Breastfeeding

Medela - Tote vs Backpack

Hi Ladies,

I'm very sorry if this has been asked recently, but is there a difference between the Medela Pump in Style Tote vs the Backpack? For some reason, the backpack is $50 less than the Tote at my local store, but the price seems to be the same for the two everywhere else I've looked.

 

Also, I'm 38 weeks and on the fence about whether or not to go ahead and get the electric pump now or wait. I have a manual and hope to EBF. I am supposed to go back to work 3 days per week at 6 weeks but there is a chance I won't go back and be a SAHM instead. Any advice on whether or not I should go ahead and get it or wait until my work plans are more solidified? 

 

Thank you SO much for any input! 

Re: Medela - Tote vs Backpack

  • Forgot to add - I've already checked with our insurance and a pump is NOT covered. Thanks!
  • I hate both of them. I don't understand why medela can't make a bag big enough to hold some personal items and a laptop in addition to the pump and cooler - I hate bringing multiple bags to work with me.

    But I digress - I really don't think there's much difference, other than the obvious style difference. They hold about the same amount of stuff.

    I would wait. If you stay at home, there's not much reason to pump other than the occasional night out, and my hand pump would have worked fine for that. If you pump at work, I personally think the double electric is a must.

    Regardless, I think you need to talk to your insurance carrier again. My understanding is that under the Affordable Care Act, insurance must cover a pump for nursing moms (maybe there is an exclusion if you weren't with this provider before pregnancy, but I haven't heard of that).

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  • image mandy522:

    Regardless, I think you need to talk to your insurance carrier again. My understanding is that under the Affordable Care Act, insurance must cover a pump for nursing moms (maybe there is an exclusion if you weren't with this provider before pregnancy, but I haven't heard of that).

     Some insurance policies, like my husband's, are grandfathered in and don't have to follow all the provisions. And if I'm remembering correctly, enforcement of following the ACA provisions is getting put off until 2015 now. (I could be wrong about that though)

    To OP - I would wait and see if you need one first before spending the money.

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  • I've been lurking on this board, but I have the tote. I don't have a manual, but that will probably be fine to start. If you need to pump right away, you can always rent one of the hospital grade pumps. My insurance was grandfathered in, too. I rented a symphony for a month since DS was born at 34w6d. I then bought the Pisa during a great sale. Good luck!
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  • i'd wait.  just because you never know what bf is going to be like for you.  i had a tough time in the beginning and rented from hospital.  once ds started gaining enough it got easier.  then i went a month or so without pumping at all.  i now pump on occassion to build stash and allow for mommy time.  i bought the swing and i quite like it and will probably be sufficient to use if i'm going to pump at the office when i go back to work (when ds is 1yo).  i also did get a backpack pisa hand-me-down from my sister. i use it on occasion, ut am not a fan of the bag.  tho if i head back early or am really committed to pumping at work this may also be an option.  for me, manual pump wasn't going to cut i, regardless of how i plan to use it.
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  • I have the tote and like PP stated, there is not much room for extra stuff - but I just carried another bag.  You can look into the Ameda or Lansinoh pumps, those are cheaper and sold with or without bags and you can use your own bigger bag.  They also don't cross contaminate so if they don't work for you, they can be re-used by someone else.  I had the Lansinoh for DS2 and loved it, but gave it away when I thought we were done.  Now I use my old Medela that I used with DS1 for DS3 because I didn't want to buy a new pump since this is definitely our last baby.

    Separately I have low supply (did with all 3 kids after returning to work), so my ped dr. wrote me a prescription for a hospital grade pump rental.  It did help and takes awhile for reimbursement from the insurance company, but that is another option for you to check into if your insurance doesn't cover pump purchase.  Good luck!

  • I would wait until you know what you will be doing and therefore how much you will need to pump.

    I have the backpack and I am SO GLAD I got this and not the purse style. We live in an Upstairs apt and in the am I am going down the stairs with DD in my arms, my pump on my back and my purse on my shoulder. I am soooooo glad I don't have another thing on my shoulder!

    With all that being said it is up to you but I waited because I too did not know if I would go back to work and used a manual here and there in the mean time.

    ETA I bring my purse as well but I fit my makeup in my backpack pump [I do my makeup at work during my 1st pump to save time in the am], all pump necessities and my lunch plus the cooler it comes with.
  • image kaholland4:
    image mandy522:

    Regardless, I think you need to talk to your insurance carrier again. My understanding is that under the Affordable Care Act, insurance must cover a pump for nursing moms (maybe there is an exclusion if you weren't with this provider before pregnancy, but I haven't heard of that).

     Some insurance policies, like my husband's, are grandfathered in and don't have to follow all the provisions. And if I'm remembering correctly, enforcement of following the ACA provisions is getting put off until 2015 now. (I could be wrong about that though)

    To OP - I would wait and see if you need one first before spending the money.

    what she said.

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  • I have the tote, wish I had the backpack.

    It may have just been a construction flaw with my particular bag, but the seam where the strap is attached completely unravelled after TWO weeks back to work.  So the strap of my bag is currently held on with 2 gigantic safety pins.  I carry an oversized purse to work (big enough to hold my regular purse stuff and my lunch bag), so having a backpack + a purse instead of a shoulder bag + a purse would be nice.  In retrospect, I don't think I thought this out well haha - perhaps it was pregnancy brain. 

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