A chance for him to be Mummy

Posted by ~Summer~ on 27.3.13
in

You know how they say the second child usually gets less than the first? Less toys, less new clothes, less time. While that might hold true, parents never give their second child less kisses, less hugs or less love.

Add one more to the list, I'm hoping there won't be less breast milk.

Having breastfed Angel up till she was 16 months old, I am now determined to give the same to Ariel, or even more. I have always heard from friends on how they stimulate and keep their milk coming by using breast pumps when even though like me, they are all stay-at-home mums. Besides helping to ease engorgement, pumping milk out on a regular basis, including after the baby has latched on, helps to increase the "demand" and therefore maintain a strong supply.

Thus, before I went to Sweden, I did buy a Philips AVENT manual breast pump and brought it over. However, I found it so tedious to sterilize and clean, plus stripping the milk out of the breasts was always a test of my wrist power, in the end it became a chore and the pump was stored in the cabinet for 99.9% of the time.

Recently, I had the chance to lay my hands on the Philips AVENT Comfort electric breast pump. I was ecstatic and yet a little apprehensive at the same time. Is it going to be a better and more pleasant experience for me?




I decided to put both the manual and electric pumps to a test.



Design
In terms of design, the new breast pump is more ergonomic and comes with a wider, shorter angled neck and a unique massage cushion with soft silicone petals for maximum comfort. Unlike its predecessor, it now allows mums to express milk in a reclined position. What that means for me is no more leaning forward just to ensure that every precious drip of milk goes into the bottle.




Coming to the valves, which are absolutely crucial in order for the pump to work, I prefer the newer duckbill valves much more than the flat ones. These are easier to slip in, pull and remove, plus the bigger size means the lower risk of getting displaced.




Assembly, storage and transport
I was expecting that it might be harder to assemble an electric pump because I assumed that it would come with more parts. However, a quick test showed that I could easily assemble both the manual and the electric pump in under a minute. This is important because in cases of painful, swollen boobs or a bawling baby, time is of the essence. It's definitely easier to just pop the baby to the breast and let her latch on, but I have experienced a bad case of nipple infection and that is when you feel extremely thankful for a pump that is easy to fix together.



The base unit of the single electric pump that I am using is also convenient to store as it is not overly bulky and the tube can be simply wrapped around it. Also, if you think that only manual pumps can be used on the go, think again! I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the electric pump can be used anywhere as long as I had 4AA batteries. That means you can use it at a friend's house, in the toilet, in the car or anywhere you like in the house. For instance, I like to use it on my bed where the socket is not accessible.

Performance
Now for the most important part! How did this electric pump perform?

All I can say is - I AM NEVER GOING TO USE A MANUAL PUMP AGAIN.

The new electric pump is not only about comfort, it also helps me to effectively get double the milk supply in just half the time, as compared to my old pump. I managed to pump out 80ml of milk from one breast in just under ten minutes, which is an achievement for me. Gone are the days where I had to count the number of times I pressed the handle, then rest, then pump, rest, pump, rest, pump for goodness knows how many times just to get the milk out.

Moreover, the Comfort electric pump comes with three simple settings. You can begin in the gentle stimulation mode and then choose from the three levels of expression settings based on personal preference. It is so easy to use that in fact, Angel helps me to operate it each time. All I have to do is sit, hold the pump in place, breathe and relax.

The only disadvantage of the electric pump is the price. With a retail price of S$309 for a single electric vs S$99 for a single manual one, I can understand why some mums choose the latter.

However, having tried out both, I personally find the electric pump to be much easier to use and definitely more effective. It allows me to get the job done quicker and leaves me with more time to do the housework, to make dinner, or simply to play and bond with both of my kids.

I wish I had opted for an electric pump in the beginning.

******


In addition to the pump, I also tried out the new Philips AVENT Natural feeding bottle, which features the first redesign of the milk bottle in nearly three decades.

The new bottle is shorter, wider and slightly more hourglass in shape. It helps to provide extra comfort, a easy hold and better grip. What I love about wide neck bottles is that it makes filling, and cleaning, more straightforward. No more spilling of powder all over!


The new Natural teats are also designed to resemble the size, shape and softness of the breast more than its predecessors, in the hope of promoting easy latch on and reducing nipple confusion. It's easy to see for yourself, isn't it?

Its unique comfort petals and silicone teat also provides flexibility, making it less likely to collapse during feeding, which is important for a child who likes to squirm and fidget as she drinks milk. Yes, Angel, that's you.

******

The verdict

My 3.5 year old girl, yes she still drinks from the milk bottle, was excited to use the Natural bottle once she saw it and has never looked back at her old competing brand of bottles since. She now calls this "The big big bottle" and every session is an enjoyable one for her.

One thing, I have noticed milk on her chin at times and she would take a tissue to wipe it off. These bottles are supposed to be leak free so sometimes it might be because I did not screw on the cap tightly or that she has a tendency to talk, or sometimes sing, as she drinks.



As for the three-month-old, I can only say it was a miracle that she drank till the last drop on both occasions that I tried to feed her with the bottle. I did not expect her to take to it the first time and so when she started feeling the teat with her tongue, pushing it side to side and seemingly playing with it, I thought "Oh no, there goes my precious milk". Then, when she suddenly latched on the same way as she latched onto my breast, and emptied the bottle, I was more than amazed.

Boobs, you are still the most wonderful but isn't it great to rest once in a while and let others have a chance to do the job?

By others, I actually mean the hubby.

The combined use of the breast pump and milk bottle has given him a chance to feel like a mum and more importantly, it is a unique way for him to bond with the baby. We did not do this at all for Angel since I let her latch on nearly all the time. However, now that we are back in Singapore and the hubby is spending much less time at home than before due to work, to the extent that Ariel has started to reject him when he carries her, I realise that this may be a good method for the father and baby to bond.

Yes, there will be times when our efforts do not pay off, times when Ariel demands for the real breasts, times when she wants no one in the world but Mummy to hold her, but at the end of the day, it is the process of trying that counts.


Now who says Mums can't be strong like Dads or that Dads can't be as affectionate as Mums?

Disclosure: This review is part 2 of a series of sponsored conversations between Philips AVENT and A Happy Mum. All opinions are my own.
 

10 comments:

  1. Hey great review babe! I'm pretty amazed with how Ariel latch on to the breast feel alike bottle the same way she latch on to your boobs! haha. I'm so hesitant on giving my boy bottle now because I'm so paranoid he won't want mummy anymore. I'm so going to check out these bottles when I'm returning to work!

    Ft

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  2. I love your review :) and the little competition going on between the old and new designs: hilarious!

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  3. This is a great review! New bottles look so good. Now what do I do with all the old Avent bottles, remember I had a ton of them? I only managed to make 2 maracas out from them lol.

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  4. I loved your comparison pictures - too cute!

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  5. Thanks for reviewing the breast pumps! Been waiting for one and looks like I should have gotten it at the recent Philips Carnival Sale. Have to wait for the next one in Sep/Nov. Great comparison you've got Summer!

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  6. Great review here! Nice and love the pictures too.

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  8. Super good review Summer! I also bought the manual too and then regretted big time and went out to get the electric! Will. never. go. back. to. manual. LOL

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. Thanks for the review.. how about doin the review on washing and sterilization after every session?

    I just got a pump for myself and still unsure if I can express out the milk when the times comes.. comes i use manual pump when i had my first child.

    My supply has always been low.. appreciate if you can do a review on milk storage as well!!

    ReplyDelete

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