Saturday, September 15, 2012

Breast Pump Review - Avent Single Electronic Pump

In my previous post, I did a review on Avent Manual Pump. Here is my review on Avent Single Electronic Pump.


Features (per Avent website)
  • Patented soft 5-petal massage cushion - The unique active massage cushion is intended to help stimulate natural let-down
  • Remembers your personal rhythm - Only Philips AVENT's electric breast pumps have a unique memory feature that learns and continues your personal pumping rhythm for maximum comfort
  • Gentle yet effective results - The gentle-draw vacuum of the Philips AVENT breast pump mimics a baby's natural suckling action for comfortable efficacy
  • Convertible - Can also be used as a manual breast pump when that's more convenient

My Review

Assembly
The pump was easy to assemble after referring to the instructions. 

Experience
Two weeks after I started using my manual pump, I decided to try out the electical pump which I borrowed from my cousin. Following the instructions given in the manual, I need to press quickly a few times for the memory to work based on my rhythm. This is to simulate the breasts and get the milk flowing. Once I see a good flow coming out, then I change to long and slower rhythm to enable the milk expression to take place.

It is because the minute I turned on the pump, my first impression was "How come the suction is so soft and gentle? Can express milk or not?" To my surprise, not only there's milk, it was even more that when I use the manual pump, minus the pain! It also shows how hard I must have tortured my breasts using the manual pump.

I also noticed that the pump is using the same suction.So if you are first time using a breast pump, you may get a shock as the suction is quite hard. For me I was used to it because I was already using the manual pump before hand. The petal massage cushion is quite comfortable despite the strong suction. I think this is what Avent mention about expressing milk effectively.

While I like using the electronic pump, there are a few grouses too :



  • The electronic pump itself is very heavy. Imagine you have to add on additional 170g on top of your pump! There's no way I can let my pump to be self supported against a pillow or table because the entire pump can topple over. 
  • The pump is extremely noisy. My husband can attest to that when I start my late-night pump sessions. He will complain that he cannot sleep. After using the Medela Swing, I have to agree 100% that this is a noisy pump.
  • The electronic pump breaks down often. One month after using the pump daily, it broke down one day. My husband had to buy a new pump part from Kinderdijk for RM250. Six months after using the new one, it broke down again. Thankfully it was still covered under warranty, I need not fork out another RM250 to replace the pump.

Washing and maintenance
As I need not wash the pump motor, the number of parts needed to be washed is now the same as Medela Swing. Similar to the Avent manual pump, the rubber bits are prone to wear and tear (maybe sterilizing it too often) though so is advisable to change once it becomes loose. 

Yield
As compared to Avent manual pump, somehow I can get more yield with the electronic pump. My average yield is always 1oz or 2 oz more than the manual pump, i.e 6oz - 7oz per 20 minute session on both sides. During my 3rd month I can express up to 9oz per session. I am not sure why but maybe it is due to the mechanism of the pump itself. 

Time
I do not have an issue with letdown, so within one minute of pumping the milk can already be expressed. I find the letdown experience is faster with the electronic pump. I can complete both sides within 30 minutes or less on average.

Conclusion
During the first few months, I use this during the early morning sessions as I am just too sleepy to use the manual pump. Now I only use this pump in the morning, where I know I can get a much higher yield after a long night (I no longer wake up for early morning pump sessions). I still prefer the manual pump but this is a nice to have during lazy days. One thing I like about this pump is that it comes with the manual pump handles too so you can switch accordingly. Value for money, I would say (if not considering the breaking down experience)




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