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VI-C. Small electric pumps Medela Mini-electric


This article is from the Breast Pumps FAQ, by bweiss@cs.arizona.edu (Beth Weiss) with numerous contributions by others.

VI-C. Small electric pumps Medela Mini-electric

I have been using the Medela mini electric since August and manager
to pump 8-10 oz at work. I used a hospital grade for 6 weeks prior
since my baby was premature. It is definately not "industrial
strength". You can adjust the suction. I have it rigged with a
rubber band so I don't have to hold the trigger. It was worth the
money. You should call Medela to find a lacation consultant in your
area (1-800-835-5968). She can demonstrate their product line.
The Medela mini-electric is the best of the handheld breastpumps,
mostly because of the automatic suck/release cycle. It is fine for
occasional (no more than once a day) use. So, for a woman who is
working part time or pumping so she can attend aerobics classes, it's
a perfectly adequate pump. It's not a good pump for daily use because
the motor is small and will wear out over time. It is the best of the
battery pumps that I have seen and is quite comfortable and effective.
They are quite loud, however (about like a blow dryer), and some
women report that they are not as effective as the Lactina (Medela
claims that they are as effective as the Lactina). Our testers report
the Minielectric to be more effective than the MagMag, Gentle
Expressions or Gerber pumps.
I believe you are right about the Medela Mini-Electric and the Nurture
III being the only ones worth considering if you don't need to rent an
expensive one. I have the Mini-Electric and recommend it - I rented a
Lactina for a while and didn't really see the big advantage to it
except that you can double pump. I love my Mini-Electric - it works
really well and my La Leche League friends say it's much better than
any other inexpensive pump. If your wife works outside the home full
time though, she still might want to get the Nurture III because it
can dump-pump, which really saves a lot of time. Since I work at home
and cadoubleeastfeed during the day sometimes, I am perfectly happy
with my Mini-Electric. I actually might like it better than double
pumping because I have a way of tying it to me, so I can type (and
read netnews) with two hands while pumping.

I got my Mini-Electric for only $59 plus tax at Baby Superstore, so
$80 sounds high (though that's what LLL and Right Start charge).
I believe Baby Club of America sells it by mail, and they usually have
good prices too.
I assume you are refering to the Medela mini-electric pump (bright
yellow-orange color). I used these for pumping while at work for over
a year. I can't compare to a Medela Lactina or Classic as I have
never used one but a friend who tried both thought the mini-electric
was almost as effective. The suction is somewhat adjustable
(actually, I think what really adjusts is the cycle time). At the
time I purchased the pumps last year, Medela was having problems with
the AC adaptors and said they tended to burn out the pumps,
recommending batteries for longer pump life. I used batteries as
electricity was not available in my usual pumping situations. The
pump is quite noisy if that is a consideration. Using two pumps at
once is much more effective than sequentially using a single pump.
Overall, I was pretty satisfied.

If you decide to purchase, you might check around. I saw $20-$30 price
variations on this pump. If stores in your area don't carry breastpumps,
you might want to compare Right Start's price with the price for buying
directly from Medela.
I've heard that the portable, inexpensive Medela is quite similar to
other small pumps, and nothing like the Medela Lactina or Medela
I heard at LLL that Medela has a battery pump out now that is very
effective and comfortable, but I dont know anyone who has used it.
IMO, a very inportant feature is the valve between the pump/breast
adapter and the collection bottle. The valve closes when suction is
applied so only a small volume of air must be evacuated by the pump.
The rental pumps have this feature, as do the medela and avent manual
pumps. Most of the battery ones I have seen do not.


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