There's that old expression – if it aint broke, don't fix it. I learnt this yet again a few weeks ago when I sheepishly yet happily went back to my Philips AVENT breast pumps after trying a new and more expensive product on the market because I thought it would be better. And it turns out, it wasn't. For me.
I had a very successful expressing experience seven years after my son was born. I expressed to build up my supply, and for when I went back to work. I used to express in the morning and at night, switching between my manual and electric Philips AVENT pumps – sometimes I'd have one on each side.
A few weeks ago, after the birth of my daughter, my expressing got off to a slow start and I would spend what felt like ages for a mere 30ml. I lost confidence, read articles online, and was about to make an appointment with a lactation specialist when I decided to change pumps, just to see. I hauled out my Philips AVENT manual pump, and was able to express double what I could the day before, in half the time.
Since then, my supply has gradually increased, also with the help of fenugreek, alfalfa tonic and oats every day (I can't find any science to support that these work, but they are used commonly, and many women swear by them).
I've once again been switching between the manual and the electric Comfort breast pump, and it's convenient that I use the Philips AVENT bottles and storage cups for freezing milk too, as I can pump directly into them, without switching to others.
Here are some features of the electric pump, in case you're in the market now or later for a great device:
- Comes with a massage cushion that makes for comfortable expressing, and fits most moms. The pump mimics your baby's suckling for natural let down and efficiency.
- Easy to use settings – initial stimulation mode to encourage good let-down reflex and 3 expression phase settings (vacuum increases with slower massage rhythm).
- Unique more comfortable expressing position.
- Small lightweight base – portable and easy to store
- Easy to clean
- Stylish and soft materials – increases mom’s comfort and therefore milk yield
- Non-intrusive sound – can be used anywhere
- More milk in less time – very effective settings which minimise pumping time
- Mains or battery operated – convenient for at home, at the office or out and about
The Philips AVENT pumps are available from baby stores, major chemists and online stores like Takealot for around R3 000 for the electric.