It’s a thought that probably ran though the head of every woman who is pumping milk for her child(ren), what if I need to pump at a time when I cannot get to a working electrical outlet? It had occurred to me that I would be riding in a car for many trips over the Christmas holidays and beyond. I researched manual pumps and was torn between two of them, including one made by Medela the manufacturer of my electrical pump, yet reviews and even the company’s own statement indicated it worked best when only used occasionally. As I wanted the option to use often on a road trip, I decided instead to order the Philips Avent Comfort Manual Pump.
Another reason why I chose this one was that you pump directly into an Avent bottle. William like this bottle style a lot for his feedings, as do I. With pumping directly in a straight to feed bottle, I don’t have to transfer to another bottle which would leave some milk clinging to another container first.
The package included a simple set up including storage disc that I still haven’t figured out yet (though perhaps I should look in the directions for that bit of information), and two sets of breast pads, a useful item for many I’m sure (though as I don’t leak milk randomly through the day, one I do not need).
The pump arrived all put together and ready for its first use. I tried it without even opening the instruction manual as I was so excited to get started with it.
Truly with the exception of the storage disc, everything was very intuitive right out of the box.
The feature unique to this system is the comfort shield that fits over the milk collecting flange. This design is supposed to make the process much more comfortable then it would otherwise be. The petal cut outs are to help stimulate milk release in a way similar to how a baby would suckle at a nipple.
Even without glancing at the instructions, the milk collection was very smooth, comfortable and intuitive. In my first session I was able to collect almost an ounce of milk. In later sessions I tried without the comfort shield, while it isn’t as comfortable, I can get more milk that way, so the trade off is mine to make.
At times, perhaps as I was still learning, the suction would seem to be off a bit and I’d have to readjust. Soon, it was so easy I was able to collect without even thinking about it much, so I could relax and watch a TV show and do so. I collected over three ounces just a few days later.
Some sessions I collected more than others. The time of day still mattered, regardless if I use a manual or an electric pump, the earliest in the day collections are usually the more fruitful for me. One day for comparison I pumped the right side, put in in a bottle container for measurement and then did the left. This was one of my best pumping sessions to date.
As Candy had William at her place for Christmas Eve Eve, I was able to try out the pump and give it a real workout as I did not have William there to breastfeed directly. This lead to my chance to start storing milk in the freezer for future usage. This was my very first container of milk to be frozen and stored.
The pump really gave me the confidence and kick I needed to be pumping more frequently and purposefully at home. If I use the electric pump afterwards there will still be milk to harvest sometimes, yet I’m quite satisfied with how it does on its own. I even used it a few times for trips to and from locations while I’m a passenger. I’m very impressed with this pump and it will see lots of use at home and away.
Rating – five baby booties out of five