Every persons pumping experience is different. First you need to figure out how much you will use the pump. If you intend on pumping regularly then an electric pump is definitely the way to go, if only for an occasional feed, manual. I used the medela double pump and did not like it at all. I found the suction to be painful and didnt like the having to pump both breast at the same time. My son wouldnt take a bottle at all,so there wasnt need to pump much so I bought a manual pump which worked just fine for me. I got mastitis a few times and really needed to make sure I was empty after feeding.
In my personal experience, I've used both manual and electric. I find them both to be just as effective, but the technique for each is a little different.
I used a Medela manual pump for the first five weeks after returning to work, and it was (and still is) just as effective for me as the electric pump, in that I can pump the same amount with the manual and the electric. But the manual does take longer, and it takes all your attention as far as needing both hands just to pump one breast at a time. You really can't do anything else while you're pumping. Also, after a few minutes, your hand and wrist do get a little strained, but you get used to it after awhile.
I started using the Lansinoh double electric pump after the first five weeks at work, and I loved it--I had both hands free to continue working at my desk, and the pumping time was cut in half from about 30-45 minutes to 15-25 minutes, depending on how full I was. Unfortunately, the motor and suction wore out after only a month of using the Lansinoh, so I went out and bought a single electric pump, the Medela Swing.
I love the Swing, but I'm back up to pumping sessions that last about 30 minutes because I can only do one breast at a time. I can't afford a double pump right now after spending so much on the Lansinoh and then needing to dish out another $150 for the Swing in a month's time because the Lansinoh broke down. I was quite irritated by that...
Anyway, there has been a time or two when I've used the manual pump since then, and it is such a trusty little device--it always works, it's lightweight, and there are significantly fewer pieces to it, so less to clean. :-)
I'd say if you're not going to be pumping more than once or twice a day, don't bother with getting an electric pump unless you really want one for convenience reasons or whatever reason you have. In my case, I need an electric pump daily and use it about four times a day. That's a lot of time to dedicate to pumping each day, so an electric pump makes it all that much easier. :-)
I have to go back to work so I will be pumping. I plan on EBF for the first month then pumping to build a supply in the freezer for when I return to work. I want to breastfeed for at least a year longer if I can
Medela hand pump costs $35. My hospital gave me one for free when I mentioned a sore on my nipple. I love it.
When do you go back to work. If it's later on, then a good pump isn't quite as important as in the first few months before your supply is well established. I have the pump in style advanced and i love that too. Definitely wouldn't have survived without it since i was exclusively pumping.
Do you have to decide now? I ask because it depends on how your supply is, how often you can pump at work, the kid of work you do, where you'll be able to pump, etc... Will you have a place to plug in? Do you have an office where you can pump while you work? Electric is the way to go then. If you'll be ducking into a bathroom every few hours then you may not be able to Use an electric. I also suggest waiting to see how bf works out. I wanted desperately to bf both girls, but for different reasons ended up having to pump exclusively. Things do not always go as planned.
I responded well to the manual medela harmony but hesitate to recommend it since so many do not do well with a manual.
I am not planning on returning to the bar since I'm actually looking into filing a lawsuit right now against them. I will however be returning to the hotel job. I will then start to look for another job also. I probably will only be taking 2 months off. I work 8 hour shifts alone at the hotel so I can't go anywhere to pump either. I am a planner and organizer and like to have everything ready and it S U C K S not knowing which pump is going to work for me or if I'm even going to be able to breastfeed or if I'm going to exclusively pump. So many variables that I'm not liking right now I wish this was an easier decision. I wish that I could wait and try out several different pumps to find which one worked for me but thats not an option. I have to rely on the advice of others.
I could never get much milk out with a manual pump. My single mini electric and also the single swing pump (both medela) have been my choices. I have sucessfully breastfed by pumping for the last 7 1/2 months and will be continuing further. Obviously to have a good milk output you must have a good pumping routine though.
I am an advocate of the electric pump over the manual, but that is based on my experience of both. For me there is no contest.
I was looking at the Mini Electric and have a friend who said she would sell me her used one. I just wasn't sure if it would be enough for what I will need once I go back to work.
Well I used mine everyday, every three hours for 6 months and it worked well until then (I needed to replace it after that but still good going really!) The mini electric does require careful handling though as the connection can sometimes get affected if you move it around too much (for example) while pumping. But all in all, a good pump, and economical too.
A lot of ladies on here swear by double electric hospital grade pumps like the medela pump in style and the freestyle. But they are much more expensive. I can't offer any experience on double pumping but I've heard they are the quickest most efficient way of expressing milk. So that maybe something to think about too.
you will need to be able to pump at work. Ideally, twice in the 8 hour shift, but definitely at least once. Maybe on your lunch break? In this case, i would definitely go for the double electric pump like a pump in style. Since you will not have many opportunities to pump, you should make the most of your time and provide more stimulation by double pumping. As it is, you may have trouble maintaining a supply if you drop sessions that early. I was able to start dropping some sessions by 8 weeks and my supply actually went up, but many women see a decrease if they go long stretches without nursing/pumping that early on. It's hard to say in advance how your body will respond, but i would be prepared to need the double pump.