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Old 03-11-2013, 07:05 PM   #1
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Thinking of just renting a pump from the hospital - thoughts?

This is #2 for me, and I am *not* looking forward to pumping again!

I've heard mamas have a lot better luck with hospital pumps, but I don't have the $1000+ to buy one so I was thinking of renting one for a while to see if it really works much better. Maybe I can rent one long enough to avoid using those pumps they give us mere mortals in the store. :-)

Has anyone else tried this approach? I'd love to hear your experience!

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Old 03-11-2013, 09:23 PM   #2
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Does your insurance cover pump rental? I rented a pump after the last pregnancy to donate. But only for a month.
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:01 PM   #3
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Re: Thinking of just renting a pump from the hospital - thoughts?

I'm not sure, thank you for the reminder that they might! I will call and check.

Do you mean that they only covered your rental for one month? Or that's all you needed it for?
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:35 AM   #4
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Re: Thinking of just renting a pump from the hospital - thoughts?

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Originally Posted by snozzberry View Post
This is #2 for me, and I am *not* looking forward to pumping again!

I've heard mamas have a lot better luck with hospital pumps, but I don't have the $1000+ to buy one so I was thinking of renting one for a while to see if it really works much better. Maybe I can rent one long enough to avoid using those pumps they give us mere mortals in the store. :-)

Has anyone else tried this approach? I'd love to hear your experience!
I rented the hopital pump with my first for a few months but it got expensive. Someone gave me a madela pump in style and it worked just as good. I used it full time since my son wouldn't latch. I saved it and used it for my daughter, she mainly nursed but I also pumped for a freezer stash and still LOVED the pump. This time I bought the same pump on craigslist since I sold my other one.

I suggest looking for a used Madela pump in style. You can buy all new pump parts locally or online
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:49 PM   #5
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Last time I gave birth they had a pump in my room. Maybe check with the hospital and see if it's even an extra charge to use one they already have on hand.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:32 PM   #6
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Re: Thinking of just renting a pump from the hospital - thoughts?

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Originally Posted by lovemybabies83 View Post
I rented the hopital pump with my first for a few months but it got expensive. Someone gave me a madela pump in style and it worked just as good. I used it full time since my son wouldn't latch. I saved it and used it for my daughter, she mainly nursed but I also pumped for a freezer stash and still LOVED the pump. This time I bought the same pump on craigslist since I sold my other one.

I suggest looking for a used Madela pump in style. You can buy all new pump parts locally or online
That is good to hear - that you liked the general pumps for the public just as well as the hospital pump! Thanks for the tip
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:32 PM   #7
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Re: Thinking of just renting a pump from the hospital - thoughts?

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Last time I gave birth they had a pump in my room. Maybe check with the hospital and see if it's even an extra charge to use one they already have on hand.
Wow, that would be convenient! I am going on a hospital tour next week so I'll ask about it then.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:50 PM   #8
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I have heard good things but I have used hospital quality & I haven't noticed a lot of diference between that & medela. I have older model too. I hear gripes on other brands. If you are going to have more I would say pump. My milk bank gives you $ for pump/ help with after 300 oz donated. International breast milk project that is related to mine ( helping hands) does too. I think friends that were going to rent said lots cheaper to buy plus lots of insurances cover now too.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:33 PM   #9
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Re: Thinking of just renting a pump from the hospital - thoughts?

I know realistically I'll end up having to buy a pump at home, since my goal is to BF for 1-2 years.

But I just hated my Medela pump last time around...it took. so. long. Haha, maybe I just need to suck it up and deal?
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:34 PM   #10
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Re: Thinking of just renting a pump from the hospital - thoughts?

I used a hospital-grade pump while I worked 4-6 days a week outside the home.

The good news:
- My baby has never had formula and I didn't have to pump more than 1 hour a day total. The pump really is that efficient. With the electrics I tried I would get 1.5, maybe 2.5 ounces tops. With the hospital pump my output was easily 3-4 ounces at a sitting. Sometimes 5.
- Never had any pain while pumping with my rental. I cannot say this for the 3 different electric pumps I tried, one of which actually left my nipples bloody. In fact, I started out trying to build my stash with electrics and I finally told my husband we would have to use formula when I went back to work because it was too terribly painful. He convinced me to rent the hospital pump for a month and it was like the clouds parted before a chorus of heavenly angels.
- Cleaning and sterilizing the parts was easy. I used a cheapo bottle brush and regular dish soap, and let everything air dry between sessions. I sterilized everything once a week.
- When my coworker had her baby I was just weaning off the pump, so there were a couple months where she bought her own equipment to use with my pump. You can't (shouldn't) share electrics, but the rentals are a closed-system, so I was able to help another mom out and that felt good.
- If you have an HSA I'm 90% certain you can use that toward your pump rental.
- I used the Ameda Lactina, which can be reassembled as a hand-pump. This is a great feature. There were times my work had off-site events and I might not have a place to setup my full pumping station, so I would reassemble the parts and toss them in my purse with some bottles and an ice pack, then sneak into a closet to pump real quick without anyone knowing.
- Renting the pump was easy and I returned it without incident.

The bad news:
- My insurance completely refused to pay for the rental. They would pay for a 350$ pump purchase, but only if I had a "physical medical need." This was infuriating, since without my job I wouldn't have insurance, but having a job meant I couldn't possibly breastfeed without pumping. Eventually I wised up and just told my midwife I was "engorged" because apparently engorgement counts as a medical condition, while wanting to be a good working mother doesn't. Even then they wanted to purchase an electric, and I had several arguments with customer service reps explaining that I couldn't get enough milk to feed my baby 100% unless I used the hospital pump. Eventually someone agreed to let me submit a claim for reimbursement if I sent them the receipt for the rental, and another prescription, this one saying I had a supply issue (hilarious since I also had a prescription for engorgement). The whole thing was such a hassle I just gave up.
- That sucker (ha!) was heavy. On the weekends I always brought it home from work so I could get a couple weekend pump sessions in there, otherwise we would run out of milk by Wednesday. Lugging that monster back and forth was such a pain, and a couple times I forgot a part and basically had to go back and work from home the rest of the day.
- The cost wasn't terrible, but for some it might be considered too onerous. I paid 70$/month, plus the 40$ kit, another 40$ for a kit to keep at home so I could use it as a handpump at night, 10$ for larger flanges (my breasts are teeny tiny but I used the size 27 flanges), 5-10$ for sterilization bags, 20$ every couple months for storage bags and membranes... whoever said breastfeeding is free obviously never pumped full-time.
- Word of advice: get a salad bowl. I had to use the corporate kitchen to clean my parts, and I was surprised to discover just how many embarrassing pieces there are to drop on the floor in front of male co-workers. You will need a large bowl to carry everything to and from the sink. I gave that advice to two other women and they both thanked me effusively later.
- The Lactina hand-pump option is very awkward and not something to do full time. It was awesome, but not exactly comfortable or easy on the arms. Imagine one of those rowing exercise machines, except attached to your boob.
- You can rent from a hospital or a medical supply store, and depending on where you live there may be dozens of places to choose from. Shop around. Different places have different models, and they may not have everything available at the time you want it. Compare prices, because I saw one place charging 20$ more a month for the same pump I was using.

The verdict:
Renting the hospital pump is the reason my baby was EBF with a WOHM, and I never dreaded or feared the pump. It was absolutely worth the price.

P.S. I always comment based on the title and then realize I'm in a group's birth club! Sorry for swaggering in here like I own the place.

Last edited by Palooka; 03-22-2013 at 09:43 PM.
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