bag as well so that I could leave the house for longer trips.


I use the regular (not advanced) PIS at work and the Isis at home and like both.

Last week, I realized I forgot the bottles to pump into and decided to buy a bottle & just hold the "horns" over it to collect the milk. I bought a dr. brown's bottle (not wide mouthed) and damned if it didn't actually fit the PIS perfectly. So, if you're in a jam, dr. brown's bottles can screw into the horns & you're hands-free again!

Also, for you nyc-ers there's a store in park slope that has lots of breastfeeding supplies / maternity wear and had the cheapest price I could find on the pis -- itas $199. The store is not cheap as a rule, but I couldn't find a cheaper new PIS.

Beth A.

I used the Avent double electric (the IQ Duo) and loved it. I was pumping exclusively so it saw a lot of use, and it was incredibly comfortable and had an incredibly high yield. It has basically all of the good features of the manual Isis without having to develop forearms of steel. I used a PIS before that and it was fine, but I didn't find it terribly comfortable. The disadvantages of the IQ Duo that I could see are:

-It has a system where you pump manually to get it to the speed you want and then press a button to set it. It can be nice to be able to precisely set the suction level you want, but it makes for a steeper learning curve. Also, it can be easy to hit the button accidentally and lose your setting.

-I didn't have any problems with durability, but I've seen several reviews on Amazon complaining about the motor burning out. Avent will replace the motor for free, but that doesn't help you when you're waiting for it to come.


Great balls of fire! Stay AWAY from the Evenflo Comfort Select.

SAHM, I am -- therefore, I didn't have to go heavy duty with a breast pump, but I did need one. The Evenflo model was loud, took forever, complicated to set up/clean and did not produce nearly as much results as the Medela Hand Pump I purchased later.

On that note, I can't recommend the Medela Hand Pump enough. Easy, convenient, a select few parts to clean(simple to clean by hand, no less) and it produced a lot of milk in no time flat (I was usually done within 15 minutes for only 2-4 ounces). Obviously, someone who is hardcore pumping will need an electric, but the handpump is great for daily use. It never gave me hand cramps and I was even able to use it simultaneously while nursing my son (you know the adage about the birds and the stones, right?)

Great post!


I have the Pump in Style as well - going on 11 months pumping now. Not much else to add to anything anyone wrote above - we all seem to agree! O

ne thing - at my hospital, lactation sold the PiS, and gave me a wonderful nugget of information! If you get it while you are at the hospital, it is added on to your bill for insurance. Many companies do go ahead and pay for them. Even if they don't, you were going to pay for them anyway, right? I got my $250 pump FREE!!! And the lactation folks offered free extra parts (like the white thingies). Just thought I'd pass that on - is worth the try!


I've used the Isis, PIS, and PIS advanced. I liked the Isis, but could only get it to work on one side. The other side seemed, er, oddly shaped, and I could never get continuous suction. Both the PIS and PIS advanced have worked well for me (even on my oddly shaped side). However, I am currently pumping for baby #3 and seemed to have stopped responding to my pump. I have switched out all the parts and tried both the PIS and the advanced to no avail so I don't think it's the pump. My supply seems fine (baby gets plenty to eat when he nurses), but I can barely pump any milk and we've had to supplement with formula while I am at work. This post has inspired me to get out the Isis and try it again. Ah, the joys of pumping.


Although I only have the one baby, I had the opportunity to use lots of different pumps during the year I pumped.

I wrote a nursing & pumping gear review comparing hospital grade electrics, PIS, PY, Whisper Wear, and Avent Isis Iq Uno here: http://www.lizawashere.com/nursing-pumping-gear-faq-reviews/ (scroll down for the pump reviews).

Bottom line: If you are used to the gold standard of hospital grade rental, I think the Purely Yours will be much more comfortable for you than the Pump in Style. And I recommend an Isis manual for backup in case something breaks.


A friend gave me her old (like, 5 years old) electric pump when I had my daughter and I hated it. I don't even know what brand it was, but I do know that the only reason I hated it was because it was so old (the motor would struggle and just... blah. Bad pump.)

I ended up buying the First Years manual pump because it was cheap and I couldn't afford anything more expensive (I had heard about the Isis but didn't have the money *sigh*). The First Years manual pump worked great! Wonderful suction, easy to clean, faster than my super-old electric. I only had to pump twice a day (and, as she got older, once a day) and it was perfect for me. I probably over used it since the main handle broke once but it was inexpensive enough that by that time (6 months after purchase) out budget could support buying it again. Overall it was a great experience for me.

But I would have LOVED to have been able to afford the PIS. :-)


Another vote for the PIS here. However I used the Advanced model for 12 months in 05 and 06. I have to say I was very satisfied with it and felt I was a good "responder" to the pump. I thought the pump was very efficient in emptying my breasts. I bought minew NEW on Ebay for $230 and it was the cheapest I found after shopping around. They have also come with a new limited edition that looks super cute. It looks like a bag and not a pump bag and the inside motor is removable which in the traditional model is not. I wish I was in the market for one now, *sad*.
I also wanted to say kudos to pumpers out there. It can be extra work but I always used my pumping time to catch up on magazine reading or just "me" time. It really is worth it.


I got Avent Isis for the price and because it was recommended to me by another nursing mom. I had a lot of trouble with it initially. The doctor asked me to start pumping within the first week, to stimulate milk production (my son lost about 15% of his birth weight), but I couldn't get the suction at all. I had the star disc in the correct way. I sterilized it using distilled water (customer service told me regular water is bad). I took off the petal plastic cover in order to get a better seal. Nothing. I was very disappointed and ended up buying the Medela Pump in Style. The electric pump worked, and it made things much easier. About four months later, when my milk supply was better established, I tried the Avent Isis again (I was going on a trip and didn't really want to carry the electric pump), and it worked beautifully!

I am guessing my problem with the Avent Isis initially was the fact that I wasn't very full. I don't know.

Either way, I heartily recommend the Medela if you just want easy, and it actually comes out worth it in the end. But if you can get the Avent to work, the compactness is so worth it.


I'm a champion pumper. I pumped 8 mos. 2x/day with my first child and have been pumping 1x/day for 4 months with my second. I have the Medela PIS. The only problem I've had (twice) with it is the panel got loose and it started to lose suction. It was easily replacable.

That said, I wanted to share some pumping tips:
- If you need to pump more than once per day, store the parts in the fridge between feedings. Then you only have to wash them once per day, after your last pump session.
- Throw your expressed milk in the freezer right away. It won't spoil on the commute home.


I used the standard PIS that was a hand-me-down from a friend. It had one year of previous use. I liked it ok but had some problems with the face plate coming loose which affects the suction. Buy membranes in bulk, and pump directly into your bottles. As a pp mentioned, standard bottles should screw right on. If you use the avent system you can buy a coupler online for pretty cheap and pump directly into the avent bottles. I liked avent because you can buy the little stopper thingys to put in the collar instead of the nipple and use them for storate - I also used them for baby food.

Other tips - Medela makes microwave sterilizing bags that you can buy online and at BRU. Pump directly into your bottles and either store them at room temp or refrigerate in between pumpings. I could fit an entire day's pumping into the large bottles. I had lipase issues so I had to refrigerate but if you don't the bottle can stay out at room temp for I believe 8 hours. Store all your gear in the fridge as well and just sterilize in the microwave once a day.

This depends on if you child is in daycare and their policies but a good way to store milk for topping off during the day is to freeze it into ice cube trays. That way your dcp can defrost a couple of ounces if your baby is feeling especially peckish that day and there's no waste.


Also want to add that you don't HAVe to get a PIS. But the only pumps recommended for daily pumping while WOH when I gave birth were the Ameda and the PIS. And now the Isis electric is recommended as well, I'm pretty sure. But if you're pumping instead of bfing directly day after day you really need to have a pump like the three I mentioned. It has to do with the strength of the motor and the way it cycles. The other electric pumps out there are fine for occasional use but not daily supply maintanance.


Someone had a great point about buddying up to the lactation consultants in your hospital. I attended the breastfeeding support group at my hospital for the first year of my son's life to help support other new mothers. The LCs were always giving out goodies and often had coupons/deals towards pump purchases. It definitely wouldn't hurt to ask your LC directly about any special deals they may know of.


I use the PIS Advanced. This is my 2nd baby (they were 19 months apart) and it is still going strong (pumping 3+ x's per day 4-4 days per week when I'm working). It does sometimes lose suction and when that happens it's usually because one of the seals has broken where the tubes connect to the pump and I push it back in and it's fine. Some times there is jiggling and cursing involved, though, because it pops out frequently now.

Ditto on the "buy extra parts" everyone else has already said.

Pumping directly into the bottles is great if you're using the milk the next day but if you're pumping to freeze (which I recommend doing once a day while on maternity leave to build up a frozen supply in case you're like me and your supply is great when the baby is doing the majority of the nursing but declines quickly when you're pumping more or as much as nursing), you can also pump directly into the freezer bags if you buy the twist tie kind (or I guess you could use random twist ties from the junk drawer or rubber bands for the zip-top kind). Just secure them where the bottles would go and you'll be fine. Wow, that was a terrible run-on sentence!

If you can't get a good breast-to-pump fit w/the standard shields included w/any pump, you can usually buy either different-sized hard shields or soft shields. I've stuck w/the standard ones, but I know people who have had good luck customizing their pump.

Stephanie Larson

I have used the same PIS for three and a half years now, although I am using it less with my second child than my first, simply because my 4 month old baby refuses a bottle form almost anyone. But I still pump 3X a week for the one person he might condescend to take a bottle from (not my husband, alas!). The PIS is great, and if you do travel with your baby, it is easily stored among soft clothes in suitcases and transportable. I took it to Greece with my first baby and was VERY glad I did. I have never had to replace a single part, and the pump has taken a lot of beating.

Also, if you pump and suffer from chronic plugged ducts, as I do, I would suggest hot showers right before pumping, or hot compresses while pumping, just to make sure that the flow of milk is good and that the pump is getting milk out of every part of the breast as best it can.


I used an Ameda Purely Yours for work (with one of those bizarre pumping bustieres, which helped tremendously in giving me hands free time.) It probably costed more than it should have, but it was easy.

Everything I've read says the Ameda and the PIS are very similar, I just got the Ameda because a) my childbirth instructor recommended, b) pump comes out of the bag, rather than built in (more flexibility) c) found a better deal on it.

Avent Isis at home for quick pumpings. loved it best, but needed a double for work.


Medela Pump in Style backpack was my son and my BFF for 11+ months! For a few months, I was pumping 3 or even 4 times a day, regulary 3x/day (My typical pumping was once very early in AM before son woke up since my milk was in abundance in early AM and twice at work during breaks.) I then gave it to a friend who also used it for almost a year. It worked for me faithfully and dependably -- AFTER I asked someone to show me! (At first I didn't get the suction correct and, WOW, was I sore! It should NOT hurt; if it does then ask for help for someone from LLL etc.)

I was planning to buy on EBay but with baby's arrival etc etc I got sidetracked so wound up buying at Babies R Us for $320. Absolutely worth the price!

I highly recommend getting at least one extra set of the "horn" type attachments and, I also spend a bit of extra $ to buy about two dozen of the offical Medela 5oz bottles AND, because they do mysteriously disappear, too, I bought some extra caps for the bottles. My son used the Medela nipples exclusively and there was never any issue. So I bought the Medela "collars" that fit the nipples onto the bottles. I bought almost a dozen of those, too. (He went right from using the Medela 5oz bottle with the Medela nipple to a Gerber straw-type sippy, the kind of straw sippy that doesn't spill when you turn it upside-down.)

Finally, something that I couldn't live without during this time were the Medela microwave sterilization bags for all breast pump parts. It is a thicker plastic bag with a little hole on the side for venting and each bag can be used about 20 times. They sell them in a box of five and they were so vital to me! They do last a while; I think I only needed three or four boxes at most. If you decide to use pacifiers, these can be used to sterilize them, too. A final word about the bags is that since it is just my husband and me, we didn't run the dishwasher every day so the bags were necessary.

For a little bit in the beginning, I pumped into bags but my daycare really never got the hang of using them. Instead, I pumped right into the Medela bottles, refridgerated during the workday and either froze right in the bottle or kept in fridge for up to about 5 days. (I would write the day of the week on a little post-it on the cap of the bottle and keep in fridge for a few days, if not needed then put in freezer.)

So, to sum up (sorry so long) - here is what I highly recommend:
- Medela Pump in Style, backpack
- Medela 5oz bottles
- Medela bottle nipples
- Medela nipple collars
- extra attachments for pump
- microwave sterilization bags


Oh, I wanted to add as well to check with your health insurance to see if they cover breast pumps. Mine did with a prescription from my doctor and a small copay. Plus they delivered it right to my house from a medical supply company within a few days of giving birth.


I'm still nursing my almost 9 month old twins and I have a Medela PIS Advanced. I hate pumping in general, but the pump is just fine. It was definitely worth the money. I think it's the only reason I was able to exclusively nurse them after the first two weeks. I had to nurse, fingerfeed EBM or formula if I was out of EBM, then pump after every single feeding for two weeks. Then I was able to drop the fingerfeeds and just nurse and pump. It helped build my supply. I hardly ever use the pump now, but when I do I'm glad I have the double electric. Anything that lets me spend less time pumping is worth it.


I 32nd getting additional parts.

I'm not as far into this pumping thing as others here.. but here's what I have and what I've experienced.

I used the Avent Isis hand pump in the beginning. It REALLY hurt me. I'm not sure why, but those two weeks were NOT pleasant. It worked well, but not without pain.

I bought an Ameda/Hollister purely yours. I basically selected it because it was of the two best reviewed, but it was less expensive! Without a carrying case, it was half as much as the PIS.

I use it at least twice a day at home.

I started working (grad school) three days a week. Now I use my Avent Isis again. It takes longer, but I don't need to pump a lot while i'm away, because I have the bub home with me more days than not. But the Avent is nice because I don't need a plug and I can pump out in my research field. It still hurts more than my Ameda, but now that we are out of the hugely sore nipple phase, it's bearable pain.

I wouldn't to use it (for ME) more than once or twice a couple of times a week.


Here's another strong vote for the Ameda Purely Yours. I used mine for a year, up to four times a day, and it never died. It is cheaper than the PiS and from all the research I did in advance, equally good. As with all of them, get spare parts.

The Easy Expressions Bustier is one of those bizarro things mentioned in a previous comment, but an excellent use of $35 or so. You shut your door, zip it up, attach the pump, and keep typing - end of story.

It comes with bottles (not nipples, though), but you can buy bags that you can pump right into. Much less washing and transferring.

I have an Isis hand pump but never could get it to do much for me.


I'm long past breastfeeding and pumping, but did with both of my kids. I've used a PIS, the Avent ISIS, and a hospital grade pump that was in my firm's nursing mother's room. All were good, but for different purposes.

For every day, regular pumping, I'd recommend either the PIS or a hospital grade pump. The main advantadge is the ability to pump both breasts at once (and I used to just tuck the horns into my bra or wear a bra-top camisole to hold them so I could pump hands-free), the speed, and the fact that your hands don't get tired doing all the work! (FYI -- I pumped 2x day while at work, usually getting 7-9 oz per breast, per session. Each session was no more than 15 mins of pumping. I've got tiny boobs, but I was a champion producer!)

I kept my ISIS pump at home and used that mainly when the babies were small and I needed relief from engorgement or just needed to quickly pump a bottle for feeding while I was out. I thought for a hand pump, it was quite effective and comfortable, but my hand/wrist would get tired by the time I was done. I could not imagine using that pump every day, twice a day. But for an occasional pump, its great.

Also, I bought my PIS on ebay -- it was new, and much cheaper than anything I found in local stores. For the hospital grade pump, it was provided for free by my firm, so all I had to buy was my own kit.


Another vote for the Ameda Purely Yours. I am a SAHM but I had supply issues for a while so I had to pump after every feeding. It was easy to use and to clean and never died on me either. It also didn't make those weird wheezing noises that the PIS makes.

I also tried the Isis and like another commenter above, could never, ever get it to work for me.


I had poor milk supply with both of my babies. With B. I used the Avent Isis hand pump as better in results for me than the rented hospital mechanical one. With M. we're using the Lansinoh double electric pump. I like it ok but I don't think it would be great if you had to pump a lot. We still have little breast milk, even after nursing on demand, pumping, and regular supplements like Fenugreek and oatmeal. I just wanted to add to this post, since it's my problem but I know other moms out there have struggled, whatever you can do is good for your baby and in the end what matters is a happy healthy baby, no matter how you feed him.


I also used the PIS Advanced for a year while pumping and loved it. Just a correction to something above: you can remove the pump from the backpack version. The little 5' x 4' box that is the pump just slides out and you can pack it separately as necessary.

Also, I never spent the money on a hands-free nursing bra... this trick worked just as well (and was free): http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/hands-free-pumping.html

Even several months later, there are still rubber bands littering my office...


Ok, I haven't had time to read through all of the comments, but I also have been using the Pump in Style for 4 months. I bought mine new in the box from a medical supply company on eBay and saved $100.

I also second the suggestion for hands-free pumping. I bought a cheap cord from these folks:


It works great and I can use my pumping time at work more efficiently.


I was going to buy the Medela PIS online when I found a side-by-side comparison of the PIS and the Ameda Purely Yours. The Purely Yours was rated better with more features, but was less expensive ($200 with all the bells and whistles, more basic varieties without tote for $150). I decided to give it a try and couldn't be more pleased. My son was a preemie and couldn't nurse. I pumped eight times a day for five months and six times a day for another three months and never had any problems with this pump, except that over time the pump lost suction power when operating on battery power (but never when operating plugged into an outlet, this wasn't an issue for me but may be for you). I also didn't notice any difference between the Purely Yours and the hospital pump I was using before we were discharged, except that the hospital pump was much larger and heavier...the controls and suction and cycles were all the same.

I ended up purchasing from:
(lowest prices I found, free shipping, no tax, and they sell lots of different pumps, not just the PY) Good luck!


Call your health insurance company and check whether they cover breast pumps as medical equipment! Mine did and it saved me a bundle (I still had to pay part of the cost, but they covered a lot).

I've used the PIS advanced at work for over a year now and have nothing but good reports. Love the let-down feature. Easy to use. Great accessories (battery pack and car battery plug in) for use away from an outlet. Worth the money!!

Now if only we had workplaces that were more pumping friendly. . .


I have used several pumps...with my first, I used a Medela manual pump. My supply was so huge I could pump between 10-15 ounces in 15 minutes! With subsequent kids, my supply has gone down some. I used a Medela PIS and it was ok - I could do both sides at once which was a timesaver, but I never pumped as much milk as when I used a manual pump. I'm no longer in the workforce (baby number 4!!), so I'm pumping less, but the Avent Isis is my favorite pump ever! It's easy and comfortable and I respond to it well. Good luck!!


I have used the Lansinoh double electric with success, but prefer my new Ameda Purely Yours, which looks almost exactly like the Lansinoh but seems to work and feel better. Go figure. Yay for you for nursing multiples! I am in the same low supply situation as Fran and am amazed by women who can do this for two babes at the same time. I sincerely admire your breastfeediocity.


I use the Ameda Purely Yours. So far I have been pumping 2-3x a day 5 days a week for the past 7 months. I have had a good experience. From what I understand, it's not much different from the PIS but you can get it cheaper (although if you go all out and get the backpack version, you get an AC Adapter as well as a car adapter). I've had trouble getting replacement valves in my community. I had to order online - so I recommend just getting replacements when you buy the pump because you won't have to pay the extra shipping cost.

The quirk with the PY is that the valves will fall off sometimes after the first use of the day. This is either because I was storing the bottles in the ice bag and the pump parts at room temp, or residue from the cleansing wipes. Since I started keeping the bottles at room temp prior to pumping, I haven't had a problem.

I also have the Isis Manual Pump. I liked it once I removed the silicone petal insert. Great travel pump.


Ugh, I was all set up for pumping. Got a PiS Advanced new on Ebay for $199. Got the weird bra thing, got all the parts. Baby came and WOULD NOT TAKE A BOTTLE. From anyone. From day one.

Nonetheless, I kept pumping and freezing thinking, she'll get the hang of it before my maternity leave is up. For 3 months I pumped 3-4 times a day in addition to nursing. Had a huge stock of milk in the freezer. We gave her bottles EVERY SINGLE DAY from birth to 16 weeks and she refused every single time. Now she's 7 months, we keep trying every so often but has never taken a bottle. I just pitched about 35 frozen bags of milk (!!). I have about $300+ invested in my pump and accessories (a very good pump, and I liked using it). We also have about $150 in every kind of bottle/nipple combo known to man. I WOH and have to go nurse her 2-3 times a day (thank goodness her daycare is across the street!)

My advice - make sure babe will take the bottle before making a huge investment!!!


A friend of my mom's is a Medela sales rep so when he owed her a favor, he offered to give her one of his best sellers and she took it, knowing nothing about them. The Pump In Style, of course. This was before I was in the babymaking business, so it'd been lent out before I got ahold of it and has been since.

In fact, a friend has it now and that makes, I believe, baby #6 whose mom has pumped with it. The accessories have been replaced once, but the pumping itself has gone on like a champ. So props for durability from this corner.

My best advice about pumping, if you have trouble with supply, is twofold: (1) Be as consistent as possible about time; and (2) Carry a picture or a memory book or a sweet journal entry or something that gives you warm fuzzies about your baby -- it really helps with production.


I used several pumps with my son. He was a 29 weeker preemie so I pumped exclusively while he was in the NICU and unable to BF.
I first rented and used the hospital grade pump at home and in the NICU. They rock! They were very comfortable and my insurance paid for most of the rental cost.

I also borrowed a Ameda Purely Yours from a friend. Used it an average of 4x per day while boy was inhouse. It worked great, was very easy to clean and I bought parts for it online.

When I returned my hospital rental another friend lent me a Medela Pump in Style. I liked this pump but I had many more issues with it versus the Ameda.

I suppose it all matters how much you're going to use it. The Ameda was much more portable and I think was the best (non-hospital) grade pump I used. I used the crap out of all of these pumps. At the beginning of the NICU experience, I was pumping 12x a day to stimulate milk production.


I used the Pump in Style as well. I have had it for 4+ years. I used it with E (born 2002) and J2 (born 2005). My SIL used it and now my cousin in using it (both bought their own parts). With my son I knew I needed to pump more before going back to work to store up supply. When I went back work I had over 100 bags of 4oz or more. The first weeks back I was coming home with 24 oz of milk. My supply was much better the second time around. I got tired of carrying the bag back and forth and tried a smaller manual pump to keep at home but it was not worth it. I was used the speed and supply of the PIS.
Given that you will have not be away for a full work week (and will you be able to use the pumping room at the hospital?) you might not need something as big as the Pump in Style but if you do get it you will not have a need for anything else.


Medela Pump In Style - I had overactive letdown and a baby who preferred bottles, so I pumped as much as 6x per day - every 3 hours or so for quite some time. Very reliable! I bought it from a local breastpumping/nursing store (The Pump Station in Santa Monica CA - I tell you these women deserve to make millions what with all the care and support they provide to nursing moms. One time a part broke on the pump - due to a curious baby, not becase overuse made it break - and they invited me in to use one of their pumps while someone else fixed mine. On site. LOVE them).

It has a great battery pack (about 10 AA batteries I think) that gave good suction for the times when I needed to pump in my car while off site at meetings.

Great backpack/shoulder bag option. Overall great suction, not too loud, good investment. LOVE it.

Bought tons of parts so I wouldn't have to clean them during the day. Got tired of washing them at night though. But you will get that with any pump you buy. LOTS of washing.

Good luck to you!


thought i'd throw in my two cents...i used the PIS for 11months (borrowed from a friend who used it for baby #1 & #2) and it worked really well. i ended up buying the medela bottles that fit onto the horns to pump into, then transferred the milk into the lasinoh zip-top milk bags for freezing. i'd defrost in the frig or in warm water to pour into bottles or sippy cups for the baby when i took her to daycare. i was pumping probably 4 times a day (twice during breaks at work, then twice after she went down for the night at 7pm - she'd sleep thru the night until 6am). freezing them in the zip bags made it easier to store. i'm well endowed but i wasn't the greatest pumper. i took tons of herbals to help (fenugreek, thistle, alfalfa) and that helped a little.

the only thing with PIS i had (it was the backpack one) was that it got very clunky after awhile, with carrying my laptop bag, purse, lunch, and the pump. but it worked well, so i guess that not bad.


I 43rd the old Medela PiS (did 7 months from returning to work at 6 months until switching to cow's milk during the day at 13 months). Specific equipment that helped:

-the softer, 2-part breast shields
-the microwave sterilizer bags
-that ridiculous zip-up bustier with the holes
-a little lunchbag style softsided cooler to take fresh icepacks in the morning and milk in the evening on the days I wasn't bringing the whole pump home

I pumped 2x/day, getting 10-14 oz total. After the first pumping I rinsed the parts, then did the microwave thing after the second. I was lucky enough to have my own office at the time, so I just closed the door, zipped up, and went at it while I did email. Being able to do something else was good because, while I was often able to finish in 15 mins, if I was menstruating (which I restarted at 3 months, exclusive BF with a kid who nursed 9 hours/day, dammit) or exhausted or something it would take longer.

Note on pumping--I would say I was a contender but not a champion. I always tried to pump for # of letdowns rather than time--I found that was much more effective in terms of keeping supply and getting even amounts. Most days, 2 letdowns per session was enough. However, if supply low or trying to build I would try for 3. (This can take a while--you have to let the first one run its course, then mimic the baby in terms of slow, weak sucking for a few minutes and then a renewed strength.)

Note on bottles--you've probably tried everything, but my kid, who would no more take a bottle (or paci) than fly to the moon, was pretty happy with a sippy cup starting at 5 or 6 months. NOT one of those transitional soft sippy cups for babies, but a Munchkin toddler cup, the kind that supposed to be a bit like the rim of a glass. Obviously I couldn't ask her, but my theory is that a bottle was too "almost mom" and that for her, something really different was more acceptable. (And kind of fits her personality now that I know her better--she will go to the mat to avoid taking second best, but she'll often do something totally different.) Just one more thing to consider if you're struggling with that issue. & I send you a hug--I totally know frustrating that is!


I did the hospital grade rental and wouldn't go any other way should I ever need to nurse and work f/t again.

I pumped 4-5 times a day and double electric pumping was the only option for my situation. I managed to bf my son till 17 mos, so I feel like the money was well spent:)


We received our PIS second hand from a relative who had used hers twice ten years ago. It was an older model, but it worked perfectly.

My only advice to add: know that the horns come in different sizes. I needed to use the largest horns I could find in order to pump most effectively. I'm a larger lady and the standard size horns barely covered my areola. I pumped exclusively for four months (3-5x a day) and was very comfortable with it once I had the large horns.


Here's a tip I got from a lovely nurse at the hospital: If you think you're going to want to pump using a hospital grade pump, ask the nurse for a manual pump kit. My hospital gives manual pumps to new moms and charges your insurance for the $75 charge. The hookups will also work with most hospital grade pumps, so you get a manual pump and a hospital grade hookup for only your co-pay...

I had primary supply failure and my Medela PIS was solely responsible for my 4 months of breastfeeding. I always pumped after the baby fed and then added in additional pumping sessions. And, when I could, I'd pump one breast while he fed on the other -- some folks say you can pump more if your other breast is being stimulated by a nursing baby...

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  • My expertise is in helping people be who they want to be, with a specialty in how being a parent fits into everything else. I like people. I like parents. I think you're doing a fantastic job. The nitty-gritty of what you do with your kids is up to you, although I'm happy to post questions here to get data points of how you could try approaching different stages, because, let's face it, this shit is hard. As for me, I have two kids who sleep through the night and can tie their own shoes. I've been a married SAHM, a married freelance WAHM, a divorcing WOHM, a divorced WOHM, and now a WAHM again. I'm not buying the Mommy Wars and I'll come sit next to you no matter how you're feeding your kid. When in doubt, follow the money trail. And don't believe the hype.
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