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Thread: Pump selection

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    50

    Default Pump selection

    I have a Medela Freestyle. I work full time and have to pump 4x per work day to keep up with demand. That gets me no more than 2 to 3 oz per session which is barely enough for a 9 hour absence.

    Would it be worth my while to rent a Medela Symphony? What is really the difference?

    My Freestyle is a hand-me-down from my sister who also pumped full time for about 9 months (I mean while at work). Is it maybe wearing out?

    I just have another month and a half before pump weaning but my supply is down a bit and I sure pump a lot! (pumping as I write this!)

    Just want to understand the difference between pumps.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Pump selection

    a well-used pump like that could DEFINITELY lower your supply. consumer grade pumps are designed for about a year's use for a working mom. i'd rec renting a hospital grade for 2 months. even if you havent fully pump weaned after 2 months (it'll take you longer than 2 weeks) you could safely switch back to the freestyle at that point since the goal would be pump weaning anyway.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    153

    Default Re: Pump selection

    Yes, I bet after that much use the motor has lost much of it's power. Personally, I would check out the cost of renting a pump for 2 mo versus buying a decent--but less expensive--closed system double pump like a Hygeia, Lansinoh, or Ameda (which would then be relatively easy to pass on or sell).
    Ali
    Mama to M, BF 17mo
    and H, born Feb '12

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Pump selection

    Ok now I'm frustrated... I really appreciate the advice, and I took it. I went out over the weekend and rented a Medela Symphony and bought all the parts that go with it.

    I was really excited to see my pump output jump up... but it actually went down!! Is it supposed to "suck" harder? Because honestly, it has the same pulling power (or less) than my well-used Medela Freestyle. Not that cranking up the power is always a good idea since sometimes I think it just pulls all the blood into the ends of my nipples and actually stops the flow (they literally turn blue!). Also, I feel like I'm not letting down as well for the Symphony. ??

    With the Freestyle, I would get up to 2oz from my right, and maybe 1oz from my left on average. Over 4 pump sessions, I'd get barely 9oz to send with my DD to daycare the next day. The irony is that she doesn't nurse very much during the day when we're together (still nurses 2x per night, and plenty in the AM and PM), but I just feel pressure to send her to Daycare with at least 1oz per hour of absence. What do you guys think? Is it possible my 10 month old (very big for her age and great with solids) just doesn't really need that much while I'm gone??

    Right now I'm trying to build up my stash for a planned absence though, so I was hoping to get some extra during the day. (adding extra sessions in the evening too)

    With the Symphony, I barely get 1oz from my right and not even a half from my left per session.. and that's with lots of intense "massage" and breast compressions (which i also did, but was not so dependent on for the Freestlye).

    The Symphony is quieter and smoother, but the Freestyle is hands free!!

    Also, I'm sick, so that may be impacting my supply in general. But I've been drinking tons of water and tea...

    So I go back to my first question - what is the difference supposed to be? Strength of sucking power? Because if that's it I just wasted almost $300!

    Sorry - you ladies know how it is- sometimes you just gotta vent!
    Mom to daughter C (10/30/11) delivered by midwives in unmedicated birth. EBF after breast augmentation, CD, baby wearing, part time co-sleeping, WOHM.

    SAVED by LLL meeting in week one. (no milk for first SEVEN days!)

    Weaned DD at 20 months.

    Next one due in Feburary 2014!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Pump selection

    i've never used a hosptial-grade, so i don't know, but i do know it took me awhile to get used to any pump. even when i had my pump replaced under warranty twice, with the "same" pump, i had to kind of re-learn how to let down for it. really subtle differences can make a big impact. so i would say, don't judge anything from just the first day's pump with the new machine.

    it sounds to me like you have a tendency to have the pump go too high - blue nipples is not right, and yes you can have the pump on TOO hard to get milk (imagine sucking at a straw so hard it flattens; that can happen to the milk ducts). so you need to play wtih the settings to find what works best for you.

    being sick can definitely impact supply, so just hang in there pumping till you get better. take care of yourself.

    and many 10 month olds do go one long stretch without much milk; some do this at night, but if she's nursing on demand at night there's no reason she can't do it during the day. my opinion is as long as she's gaining fine and the long stretch is on her terms, it's ok.

    also why cn't you do the symphony hands free? does it not work with a handsfree bra?
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: Pump selection

    I'm sorry the Symphony isn't working good for you. I use the symphony and get about 30% more then the PIS. I like it because it seems so much more comfortable on full power and more efficient.
    Proud Momma
    DD 2-1-01 BF for 16 months
    DS 1-9-10 BF for only 4 months due to low milk supply and working graveyard
    DD 4-28-12 Pumping 5X a day at work, Loving BFing

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