Posts tagged ‘breast pump’

Tip of the Week: regarding breast pumps

So breast pumps aren’t exactly the sexiest purchase you’ll ever make, but they can be very important, especially if you are a working mom or are otherwise outside the house and away from your baby a lot.  The only downside is that quality breast pumps are not cheap; many electric double-sided models range from $150 to $300 or more.

When shopping for a breast pump, first decide how often you’ll really be pumping.  If you are not really planning on needing to pump often at all and are really just getting a breast pump for emergency type purposes, you probably don’t need to purchase a fancy-shmancy pump.  It’s possible even a manual pump would be all that you needed.

If you are going to be pumping on a regular, perhaps even daily, basis, then you will most likely find that the ease of use and efficiency of a stronger electric pump is more appropriate.

Here you have two options: rental or purchase.  Many maternity shops and some hospitals offer hospital-grade pumps for rental.  For a monthly fee, you get to use the best pumps available.  The hospital-grade pumps are entirely clean-able “closed system” pumps that are designed to be used by multiple people, so it is safe for you and your baby to use them provided they have been cleaned between each person.

Your other option is to purchase a breast pump.  Hospital-grade pumps are not available for purchase to the general public, but there are some very fine “over-the-counter” breast pumps available.  Top-rated brands include the Medela Pump in Style and the Ameda Purely Yours.  I personally opted for the Ameda because it is over $100 cheaper than the Medela Pump in Style and it is the only commercially available “closed system” pump.  So the Ameda, like the hospital-grade pumps, can be safely used by multiple people provided you change the tubing because the milk does not actually circulate around the pump itself.  This is NOT the case of the Medela (contrary to popular opinion), and since serious, life-threatening illnesses like hepatitis or HIV can be transmitted through breast milk, I do not recommend buying a used Medela as a way to save money.

One thing I absolutely recommend doing is checking with your insurance about whether or not they will cover all or part of a breast pump purchase for you.  Most people never think to check, but often times the pumps are covered as part of your “medical equipment” coverage.  My bump was covered at 100%, and many of my friends had theirs covered at 80% or more.  It did require about a 15-minute phone call and a note from my doctor, but to save $150+ was definitely worth it to me!

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February 17, 2010 at 9:15 am 8 comments


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