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What About Cheap Breast Pumps for the Breast-Feeding Mother?
Walk into any Wal-Mart, Target or Babies ‘R Us in the United States and you will see cheap breast pumps. Seeing them everywhere lends certain credence. Many of the companies that market these cheap breast pumps have long-standing reputations in the manufacturing of toys, car seats, strollers, baby bottles, and solid baby foods. Stores must be selling a large number of them. Why would anyone spend 0 or more on a Medela, Avent, or Ameda breast pump, when you can buy one of these cheap ones?
Actual users of cheap breast pumps have said the pumps were painful, caused nipple injuries and were unable to express their milk. For women who were able to express breast milk, the pumps were messy, with milk getting in the tubing and other places impossible to fully clean. The electric breast pumps had motors that were noisy and died after short term use. A typical comment was “don’t waste your money.”
In a letter written to the maker of a cheap breast pump, one woman said, “the pump is very painful, and I can’t stress this fact enough. I even called your company to see if maybe something was wrong with the pump. Nothing was. . . . I stopped breast-feeding and pumping altogether and switched to formula. It was so painful for the next two and a half weeks that I went nowhere because I could not stand to have clothing or even breast pads touch my nipples.”
Another mother who was unsuccessful at expressing any milk with one of these cheap breast pumps wrote, "I am very disappointed with my experiences with this pump. It destroyed my confidence in my body and caused me to give up expressing milk.” She began supplementing with formula. On her second baby she used a well-reviewed breast pump and had no problems at all. Many women falsely conclude it is their own incompetence or their own lack of breast milk supply when a breast pump is ineffective. These false ideas will start a mother on the slippery slope of less nursing, less pumping, supplementing with formula, and in no time at all, the baby is weaned.
The purchase of a cheap breast pump is a risk. If you are committed to breast feeding your baby or expressing breast milk for your baby you should stay away from these pumps. Better to buy your baby’s clothes and other gear at garage sales, consignment sales and eBay, and put your saved money towards a well-reviewed breast pump. Also, if you are trying to decide between breast pumping and using formula, look carefully at the cost of formula. Take into account the increased intake of formula as your baby grows. Consider also the immunity your baby receives from your breast milk as well as at least one hundred other benefits. It may well be that buying a cheap breast pump is just not worth it.
Product reviews by Amazon, Target and Epinions
About the Author: Matia Bryson is the mother of seven previously breastfed children and reviews breast pumps at the Baby Loves Your Milk website.