Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Product Review: Avent Isis Manual Breast Pump

A cousin of mine lent* me her Medela Pump in Style Advanced double pump and I love it and use it often. But for times when I don't want to travel with the large pump or I want to pump more quietly, I use Avent's Isis Manual Breast Pump. It has a few problems, but overall its a nice little backup pump to have.

Philips Avent ISIS Manual Breast Pump - White

My husband picked this pump up for $35 at our local CVS when I was in a lot of pain and thought (wrongly) that my Pump in Style flanges might be too small. At first, when I got the hang of pumping painlessly with the Pump in Style, I was mad that we spent money on another pump. Then I realized there is room in my pumping world for two!

With the Isis, I can pump the same amount of milk and sometimes more than with the electric pump... and in the same amount of time too! Avent attributes this to the design of the soft, removable flange cushion, which features "petals" to massage and encourage a quicker let-down.

The pump is really quiet, so I can pump even with the baby sleeping nearby when I don't feel like pumping in the living room with my husband looking on (oh, the horror of small apartment living). And, its small enough that I can just pop the Isis in my diaper bag when taking a trip. Its also really easy to take apart and clean, which is a huge plus. And the stand, which you see in the picture above, does double duty as the snap-on cover for the flange--cute!

On the negative side, a bit of milk gets trapped between the flange and the flange cover. Its just a bit, but any loss of precious milk makes me upset! Also, I had to work a bit to learn how to get the seal just right. Sometimes there would be no suction and other times the suction was so strong it hurt! The key is to make sure the entire flange is touching your breast and to pump the hand pump gently and just far enough for the suction to be comfortable--you do not need to pump the handle all the way if it causes any pain.

The bottom line: I am pleasantly surprised with my handy dandy manual pump. You would think that hand pumping would be a chore, but I've found it to be a nice convenience at times, especially with such an effective pump as the Avent Isis.

*It is recommended that you do not share breast pumps.


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