By Wendy Colson RN, IBCLC
Ever since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented in the United States in 2012, breast pumps are becoming commonplace after a baby is born. The number of breast pump manufacturers continues to grow now that most private health insurances cover and provide a double electric pump under the ACA. But, there is still a need for retail breast pumps too.
Some of the reasons why a mom might still need to purchase a breastpump after receiving an insurance issued pump are:
- The insurance issued pump she receives is not compatible with her breasts and/or lifestyle.
- She prefers to own two separate pumps leaving one at work and one at home to make working and breastfeeding easier when returning to work.
- The breast pump she was issued from insurance stops working and is out of warranty.
Luckily, there are a lot more choices when it comes to purchasing a personal double electric breastpump. One of the newest pumps emerging on the market is the Lansinoh® SmartPump Double Electric Breast Pump. This new breast pump is the first to combine some of the most efficient and convenient features found on today’s personal breast pumps and gives it a modern twist by blending them with Bluetooth technology. Lansinoh Smartpump Double Electric Breast Pump’s integration with Bluetooth via its free app could make pumping more suitable for the millions of moms who choose to pump while breastfeeding.
The features which stood out in my opinion as a board certified lactation consultant are as follows:
- Closed system: This technology minimizes milk from backing up in the tubing. Having the motor sealed decreases the chance of bacteria and other organisms entering the pump’s motor, which is often unknown to the mother.
- Modern design: No knobs to turns; just easy and precise push buttons.
- LetDown Button: Moms have been conditioned and want at the push of a button to have a pump mimic the change in speed and suction during a letdown and expressions phases.
- Separate Speed and Suction Function: The Lanisinoh Smartpump allows for each mom to customize and maximize how she pumps. There are three Pumping Styles built in to choose from to try to mimic how her baby suckles from the breast or, at the push of a button, a mom can choose to customize her setting even more choosing up to eight levels of suction.
- Compact Size: Thankfully the big and bulky pumps are less common within the new generation of breastpumps. Battery powered is optional because today’s mamas are on the go!
- Clock/Timer: Losing track of time is easy to do with pumping since most moms I know are pumping handsfree and become distracted on their phones.
- Backlight: Useful to have because moms don’t just pump in the day hours.
- Different Flange Sizes Included: Having variances in flange sizes included better assures an accurate fit, which results in increasing output and decreasing nipple trauma. Having sizing options included prevents injury from having to use the incorrect size until a mom has time to go shopping.
- Cost: The $199.99 MRSP is a good price point for a retail pump. The free app which connects automatically is what makes this pump so unique.
- Lansinoh Baby App: Compatible with both iPhones and Androids. Can be connected prior to connecting to your pump to track the necessary data used when determining how well lactation is going such as output from diapers including color of stools, tracking feeding frequency, and duration. The best feature is it can be downloaded and shared with your lactation consultant and pediatrician to provide a thorough history. Gone are all those messy handwritten charts parents show me!
Since my breastfeeding days are six years behind me, I enlisted the help of a few local breastfeeding moms to let me know how the new Lansinoh® Smartpump Double Electric Breast Pump feels and functions compared to their current electric breastpump they were using. Disclosure: Lansinoh provided pumps to these two mothers for trial, but all opinions are our own.
Tester #1: Mother of two; ages 3 years and 2 months. Breastfeeds exclusively, but works fulltime. Has a flexible work environment and can bring her newborn to work with her on most days. She represents the “occasional pumper”. She pumps for breastmilk to be given by bottle by her spouse or caregiver due to work, date nights, and errands done without baby.
- Suction “I could only stand the lowest setting which was strange because I usually have to turn my pump to the highest setting.”
- Speed Tester 1 used Pumping Style Two, which is the default setting. “It felt faster, but I have never recorded my minutes before. The app made it effortless to know how long it takes me to pump. That was cool!”
- Comfort “I used the standard size flange, and they fit the same as my previous ones. If I kept the suction at the lowest setting it felt comparable to my former pump’s highest setting.”
- Ease of Use “I perused through the instruction manual before trying because I had never used a pump with separate speed and suction controls. I just turned it on, starting to letdown, and pumped. The first setting was perfect for me.”
- Amount Pumped same as her previous pump
- Favorite Lansinoh Baby App Features The pump automatically connects when turning on your pump making record keeping easy to do.
- Small ice pack which doesn’t fit around the storage bottles in the cooler. Added second ice pack in cooling bag.
- “Wish the pump parts which I already own (I have tons) are compatible.”
Would you recommend? “Yes, it has it all! The app has things on it you can use if not pumping yet. I would suggest a new mom download the app while still pregnant because learning to pump and playing with the app was another step.”
Tester # 2: First time mom, 7 month old; Exclusively Pumping (EP) mom who is a stay at home mom. Pumps 5-7 times per day and exclusively bottle feeds + solids using only her expressed breastmilk.
● Suction “It felt stronger which had me questioning if my current pump is wearing out from using it so much. Eight suction levels is a nice feature.”
● Speed “I used all three pump styles. I found each one to be good for the different fullness in my breast. I prefered Pumping Style 2 which is standard. However, when I’m fuller in the mornings, I then prefered Pumping Style 1 because it’s faster; removing more milk once I begin to letdown.”
● Comfort “I am so use to pumping, it never hurts me! This pump is about the same as my current pump.”
● Ease of Use “I cleaned the parts, assembled and just pumped! The automatic shut off feature is useful since I often would forget to turn off my pump when I was done while storing my milk.”
● Amount Pumped “I use to get about the same as my older pump, but now that I am more familiar with this pump I average 2-3 more ounces per day.”
● Favorite Lansinoh Baby App Feature “It replaced my previous baby app since it can do all that and more. I love that it automatically records when I pump by simply turning on the pump. I use both the bottlefeeding and diaper count feature too.”
● “I use this pump now in place of my current pump, but If I had to change give one thing about this pump it would be the size of the outside diameter of the flange (purple rubber part) and the fact it’s made out of rubber. This part is wider than my last pump and I had to cut the holes in my handsfree bra bigger because the rubber doesn’t slide in and out as easily. I wish it were plastic instead.”
Would you recommend? “Yes”
In America, breastpumps have become synonymous with breastfeeding. In fact, North America was the largest market with more than 63% share in global breast pump market. (1) While most lactation professionals agree that pumping more than your baby actually needs to gain a freezer “stash” is both unnecessary, could cause an oversupply which has health implications, and is too time consuming for the average breastfeeding mother. Breastpumps are vital items if you are one of the 70% (2) of moms who return back to the workforce after childbirth. Also, each year the initiation of breastfeeding rates continue to climb. Today’s moms are choosing to breastfeed longer compared to just a few years ago because of the increases in education and support which continue to improve. Pumping is imperative for the working mom obviously, but also the mom who only pumps regardless of work status. Exclusive Pumpers (EPs) are a population that is growing. These moms rely heavily on a breast pump’s features to be successful.
Thankfully, these moms and others have options when choosing their personal double electric breastpumps like the Lansinoh® Smartpump Double Electric Breast Pump.
Wendy Colson, RN, IBCLC, RLC is a registered nurse whose specialties include NICU and maternalchild health and is a board certified lactation consultant with over 20 years experience working with families. She is the creator and CEO of Boobie Bar, The Original Herbal Lactation Bar. She currently works as a lactation consultant at Sharp Grossmont Hospital and in privatepractice in the San Diego, California area. She is also participates and speaks monthly through breastfeeding webinars hosted by Gugu Guru in the Gugu Village.