July 2017 Moms

All About Breast Pumps

How do we get them? Which brand do we get? Electric vs Manual? STM+s please come and share your wisdom!

Me: 28 Him: 33
Married: Oct 2015
TTC #1: July 2016
BFP 10/22/16
Baby girl born 6/27/17
SaphireSweetie88BusyZeesatsumasandlemons
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Re: All About Breast Pumps

  • DcwtadaDcwtada member
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    My experience - Call your member benefits number on your insurance card and they will refer you to the medical supply company they use that provides the pumps, usually you will have a few options. I have gotten the Medela both times and if I can I will again (extra parts and whatnot). It was free through insurance and we got it the first time right when I was 8 months and the 2nd time around 6 months pregnant - I think they relaxed the timeline a bit but it could have been different insurance too. 





    SaphireSweetie88manillabarlph4248
  • @Dcwtada Do you think it's definitely worth getting a new one for every pregnancy?  My old one is still in good condition but I hate to pass up another free one.
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    SaphireSweetie88DcwtadaPurplePoppy424
  • @OperaSingerMommy FTM so take my opinion with a grain of salt but heard of people getting two so they could keep one at home and one at the office. My sister is giving me hers and I am ordering one through insurance for this reason. (Obviously I'll be ordering all new tubing and parts so using her old pump is sanitary and ok for me to use.)
    OperaSingerMommySaphireSweetie88PurplePoppy424
  • BusyZeeBusyZee member
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    I'm waiting for the willow pump, it's supposed to come out soon yes it's a splurge but it looks so good!!! Anyone else considering it? 
    SaphireSweetie88
  • DcwtadaDcwtada member
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    @OperaSingerMommy I did, I liked the security of having an extra one if something stopped working or parts got broke/lost, plus I had a tougher time after my last c-section so I had two "pumping" stations depending if I was upstairs or down and then one at home and one when on the go. I ended up donating my first one so I am back down to 1 but I will probably take advantage of the free one with this pregnancy too. 





    OperaSingerMommy
  • this is really helpful, thanks, guys! 
    i was happy with my medela freestyle pump and in fact still have it, but it's been 5 years and will look into either another medela or a spectra(?) and use the old medela as back up. 
    SaphireSweetie88
  • mamadcbmamadcb member
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    @BusyZee I already have a pump from my DS that has hardly been used... but that Willow pump looks like a game-changer. If my insurance covers even a portion of it I will be tempted to buy one. For those who haven't seen it, here's a video about it: 

    https://www.cnet.com/videos/willow-wearable-wireless-breast-pump-ces-2017/
    SaphireSweetie88BusyZee
  • Dcwtada said:
    My experience - Call your member benefits number on your insurance card and they will refer you to the medical supply company they use that provides the pumps, usually you will have a few options. I have gotten the Medela both times and if I can I will again (extra parts and whatnot). It was free through insurance and we got it the first time right when I was 8 months and the 2nd time around 6 months pregnant - I think they relaxed the timeline a bit but it could have been different insurance too. 
    Ditto this exactly. I already got my pump for this time around too. I had no idea they would send it so early but at least I don't have to worry about it later.
    @OperaSingerMommy My one from DD works fine too, but I got another one this time around for the convenience of not dragging it to work everyday like @oheliza44 said. They're available for a year after giving birth too (at least through my insurance), so if you didn't order and something happened to your pump after baby was born you should still be able to get another one for this baby. My insurance lets you get one every year, so maybe that's why they sent this one as soon as I ordered it?

    I have the Medela Pump In Style. My insurance with DD had TONS of options, I literally could've gotten anything but most moms I knew hated Ameda and loved Medela so that's what I went with. It worked great so I got the same thing this time around so I can share parts. I also recommend getting a car adapter cause you just never know when you'll need to pump. We had quite a few weddings after DD was born and I pumped in the car a lot.
    lph4248OperaSingerMommy
  • ljd2010ljd2010 member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Definitely agree that having a couple pumps, if possible, is really nice. I rented a hospital pump and then eventually started using my pump from insurance and a borrowed pump as well. I liked leaving a pump at work, and even before I went back, I liked having one upstairs and downstairs. I exclusively pumped, though, so I really benefited from that convenience. Relatedly, if you're thinking you might be renting a hospital pump, if check out which pump your hospital rents. It's soooo worth it to have compatible pump parts. My hospital pump was an ameda, and I preferred using my borrowed ameda purely yours over my own medela freestyle because it was a total PITA to deal with separate pump parts. I believe Babies R Us rents out the medela symphony (hospital grade), and I might do that this go around. The symphony parts are the same as the medela pump in style, so I think I'm going to ask for that one from my insurance. The Freestyle was really nice, but I found that the parts were leaky after a while (even freshly clean), and I got really ragey when that kept happening. 
    chiquita928
  • Thanks everyone for the input! This is really helpful. Does anyone have any experience with the spectra? I had never heard of it before but it seems to have pretty great reviews...

    Me: 28 Him: 33
    Married: Oct 2015
    TTC #1: July 2016
    BFP 10/22/16
    Baby girl born 6/27/17
  • With DD, I called my insurance (Cigna) at 7 months. They told me to call back at 8 months. I called back and they only offered Ameda Purely Yours. It was delivered 2 days later from their stock medical supply company. After DD was born, I tried and tried to get it to work and nada. I was readmitted to the hospital for another issue and they had the Medela Symphony. I tried it and it was magnificent how much more it collected. I thought it was mainly the hospital grade, but decided to go out and buy the Medela Pump in Style Advance out of my own pocket. I am so glad that I did. It ended up saving my supply and worked for 7 months as a work horse. I plan on getting another one this time around if insurance allows. If not, I'll just use the old one until it caps out.

    Also- if you can afford the slight add on, in the early days, you aren't pumping ounces, you're pumping mL. I highly recommend the cylinder bottles that have lower increments of measurement. Medela makes them and the pre packed formula bottle tops from the hospital fit them. I stressed a lot less when I saw a measurable volume instead of just a little bit in the bottom of a big bottle. 
    manillabar
  • chiquita928chiquita928 member
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    edited March 15
    ljd2010 said:
    Definitely agree that having a couple pumps, if possible, is really nice. I rented a hospital pump and then eventually started using my pump from insurance and a borrowed pump as well. I liked leaving a pump at work, and even before I went back, I liked having one upstairs and downstairs. I exclusively pumped, though, so I really benefited from that convenience. Relatedly, if you're thinking you might be renting a hospital pump, if check out which pump your hospital rents. It's soooo worth it to have compatible pump parts. My hospital pump was an ameda, and I preferred using my borrowed ameda purely yours over my own medela freestyle because it was a total PITA to deal with separate pump parts. I believe Babies R Us rents out the medela symphony (hospital grade), and I might do that this go around. The symphony parts are the same as the medela pump in style, so I think I'm going to ask for that one from my insurance. The Freestyle was really nice, but I found that the parts were leaky after a while (even freshly clean), and I got really ragey when that kept happening. 
    I had a similar experience. My insurance company was grandfathered from the ACA when DS was born, so they did not supply one. I rented the Ameda from the hospital for two months, and then I bought a used pump online, and used the parts that the hospital let me keep. I had zero problems with the Ameda, and will get another one this time around. I did find after some time that I could manually pump a heck of a lot more efficiently than the electric one, and did that for the last few months.  The LC at the hospital told me that many women find this to be true, but I didn't believe her at first. She kinda stressed me out unnecessarily about a bunch of stuff, though. I won't be talking to her again this time.

    Edited for autocorrect (surprise, surprise).
    ljd2010
  • rae1-3rae1-3 member
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    @busyzee @mamadcb I am skeptical of the willow pump. I just feel like there's no way a cordless pump will get the same suction power. I saw the videos but definitely wouldn't consider ordering until it's out and has substantial reviews. 

    All three of my sisters used Medela with success so that I probably what I will go with. 
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • So I'm just an occasional pumper so take with a grain of salt. Definitely get an electric and a double, so much more efficient. I got a single with my first and it was a huge PITA. I've had Medela and Ameda, medela was so so so much better. The Ameda would leave so much milk behind. I have heard the spectra is really great too so I'm deciding between that and the PISA (my insurance has some choices). 

    If I had a pump I liked and I could get insurance to cover replacement parts I wouldn't get a new one for this baby... but my insurance only covers new pumps and I sort of hate my double.
    BabyFruit Ticker
    manillabar
  • dancegurl1118dancegurl1118 member
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    edited March 15
    I EP for about 10 months with the PISA. It was loud but it did the job. I will definitely need a new pump as I wore that bad boy out. My body never responded well to a manual, and I could only get the max amount with a pumping bra putting pressure on my boobs. Eventually I had it down to a science where I could be in and out pumping my full amount in 15 min. 

    I also had 4 sets of spare parts I rotated so I didn't drive my lazy self insane. I'm going to ask my doctor at my next appt what the earliest they can put the request in for a new one is. Nervous about the ACA repeals because I somehow have a sneaking suspicion that breastfeeding supplies aren't high on the GOP's list of priorities. 
    TTC: 1/2014 BFP: 9/24 EDD: 6/8/2015 Sorry for the poor man's siggy...ticker won't load regardless of how many tips I read.
    manillabar
  • @dancegurl1118 I am with you on the ACA repeal impacting my ability to get a pump. Just checked with my insurance and I can get it anytime, so when I see my doctor next week I am going to ask for what supply company she recommends. My insurance lets me get any pump as long as it is through a medical supply company that accepts my insurance. I was looking at the Medela PISA so if I can, I will get that asap. 
    Pregnancy Ticker
    manillabardancegurl1118
  • My insurance doesn't cover a pump at all so I'm glad so many people are recommending the Medela Pump in Style since that's the one I've decided to put on my registry/buy myself. 

    Right now it's mostly the accessories that I'm still unsure of. It comes with some bottles and bags but what else should I already have at home to be prepared for when baby comes home? 
  • @CapricaAndrea my sister told me to get extra membranes because they can seriously impact how well it performs if those are bad.
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    CapricaAndrea
  • DcwtadaDcwtada member
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    @CapricaAndrea by law (ACA) insurance is required to cover a pump. I was taking care of this today in case ACA gets repealed - I called my member services and they were less than helpful. I remember I went through Edgepark last time and they did all of the footwork (gettting the prescription, confirming with insurance/doctor, shipping, everything). I went through that process again - it can't hurt for you to put in your state and insurance plan to see if they cover breastpumps - they seriously did all of the work and I didn't even have to put a card or anything down. They specialize in only breastpumps and have it down to an art - plus they work with just about every insurance. 

    I also was feeling feisty and ordered the Spectra, as opposed to another Medela - kinda excited about it. 







    manillabarneludeluJAM85
  • @Dcwtada that makes me feel better about using edgepark! I was also eye-ing the spectra but everyone seems to talk more about the medela

    Me: 28 Him: 33
    Married: Oct 2015
    TTC #1: July 2016
    BFP 10/22/16
    Baby girl born 6/27/17
  • DcwtadaDcwtada member
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    edited March 15
    Edgepark was the bomb - no annoying calls, no issues, just put in my info and get the pump like 2 weeks later. The other company wanted me to get a prescription and order, confirm with insurance and put a credit card down so I hung up and went right to edgepark. 

    I'll admit I liked my Medela and I think it's more common - the spectra wasn't even available the last time. I will say one other piece of advice, I am small chested and oddly my only issue with it was having to buy the larger nipple/breast funnel thingys - if you are having trouble make sure you have a the right size fit on that. I don't know who they make the standard ones for, gerbils perhaps?

    But I too was intrigued by the review of the spectra and figured I had my Medela to fall back on. It's time to live dangerously :) 





    manillabar
  • I've landed on the Spectra S1.  I had previously never heard of it until I started doing research and it comes with great reviews.  I'm not sure about other people in Canada but despite my husband's really great benefits plan, they do not cover pumps so I'm paying for this sucker out of pocket.  
    Me: 29 DH: 31 SS: 12
    Met: 08/2001 Dating: 07/2004 ~ Engaged: 11/2009 ~ Married: 06/2011
    TTC: Since 09/16 ~ BFP 10/28/16 ~ EDD 7/5/17
    Team Pink * Canadian Bumpie
    manillabarDcwtada
  • megandchasemegandchase member
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    edited March 15
    I actually called my insurance this morning I know for mine, bcbs, I can order anytime during the third trimester and can order from any medical equipments sales place that accepts my insurance although they did give me one that they recommend which was Egdgepark like mentioned above. With my last kiddos I have always gotten medela. I have a freestyle and pump in style. I like that the freestyle I can easily pump and do things not me hooked to an outlet but I find that since it is battery charged, it isn't as powerful. I have had 2 pump in styles and loved both. They both lasted me a year of pumping at work. This time I don't plan to work so I'm leaning toward getting a hospital grade pump to have at home since I can still use my other pumps on the go. My friend had an ameda and it didn't last her the whole year the battery died. Not sure if it was coincidence or brand but I've never had that happen with my Medelas. 

    Ive looked into Willow because I would love to have one but it says coming in Spring but with no date and everything I read is that they hope to get insurance coverage for it but aren't sure and that they may take pre orders. All that said the one thing I don't like about it is the bags only hold 4oz which won't be enough for me. I easily pump 5-6 ounces each breast once my supply is established and I don't want to deal with multiple bags during a pump session. Just food for thought! 

    Edit it to add I posted too soon! 
    image
    image
    BusyZee
  • I am going through Edgepark.  It was super user-friendly. However, the site says my insurance won't process the order until a month before my due date to get the pump.

    A question about the membranes: how often do I change them? And how will I know when to change them?  Do I need extra valves too?
    manillabarDcwtada
  • @Twinkiedoll With the Ameda, the milk just wouldn't come through, and that's how I would know to change the part.  It would make a new noise.  I'd say I only needed to change it every other month, using it daily.
    Twinkiedoll
  • I used the spectra with my daughter (bought it through Amazon--didn't even look into getting it through insurance cause I was dumb). It's a great pump! Quiet, comfortable, efficient. And will remain closed system if you use the backflow protector. 
    BFP May 2013 - MMC at 8 weeks
    BFP September 2013 - MMC at 12 weeks
    BFP February 2014 - early loss/CP at 4.5 weeks
    BFP May 2014 - MMC/ complete molar pregnancy at 11 weeks
    BFP December 2015 - DD born 8/18/2015
    BFP November 2016 - pending...



    manillabarstokesm21DcwtadaBusyZee
  • @Twinkiedoll With my Medela, the amount of milk pumped would be significantly less and the membrane would pull away and not sit flush anymore and that's when I would change them out.
    Twinkiedoll
  • Dcwtada said:
    @CapricaAndrea by law (ACA) insurance is required to cover a pump. I was taking care of this today in case ACA gets repealed - I called my member services and they were less than helpful. I remember I went through Edgepark last time and they did all of the footwork (gettting the prescription, confirming with insurance/doctor, shipping, everything). I went through that process again - it can't hurt for you to put in your state and insurance plan to see if they cover breastpumps - they seriously did all of the work and I didn't even have to put a card or anything down. They specialize in only breastpumps and have it down to an art - plus they work with just about every insurance
    Thanks, but like @stokesm21 I'm in Canada so none of that applies to me. I have pretty decent insurance through my union, but for some reason breast pumps aren't included. 
  • XathXath member
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    Called my insurance today and my choices were the Ameda Purely Yours double electric or the Ameda manual single.  I ended up getting the manual because I didn't feel like dealing with a whole separate set of tubes/accessories and the manual will work with my Medela stuff.

    Keep in mind that I already have a Medela Symphony and PISS from prior pregnancies (purchased myself) so this is more for occasional home use.
    Lilypie - Personal picture Lilypie - Personal picture Lilypie - Personal picture 
     DS1 - 7/2011, DD 12/2012, DS2 - 4/2014, MMC - 12/2015
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    chiquita928
  • chiquita928chiquita928 member
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    edited March 15
    @xath I had a lot of success with the Ameda manual.

    Edited for autocorrect
    Xath
  • Thanks, but like @stokesm21 I'm in Canada so none of that applies to me. I have pretty decent insurance through my union, but for some reason breast pumps aren't included. 
    Word.  What's up with the unions?  DH's union plan is AMAZING but doesn't cover pumps.  Jerks haha!  
    Me: 29 DH: 31 SS: 12
    Met: 08/2001 Dating: 07/2004 ~ Engaged: 11/2009 ~ Married: 06/2011
    TTC: Since 09/16 ~ BFP 10/28/16 ~ EDD 7/5/17
    Team Pink * Canadian Bumpie
    CapricaAndrea
  • For anyone who's interested or curious, this is a site that was mentioned to me on one of the military pages that I follow. It simplifies the process of getting ahold of the pump you want that is covered by your insurance. Worth investigating!

    https://thebreastfeedingshop.com/
    Married 25 May, 2013
    William Alexander born 18 September, 2015
    Baby due 8 July, 2017
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    OperaSingerMommy
  • kerilskerils member
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    To all the Canada mamas: I've heard before, even from another mama on here, that the reason the US insurances have to cover pumps is because we don't have maternity leave here. Well, not anything substantial anyways. So if you want to breastfeed and your a working mom, you really have no choice but to pump. Canada on the other hand has really good maternity leave (from what I hear) so you guys don't need the pumps in the same way as the US moms. I'm not saying either is right. I bet a lot of US mamas would rather the maternity leave than the pumps. But I think that's why the policies are different. 
    Hubby and Me
    Friends since 2008
    Started dating: July 1st, 2013
    Engaged: July 1st, 2014
    Married: July 1st, 2016
    DS born: July 8th, 2017
    (I guess we're July people)
    CapricaAndreabrookedeyo
  • ljd2010ljd2010 member
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    @CapricaAndrea I'd get at least one extra second of parts, maybe even two. A hands free pumping bra, IMO, is also essential. People have said they cut holes in sports bras, but I found that the actual hands free ones hold the parts in place really nicely. Medela has a hands free bra, but I liked the simple wishes hands free bra to be way better. And it fits several different pump parts. Medela has nice 4oz bottles, both the kind you can give you baby and the kind you can store in the fridge or freezer. Freezer bags are good once your supply is established and you're making enough milk to store. It was life changing for me when I realized I could pump directly into my Dr. browns bottles. Depending on what bottle you end up using, you might be able to pump right into it or buy an adaptor. Finally, I highly recommend these heating pads for anyone breastfeeding.  https://smile.amazon.com/Lansinoh-TheraPearl-Breast-Therapy-Count/dp/B0070767DU/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1489609764&sr=8-1&keywords=lansinoh+heating+pad&th=1
    The heat helps clogged ducts, and they feel nice. They also purport to increase production, though I never noticed one way or the other. 
    CapricaAndrea
  • DcwtadaDcwtada member
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    Sorry @CapricaAndrea I am not sure why I assumed! Insurance is a bit of a sore spot for me and I have been sadly shocked at how many friends and people I know have not known or been told incorrect information about everything from pumps to basic rights (including myself at times) so I think I jumped the gun out of habit. 





    CapricaAndrea
  • I never used a pumping bra, but this solution worked like a charm for me.  My friend and sister both used it, too, and had no problems.
  • Hmmm. EdgePark is saying the Spectra is covered under my insurance as well. I have a Medela PISA tote that I planned on reusing and just getting new parts. I'm seriously considering a Spectra this time if it's truly covered. My body didn't take too well to the PISA and I dried up pretty quickly after I returned to work and relied on pumping. Definitely checking into this. 
    Dcwtada
  • Dcwtada said:
    Sorry @CapricaAndrea I am not sure why I assumed! Insurance is a bit of a sore spot for me and I have been sadly shocked at how many friends and people I know have not known or been told incorrect information about everything from pumps to basic rights (including myself at times) so I think I jumped the gun out of habit. 
    No problem, I'm sure that someone else is probably reading this thread and that information will be super useful to them, so now they don't have to ask a repeat question! 
    Dcwtada
  • Put in the spectra order through edgepark- Apparently they can't process it until 5/31, but at least all the info is in!

    Ok, next potentially stupid question - storage bags - do you pump directly into the bags? or into the bottles that come with the pump and then pour them into the bags?

    Me: 28 Him: 33
    Married: Oct 2015
    TTC #1: July 2016
    BFP 10/22/16
    Baby girl born 6/27/17
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