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Old 07-11-2011, 09:48 AM   #1
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Question Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced - questions

Hi!

Baby isn't here yet, but barring a miracle it looks like I'm going to have to return to work after my maternity leave is up and I'd like baby to continue having breast milk as long as possible. I did some research and decided on the Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced, but I'm hoping for some real-life advice on a few questions

Question #1 - Nipple shield size
I've read a lot that the ones they come with aren't big enough for most women with average size breasts. Mine were a 36DD BEFORE I got pregnant, and let's just say the bras stopped fitting within the first trimester. I've been wearing sling-bra tanks, so I'm not entirely positive what I am now or what I'll be after my milk comes in. Any hints on what size I might need?

Question #2 - Different styles?
What's the difference from the regular and on-the-go styles? Is the backpack different/better than the messenger bag?

Question #3 - Spare parts?
Is it good to have spare parts on hand? If so, which ones?

Question #4 - Bottle compatability?
I'm going to use the First Years BreastFlow bottles. Do I need to buy something to make the pump work with these? Is it easier to just use the bottles the pump comes with for collection and dump the contents into the ones I use?

Question #4 - Anything else?
Any other quirks I should know about but don't know enough to ask?


Thanks so much for any help/input you can give...

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Old 07-11-2011, 12:43 PM   #2
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Re: Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced - questions

I'm thinking you may need a 30mm, but large breast do not mean large nipples. You may have to try several sizes out. Most of us pumpers have tried several sizes before settling. Less hurt, more milk= correct fit!!

I like the back pack version. Just because you can hook it to the battery pack, put it on like a back pack and work around the house. But the pump inside are the same.

YES! Spare parts for everything. Membranes, tubing, shields, etc...

I don't know about First Years bottles. But I know your pump will come with 2 Medela bottles. And evenflo and dr.browns bottles fit the medela pumps.

Medela pumps are great!! Definitely make yourself a hands free bra!! And drink water as if a drought was coming! GL with baby
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:53 PM   #3
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Re: Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced - questions

Congrats! Going back to work is so hard. Was hoping for a miracle here as well but of course never got it lol!

I will answer questions for you as best I can.

#1 As far as nipple shield size, cup size and nipple shield size do not seem to correlate at all. I am a 36H this time around, but use the standard size, and could go smaller. My girls are huge, my areola is huge, my nipples are itty bitty.

#2 Sorry, no idea there. I have an older style backpack and it works just fine. I think you just need to pick the option you thing would work best for you.

#3 Extra to have on hand would be the white valves (little flap thingys lol).

#4 I pump into Medela (or medela-like) bottles. Since I don't like using plastic, I immediately pour the milk into glass storage bottles for the next day, in roughly 3oz increments). I don't pump into the glass bottles, as they feel too heavy when using my hands free kit. Any extra milk that I pump goes into Lansinoh freezer bags, again in roughly 3oz increments. I take 3 bottles for pumping (as my left side tends to overflow the Medela bottles in the morning), and then 3 glass bottles for the next day's feedings. DH heats milk in the storage bottles, then transfers it to our preferred feeding bottle. Since the bottles we are using for feeding are expensive, it reduced the number we had to buy (we really only need 1, but did buy a couple extra 'just in case').

Anything else: You don't need to wash the pump parts between uses. Just toss them in the fridge between pumpings at work. Then wash after your last pumping session, or when you get home. Saves time if you are pressed for time when pumping at work.

Look into hands free pumping kits, and buy the one that looks the most user friendly to use. There is no 'best' option, just whatever works for you. I have an old discontinued hands free kit that includes rubber bands, and is a little hokey, but it is what works for me.

A nursing cover. One of those ones with boning, so you can watch for when the milk stops flowing. Comes in handy if you are ever in a situation where you need to pump, but do not have complete privacy. Or if you forget to lock the door and someone walks in on you.

Learn to manually express, or carry a cheap manual pump in the car. You never know when you might forget a pump part, or have the power go out. Better safe than leaking!

Get a good nipple cream (I like Mother Love) to lube up the pumping horns with. Dry pumping really hurts.

Do you best to stay warm and relaxed while pumping. Take a sweater, warm tea, a book, whatever helps you to stay warm and relaxed.
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:02 PM   #4
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Re: Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced - questions

No, definitely don't dry pump! I would recommend Olive oil!
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:12 PM   #5
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Re: Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced - questions

Question #1 - Nipple shield size - Before you start trying different sizes try their soft shields (the Metro Bag comes with them) I found them much more comfortable, expressed more milk, and only come in one size.
Question #2 - Different styles - There really isn't much difference. When I bought mine I was torn between the metro bag and the back pack. You can't take the pump out of the backpack, but you can in the Metro Bag and its super time kind of like a FreeStyle. I tought that was a good selling point and you get the soft shields.
Question #3 - Spare parts?
Is it good to have spare parts on hand? I predominately used my FreeStyle at work, but I needed the membrane quite often for my PISA for some reason they always ripped. Get a extra set of horns, membranes, etc., so you don't have to wash as frequently and you always have one set ready to go in the morning. I wound up eventually Eping and had three and it was much easier.
Question #4 - Bottle compatability?
We used the First Years as well and there is no way to make them compatible use the medela ones and just pour into the bottle.
Question #4 - Anything else?
Any other quirks I should know about but don't know enough to ask?
Buy some of the extra bottle that you pump into. I found them wonderful for storing and traveling with breastmilk. They are small and never leak. Also, if you have a large letdown get a couple of the 8 ounces ones as well.
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:44 PM   #6
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Re: Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced - questions

Lost child mentioned

I have tried just about every shield out there. I didn't notice a difference in any of them. Maybe that was just me?

I have one of the first PIA metro bags. I got it about January 2, 2007. I have been very happy with it but admittedly I didn't use it much as my daughter died 1/5/07 and my son was always with me. I can tell you that mine pumps stronger then the hospital grade pump I was using for 5 months prior. So you definitely don't skimp when getting this pump.

I would get spare all parts but the tubing. I honestly pumped for 5 months straight and even with commuting back and forth to the NICU I didn't ever need another set of tubing. I guess if you are VERY risk adverse you can get some. The membranes are easily lost though so those are the biggest ones.

Can't help with bottle compatibly. I used the bottles that came with it, or the NICU disposable bottles that they require.

I second or third the hands free kit. I have this one http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS.../chrisficti-20 in white and it is definitely the best money I ever spent! I one time used this with a nursing cover and had a whole conversation with a neonatologist and he only knew I was pumping when I went to turn off the pump! I have even used it for single side pumping and not double pumping. I don't think you need a nursing cover with boning either. You will feel when it is done after a while.

Good luck and congratulations on your soon to be baby.
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Last edited by 3 ladybugs; 07-11-2011 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:51 PM   #7
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Re: Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced - questions

Wow - thank you so much ladies; this answers my questions perfectly! These stupid things are so confusing in the stores, and it helps more than I can say to have some mamas with experience point me in the right direction!

Jennifer - so sorry about your loss(es)
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Old 08-21-2011, 01:32 PM   #8
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Re: Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced - questions

just a tip for bottles (not sure if you've had your little one yet)> don't buy a bunch of the same bottles. i wanted to use the breast flow but my DD said no way jack. she likes nuk and gets frustrated with the breastflow.
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Old 08-21-2011, 02:23 PM   #9
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Re: Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced - questions

definitely have more of the membranes (white flappy things) like someone mentioned. every time i feel like my pump is not getting as much milk out of me as it usually does, it is because those need to be replaced. when I pumped for DS1 I thought my pump was on the fritz...not so much...just needed new membranes. Who knew a tiny piece of plastic could have such an effect on things. customer service at medela recommended changing them every month...but I think that is more for someone who is exclusively pumping/pumping 5 days a week...I only work 3 days a week and replace mine about every 3 months. or now that I am used to this, being on my second baby, over 3 months into being back to work, i can kinda tell when I am not pumping as much and it isn't due to supply. darn those membranes!

i also agree about not committing to one type of bottle at first, because baby might not like a certain type. with DS1, he used the playtex drop ins. luckily DS2 was able to take the medela bottles (well i use a gerber first essentials lid and nipple but that fits on the medela bottles)...that way I can just pump right into them and avoid extra dishes, transferring the milk.
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:15 PM   #10
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Re: Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced - questions

I have tiny, tiny boobs and I need the XL breast shields, so it really will be trial and error. Definitely keep extra white membranes and also the yellow bits that the membranes plug into. I use the tote style bag, and it's fine. I pump directly into standard 4oz plastic bottles, and then transfer the milk into two 8 oz bottles when I send it on to daycare the next day.

I've never heard of lubing up a pump shield. I've never done that, and haven't had any problems once my shield size was good.
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