Electric Breast Pumps - Now or Later?

Hi. I've been looking at electric breast pumps (Medela swing) and whether its best to get this before baby arrives, or after. There is mixed reviews so I'd like to try and understand it all a bit better so I can make the right decision for me. If my baby won't feed from the breast - does that mean that I'm not going to be able to breastfeed? Could I not stimulate my supply with a pump? I know that if I am successful with breastfeeding I will definitely need one, as I will want to express from 6+ weeks so H can do some feeds too. Any advice / information welcome..... I don't have a clue about anything (thats how I feel anyway! Lol!) :)


  • That's one thing I really wouldn't get until after. I got a manual pump in advance and expressed easily with that When I needed to for over 6 months. I've got an electric one this time. If you can't bf you might well be able to express but it's really hard going to solely express for long. Of course I'm sure some people have bought in advance but I personally wouldn't because of the expense. They are easy enough to pick up when you need them.
  • I’ve bought mine already but that was because I had vouchers.

    Either way, if I can’t bf I will express and I’m too lazy to use a manual pump. Expressing wouldn’t be a long term solution, as exclusively expressing for 6 months is just too much for me, but IMO it’s worth £80 odd if it means my baby can get my milk one way or another for at least a couple of months.

  • I'll be back at work, twice a week, 3 weeks after birth (or less). I know I'll need to express at least part of the time, or give it a damn good shot. I'm apprehensive about the whole bf-ing thing so having the double electric pump means a lot to me, to have ready to use when it comes to it.

    If I was staying home for 2, 3 or more months I'd wait and see how I went on.

  • Thanks all.

    Counter I feel the same without returning to work that early. I really don't want to be the parent that can never leave babies side because it relies on me for food. I want to breastfeed but I also want to have the flexibility that formula feeding parents have. To be honest I'd always said I would formula feed for that very reason, but after hearing the benefits of breastfeeding for baby and myself changed my mind.

  • The whole feeding thing is a bit of an unknown, so it's hard to advise. The vast majority of women can produce breastmilk, but not absolutely everyone. I know there's at least one MDer (LadyLauraLou maybe, apologies if I've got that completely wrong?) whose milk just didn't come in. Some people have nice easy babies who switch from breast to bottle happily, some have utter tinkers who refuse a bottle once they've got bf established, and try as you might they just.will.not.take.one. So you wind up permanently attached to your baby like it or not. I would like to bf Attila, and will express if I can't, but with a highly demanding toddler and the amount of time you need to dedicate to expressing, feeding, expressing and feeding, I'm not sure I could solely express for no2, so I'm not replacing my borked medela swing until I know how things are going. I have a medela mini, which should be good for occasional feeds, so hopefully that'll be sufficient to start off with.

  • I got a hand pump before hand as it was the cheaper option. I had a terrible time breastfeeding so am now expressing and went and got an electric one to save time and hand cramps!

    if you plan to express eventually anyway, you may as well pick one us.

    when i was having issues, the midwife suggested using the pump to stimulate the nipple ro help the baby latch so it will come in handy even when you are breastfeeding.
  • I would wait, I had a manual (Medela one) and got on really well with it but stupidly thought I'd try the Medela Swing anyway and it was fine, but no BETTER than the manual.

    HOWEVER. I bought it on a really good deal, it cost me £65. Once I decided I didn't need it any more, I sold it on a local site (I'd used the tubing from the manual pump so it was only the actual pump motor that was used). I sold it for £60 so it only cost me £5 to try it out! So if you do see a really, truly stonkingly good deal (and do post on here if you're not sure/not been looking for long and we can tell you) then I would get it. It could prove to be worth it even if you end up not using it.

  • I like to be prepared so I brought mine prior to Molly being born and that was using vouchers.  I used the Medela Swing whiich I would recommend to anyone.  Molly only fed from my left side so I expressed from my right side and built up quite a store which meant when I went back to work at 5 months she had expressed milk during the day for a good while,

  • I wanted to wait as was worried I wouldn't be able to feed and that I might not produce enough milk - even though the mw told me this was rare, it was my main pregnancy worry! We then did struggle to feed, I did have milk though, and in hospital I expressed loads using their big, fancy pumps. The night before being discharged, we pretty much had BF fully cracked but my H went to Kiddicare and picked up a medela swing so we had it in the house for when we got home in case we had further issues, and of course, because I would use it to express when going out etc.

    It was the right thing for us, but saying that, if you see the medela with a wedge of money off, on amazon for example, I'd probably buy it, as you are likely to be able to sell it on without a loss should you not end up using it.

  • Another option would be to hire one short term for when baby arrives so you have it but you are not paying out a lot until you know if you need it?   just another option x

  • Thanks all. Medela Swing is £86.66 from Amazon & John Lewis at the minute. Amazon says RRP is £134.99 so I have no idea if its a temporary price reduction or if it is actually always around £80. Does anyone know? Thanks.

  • That is a reduction, when I was looking the price generally hovered around £100. It's not enough of a discount though to make me buy it given you're only around 15 weeks, personally if it goes under about £75 I'd get it.

  • Yeah you can always get it for £100.

    Another way you could do it is wait for a boots 3 for 2 and get 3 high value items. This was my plan but I was picky about brands so never managed to get 3 items in stock that I wanted. Ended up using my vouchers at John Lewis for the £86. I only bought it a couple of weeks ago though and I'm due in 4 weeks, so if I were you I would wait for now.

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