October 2022 Moms

Product Spotlight: Breast Pumps and Accessories

bows22bows22 member
edited April 2022 in October 2022 Moms
This week we will focus on Breast Pumps and Accessories

STM+ share your recommendations, must haves and just skips.

FTM: ask questions and share what you’ve been eyeing!

As always feel free to revive this thread as questions come to you. 

Re: Product Spotlight: Breast Pumps and Accessories

  • I've used a Medela pump and the Spectra 2. Hands down I love the Spectra. I hated the Medela. I'm really not a fan of it. The Spectra was a lot gentler and certainly more efficient. I plan on getting that again and a Hakka to try and control the leaks while nursing.
     Also there is no such thing as too many nursing pads. 

  • FTM here - I know almost nothing about breast pumps.  I know that I am offered a free one through my insurance and I assume that is the most basic/bare minimum of pumps.  So I'm guessing I will want to invest in a nicer one if I can afford it?  Thank you in advance for all your feedback and wisdom :) 
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  • @sandy5693 every insurance is different but mine sprung for a very nice Spectra, which has lasted amazingly. 

    I second @krysnicole1022 on getting a Hakka. I really liked mine for DD2. 

    I’d love to hear from any moms who have done the hands-free insertable into your bra ones that are totally tubeless. 
  • @emilye13 Thank you!  I'll have to do some research.  I just always assume the worst with our healthcare system..lol
  • Insurance covered my spectra as well. Absolutely better than a Medela in my opinion. Medela is the more popular name brand but mine was trash. 
    Also always get the Therapearl packs. Life saver when your boobs are sore or engorged. I also highly recommend having a manual handheld pump. I used the mother's love Nipple cream and it was fantastic.  
    It's been awhile since I actually pumped so I'm trying my best to remember all the things I had. I always bought cheap nursing bras but this time I'm definitely investing in a couple of really good ones.
  • I primarily breastfed, but did need to pump on occasion and I loved the Medela Freestyle. Most of the times I needed to pump I was either at work or an extended appointment so having something readily transportable was super helpful. I did learn more since then that i may want a different flange size than what I was using for better results, so I'm doing more research to find out what's best for my body. 

    Also I love the Bravado nursing bras and I found their hands-free bra accessory really helpful when pumping.
  • @EmilyE13 I tried the Elvie with my 3rd, and was iffy on it. A lot of women swear by it, but the suction isn’t nearly as efficient as the spectra. I felt like I had to wear it for 3-5x as long. I’m intrigued by the new willow one, because it’s supposed to have better suction. 
    I’ll also add that depending on how much you pump in one session, the wearable ones might not have the capacity. For my first pump of the day I was pumping over 10oz on one side, so I’d absolutely have to do the spectra with the 9oz bottles. 

    Would love to hear others’s experiences though!
  • Spectra (either S1 or S2) has been hands-down my favorite pump to use. My insurance covered the S2, and I could have paid extra for the S1.
    Their customer service is also top notch! My power supply broke, so they sent me a brand new pump. I was able to then keep one at my office and one at home, and just transport the power cord and other parts. 

    I’ve used the Medela PISA, and rented their hospital grade pump, and found spectra to be more efficient and more comfortable than either. I’m springing for the S1 this time, after using the S2 for babies 2 and 3, and pumping/nursing for over a year with each. 
  • @KGETS86 yes! It's just so much more efficient. I'm sure the Medela Is a solid pump but I'm an overproducer and that gets really painful really quickly. I could get a let down in seconds with the spectra compared to the Medela. People always think overproduction is amazing but really it's awful when your baby vomits up everything they just ate. 
  • @krysnicole1022 overproduction is rough. I couldn’t leave the house for more than 45 minutes without having to pump because it would become so painful. I kept a Medela hand pump in my bag wherever I went. The spectra is definitely the way to go if you’re an over producer. 
    I’m going to enjoy the next 5.5 months of no nursing, because I FINALLY got my 2yo to wean. I’ve been pregnant/nursing without breaks since November 2015 across soon to be 4 kids. 
  • I used the Medela Freestyle with my first and hated it so much. I never got a lot of milk out. I used the Spectra S2 with my second and loved it! I pumped so much more in less time. I plan on paying the extra to get the S1 this time for the portable option since I work full time now and will be using it more. 
    TTC History
    Me: 35 DH: 34
    Married 07/2012
    DD born 07/2014
    DD2 born 10/2018
    DS born 10/2022

    IF history:
    TTC #2 since January 2016
    June-Aug 2017: 3 IUIs w/Clomid = BFN
    Sept 2017: Dx w/Endometriosis
    Oct 2017: IUI w/Letrozole = BFN
    Nov 2017: IUI w/Letrozole = BFN
    Dec 2017: pre-IVF testing
    Jan-Feb 2018: IVF--17 eggs retrieved, 13 fertilized, 9 frozen and 1 transferred on 2/10 = BFP on 2/19!!! EDD 10/29/2018
    FET Oct 2021: BFP on 10/31! MC at 5 weeks
    FET Feb 2022: BFP on 2/15! EDD 10/29/22

  • @KGETS86 I feel you on that. I had my first three over a span of 4.5 years. I was constantly pregnant, nursing, or both. When my youngest weaned I about threw a party. I'll only nurse this one for 13 months max. I've learned that's my number. I can go that long but then I need space. Brava for going two years AND weaning. You earned this break.
  • And yes to the hand pump. I would just need a little relief and the hand pump was enough that I could do it without setting up the whole other pump. The Therapearl packs also helped immensely. I had clogged ducts last time and I pumped with the heated ones on (while massaging them) and bam! Ducts cleared. I gave mine away but I'm definitely getting several more this go around.
  • @KGETS86 congrats on weaning! I’ve been pregnant and/or breastfeeding nonstop since Jan 2017, which is mind-boggling to think about. My youngest is 2 yrs and 3 months and still nursing about once a day. She’s close to weaning but not quite there yet.
  • @krysnicole1022 I totally feel you. My first 3 were born over the span of 3.5 years. Two under two was the absolute hardest for me. I’m trying not to give myself a timeline with this last one, but we’ll see. I know it’ll be bittersweet. 
  • @EmilyE13 our youngest are really close in age! Mine was born 2/27/2022, so he’s almost 2 years 2months. I’m always amazed at what our bodies can handle. And it also makes me feel a little more validated when I say I’m touched out, because my body literally hasn’t been my own in 6.5 years. 
  • Happy to hear discussion on the hands-free pumps! I've been super curious. My insurance only covers a very old-fashioned hands-free one, and I can't recall the name though (it def wasn't the Willow or Evie). Effectiveness is most important to me though. I WFH now and won't be working as much on top of that, so anticipate needing to pump less, but it'll still be needed on occasion I'm sure. Having a little stash is nice backup and allows flexibility, not that you need a ton or anything.

    I used the Spectra S2 with my first, and it was great (as great as a pump can realistically be). I eventually bought an extra battery pack as well as a car charger, which helped with versatility and portability. I'd occasionally have to go off-campus for work and being able to pump in my car was key.

    I also had a hakaa, which was pretty handy for collecting let-down milk while breastfeeding. There might be more convenient options for that purpose now though. It was a little tricky to juggle, at times.

    I also had a Medela manual pump that I just got from Walgreens, which was pretty much useless. I don't know if the provided flanges just didn't fit me or what, but it never got more than like 1 oz tops out. Hurt too. I know they work for some people though.
  • Anyone use the Kiinde system? I’ve been eyeing them because you can pump directly into the storage bags and feed out of them as well, so theoretically the only thing you have to wash is the nipple. It looks like they don’t actually have a pump, but just have adapters for popular pump brands. Would love to hear if anyone has any experience with it though!
  • It’s slightly different- a passive pump but the Hakkaa is a must have. Careful if you have over supply but otherwise amazing!
  • @merostomata They make a smaller version of the hakaa now, I think called the ladybug.i plan on getting one for letdown because the full hakaa really was so awkward while nursing sometimes.
  • Any exclusive pumpers here? Especially if you did from the start and didn’t attempt to breastfeed first. I did last time but wasn’t planning on it (wasn’t even planning on breastfeeding, long story) so she started on formula in the hospital and then when I decided to pump ~ 6 days old I had no time to research and just had to wing it (I did have a lactation consultant). It ended up really working for me so I’d Iike to try it again but I could def be more prepared this time. 
  • @nerdymom22 I have a friend who swears by the Kiinde system. It personally wouldn’t work for me because of my oversupply and how much the bags are. So, I think it depends on how much you produce and how much you pump.

    Sort of related, don’t get your heart set on a certain bottle. My kids have all been SUPER picky about what bottle they’ll take (except for my oldest who was a NICU baby, so didn’t care as long as milk came out of it), so I tried one or two of a few to see which ones they’d end up willing to use. Baby list has an option to buy one of each of their most popular bottles, so I’m trying that this time around.
  • @bows22 I started out pretty much exclusively pumping with my first while he was in the NICU for a few days and we fortified his breast milk with high calorie formula. I had to get up to pump every 3 hours for the first 2-3 months. I found meeting with a lactation consultant after a week or so to have them check the flange fit was really helpful to making pumping more comfortable and more efficient. I think women think they only need to see a LC if they’re nursing, but they can provide so much help and knowledge in the pumping space as well.
    I have so much respect for women that EP. Good for you!
  • @krthouse thanks! Adding the ladybug to my list. So glad a new and improved version for letdown exists 🙌
  • I added the Therapearl pads, the Haakaa Ladybug, and the Spectra to my amazon post-pregnancy list! Thank you everyone for the insight!!!! I am a very fortunate FTM!
  • Those Therapearl pads saved me from horrific mastitis. I gave mine away after I was done BF but I'm adding them to my registry now. 
  • Spectra now makes cara cups that you can wear while pumping with the spectra pump.
  • @krysnicole1022 have you read what the capacity is on the cara cups? I couldn’t find it on the Aeroflow website. 
  • They are on Amazon. I don't think it's the whole pump just inserts that can be used with your spectra pump. 
     it says 250 ml/ 8 oz. 
  • kat_vegan87kat_vegan87 member
    edited April 2022
    I received the modela pump from my insurance. From what I read, it was recommended. BUT I swear that I would sit there for 45 minutes and get 2 ounces. Then the breast pump from WIC was recommended to me and oh my goodness, it was life changing! I would get a full bottle in about 10 minutes. I swear by the WIC pump and will be getting it again after this baby is born. Everything they give you is new. The pump is definitely larger than others, but for how great it is, I didn’t mind. I THINK anyone can get the pump, even if you don’t qualify for WIC. 

    I seriously struggled doing it hands free. I bought the nursing bras that you can pump hands free, but I feel like I somehow always leaked and we all know that breast milk is like gold! Any tips on this part would be great. 
  • Which pump did you get through WIC? 
    I could never pump hands free. I'm going to get the inserts to try with my spectra because I'm definitely be getting that again. I feel like that would be good for that. I'm planning on introducing a bottle this time (didn't do it the last two times and I wish I had) so I'll actually have to pump. I do like the Medela storage caps that have the day and time that you can click into place. I think I gave all that stuff away. 
  • @krysnicole1022- I don’t remember the name of the pump, just how amazing it was. I bet you could call and they’d be able to tell you some more information :) 
  • I was just wondering if it was the spectra
  • Does anyone have any thoughts/experience with the Baby Buddha? I need something hands free and portable as I’m a working mom. Should I get the Haakaa in addition?
  • @mcclanna there is also the Elvie. Users say not to have it as your main one, but it seems neat!
  • @mcclanna I'm going to get the ladybug for catching overflow/leaking from the opposite boob. I didn't use the haakaa but I've heard good things. 
  • ficheyfichey member
    @mcclanna I have two friends who just had babes highly recommend the baby Buddha. One said ita super easy for taking in to work/on the go. I just ordered it so fingers crossed. 

    For manual there's also the elvie curve, which looked more practical for me than the haakaa. 
  • rcgwrcgw member
    I'm an FTM - how does getting one from/through insurance work? I imagine you'd want it before baby's arrival but how sooner will they let you get it? Do you submit for reimbursement or do they have a warehouse full of pumps and they send one upon request? 
  • ficheyfichey member
    @rcgw Our insurance was able to provide a list of suppliers that they work with. From there, I looked at which stocked the pump that I wanted. I ordered through pumpingessentials.com and they verified my insurance coverage and let me know which pumps were covered. The one I ordered had a small "upgrade" fee of like $20, but most would have been taken care of completely by insurance. To find out your coverage I would start with your insurance or HR at work, and they should be able to give you a list of recommended suppliers!
  • I have new insurance this pregnancy so I will just call insurance and ask where I should go through. I can't remember the website I used the last two times but I think it was edgepark or something like that.
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