Breast Pumps…Express Yourself

A recent research study commissioned by Elvie shows that 45% of women lose their sense of self when breastfeeding, and 2 out of 3 give up activities they love as a new mum. At Tilbea we’re all about helping mums maintain their identity, so were totally inspired by the pics of Alexandra Burke proudly pumping in public using her Elvie Stride at this year’s Notting Hill Carnival.

Expressing your milk by hand or with a pump can help you establish and maintain your milk production if you’re separated from your baby or if they aren’t breastfeeding well. It can also help if your milk production is low, as expressing can help increase your supply whilst also providing extra milk to give to your baby. It’s also very handy if you fancy a night out without your little one(s) or wish to provide a bottle of breastmilk so another caregiver can give your baby a feed.

Choosing your breast pump can feel a little overwhelming, as there are not only many considerations to make, but also a wide range of models on offer. Do you require manual, electric or hospital grade? Do you want a single, double or Haakaa style? And what ‘flange’ size do you need? The Tilbea HQ team have racked up almost 10 years of breastfeeding between the three of us, so we know our way around a breast pump or two and thought we’d share our recommendations with you…

Claire: My first breast pump was the Medela Swing It was so simple to assemble and easy to clean. This variable speed helped stimulate the flow and pumped really efficiently straight into a bottle for storage and feeding. It can be battery operated, however, I found it worked best when plugged in. A great one to use whilst relaxing watching TV in my Joy dress, although I did find it a bit noisy at times!

Nicky – I used the Lansinoh single One of the most affordable pumps on offer, I found it really comfortable to use. I liked that it wasn’t too bulky and was pretty quiet to use. The downside is that you really have to be sitting down to use it.

Claire & Nicky: We both used the original Elvie single this clever, cordless breast pump fits comfortably inside a nursing bra for handsfree use – a real benefit when baby number 2 came along, as it allowed for us to play with the bigger kids whilst still expressing! It’s totally silent and we loved that could use it any and everywhere. Downside wise, it can sometimes overfill and leak without you realising if you aren’t connected to the app. It can also make your breast quite hot. 

Amba: I wasn’t the most prolific pumper, as I never seemed to be able to escape my children! But when I did I used the Ardo Calypso Double Pump . It’s a really handy variable speed pump that can be powered by a mains adapter or batteries, but I mostly used it plugged in at home. It’s one of the quietest double pumps on the market, so although not the smallest or most portable, once you are set up it can be used pretty discreetly. I try to avoid plastic as much as possible, so really loved having the option of the glass storage bottles, as well as the standard BPA free plastic or you can even pump directly into their storage bags and pop those in the fridge or freezer.

We really hope this helps you find your perfect breast pump and when you are ready enjoy a few hours baby free!

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