I remember the first breast pump I ever bought; it was a manual Gerber that we got in Brasil and came with a tiny 70ml bottle that I don’t think I ever managed to fill. It was fairly useless and I even had more luck hand expressing. Seeing as that didn’t go too well either, you can imagine how easily I gave up. Since then I’ve bought another manual which, while it does the job, doesn’t do it well. Having gone through all of that, the thought of investing a large chunk of money on a pump suitable for work was enough to induce total fear in my wallet. There are so many options to consider, manual or electric, single or dual, which bottle system the pump uses to name some.
Philips Avent sent me their Single Electronic Breast Pump to review. I took it out of the box, had a look at the parts and realised I’d need the instructions, read the instructions and promptly put it back in the box because it seemed far too complicated for me to build. Mistake number 1. I took it out a few days later when both boys were in bed and read the instructions properly and found it really simple to assemble. I blame the mummy brain and the presence of whining kids for scaring me.
The Single Electronic Breast Pump comes with relatively few parts and gives you the option of pumping manually (with a manual attachment or using the electronic attachment manually) or electronically plugged into a wall socket or battery pack. I’ve got all three in my bag, although I’m not sure why I bother with the battery pack as I have a wall socket in the room in which I pump. I favour electronic expression but the manual attachment is useful when I’d rather the pump is closer to silent.
Like other pumps in the Avent range, the Single Electronic Breast Pump makes use of a patented soft massage cushion which flex in and out to mimic your baby’s suckling action, stimulating a fast, natural let-down. The massage cushion along with the gentle vacuum created by the electronic attachment makes the pump’s expression action seem much less harsh than other pumps. It also acts to stop milk flowing back out of the pump as instead of leaking down smooth plastic, the milk collects under the petal-shaped design of the cushion and can flow directly into a bottle on removal of the cushion.
The Avent range of electronic breast pumps makes excellent use of an innovative electronic memory. You turn the pump on, press the button on the handle and begin to pump. After only a few compressions you press the button once more and the pump continues working at the same speed. Press the button again and the pump stops allowing you to change rhythm or finish your pumping session. If left unused for a time the pump turns off automatically and in either event, retains the rhythm it was last used at.
In comparison to a manual pump and even the manual attachment provided with the Single Electronic Breast Pump the vacuum the electronic attachment creates is very gentle. At first I thought this would mean the pump was ineffective in comparison to a manual pump however I was completely wrong. Despite what seems like a lack of any significant suction the Single Electronic Breast Pump is an expert at expressing and I wonder if it’s the gentle vacuum as opposed to a harsh one that makes it so good at what it does. Whilst no breast pump can completely mimic your baby’s suckling the Avent Single Electronic Breast Pump is probably as close as it gets
I’m now looking at investing in a double pump because I feel it would combat some of the constraints of pumping at work. The Avent Twin Electronic Breast Pump is on the top of my list to check out. Incorporating all the features of the Single Electronic Breast Pump into a double pump I know that the Twin will be perfect.
The Avent Single Electronic Breast Pump is available from high street retailers and the Philips Avent online shop and retails at £89.99.