Breast milk has scientifically been proven to be the best, most nourishing food for babies. Mothers who choose to breastfeed their babies usually begin to do so via direct feeding, i.e. letting the baby nurse directly at the breast.
Eventually though, for some reason or another - usually it's the mom going back to work — a mother may need to express her breast milk so that it can still be the main source of nourishment for her little one, even when they are not together.
While many breastfeeding counselors and advocates promote expressing milk by hand because of its many benefits, one cannot deny that many moms find it more convenient and/or efficient to use a breast pump to express their milk. Either way, what's most important is that the mother is able to provide breast milk to her baby for as long as she can.
For the moms who can afford and prefer to use a breast pump to express milk, here's a round-up of breast pump brands recommended by real moms:
Mariflor France Pelayo-Reyes, working mom of Avisha Marie Fatima, 2, says she used the Medela Freestyle with her daughter. “It's a lightweight double electric breast pump with a rechargeable battery. I like that it can be used hands-free!"
Sally Abella-Yu, consultant and mom to 8.5 month old Alexa, is currently using a Medela Swing Maxi, and gives her reasons for loving it: “It's a double electric breast pump that is light, compact and portable; it's actually the lighter and improved version of Medela's popular Pump in Style Advanced (PISA). It's cheaper too — I bought it at P13,500 from Medela House. It can be used either by plug or by batteries. It has a two-phase technology — stimulation and expression."
Meme Natores, entrepreneur and homeschooling mom to three kids aged 8, 4 and 1, already knew what breast pump she wanted to buy even before she got pregnant. She shares: “I bought the Medela Mini Double Electric Pump at Rustan's using the gift checks we got from our wedding — I really saved them up for that purpose even before I got pregnant because I planned to breastfeed when I had kids. I originally planned to upgrade but three kids later, it still works. I'm very happy with it."
Michelle Padrelanan, social media analyst for Balsam Brands, is a mom of five kids — four living, one deceased — ranging from six to 17 years old. She says all of her children thrived on breast milk. “I used a lot of pumps with my five kids — from the cheapest to the most expensive. The best one for me would be the `Rolls Royce of breast pumps’ — Medela. I have the Pump In Style Advanced (PISA) backpack. I could pump as much as 3 to 4 ounces per breast in one session.
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“It was not hard to use at all and it was able to stimulate my breasts to produce more milk. This was at a time when my baby was not nursing from me yet, but I had to build up my supply. It was very effective in building up my milk supply. In a 24-hour period, I was able to pump between 18 to 24 ounces of milk. I supplemented with malunggay pills and breast massage. I bought the pump from the Medela House. It was well worth the cost.”
All the Medela pumps mentioned can be purchased from Medela Moms. Email email@example.com or text 0917-5614366 for the latest prices of their pump models. They have implemented several price rollbacks.
2. Philips Avent
Toni Tiu, brand strategist and mom to Timmy, 3 years and 11 months, highly recommends the Philips Avent Isis Uno Electric Pump. She shares her thoughts on it with us: “Philips says that the pumping is 'inspired by nature — a natural approach that encourages optimal expression and stimulates a fast natural let-down of milk.' I believe it! Pumping felt so natural and was hardly a pain. I also liked its memory button. It helped 'remember' and continue my personal pumping rhythm, making it more of a comfort to pump.
“Also, pumping with Philips Avent Isis was a great time-saver since it was efficient in helping pump milk. Finally, it was gentle while pumping. It helped me generate a steady, comfortable milk flow. I also liked that the pump could be operated using batteries or via plug. Because it could be battery-operated, I could keep to my pumping schedule even if I was stuck in traffic or in a room without an outlet, e.g. if I had a client meeting and had to borrow a room to pump. I used it for over two years."
Roxi Roman-Santiago, freelance virtual assistant and blogger, and mom to Jacob, 2, uses an Avent Isis IQ Duo pump. “I loved it because it made expressing milk for me easier and faster since it's a dual pump. I can start each session with how Jacob would be suckling when he nurses since I control the rhythm and the pump's electronic memory will keep at it until I change the rhythm again. Another great thing is that it came with an optional manual pump parts, so in case I am traveling and would not have access to electricity, I can still pump!”
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The Philips Avent Pumps are available at leading department stores. According to Philips Philippines, the standard retail price for the Avent Isis IQ Uno pump is P16,999.75, while the Avent Isis IQ Duo pump retails at P39,999.75. Philips Avent also has the ISIS VIA Breast Pump, which retails at P6,559.75 and the Single Electric Breast Pump, which retails at P14,499.75.