Advice Column, Baby, Breastfeeding, Pregnancy & Baby

Why you really, really should NOT buy or Borrow a second hand personal Breast pump!

  • Breastpumps and Beyond
  • Category Advice Column, Baby, Breastfeeding, Pregnancy & Baby

Having a baby is expensive. I get that. I have two of my own. I also just got the updated school fees for 2018 for my son. Ouch!! With the cost of living these days, life can be stressful. We have been forced to cut back where we can and remove things we really don’t need, just to survive. There are certain things that are great to get second hand. We got out cot and compactum from a lovely friend for free. What a score, that saved us about R10 000 and all they both needed was a clean.  Second hand clothes are also fantastic, especially with them outgrowing those cute little outfits every couple of months.

So, why not Breast pumps? I am sure as tempting as it may be to save money in this department after knowing the facts, you will feel the same way I do.

First, not all breast pumps are the same. Hospital grade pumps like the MEDELA Symphony and Lactina work on a “closed system” meaning the milk never touches the working parts of the pump. You buy your own Kit for these pumps and you take that home with you and sterilise it as per instructions. MEDELA advises on the one kit one mom rule, which really makes sense. With personal use pumps the pump motor is open to contact the mother’s milk particles. The motor cannot be sterilised.  The scary part is that milk particles may be inside the pump without them being visible. So what’s the big deal? Your milk is perfect for your baby but before giving your milk to another mom, it would need to be pasteurized to kill any dangerous viruses. These viruses can be passed on to your baby and make the baby seriously ill. A mom may have a virus in her milk without even knowing that she is a carrier.

You may think a virus is no big deal but we are talking out HIV, CMV and more. These diseases can go undetected for a long period of time so the mom sharing or selling the pump may not even know she is infected yet. Another difficult thing to clear are fungal infections like thrush. Make sure to follow guidelines by manufacturers on hygiene and sterilisation to avoid this. Sore nipples are no joke and neither is a sore and unhappy baby.

Don’t put your baby’s life at risk, it is not worth it. Either rent a hospital grade pump with your own kit or purchase your own personal use pump.

Tips for purchasing a Breast pump:

  • Always buy from reputable stores
  • Make sure your box is sealed
  • Follow all hygiene and sterilising instructions inside the box.

Not sure what the best fit is for you?

Every breastfeeding mum has different needs. That is why MEDELA is so great and always my No 1 choice. They offer a wide range of breast pumps, each one designed to suit a certain lifestyle or situation.

Step 1: Decide how often you are going to be expressing?

If this answer is more than twice a week then a double pump is necessary. Double pumping compared to single pumping has many scientifically proven benefits:

  • You may get 18% more milk in a 15 minutes pumping session.
  • Your milk has a higher energy content, which is especially beneficial for preterm babies.
  • Last but not least, high energy content indicates increased breast drainage, thereby it is assisting in the maintenance of lactation. Double pumping is twice as fast as single pumping.

If you will be feeding twice a week or less a manual or electric pump will suit your needs. This is perfect for the stay at home mom that plans to breastfeed her baby. She can express breastmilk occasionally when planning to be away from her baby.

I would recommend these 2 pumps for this mommy.

The MEDELA Harmony

light. convenient. clever.

The popular Harmony is the only manual breast pump worldwide that is based on the 2-Phase Expression Technology.

The MEDELA Swing

comfortable. silent. efficient.

Express milk quietly and discreetly – The Swing Electric Breast pump combines a multi-award-winning design with the latest technology. The electric breast pump is very quiet and therefore represents the ideal solution for regular and discreet breast pumping.

Step 2: Are you going back to work?

Most moms have no choice and need to go back to work after the 4 month maternity leave time period. What happens if you would continue to feed your baby breastmilk? You would need to pump for every feed you will miss. This means pumping 3-4 hourly.  Most moms work 8 hours a day and would need to pump between 3 and 4 times a day. In my opinion, if you are pumping so often, you would need the most effective and easiest option. This was my choice, The MEDELA Freestyle. I started using mine in 2014 and still using it for my daughter in 2017.

The MEDELA Freestyle

all-in-one. innovative. time-saving. One of the smallest double electric breast pumps in the world. Helps mothers save precious time whilst pumping. Freestyle is ideal for daily and regular use. Includes a built-in rechargeable battery.

It also comes with this awesome bag, cooler and ice brick that all work together perfectly to allow you to pump easily and effectively at work.

Step 3 : Is baby premature or multiple Births?Twins?

You would need to start off with renting a hospital grade pump to have the best results. This is it!

 The MEDELA Symphony double electric breast pump

The research-based Symphony breast pump has been developed specifically to support mums throughout their breastfeeding journey: to initiate, build and maintain an adequate milk supply. Symphony is ideal for long-term and frequent pumping. You can continue using the hospital-grade pump you used in the maternity unit and decide later which personal pump to buy. With the MEDELA pump sets, you can express your breast milk from the comfort of your own home using your MEDELA Symphony rental breast pump. The pump sets provide you with everything you need as a breastfeeding mum.

If your baby was born too early or is ill. You are both still in the hospital and you need help to establish your milk supply the symphony is really the best option. This is a critical time and your breast milk could make all the difference to your baby’s well-being. Once you and your baby have both been discharged from the hospital and neither of you is experiencing any breastfeeding challenges, then you can decide on which breast pump to use depending on your needs.

Regardless of what you choose, remember that all MEDELA breast pumps feature 2-Phase Expression, which mimics the baby’s natural sucking rhythm.

Well done to all the mommy’s that have persevered and continued to breastfeed and express even when it has been tough. Your baby will not only receive optimal nutrition but also protection from infection.

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