Why I Chose My Breast Pump

I work in the healthcare industry, so I am used to dealing with insurance and Durable Medical Equipment (DME) companies. Never before, however, have I been a patient. Now I get where the name comes from. Oh my.

Skip to the fun part. My insurance covers 5 different models of breast pumps. Based on the advice of many a learned woman, here are the conclusions I’ve come to (let’s see if I still agree with myself in 2 months).

Ameda Purely Yours Ultra™ Personal Double Electric Breast Pump with Tote & CustomFit™ Breast Flanges

What my insurance told me:

Ameda has Proven Airlock Protection™ Solid barrier prevents moisture in tubing to help protect breast milk from bacteria, mold and viruses while pumping. This product also features CustomControl™ Independent Speed and Suction controls that make it possible for mothers to achieve a multi-phase experience

  • Personal-use pump
  • Dual HygieniKit® Milk Collection System includes: (2) 25.0mm breast flanges, (2) diaphragms, (4) valves, (2) tubing, (2) adapter caps, (1) white connector for single or dual pumping
  • Ultra Suede/Faux Leather Stylish Tote
  • CustomFit Breast Flanges, (2) 30.5mm flanges and (2) 28.5mm reducing inserts
  • Cool’N Carry™ Tote: (1) insulated carry bag, (6) 4 oz. bottles with lock-tight lids, (3) cooling elements, Milk Storage Guidelines card
  • NoShow Premium™ Disposable Nursing Pads and Store ‘N Pour™ StoreMilk Storage Bags 2 pk Samples
  • AC power adapter

Advice I received:

One mom told me, “I’ve never had great supply but I get twice as much from the Medela than the Ameda.”

My thoughts:

Anything to “help protect breast milk from bacteria, mold and viruses” sounds good to me!

Let’s be real, I have no idea what size I’m going to need, but that two different size breast flanges are offered is sweet.

Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breastpump Starter Set

What my insurance told me:

  • Personal-use pump
  • 2-Phase Expression’ technology with one-touch let-down button
  • Adjustable vacuum settings
  • Compact motor unit in a soft bag
  • Compatible with Medela Battery Pack
  • Double pumping kit with: Medium (24mm) breast shields, 2- 5oz/150 ML breast milk bottles and power adaptor.

Advice I received:

I received the most feedback about this pump. I think it is just the most well known. Too many moms told me that they had problems with theirs (sometimes due to lack of maintenance on their part). I don’t know if that statistic is merely proportional to the others, but I’d rather not buy something with that much negative feedback.

My thoughts:

The only brand I had heard of before beginning my research.

I don’t want high maintenance. I’ve already got a baby to take care of.

Freemie Freedom Deluxe Set with HANDS FREE and Concealable Freemie Collection Cups

What my insurance told me:

  • Includes standard 25mm funnels and 28mm funnels, extra pump protection filter, and tubing connection kit
  • Pump connection kit allows you to interrupt and resume pumping at your convenience
  • Includes setup for single and double pumping
  • Pump vacuum is adjustable
  • Cups are made without latex rubber, BPA or DEHP
  • Each cup with integrated breast funnel holds 8 ounces of milk, and can be supported by a variety of ordinary or nursing bras
  • Breast Pump with 64-inch integrated power cord (120-volt AC)
  • Pump weight 3 pounds, 2 ounces

Advice I received:

I think it’s newer because there wasn’t as much information out there. The reviews I read on Amazon.com were more positive toward the idea than the reality.

My thoughts:

Looks sweet for pumping on the sly. I, however, spend my days working from home in various stages of dress (Wahoo for hot flashes, vomit in your hair, and all the other side effects of growing another person!), so it doesn’t seem necessary for me.

Hygeia Q Breast Pump with Tote Bag

What my insurance told me:

Hygeia is the only breast pump company endorsed by La Leche League International. Designed for long-term and frequent pumping needs where the mother has access to electric power. Mimics your baby’s unique suckling patterns.

  • All pump parts that come into contact with breast milk are BPA/DEHP free
  • Pump weight is approximately 2.8 pounds
  • One year non-transferable limited warranty
  • Independently Adjustable Speed & Suction Controls
  • Hospital Grade performance in a personal use pump
  • Allows For Double & Single Pumping
  • Closed system with a bacteriostatic filter to prevent contaminants
  • Includes tote bag

Advice I received:

Lots of love for this pump! One blogger points out that Hygeia “follows the WHO international code of marketing breast-milk substitues [sic],” which seem reasonable to me, and commendable in a for-profit company.

My thoughts:

It has “Hospital Strength” in the name, and I am a sucker for quality.

Aaaaaaand you are endorsed by La Leche League. ‘Nuff said.

Spectra S2 Hospital Strength Breast Pump

What my insurance told me:

  • Innovative features to fully support breastfeeding
  • Portable and stylish hospital-strength double breast pump
  • Super quiet and comfortable
  • Hygienic closed system
  • Designed to initiate, increase and sustain a milk supply over a long period of time
  • Gentle suckling action and massage mode to encourage speedy letdown
  • Adjustable suction strength and cycle speed, night light with two settings, timer and more
  • BPA- and DEHP-free
  • Double Collection Kit includes standard 24-mm flanges, two sets of tubing, two hygienic backflow protectors, two wide-neck collection bottles, two collection bottle caps, two slow-flow nipples
  • Weighs 4.1 lbs. and has a two-year warranty

Advice I received:

Also received high praise from many nursing mamas.

One mom mentioned that the Spectra came highly recommended in a low supply support group she belongs to. Considering all the women I know who have struggled with low supply, that’s something to consider.

My thoughts:

There are those beautiful words: Hospital Grade! “Quiet” and “hygienic” also make me smile.

Love that it has a mode for letdown.

Conclusion:

It was a near toss up between the Spectra and the Hygea. Ultimately, the Hygea had more negative reviews and the Spectra had a two year (vs. a one year) warranty. Plus, it seems quieter than the Hygea. So Spectra it is!

Can’t wait to do a follow up post when babe is here and I can tell you how it works in my reality!

Edit:  I have only used the breast pump a three or four times – while my mother-in-law was in town so my husband could take me out for our anniversary. But I loved it! The best part was the ease of cleaning, especially the fact that the design inhibits milk from getting into the tube so you don’t have to worry about cleaning that! I had more discomfort while pumping than I do while breastfeeding, but it was definitely manageable and, it seems to me, unavoidable. I would give the Spectra two thumbs up!

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11 responses to “Why I Chose My Breast Pump

  1. Hi! I’m in the process of ordering my breast pump and have also been torn between the hygeia and the spectra. I was wondering how you still like it considering it’s been a little while. Thanks in advance and thanks SO much for this information!

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    • I’ve got to tell you, Kristin, I haven’t used it since I last posted! I would recommend it based on my limited experience with it, but I have realized I much prefer to just take babe with me everywhere. Husband says we need at least one baby-free date night a month, though, so I might break it in a little more 😉

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  2. 1) I just want to say your username struck me, as my maiden name was Holly Butler. 2) I am at the exact same deciding point as you described above! I want to know how your experience has been so far, but I understand you’re busy! 3) This will be my second baby, my first one I had low supply and had rented the Medela Symphony which insurance companies do not offer (BOO) but that “hospital grade” made all the difference.

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    • Nice name, Holly! My anniversary is coming up and although I would be fine bringing baby along I have a feeling my husband wants to get a babysitter 😉 I might pump before then, just to test it out. Either way, I will post about my experience after!

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  3. Forgive my tardy reply! I just had my baby and things have been a little crazy 🙂 We haven’t needed to use it yet, so mine is cleaned and waiting for the opportunity! I will post an update once I use it!

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  4. I am in the process of choosing breast pumps and was wondering how do you like the Spectra? I never heard of this brand before but read great reviews,.

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    • Forgive me for the late reply! I have only used the breast pump a few times – while my mother-in-law was in town so my husband could take me out for our anniversary. But I loved it! The best part was the ease of cleaning, especially the fact that the design inhibits milk from getting into the tube so you don’t have to worry about cleaning that! I had more discomfort while pumping than I do while breastfeeding, but it was definitely manageable and, it seems to me, unavoidable. I would give the Spectra two thumbs up!

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      • Thank you for the response, better late than never! I had decided to go ahead and order it, and it’s sitting packed in my hospital bag just in case (we’re 36 weeks this coming Sunday). I’m really glad it worked out for you!

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