Breastpump recommendation & timings?: Hi all, I’m 3... - NCT

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Breastpump recommendation & timings?

XOXO13 profile image

Hi all,

I’m 32 weeks pregnant with twins, and scheduled for a c-section in just five weeks time. I had an NCT class this week which was all about feeding, with a heavy focus on breastfeeding.

Tbh, I haven’t thought too much about it until now… I don’t really want the pressure from someone telling me breast is best (which is what the NCT class was doing and it has kind of set my anxiety off). I was formula fed and I am perfectly fine and healthy. However, the closer I’m getting to birth, the more I am leaning towards trying the breast but not exclusively. I want to try expressing also (and topping up with formula if baby needs it) so that i’m not just exclusively doing the boobs and to also allow my husband to feed the babies and anyone else who is around to help.

My question is around breast pumps. I’m thinking the Madela Freestyle Flex 2 and wondered if anyone had used this for their baby/babies and what they thought of it? How soon did you or should you introduce expressed milk? Do I need to buy a pump now or should I wait and see how I feel once babies are here?

The Elvie was another one I was considering but it’s so expensive and the madela by the sounds of it gets the job done quicker so leaning towards that one!

Any thoughts, tips, recommendations, general words of wisdom would be really welcome…

Thanks so much xx

43 Replies

Hi lovely, I’m planning on doing both too, so interested to see the responses! Xx

XOXO13 profile image
XOXO13 in reply to Millbanks

It’s very overwhelming. I’ve got myself in a bit of a stressy mindset just researching tonight! So many choices on the market and I’ve no idea what I need and when I need it! Hopefully some other parents come back with good suggestions 🤞🏻💖 xx

Hello mum of twins 😀 I am also a mum of two months old twins and I am feeding my little ones with 100% expressed milk. I used or better said I am using Medela pump but I am not happy with it at all. I need to buy now a new pump as Medela freestyle is not functioning properly anymore after 2 months. At the moment I am using one from Tommee tippee but is a single one not duble and to my surprise is doing his job much better than Medela. I also used rented pump from Ardo, which was also absolutely great but I didn't like the fact that it wasn't rechargeable 😤. I was about to have mastitis because of the bloody Medela, I suffered so much until I realised that pump was the problem. I am still thinking what to order, haven't decided yet....

XOXO13 profile image
XOXO13 in reply to Ranchu90

Hello mummy of twinnies! Sorry you’ve had a difficult time with the pump… two months doesn’t seem like a long time for it to pack in! You should let them know as they’re really expensive aren’t they! Good to know you 100 percent express feed… do you mind me asking at what time you express? I’m still yet to do more research, but thinking times I know I’ll be home I.e., morning and night would be good depending on milk supply! Xx

Ranchu90 profile image
Ranchu90 in reply to XOXO13

I wanted to write a longer reply originally but my twins are keeping me on my toes 🤣...soon you will also see 🥰😘 I will start with the beginning...when I was at the hospital I exclusively breastfed my babies, once I reached home this wasn't possible anymore as they wanted to stay longer on my breast and I couldn't do a tandem breastfeeding. Then I realised that pumping will be the only solution, I had an appointment with lactation consultant and we discussed all the options. I started by pumping every 3 hours to stimulate my milk production. As it wasn't enough, once a day a had to give them formula just for few weeks. Now I am pumping every 4-5 hours and I can pump around 350-400ml in 20min. I have more than what they need to I am freezing the surplus. Even if you will have C section you will have colostrum to breastfeed them for at least 3 days, after that your milk will come so don't worry about that.

If you have more questions feel free to ask 🙂

XOXO13 profile image
XOXO13 in reply to Ranchu90

This is all really helpful, thank you so much!! It’s such a journey isn’t it, and I’m assuming lots of trial and error! Sounds like you have a really healthy supply as well, hoping I do too! I think feeding both babies on the breast exclusively is just so tough! But definitely will try in the early days and express too ☺️ Xx

Ranchu90 profile image
Ranchu90 in reply to XOXO13

It is a hard journey and I didn't want to give up breastfeeding them, I am not against formula feeding but I had "mum guilt" for not trying everything I could. I am so glad that pumping worked so well for me, I calculated and I am spending max 2h per day pumping (24h) this is nothing compared to breastfeeding 2 babies that was almost non stop job first few days of their life. Stimulate your breast don't worry you will not overproduce xxx

XOXO13 profile image
XOXO13 in reply to Ranchu90

When you say 2 hours a day, it doesn’t sound like much does it but you’ve done so well! I really hope I can have as much success ☺️ Thank you for all your words of wisdom xx

ashalez profile image
ashalez in reply to Ranchu90

Hi,Congratulations for your twins and ypu are doing great job 👏 ,I had a daughter 12 days ago and I'm breastfeeding her and also pumping because she always cry for more feed so I have to pump and feed her.

But my milk supply not much hardly I get 50mls .

Could please let me know what diet your having any multivitamins etc I want to increase my supply.

Thanks in advance ☺

Ranchu90 profile image
Ranchu90 in reply to ashalez

Thank you! I am not following any strict rules, I am trying to eat every day soup and drink milk at least one glass per day full fat (this is what my GP also advised). The most important thing is to stimulate yourself, what you are doing is very good- breastfeeding and after that pumping, keep doing that. Also a good pump is very important. To be honest 50ml 12 days after giving birth is very good. Your milk supply will be established after week 6 so plenty time to increase it. If you want to increase your milk supply Google "power pumping" and follow the steps (10 min pump, 10 min rest - do this for 1 hour). Congratulations for your daughter 💞

I am in a similar position. The advice I have had from several friends who pumped and also my NCT breastfeeding counsellor (who was a bit more pragmatic from the sound of it!) was to wait until baby arrives so you get an idea of whether you want a single or double - single for if you’re doing breast and pump/double if all pump. The consensus seems to be to try just breast in the first few days for bonding and just see how it goes, as you can order almost anything for next day delivery. If you’re stuck overnight you can either hand express or get in a bottle of pre-made liquid formula now to have as an emergency stopgap. I got in a few empty bottles and a £15 microwave steriliser as I figured I’ll def use them at some point, and a couple of single small bottles of premade liquid formula as they are really cheap. Xx

XOXO13 profile image
XOXO13 in reply to Purpledoggy

Waiting until they arrive seems like a sensible idea as I may not even have enough milk 🤷🏻‍♀️ And I don’t mind trying for the first few days purely breast whilst I figure it all out. I’ve got bottles and a steriliser and going to stock up on the formula milk just incase it’s needed as well! Xx

Hi lovely,

I bought the medela freestyle flex when I had my daughter, I really wanted the Elvie but the reviews were so mixed I couldn’t bring myself to buy one. The medela one is a great pump but I found it a chore, having to go into another room, take my whole top half of clothes off etc. I ended up buying an Elvie when my daughter was two months old and my god, I wish I had done it sooner! I could pump literally anywhere, while cooking dinner or even driving to tesco (one boob on the way, the other on the way back 😂). Yes it’s not quite as powerful as the medela but it’s so convenient that it doesn't matter. My only advice with the Elvie is to make sure you read the leaflet and use the right size nipple, I had to order another size from them xx

XOXO13 profile image
XOXO13 in reply to KiboXX

This has massively reassured me, thank you! For some reason the midwife at NCT was completely against the Elvie but lots of mums recommend it so I can’t understand why the midwife wouldn’t recommend it. This sounds weird but how do you know what nipple size you are?! Thank you for your advice xxx

KiboXX profile image
KiboXX in reply to XOXO13

Yeah I don’t know why either! It has a little guide inside the booklet to show you how to check which one is the right size, it’s really easy xx

Hi! Lovely to speak to you on this forum now!

My experience from my boy was that you just don’t know how you will respond to breast feeding or whether you will like it. So it’s worth doing all of the research and then making decisions after babies are here in my opinion. It will also give you an idea of how much you want to invest in a pump.

What you have in mind was exactly the approach we took. I breast fed mainly but we did 1 or 2 formula feeds at night, which I think worked great. I found formula kept baby asleep for longer as it’s heavier in nature.

We were unprepared for this approach as NCT classes made breast feeding seem like a walk in the park and I completely did not find that, although I enjoyed it so wanted to pursue.

I would say stick by combination feeding if it’s what you want to do, as we had a lot of pushback from all of the midwives and health visitors we came across, as if we were going down some kind of unknown dark path.. really was not needed!

Also remember if hubby does night feeds you still may be up having to pump. I got a single pump Medela. Definitely regretted not getting a double because of the time it takes and found it fiddly having to hold it in the correct position all the time, so you may need a special vest so you can be on the move. Also found it antisocial as I’d have to go into another room to do it if in company!

In hindsight, with the amount of pumping I did I wish I got the most practical (like an Elvie) as I wouldn’t have found it such a chore. But also have friends who never used their pump at all.

I’d have a next day delivery option at the ready and see how you go👍xxx

XOXO13 profile image
XOXO13 in reply to Maui2020

It is such a personal choice isn’t it, and sometimes breast isn’t always best if there is a weak milk supply so I wasn’t keen on being made to feel like doing it any other way was wrong. I don’t think it is… luckily my mum and aunts who are all either retired midwives or nurses are supportive and say either is fine. Fed baby is happy baby!

My sister has a single Madela pump which I can borrow to begin with until I make a decision which may help. And my friend who is also a midwife said the hospital will have a pump to help me with the first few days as well which is good to know. After reading all of these comments, I’m now leaning more towards the Elvie pump so I can express freely but I’m not against adding in formula if babies need it either.

Thank you for responding ♥️ Xx

Hi my little one turn 5 months and I’m still fully breastfeeding. I got Tommy tippy double electric pump but is not good . I try from my sister in low Elvie breast pump but to be honest i didn’t like it . I bought mommycozy breast pump and is good but I always want Medela so I bought Medela Swing double electric pump the new one which is around £250 and is so easy to clean, easy to use and if u buy a Medela easy breast pump bustier bra is amazing u can go around home hands free. I pump pretty much every morning most of the times the side that she didn’t drunk…and in 10min I get just over 150 ml ( over 5oz). Worth every penny .

My little one doesn’t take dummies or bottles but I got some nice frozen supplies which I use milk for her food now . Xx

XOXO13 profile image
XOXO13 in reply to Olivia1980xxx

Thank you for sharing, you’ve been through a few pumps! I wish there was a trial policy so you don’t have to spend so much to then buy another and then another! I’ve heard of the Madela Swing, that’s similar I think to the one I was considering as well. Thanks so much for coming back to me xx

I exclusively pumped with my daughter as I couldn't get her to latch and I was determined for her to have some breast milk. We did have to top up with formula because my supply wasn't good enough, and I would generally always give breast milk first, then if there wasn't any, give formula. After much research I got a Milk Genie pump, its portable, has great suction, and it's very small and quiet.

XOXO13 profile image
XOXO13 in reply to

Thank you for sharing. And this is my mindset as well, if I don’t have a great milk supply then I’ll do what I can and top up without any guilt. I remember my sister in law had a bad milk supply and she tortured herself for ages which seemed so unfair because it wasn’t her fault. My nephew was fine on formula! I’ve not heard of the Milk Genie before, I’ll have a research thank you ♥️ Xx

Hi XOXO13. I have a slightly different Medala ( Swing Flex Maxi double) and I also have an Elvie single. Both of which I bought after having my little boy.

My advice is to wait and see how you go initially once they arrive. The one thing to buy before if a haakaa yes it's manual but it's worth it's weight in gold. If you can breastfeed this will catch all the letdown from the other boob ( yes that is a thing and still using it now).

My story is that milk was v late in coming in and due to complications with my LB we ended up in hospital for a week - those hospital pumps are so efficient. I bought the Medala initially as this was what I was using in hospital. (I struggled with producing enough milk so my LB has been combi fed since 2 days old). I was advised to pump every day from early on but many of my EBF friends didn't start pumping till after 6 weeks (which is current advice I believe).

The Elvie came about as I just couldn't be attached to the pump and not be doing other things. Both have their place and I've used them at different times through our journey. My LB is almost 8 months and I'm still using both pumps and still breastfeeding and toping him up with formula

Elvie does have it's advantages (pumping while driving anyone?) But the medala is more efficient but quicker.

The other option I did look at is you can hire a hospital strength pump. I only produce a max of 100ml for a 20 min double pumping session so I'm very envious of Olivia1980xxx,

Whatever happens best of luck with the twins. And however you end up feeding them is what is best for you and them. One of my NCT friends who was anti formula actually ended up having to formula feed due to allergies. And others added in formula and went combi after a few months. Its a personal journey and it's yours to explore.

Do I wish I had more mik yes but combi feeding gives me more flexibility and expressing and formula mean daddy (and grandparents) can help feed him. But I wouldn't change our feeds for anything there is just something about how they look at you.

I would advise collecting collustrum though I had a stash I took in and used with my LB especially valuable as my milk wasn't coming in and he was sick.

Good luck. Xxxx

XOXO13 profile image
XOXO13 in reply to AlmostanAngel

Thank you! I actually have the haaka lined up good to go, so I’m glad you mentioned that! I’m having a c-section so I was informed that my milk may be delayed coming in as well by a few days which is common I believe.

The midwife did also say not to use a bottle for six weeks minimum but I’m not going to do that. With two babies, I want all the help I can get with feeding so I don’t want to exclusively breastfeed for the first six weeks. I want them to have breast milk which is why I am exploring combined feeding techniques.

I love that you have both and you’re still using both. The things you’ve said about each pump is what I’ve also heard and what is making my decision really hard to make. I could get both but it’s also so much money to spend before they’re born so maybe waiting until they’re here to see how it goes is the right thing to do.

The hospital gave me the colostrum needles yesterday eek so I plan to do that a few days before my c-section! 🤞🏻

Thanks so much for your advice, it’s been really useful and calming xx

I’ve been breast feeding for nearly a year now. I purchased a tommee tippee closer to nature before my baby was born but only started to use it when my baby was 6 months to give me more freedom while out and about. It has been good but it is loud and lots of bits to clean but can’t complain about performance. I am now researching getting another breast pump as I’m going back to work soon and want one that I can use while sat at my computer. This conversation has been helpful. All I can say is try a good few days to get the baby to latch properly. After 2 days I was freaking out that baby was starving but the midwife came and talked me through it. Also take care of your nipples so you don’t get put off if they get sore. Lanolin cream is a god send.

XOXO13 profile image
XOXO13 in reply to Susie23

Thank you! Aha I’ve been bought nipple balm and cream from my sister actually as she said the same thing! Did you use nipple shields at all? Another thing my midwife is against but something I’ve read can help! Best of luck with returning to work xxx

This topic is very interesting to me too. I dont want to have all the responsibility of feeding so I want to express as much as possible so then I can refrigerate or even freeze. Thanks for asking 👍

XOXO13 profile image
XOXO13 in reply to Jogsandwalks

Right with you there! Xx

The cream is £10 for a little tub and I thought it was expensive but over 11 months on and I’ve not used it all and it’s amazing. I had problems with latching and still do sometimes. I bought a shield but she didn’t like it and neither did I so didn’t use it. I used the cream and rested a nipple for a day so it healed and just used the other. I use to walk past cafes wondering how the mum was just sat there chatting away while feeding and made it look so easy but reassured myself she probably had the same issues. I have been determined to breast feed though. It’s so good for baby and mum. It save a fortune in formula and you burn about 600 calls a day. Loads of benefits but is hard work. My midwife said don’t introduce a dummy or bottle before 6 weeks but I did as she was on my nipple 24/7 and was struggling, It can confuse the baby about latching (probably why I had trouble) you just have to be patient and just keep trying and doing it.

XOXO13 profile image
XOXO13 in reply to Susie23

Thank you! I’m not keen on the idea of breastfeeding both babies in public purely because I cannot see how I would do that, particularly if I’m on my own! But I do want to try breast at home, and give them as much breast milk as possible ☺️

Noted about the nipple shields, that’s interesting. My sister also didn’t like them.

I have actually bought dummies, I’m not against them and if it soothes babies then I won’t say no. But I was told the same thing as you were, not for six weeks! I guess I’ll just see how it all goes xx

Susie23 profile image
Susie23 in reply to XOXO13

Good luck and if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t happen. loved and happy babies won’t care as long as they are loved x

I had the medela freestyle flexi and it was great, I'd tried 2 other medela and this was certainly worth the money, just for the time it saved, it's in offer with a well known retailer at the mo too x

XOXO13 profile image
XOXO13 in reply to HollyT7

It is, that’s why I’m tempted to get it whilst it’s discounted heavily as well… not many in stock! Xx

Hi. Very interesting thread. Hope your pregnancy is going well. I am 24 weeks pregnant with twins. I found a link to rent a hospital grade pump.medela-rental.co.uk/shop/sy...

Also in case you don’t know the Twins Trust do a breastfeeding webinar for a small charge and it seems to cover options so I was thinking of signing up to one.

XOXO13 profile image
XOXO13 in reply to Pnw2020

Thank you!! I’ve decided to go with the Elvie pump :) xx

I'd go with the Elvie hands down. There are 7 intensity levels, so you can find which is right for you. After investing in such a nice pump I would hate to spend money on extra parts and bags (these aren't cheap!). Elvie comes with a full extra set of parts/bottles so you have everything you need right out of the box, especially useful for busy moms who don’t have a ton of time to wash parts. It also lets you toggle between letdown and expression mode, which I have read

XOXO13 profile image
XOXO13 in reply to srfsshew

Thank you… I have decided to go with the Elvie pump after raving reviews :) xx

Hi hun- my advice is to wait before buying such an expensive product as you won’t know whether you’ll be able to breastfeed yet.

I had an elective section and my milk didn’t come through before 4 days after the section but as my baby was literally starving I had to introduce formula and continued with it because in the end my milk never came (I used to get 10ml from right breast after been hooked up to the pump for ages!).

I regret having bought the medela freestyle flex 2 before giving birth because it was lots of money wasted.

You’ll need to consider that you may not be able to breastfeed for reasons out of your control so I’d say wait.

And bring your own formula to the hospital, midwives will do everything not to give it to you!

They’ll brain wash you with how better breastfeeding is and bla bla bla 😂don’t let them get to you.

We need to look after our babies, if they’re hungry we feed them in the way we can feed them. Full stop.

Ps:I was a bottle baby too (back in the 80s) and I never ever get sick. So far I even managed to avoid getting Covid (and yep I’m jabbed and boosted but still…) and I’m a very healthy person.

Good luck xx 💋

XOXO13 profile image
XOXO13 in reply to ToughCOOKIE78

Great tip, thank you. And I’ve been thinking that too - I may not produce enough milk so I can get next day delivery if needed also! The only problem is the pump I need is low in stock at a supplier where I have a voucher that covers the majority of the pump cost so I don’t want to miss out on it and then be out of pocket the full amount.

I have bought aptimal ready prepared milk alongside the powder for home too as a top up as I completely agree that a fed baby is a happy baby! And I do plan to use formula alongside expressed milk - just working out when’s best for all that but figured that will come once babies are here!!

I’m a formula fed baby also and perfectly healthy ☺️ - I don’t like how much some midwives push breast is best on you. Adds to the whole feeling guilty then when you can’t or don’t want to breastfeed!

Xxx

Hey, I think one thing I find with breastfeeding is that while it's encouraged because we have one of the lowest rates of breastfed babies in the world it's not really explained very well and we don't know what the early days of breastfeeding should look like.We also like to pride ourselves on how quick we can get back to 'normal' rush to get out of hospital and back on our feet!

My friend in Switzerland was gobsmacked that I hoped to be home within a few hours of delivery!

Breastfeeding is a new skill for your and your babies and it takes a while to get the hang of it, what positions work for you, which boob has the best nipple angle for which hold and building up etc.

At first babies feed little and often, so it feels like your boobs are out a lot, and baby will fuss and sqwak at your boobs to encourage more to be produced, people often mistake this for them not getting enough and give formula, but that can mean your body then doesn't produce more milk because baby isn't telling it too. It's supply and demand, so the more they all for the more you produce.

In some countries new babies aren't even expected to leave the house for the first 3 months while mother and baby work out their rhythms together, whereas here you're expected to treat maternity leave like you're on some sort of holiday, and that you're not doing it right if you're not posting your Instagram worthy excursions, with babies in tow!

I've breastfed both my girls now, first to 16 months and second we are at 4 months, both have had boob, expressed milk and formula and I'm definitely not a breastfeeding pariah! If it doesn't work for you then formula is awesome stuff! Or if your want a break or for someone else to do a feed so you can have some time off etc.

I do however love breastfeeding for the ease of it, it's always there, no bottles or faffing round with water, no sterilising or extra stuff to pack on days out, no getting up in the night, it's free and it reduces your risk of things like breast cancer so there's so many benefits not just for baby.

I also harvested colostrum before both babies, I was able to get dad to give syringes of that when they were really tiny so I could have a snooze or a shower, and because I had gestational diabetes I gave them extra in hospital to help their blood sugars. My 4 month old also has a tongue tie so I was worried about weight loss in the early days so gave extra via the syringe in case she wasn't getting enough, she did amazingly and was back at birth weight by day 10.

I guess I just wanted to say it's definitely worth giving your boobs a really good shot at it and getting as much advice and help to get it right alongside pumping. Whilst I do think formula is fantastic stuff and I'm definitely not anti formula. I do think a lot of people end up using it because they don't get enough information or support to get on with breadfeeding or expressing, so sometimes you really have to advocate for support with the infant feeding teams or contact places like La Leche league for help. Sorry for the massive essay 🙈

XOXO13 profile image
XOXO13 in reply to Seb9

Thank you for sharing your experience and all this detail, it’s really interesting to hear! I’ve been told I’ll be in hospital for a minimum of three days and the midwife did say that if I’m not get ready to leave then they won’t just abandon me (🤞🏻) so I’ll take as much advice from them as possible. I’m taking my nursing pillow in as well so they can help me attempt to nurse both at once to begin with. I more what they pump to allow my husband to feed the babies as I just can’t imagine and don’t really want to have two babies feeding constantly on me - with twins, I don’t believe their is anything discreet way to feed on the boob when out in public and especially if on my own! So the bottle (either expressed or formula) will allow me flexibility. I just have to learn best timings to make sure I still produce enough milk for babies!

So much to take on board, definitely a learning curve and I’m hoping I will just figure it out and settle into a routine that works for us 🤞🏻

Thanks again, really appreciate your thoughts and experience xxx

Hi just thought I would update you. I purchased the Medela double pump and the bra so I can use hands free. I’ve only had it a few days but wow it’s really good. So much quieter pretty much silent, can express in around 15 mins instead of 20 mins on each side and my nipples don’t hurt. I also think I’m getting more milk per session as well. It’s double the price of the single handheld one I had but it’s well worth it. Wish I had got this earlier. I don’t think I will be going to the shops in it though as it not very discreet.

Purpledoggy profile image
Purpledoggy in reply to Susie23

Which medela double did you get? I’m toying with getting a pump and medela do a few doubles xx

Susie23 profile image
Susie23 in reply to Purpledoggy

I got the Medela Freestyle Flex 2-Phase Double Electric Breast Pump. It’s on offer at boots at the moment. Had it about a fortnight now and it’s really good. The Tommee Tippee I had did the job but it was a single, noisy and to do both breast took 40 minutes. It’s ok if you have time to sit but with me going back to work I needed fast. The Medela is double the price but that’s for the double pump. I do both with in 15 minutes and it’s a lot quieter. If you are planning on expressing for a while and can afford it I would defo recommend this. I looked at the ones you apparently can just pop in your bra but just couldn’t see this working for me and I don’t think I would go shopping while doing it anyway.

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