A friend of mine said that I am a very persistent pumping mom. My boy is already 19 months old and yet I am still pumping 4 times a day just like the usual. She even said I may love pumping too much!
Well, to be honest, every pumping mum will tell you that they are in a love-hate relationship with pumping. We love pumping because it gives us opportunity to give our children the best nutrient we can while still doing something else, but at the same time we hate pumping cause really… it’s a hassle to do!
Let me give you a quick rundown of my schedule on working days.
Wake up – pumping – gulping down breakfast – taking shower – rush to work
Pump every 3 hours (do not forget the additional time for setting up the pump and cleaning afterwards)
Rushing back home – nursing baby as soon as I can
Keep nursing till baby sleeps – Another session of pumping when your pumping result during the day is not enough to cover what your baby drinks
And the cycle repeats every day.
Actually, once baby crosses 1 year mark, I can loosen my pumping schedule cause breastmilk is no longer baby’s main food. But I don’t have a heart to do that cause Zal likes breastmilk so much he still drinks the same amount like before he started solid! And honestly, seeing that he grows healthy gives me so much satisfaction and motivation to keep going on pumping.
So yeah. Here I am, 16 months and still going on strong. Hopefully.
Wow I digress a lot from the title. Hahahaha.
Anyway, my point is, being a working and pumping mom, I have been using some breastpumps along my journey. So I am writing this for my personal review on breastpumps that I have been using so far.
When we first think about breast pump, more often than not, Medela is the first brand that pops out. And it’s inevitable seeing how they seem to dominate the market. Well, same goes with me and Husband. We only knew Medela, plus several other brands that we weren’t even aware of.
Unfortunately, popular brand is often pricey; same thing goes for Medela. In fact, Medela is very expensive here in Singapore that we decided to just look for promotion in Indonesia. And even with a hefty price tag, Medela is widely popular back in our hometown that it’s almost always out of stock!
Luckily, my sister in law (who had already started pumping when I was only 3-4 months pregnant) managed to put an advanced order for two sets of Medela Swing at one of baby shops in Jakarta. Even with an advance order, I still remember that we paid almost 200 bucks for one set.
I started using Medela Swing when Zal was only 3 days old – for reasons that are too long to be explained here – and continued using it for the next 7 months. I am not an oversupply mom, but with Swing, I managed to get Zal passing his 6 months mark of exclusive breastmilk 🙂
- The suction is really gentle.
- Simple and easy to wash and sterilise. It’s a single pump, so it’s expected.
- The parts aren’t that many. Again, it’s expected.
- The spareparts are expensive.
- Motor is loud.
- Takes too long to empty both breasts because it’s single pump.
If you’re not a heavy user like me (I pump three times at work), I’d say go for this. Medela brand is reliable and you will not find any difficulties to use it. I’ve never been to their service center in Singapore, but the spareparts shops are plenty.
Medela Swing Maxi
When I started working with my current company, Zal was only 8 months old. As part of the training program, I needed to fly to Tokyo for 5 days. Seeing how packed the schedule was, I realized that single pump would not do for me anymore. So, I decided to purchase a double pump.
There are lots of choices for double pump, but I only had my eyes on Medela Swing Maxi. From what I had read, it has the suction just like Medela Swing (which I already knew how that feels) but it’s just more efficient cause it’s double pump. Again, Medela price is unbelievably and ridiculously high in Singapore, so with the help of a very nice junior of mine *wink*, again I bought the set from Jakarta. It only costed half of Singapore price!
- Super fast in emptying both breasts. I only needed about 20 mins or so.
- For some reasons, it’s more durable than Medela Swing.
- Motor is even louder than Medela Swing.
- More parts to be washed and sterilized.
I love Medela brand, and most probably I would still be using it 4 times a day if it’s not because of the super loud motor. So if you’re looking for a durable double pump, go for Medela Swing Maxi. It has been serving me well for the past 10 months as a working mom.
Tommee Tippee Manual
I also own a single manual pump. My in laws got this from me as a spare if something happened to my electric pump. So far I only tried it once, and to be honest, my body doesn’t respond well to this pump. And it’s tiring for my hand as well. But it’s still good to have a spare at home. Just in case.
- Compact and easy to use
- Tiring to use
It depends on individual’s body I think. My body doesn’t respond well to this pump so I don’t yield a lot using this pump. But I’ve heard stories from mummies who can even pump more using this manual pump. To each of his own I guess.
This is my new favorite! OK I am biased haha. The background story is, I had been pumping in office’s phone booth for several months now, but as our company grows bigger and more people coming, I can’t always use phone booth 3 times a day 30 minutes each anymore, so I had to find alternative.
A lot of working mummies are also in the same situation with me and they are pumping on their desk using nursing cover. They will put their breast pump inside their drawer and just pump. That sounds convenient! Besides, my line of job requires me to be standby on my desk most of the time, so perhaps pumping on the desk is the solution!
The problem is, my Medela Swing Maxi is really loud, and although you close the drawer, you can still hear its sound. So I need to find another quieter breast pump.
There were two options I could find online and they are both from Malaysia. One is Malish Ilaria, and the other one is Lacte Duet. I am not a big fan of Spectra, so I am gonna skip that.
Between those two, Lacte Duet is quieter according to some mummies, so I decided to purchase it. But apparently it’s super expensive as well! It costs 299 SGD if you bought it at Mothercare. I surfed online and finally managed to get it with 169 SGD price! Quite a deal, eh?
I have been using Lacte Duet for almost two months now. And so far, it has been handy and living up to its reputation as a quiet pump. I have been testing it with my female colleague around, and she said she can’t hear a sound when I closed the drawer, unless she stood really close to me.
As with the male colleagues, well I honestly don’t really care x) Most of them know about me pumping, and they don’t seem to really care either lol.
- Silent. Definitely quieter than Medela.
- Double pump. Fast.
- Can be used with powerbank/anything with USB adaptor. Super convenient!
- Equipped with back flow adaptor, which makes sure that milk won’t flow in the tube (happened to me several times with Medela Swing)
- Can choose different suction levels for left and right breast! But I never used this option so far.
- Warranty is from Malaysia. So if anything goes wrong, I guess need to send the unit to Malaysia.
- It has more parts than Medela. Hence the assembly time takes longer.
- You have to make sure all parts are connected very very tight. Otherwise, the valve may be disconnected from the tube (happened to me several times already)
- It doesn’t seem to fit well with my Simple Wishes hands free bra. Some mummies that I asked said that they don’t really use hands free bra when using Lacte Duet.
Despite the cons, I am still pretty satisfied with Lacte Duet. First, it’s quiet. Second, it empties my breast more than Medela. I never really need to do hands expression ever since I started using it. And if you’re a heavy pumper (like me), this will be your new best friend! 🙂
So, overall if I have to rank these breastpumps I have so far, it will be like this:
Lacte Duet > Medela Swing Maxi >>> Medela Swing >>>>> Tommee Tippee.
Being a working mum is exhausting, and maintaining mood and health for the sake of pumping is even more exhausting; but since I believe I am doing this for the sake of my children’s health, it’s becoming more bearable.
I have to be grateful as well because so far my environment has been pretty supportive with my condition and I hope I can do the same for my future children 🙂