Breast pump evolution — is this the new frontier?

I went shopping yesterday with a pregnant friend to help her figure out all the things she needed to get. Now, you’ve all heard of breast pumps, but we were blown away by this contraption.

breast pump

It raised some critical questions in our minds, including but not limited to –

  • How often does one read and pump at the same time? How often does one read, talk on the phone *and* pump at the same time?
  • Is it truly more efficient to pump both breasts at the same time? Isn’t the motor capacity fixed, which means pumping both breasts together takes longer (or the same as each breast sequentially)?
  • Can they truly hang off there defying gravity like that?

If there’s anyone out there who’s used this device, we need to hear from you so that my friend can figure out if this should be on the “must have” list!

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  • //How often does one read and pump at the same time? //
    Rarely

    //How often does one read, talk on the phone *and* pump at the same time?//
    Rarely

    //Is it truly more efficient to pump both breasts at the same time? Isn’t the motor capacity fixed, which means pumping both breasts together takes longer (or the same as each breast sequentially)//
    It is always better to extract milk from one breast completely and then go to the next breast

    //Can they truly hang off there defying gravity like that?//
    Nope

    //If there’s anyone out there who’s used this device, we need to hear from you so that my friend can figure out if this should be on the “must have” list! //
    This device is Not a Routine Purchase
    This is not to be used to “save time”……

    This is for very few purposes (mastitis etc). If your friend needs that, the doctor will prescribe. No need to buy this

    On the other hand, if your friend is working and cannot breast feed, she can use this to express some milk (keep in fridge) and ask that to be fed to the baby in the afternoon. There are a lot of factors associated with this. Consult the obstetrician or paediatrician before buying this

    And once again
    This is not a “fancy object” (as portrayed in the image)

  • Shripriya

    Wow, Bruno. Amazing information — we’ll be sure not to put it on her registry then.

  • actually, to reiterate what bruno said above, if your friend is working, it is very convenient to store breastmilk in feed-sized bottles. also handy if long travelling is involved with baby, one can carry the frozen-thawed feed bottles. I have seen a friend use a pump (not one like that, this was a hand-pump or some such) and put it to good use (she is a working mother).

    and with the frequency of feeding in the intial months, it would be a nice break for mom to talk on phone and pump at same time. not such a bad/unlikely idea.

    my $0.02. hope the conflicting opinions help. 😉 am not sure if you were looking for opnions for that particular machine advertised or pumps in general.

  • Gosh! I am gonna get blasted for saying this but that is one hilarious picture.

  • Shripriya

    @ TGFI – Actually, she registered for a “real” pump – one of those industrial types that you cart around in a bag. She will be working and will be storing/freezing. Apparently breast milk can be stored for 6 months if frozen! (things you can learn at Buy-Buy Baby!)

    We thought this contraption was a tad over the top though, especially since, from the little I know from friends, they are VERY unlikely to be hanging out on their own, defying gravity as the picture suggests 🙂 (and as Bruno confirmed)

    @Patrix – yes, I agree with you. I think the image is hilarious too! I can understand pumping and reading, but this seems like an extreme example of over-promising. Hmmm… I am tempted to buy this for my friend so she can tell me if it works. Will have to wait about 3 months, but it may be worth the price of admission!

  • Samira

    I have tried hard to defy gravity so that I could answer my phone that seems to incessantly ring AS SOON AS i start pumping. I’ve also longed to change the channel on the tv, or even…*sigh* read a book while pumping! I would buy this just to see if I’m able to do all that.

    What a blessed relief to breast-feeding mothers if this actually works.

  • libertarian

    The picture definitely over-promises – and that includes the smile :-). That girl’s either in the best shape ever, or some surgeon’s been working on her. The best pump we’ve used was rented from the hospital, is 25 years old, is not available on the market any more, and has sufficient power to haul a crane. Not good if mom-to-be expects to travel, but works like a charm.

  • Shripriya

    @Samira — if you really want to try it, you can buy it here.

    @Libertarian — we saw some sleek looking pumps that you could travel with, but they only promised to do one breast at a time 🙂

  • libertarian

    Shripriya: The Medela “Pump in Style” does the needful, and is very portable. Works well – we’re happy customers – at least my kid was – can’t say the same about my wife :-). Babys R Us should carry them.

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  • I think the picture has some people confused. It is an image of a product called the hands-free pumping bra. It is a breast pump accessory, not a breast pump itself.

    It is very efficient and also desirable to pump both breasts at the same time (called double pumping). It stimulates the prolactin hormone which increases milk production. It also saves time. A double electric pump can do both breasts in 10 to 15 minutes with practice. Single pumping takes 20 to 30 minutes to do both breasts in turn. There is only a very slight drop in the strength of the motor when double pumping.

    Can the baby bottles truly defy gravity like that? Yes, that is the whole point behind the hands-free pumping bra. If you do not use a product like that, then you have to sit and hold them with your hands. Some women manage to free one hand by holding one side with one hand and pressing their forearm on the other side.

    Do people pump and talk on the phone? Or pump and read? Can you walk and chew gum? No seriously, some people find the noise of the breast pump too distracting for business calls, but others have no problem at all. If anyone asks “what’s that noise” you can make up something.

    Is this a “must have” item? That all depends on your friend. She may feel one hand free is good enough. She may just want to daydream during her pumping time, or she may want to eat, read, write or use the telephone. It depends on her circumstances and personality.

    And here’s a link that makes fun of that picture and also has some funny stories too. http://www.rookiemoms.com/the-pumping-project/

  • Shripriya

    @Matia, clearly you are correct in that it is a bra that enables double pumping. What stunned me is that double pumping is possible. What was the hardest concept to believe was that the bottles would hang out on their own, as depicted in the picture. Seems to be almost impossible that as they filled with milk, they could just hang in the air without being held. Glad to hear you say it can happen!

  • The bra is really nice to have. It keeps the pump in place.

    I always read or talked on the phone while pumping. Pumping is no fun, and distractions are necessary.

    Yes, the picture is ridiculous in so many ways. My favorite is just that if you are at work, even if you have a special pumping room (I did), you would keep your shirt on, wouldn’t you?

  • Heya Shri,

    Yep, women double pump all the time…even had a friend do it while driving. (!) Nice to see your blog. –erika

  • Shripriya

    @ Whitney – I would certainly keep my shirt on when the time came!

    @ Erika- Hey! Great to see you here – congratulations on your twins!

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  • I have to say that I used it and Loved it!

    I read books, magazines, talked on the phone and checked email while pumping. Without that bra, I’d be lucky if I could scratch my nose without spilling a few ounces.

    I think you can fashion your own by cutting up a bra.

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  • Yeah I could agree to what you said!

  • Hey Patrix, I don't find it hilarious, I find it nice and stylish!

  • It's really cool!

  • this would indeed come in handy, specially to those mother that has house choirs to do.

  • 2legcaco

    Anyone hear of the pumpstation? I love that place, they have all sorts of products and stand by them. They test everytihng so its safe. it helped me alot.

    Abigail

  • This breast pump are for busy moms. I actually uses a breast pump kit for me and my daughter. I've been using it for 3 months now and it really helps me a lot! This is my companion on taking care of my daughter.

  • 2legcaco

    Anyone hear of the pumpstation? I love that place, they have all sorts of products and stand by them. They test everytihng so its safe. it helped me alot.

    Abigail

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