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VI-E. Rental pumps Medela Lactina




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

VI-E. Rental pumps Medela Lactina

The Lactina is truly portable. They weigh about 6 pounds. You can
get a rechargeable battery pack (from an AC outlet or automobile
cigarettle lighter) for the Lactina. Frankly, I wouldn't consider
anything else for a fulltime working mom. There _is_ a corporate
rental program for Lactinas and some corporations provide Lactina
pumps at work as a benefit for nursing mothers. (Women who want
to lobby their corporations for this benefit can find out more by
calling Medela).
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After I had spoken to all my friends about the pumps that they had
used, and decided that I would use the Lactina, I started to price
them and found out something interesting. I found out that the Medela
representatives can set their own prices. Medela offers suggested
prices on the rentals and purchase items, but they are only suggested
prices.

I called all the representatives within a 30 mile radius of my home
and got prices for the purchase of a Lactina (with the double pump
accessories) from $500 to $1,000+. Rentals ranged from $2.00/day to
$30/month if rented for over 6 months. The rentals required you to
purchase the accessories, and that was ~$20 to $50. Talk about a gap
in prices! If you are serious about pumping, and still think the
Lactina is a better pump/your pump of choice, you might call around,
because the prices may surprise you. Like I said before, since I was
planning on nursing for at least a year, and having more than one
baby, and I wanted a simple pump that I did not have to do anything
with, buying a Lactina was much cheaper than renting. It did require
a hefty amount up front, but I think it was worth it for me.

You know, the best thing about the Lactina was that I was still able
to work while I was pumping. All I had to do was shut my door, plug
it in, and within a few minutes, I was done. The part that took the
longest was washing out the parts.

Also, if you want to get your company to purchase one or two pumps,
and they have a resellers license, they can purchase them at cost
direct from Medella. If I recall, the pump it self is ~$350.
Actually, maybe they can buy one for you. Give it a try.

The general number to reach the representatives is 1-800-TELL-YOU.
They can rent or sell you a pump, and if you want the Medella number,
they can get it for you.
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The Lactina allows a woman to pump both breasts simultaneously and
is the pump of choice for working, nursing mothers. It's a bonus to
be able to pump in 10-15 minutes. If you will be pumping for a long
time or having more than one child, you may want to consider purchasing
one. They retail for about $500 and I have seen them advertised used
for about $300. This may sound expensive, but the Lactina is a serious
breastpump and will get the job done fast without diminishing your milk
supply.
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The lighter one, called the Medela Lactina, is not as
wonderful, but is still better than all other brands. You can get
double-pumping attachments to do both sides at once, which is an
important time- and boredom- saver and also increases levels of the
hormone prolactin, resulting in a larger milk supply. The Lactina
plugs into AC current and may be available with rechargeable
batteries; the larger Medela runs only on AC current. The plastic
attachments you must buy to use the rental units can also be used as a
manual pump, which is less convenient than a small electric pump but
as comfortable as the electric Medina, so it can be used for sore
nipples.
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Another option: Medela has a unit called the Lactina that is sometimes
used for rental but is al;so available for purchase It used to cost
around $250. It can do the double pumpingbut is not as large and
heavy duty as the full size models. The breast adapters can be used
as a manual pump in an emergency. It may be worth considering if you
were going to pump for more than one child, or if you could sell it
afterwards, and if you could bring it to work.
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The big Medela works a little bit better than the Lactina and
the Lactina is really good. Pumping bilaterally is best and that
works with either pump. I pumped 2-3x/day for 6 months.
Since time was a consideration I needed a good, fast, reliable pump.
------------------------------------------------------------
At work, I have access to a Medela 16 electric pump; I can use it as a
double pump. I feel somewhat like a cow, but it really works well.
In 5 to 10 minutes, I can empty both breasts! Plus, it uses "regular"
baby bottles (I use the 4 oz size), of which I have many, as its
reservoir. You can rent (I hear) the electric base, and then you buy
the attachments for pumping. The attachments cost $25, which I felt
was really reasonable (tubing, pumping "syringe", 2 five oz bottles
and miscellaneous parts), especially since you can re-work the
components to make a manual breast pump, as well.
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I was very pleased with the Medela Lactina electric breast pump with
double pumping attachments. I leased the pump for $150 for 5 months
earlier this year. It was not uncomfortable or hard to use. With
practice I was able to pump while drinking or reading. It was very
efficient. I was able to empty both breasts in less than 15 minutes.
It took another 5-10 minutes to set-up, wash-up, and put away my
equipment. By pumping 2 or 3 time per workday I was able to pump
12-18 oz. of milk. I leased the pump from a lactation consultant in
Dallas. She also offers "pump trials" to assist and advise you in
choosing a pump and to allow you to try several different pumps before
deciding which to buy or lease. If you choose one which she rents or
sells, her fee for the pump trial session is applied to the pump
rental or purchase price. Also if you can get a prescription for the
pump, she does not charge sales tax on the part of the equipment you
must purchase. I'll be happy to give her name to anyone who is
interested.
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I rented the Medela double pump from Nursing Mothers' Council. It
was great. No pain, lotsa milk pumped out, no sweat. Now, 3 years
later, I am renting another Medela double pump. It's a smaller,
slightly less powerful version called the Lactina. It's supposed to
be 95% as efficient as the big lunky one. I swear by it. It fits in
my backpack. (The big pump weighed 10 lbs., so even if it fit in my
backpack, I wouldn't want to carry it that way.) You don't have to
sterilize the parts - just wash with hot, soapy water.
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The LeLeche League has reps who rent good electric pumps. I returned
to work when my now 5 yr old was 2mos. Until she was 9 mos I
successfully pumped and froze my breast milk for all her feedings by
her babysitter. If you can afford it, I recommend renting an electric
Madela pump, preferably one that allows pumping from both breasts
simutanously. I used one for only two days, when my son was at the
hospital for infection (at 1 week of age), and am only sorry that I
did not spend the money to rent one, rather than use the manual pump.
It was *FAST*, easy, no physical effort. It is expensive though. I
think it is $1 per day if you rent it for four months or more.
However, if you can afford it, I think this is your best bet. Call a
La Leche League leader. The Madelas are rented by them. PS before you
commit yourself, wait for at least a month to see that breastfeeding
actually works. I know of quite a few women who could not breastfeed,
even though they really wanted it and planned it. My experience was
that the first few weeks are tough. If this works, try one before you
rent, and start pumping several days or even weeks before returning to
work, this way your breasts get "used" to this new form of feeding,
your milk supply increases and you have a lot of spare milk for
emergencies and for sharing feedings.

 

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