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Advice on Breast pump / Milk Bottles / Milk Bags / Sterilizer?

Discussion in 'Year 2008 Mums' started by angel2baby, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. angel2baby

    angel2baby Active Member

    Anyone can give me advice please? I'm trying to decide what breast pump and sterilizer to buy.

    Does the type of breast pump I will use determine what bottles and milk bags I can use? For example, if I use a Medela pump, does it mean I will only be able to use Medela bottles and milk bags? Or can I use other brands?

    And if I buy an Avent sterilizer, does it mean I can only use Avent milk bottles?

    Please advise!! Thanks [​IMG]

  2. oceans

    oceans Well-Known Member

    Hi, if u use the medela breast pump, u can still use those bottles that are small neck size such as Pigeon, NUK, etc. However, jus need to note that sometimes the sealing cap might not be able to fit.
  3. jeanyard

    jeanyard Member

    Overheard that Ameda and Medela are the best brands if you want stress free pump.
    Avent is often discouraged cos it's bottles only suitable for its own brand, very restricted.
  4. angel2baby

    angel2baby Active Member

    Thanks Ocean, not too sure what's a sealing cap and what happens when its not able to fit? Cannot close the bottle issit?

    If I use the medela breast pump, and want to store the milk in milk bags, does it go directly into the milk bag or have to use bottle and then transfer over?
  5. joeyan

    joeyan Member

    I am using the Medela breast pump and I think it serves its purpose really well. But the medela milk storage bags are very expensive. $28.90 for 20 pcs @ Kiddy Palace. If i am not wrong, when you buy the pump it comes with one medela storage bottle. After pumping into the medela bottle I usually transfer the milk into the Gerber milk storage bag. It costs about $17 from Kiddy Palace for 25 pcs. So more savings. Plus i feel it stores better than the medela milk bags cos medela one still have to use the strap to tie the bag, but the Gerber one uses the ziploc type seal. However you can pump directly into the medela milk bags cos can tie the strap to the pump.

    Buy electric pump ok, manual pumps not as efficient.
  6. angel2baby

    angel2baby Active Member

    Thanks for sharing Jo [​IMG] The Medela pumps are so expensive..I'm wondering if I should spend so much.
  7. joeyan

    joeyan Member

    angel, depending on hospitals they might actually have a package. When I was a TMC they actually have a scheme whereby i purchase the Medela Twin Pump for 700 and then let go at 350. I did not take it up thought cos I already purchased the Medela Mini Pump during the Robinsons Sale. It was a pretty good deal i had, i think 270+ for the pump, 3 additional storage medela bottles, 1 medela carrier and one PureLan nipple cream.
  8. joeyan

    joeyan Member

    forgot to add, a good pump will make breastfeeding more enjoyable. Imagine spending a long time expressing milk and only a miserable amount is expressed becos of the pump ability. So take it as an investment lor. But also to note that the amount of milk depends on individual.I am quite lucky to be able to express enough for my boy, and still have surplus because he drinks formula milk twice a night as it keeps him full longer.

    During my pregnancy I consumed quite a lot of fish and beef. My secret visits to japanese restaurants to eat sashimi has not gone to waste. I read in a magazine that fish increases milk supply, so no harm starting early if you can stomach it during pregnancy.

    Good luck for your pregnancy, hope you'll have an enjoyable one.
  9. joeyan

    joeyan Member

    sorry ah just give birth so thoughts abit "luan" cannot think properly.

    I am using the Pigeon brand sterilizer and i use it to sterilize Avent and Medela bottles [​IMG]
  10. littlegirl

    littlegirl Active Member

    My feedback:

    Sterilizer - I m using Avent IQ 24. It can put any brands of milk btls in bcos the bottle neck is wide. It also has trays for u to put pacifers, ur breast pump accs.

    Pumps - I bought a manual initially bt realised nt as efficient, hence I bought a Swing. Manual is unable to stimulate ur breasts like electric does (Swing & PIS). However, a manual serves some purposed which electric can't do. It is easier to release the milk flow when your breasts are engorged, it helps to clear ur block ducts easily then electrics. I personally experienced them hence I could tell the diff. My breasts hv clog ducts easily nwadays & electric can't clear we well. Tats my personal feel.

    Milk bags - I bought Avent. 100 bags for $16+. However a disadv would be there is no clip or zipper, so u hv to get ur own clips. Wat I did was use rubber bands & tie tighter.
  11. angel2baby

    angel2baby Active Member

    All, thanks for your comments and sharing all your experiences! [​IMG]

    Jo, you're so funny - secretly eat sashimi! I love Sashimi but my gynae told me cannot eat and I have not touched a single piece since I got pregnant..but seems alot of preggy women are eating!! I don't think I'll take the risk coz I get food poisoning quite frequently.
  12. angel2baby

    angel2baby Active Member

    Question: Do the milk bags from Avent, Gerber and Medela come pre-sterilised?
  13. joeyan

    joeyan Member

    Gerber and Medela are pre-sterilised, not sure about Avent.

    Nothing beats fresh sashimi... the thought simply makes me drool.
  14. lizardessss

    lizardessss Active Member

    Ah ger
    are milk bags the same as milk liners?
  15. oceans

    oceans Well-Known Member

    Abt sashimi.. dun think can eat during preggie lah due to possible bateria which might be "transferred" thru the blood stream to ur unborned child.

    But i agreed with Jo that after birth, if you are breastfeeding, eating sashimi really could incr the milk flow leh. [​IMG] So, that was really after the bb was delivered loh. Well, at least that apply to me last time when i was breastfeeding my BB. [​IMG]
  16. littlegirl

    littlegirl Active Member

    Avent's r pre-sterilised already.

    Yes - they shld b the same. Infact Avent's r called milk liners, they cam b heated up then put directly into the btl w/o having to wash the btl after tat. Bt I always pour direct.

    During preg - can eat sashimi bt limit urself, + MUST B frm a reputable one to assure the sashimi's freshness.

    Sashimi can incr milk flow?????? Hw cme they say during BFg dun eat 2 much raw food??? Is tis proven????? If so I wanna eat.......
  17. angel2baby

    angel2baby Active Member

    Oh goodie [​IMG] Can eat sashimi when breastfeeding?
  18. pillow

    pillow Active Member

    my qn too ! thot breast feeding no sashimi as well ? hope someone can fish out any article that says it increases milkflow ? :p then i can use that as an excuse, tell hubby can eat. heehee
  19. joeyan

    joeyan Member

    During pregnancy i ate sashimi from Akashi, and sometimes Sakae Sushi. You must be able to tell that the sashimi is fresh.

    Call your gynae and confirm whether can eat sashimi or not lor. Mine told me that we can eat everything, but in moderation. Too much of something can turn goodness into poison too. But if you have a weak stomach then probably should avoid. Other good fish substitute are cod, tuna,salmon and sardine
  20. pitsdimple

    pitsdimple New Member

    hi mommies!
    i'd like to congratulate angel on deciding to breast feed! Support from ppl all arnd you is a must! It can be frustrating when your child is experiencing a growth spurt, he/she will need to feed almost at every hour. The rapid frequency is also bcos breast milk is so easy to digest so therefore easy on their tummy. But you'll know you'll be giving them the best milk, so no worries, k!
    I've been using Avent pumps and products so I'm a bit bias lah, cos it serves me very well. I've been on total breast feeding for 7 months and its been a month since i've supplemented with formula. Your supply will get lower after baby starts feeding on solids. But to still have sufficient supply, I load up on cereals esp oats, dark leafy vege and red meat.
    No regrets on my decision to breastfeed. Its a wonderful experience all women should experience. Read my blog on my honest adv & disadv on breastfeeding: http://www.zorpia.com/pitsdimple/journal/1642949
  21. angel2baby

    angel2baby Active Member

    hi Lin, I'm also big supporter of breastfeeding...just hope everything will go smoothly and no latching & supply problems!
  22. stressie

    stressie Member

    Hi Lin,
    Hi-5 ! I've been bfing my gal exclusively till 9 mths plus now.... planning to stop in 1 month or two after introducing formula to her....

    Hi Angel,

    Bfing is a uphill n ardous journey....just have to grit ur teeth n u can get positive results.. jia you !!
  23. angel2baby

    angel2baby Active Member

    Hi Jurong_gal, that's a long time to b/feed! Congrats! When you say bfing exclusively - means no formula or solids issit?
  24. jocelyn_tang

    jocelyn_tang Member

    Hi mummies

    Wanted to share my experience with breast pump. I am using the Avent manuel and Medala single pump for the first 6 mths for expressing milk & for stimulation (10 to 15 mins and I am done). Quite all right with it. Then I changed to Ameda dual pump. Heard is hospital grade. So I bought. My baby is now coming 10 mths. Still b/feeding. Now I dont express in office. I just latch my girl when I return home and whenever I am with her. But ever since I use the Ameda pump, I started to have blocked dusts. Very frustrated. Always have to catch my girl to clear it. Sometime, still cant clear. I try to use the pump to clear the dusts but unsuccessful. I found this Ameda pump very gentle and it takes longer to express (1/2 hr). So I guess the reason why I got blocked dusts is bcos this pump is too gentle for me or perhaps I need to have a stronger suction pump.
  25. jocelyn_tang

    jocelyn_tang Member

    btw, anyone know of any good paediatrician in the east?
  26. jeanyard

    jeanyard Member

    don't you have problems if never express for long time in the office?
  27. oceans

    oceans Well-Known Member

    U meant cant eat sasimi during b/feeding? Actually, i only thot cant eat during pregnancy leh... So after give birth, i ate sashimi and not too sure if it was mental thinking or wat, but my milk flow was actually better leh! [​IMG]

    And happened one of my collegues share the same experience & sentiments. Hehee.. I meant that was what happened to me lah.. but think not clincally proven.. [​IMG]

    But then, guess like all food, must eat everything in moderation lah!
  28. pillow

    pillow Active Member

    jocelyn, can share more on how you can still maintain your supply if you dun express in the office ?

    i am keen to continue breast feeding, but do not wish to express in the office...
  29. mamijoan

    mamijoan New Member

    Hi Angel,
    I've done quite a bit of research and asked a lot of breastfeeding mothers before I decided on the Medela Pump In Style Advance ("PIS"). It is a little cheaper than the Avent Isis Duo.

    A few features you need to consider, dual or single pump, frequent or occasional use. Don't even consider manual pump if you need to express regularly coz you'll give up breastfeeding in no time. Its too tiring.

    If you are going back to work and will be expressing breast milk at work, you'll need a workhorse and dual pump. All the friends who have bought single pumps tell me to go for dual pump. They wanted to save money by buying the single coz dual is much more expensive but in the end, recommend the dual coz its much for efficient. Plus when you are pumping one breast, the other breast sometimes leaks and it gets very messy and the milk is wasted too.

    Comparing Medela and Avent, Medela is a stronger pump and I was told it can squeeze every drop of milk from your breast. One of my colleagues started with Avent and prefer the softer touch although her sister lent her the PIS later. Other than this friend who was already used to Avent by the time she tried Medela, I haven't heard any complaints for the Medela Pump in Style Advance. Avent is also supposedly more difficult to clean according to reviews.

    I heard Ameda is also very good but there are very few reviews on this. Although it appears quite cheap, around $300, that doesn't include all the accessories that the PIS comes with. Moreover, the price of PIS has come down quite a bit. I bought mine during Taka sale for $685 which also came with a 20 bag pack of storage bags, a pack of disposable bra pads, a pack of washable bra pads and purelan nipple cream. I heard that the price was around $625 during Robinson Sale but came with other stuff. The PIS also comes with a cooler bag, ice pack and 4 storage bottles, battery pack when electrical supply is not available, and manual pump for emergency. These are all packed in a stylish back pack. Can be quite heavy but you can leave the manual pump and battery pack at home/office to lighten the weight. The older Medela models can be quite noisy and I'm not sure if they are as good.

    Of course, if you are only intending to pump occasionally and do not intend to BF for long, you need not get these top of the range models, can just go for one of the cheaper models. Medela's website and brochure gives you recommendation on which model to buy according to your requirements.

    Medela is a standard neck bottle and fits other brands of standard neck bottles and accessories for std neck bots. Avent comes in wide neck bottles. Pigeon has both type of bottles and teats. I've seen on some websites that there are gadgets available to convert your standard neck so that it fits wide neck bots too but haven't bothered abt this yet. Since I'm starting new, I try to get all compatible accessories.

    For steriler, I bought a Pigeon one since it came with two standard neck bottles which I can use with my Medela stuff. The model I bought is the latest which can be converted to a warmer and food steamer. Cost me $158. I thought Avent was aesthetically more pleasing but it doesn't have the Pigeon feature of being able to use as a warmer and steamer. If u r getting Avent pump, then it makes sense to get the Avent steamer since it would come with a few Avent bottles.

    As for storage bags, Avent no longer manufactures storage bags. They now manufacture these plastic containers which can be reused for abt 3-4 times. You will of course need to sterilise them after each use.

    If you are using Medela bags, they can be pumped directly into. They used to come in twist and tie style but now comes in zip lock form (or sticker form) but the reviews for the new design is bad. You can check out the reviews at babycentre.com. Says it is messy to use. As for other bags, most of them are for pouring into only and not for pumping directly into. I'm still trying to find out if Gerber bags can be pumped directly into. All storage bags are pre-sterilised so you can use and throw. You may also want to check out mail order using Vpost through Babycentre. May work out to be cheaper if you order in bulk coz these are light weight stuff and shipping is not that expensive. For myself, I will buy small packs locally to try first then bulk order the one that suits me best.

    I've written quite a bit since I'm very free this morning. Hope it helps those mummies who are still researching.
  30. jocelyn_tang

    jocelyn_tang Member

    Hi Jeanyard

    I brought my pump along to office to test for a few days in the event that I got engorgement so that I can express. Fortunately, it works. Before i left for work, I b/f my girl to empty both breast. When i am working, my girl will drink formula. When I reach home at nite, then I feed her again. I feel I have to empty both breast so that I can tolerate until I reach home.

    Hi Pillow

    I did not really maintain my supply. Previously I get 1 big & 1 small bottle. Sometimes only 1 big bottle. Ever since my girl started on solid, my supply drop & she dont really drink much milk. So even if I express in office, my supply has drop. Not worth expressing.. also lazy liao.... so i just feed her before i left for work & when I am with her. But most importantly, must empty both breast b4 u left 4 work. if not cant tolerate until at nite.
  31. kylie_tan

    kylie_tan New Member

    I am using Avent Bottles.

    For Breast Pump is good to opt for electronic type, is easier though more costly.
  32. pillow

    pillow Active Member

    Hi Mamijoan, very informative input ! i hope to breastfeed for abt 3 mths hence in dilemma whether to go for Medela PIS advanced or Ameda pump. The Ameda one is about $320, and accessories (like cooler bag, etc) to be purchased seperately. Are the accessories really necessary ?

    With the Ameda pump, do you know if Avent bottles are compatible ?

    thanks Jocelyn
  33. superbabymama

    superbabymama New Member

    before i bought my pis advanced...i wanted to bf for 6 mths, After i used it...i tbf my son for 15 mths.

    my 1st pump was a mini electric...that killed my supply..and i nearly wanted to give up.

    now planning to use it for my girl when i start work.

    never used ameda..but my colleague had to buy a pis...coz she said her ameda motor died on her after a year. so if you are planning on having a second kid getting a pis worth it.
  34. mamijoan

    mamijoan New Member

    Hi Pillow,

    perhaps you'd like to check our this site for reviews http://www.epinions.com/kifm-Health-Nursing_and_Feeding-Breast_Pumps-All-Ameda_Purely_Yours_Dual_Electric_Breastpump/display_~reviews. I think Ameda uses standard neck bottles like Medela so will not fit Avent like one of the reviews said. What you can do is to pump into the Ameda bottles then pour into your Avent bottles for storage or feeding. Cooler bag is definitely necessary if you are pumping away from home. But if you r only using it at home during your maternity leave then maybe not necessary. As for the carrier bag, I suppose you can use any bag that can fit nicely.
  35. superbabymama

    superbabymama New Member

    anyway...avent milk liners though not in production any more...are thinner than milk bags. If you wana freeze it for storage...muz double bag it. Otherwise your milk will get freezer burn..and the properties of the bm is compromised. And also...never ever use markers to write on where the milk is. Coz the ink would permeate thru the milk bag and possibly add poison into the milk.

    Good news about pis advanced is...bcoz got let down reflex function...milk expression..can be completed in 20 mins. Mayb depends on diff mummies...but i take only like 15 mins to ebm 120-150 mls per breast. so i take my lunch for 20 mins...still got ample time to ebm. ANd i only got time to do it once a day at work. Normally...i express in the morning, at work and before i sleep to get enuf milk for one day. MOrning and night time latch son on one side..pump the other side at the same time.
  36. angel2baby

    angel2baby Active Member

    Mamijoan, thanks for sharing all that info! [​IMG] I find it very useful indeed. You have convinced me to buy the Medela PIS..I intend to BF for a year, and I will be going back to work so need a good one that won't make me give up!
  37. jeanyard

    jeanyard Member

    Any mommy who express only twice a day: before and after work (say 9am - 5pm)?
    is this possible? do you have engorgement / leakage during office hours at work?
    I hope to express (partially) but not at working hours
  38. pilgrimmom

    pilgrimmom New Member

    Hi Jeanyard,

    I'm currently expressing only once or twice a day. I'll b/feed before work, and express when I'm back. At the start, yes there is some leakage or engorgement. To resolve that, do a partial expression, say during lunch. Don't empty your breasts completely. Just enough to relieve the fullness. Soon your body will get used to it and reduce production. Aren't our breasts amazing? :)

    Hope that helps!

    Pilgrim Mom
  39. jeanyard

    jeanyard Member

    thanks pilgrim!
    for how long did you go on partial expression?
    is 1 week enough?
    I will be going on a 2 week transition period to avoid leaking breast.
    now your bb on full expressed milk or supplement with formula?
  40. kylie_tan

    kylie_tan New Member

    Actually you can store your milk in Avent Milk Bags, its quite cheap and cost $16 + for 100pcs.
  41. jeanyard

    jeanyard Member

    i'm now storing them in Gerber bags. I noticed that thawed milk is yellowish and has oil globules as compared to fresh milk just expressed.
    Does this mean the frozen milk cannot be used?
  42. apuppy

    apuppy Member


    Just curious is it advisable to buy breastpump after delivery or before deliver cause I'm not sure if there will be any milk supply when I give birth but wont be able to go out and buy once deliver.How about breast pad? Before or after delivery? I'm interested in the Avent Isis manual pump, is that good as I am only BFing for 2 mth for my baby cause got to return to work and not convenient to BF in work area. There are 2 kinds for this manual pump-one the normal one and one with the blue bottles one. Is there any difference?

    I'm also curious for milk bottles how many shd i buy for the new born baby. Currently I have a Pigeon start up kit which consist of 1 small milk bottle and 2 big ones. As it wasnt anti-colic indicated I bot a extra reduce colic avent 125 ml bottle. Will that be enough?

    Sorry for so many questions cause I am a FTM and really at a lost what I shd buy and financially poor so hoping the things I buy baby will use otherwise waste money.Many Thanks~
  43. alhana

    alhana New Member


    U can invest in the Avent Isis since you dun intend to express long term. It's good. I've tried both the manual and Medela electric, and I must say I prefer the manual..less painful. But some people find that manual doesn't work for them. Perhaps you'd like to borrow from someone first to try? That's what I did..borrowed from a fren, then bought my own when I found it useful. U can always send ure hubby out to buy..just get the model name/brand.

    As for milk bottles, I've used a mixture of avent and pigeon. Started off w Avent, then switched to pigeon when she was 3M old. I think 3 is enough. I keep the small bottle for water, and use the big ones for milk. Of coz if u hv less bottles u will find ureself sterilising bottles more often..but I think buying too many bottles is a waste. Since finances are tight, I think u can very well manage with 3.
  44. b2b3m4

    b2b3m4 Active Member

    Actually i feel u shld buy a pump after u deliver. There's no need to express right after delivery bcos ur milk is not well established yet. it is in fact better to let baby suckle direct. After one month when everything is more in place, then u can start considering if u wan to continue to breastfeed your baby for long n how to adjust your pumping schedule when u are back at work.
    If ur wk is very hectic, it is strongly advsiable to get a electric dual pump so that u can express fast. But if u intend to breasfeed for only 2mths, like not very economical to get a A grade electric pump. Alternatively, if u dun mind, u can buy a 2nd hand one.
    Avent blue bottles??? do u mean blue cap?? Its just a adaptor fitted on the pump to allow u to pump direct into theri VIA containers. The one w/o blue adaptor allows u to pump only into Avent bottles.

    As for bottles, if ur baby is a on TBF. U only need one bottle. Bcos ur baby do not need to drink water at all. So u do not need one for water n one for milk. In fact, if u r latching baby direct, u do not even need a bottle.
    Breast fed babies only need to drink water when they start to solids. so my baby do not drink for a good 6mths.
  45. apuppy

    apuppy Member

    Hi Alhana and B2B3M4,

    Thanks for the tip. Now I know what I shd buy and not buy. Roughly make my decisions on the breast pump and will take the pic so hubby can buy for me if I really need it.

    Don think can BF in work area cause my work area fridge is very small. Don think can put the BF milk for baby.

    At least I know my bottles are enough for now. Hoping I can BF for my baby.Thanks all for the info.
  46. blueangel30

    blueangel30 New Member

    Hi B2B3M4,
    u sound quite experienced hence u should be able to help me with this:

    I m a mother of a 3yr old and expecting my 2nd one due in Nov. I tried BF (EBM) for my 1st child for 5mth but with very low supply and supplemented with formula for 5mths. finally stopped expressing by the 6th month.

    As i went thru c-sect, started to latch bb on in hospital only the 3rd day. the subsequently bb became very frustrated at my breast, i gave in and asked nurse to give formula. When i went home on the 5th day, then really start to latch on. It was a tough journey as bb not cooperative. Ended up nt able to establish my supply. I also didnt know who to approach then. But this time round i am rally determined to do TBF as it safves a lot more $$ and more beneficial for my child.

    Just want to know how u manage to establish ur supply. my concern is do i need to start off with double elec pump once i reach home (this time is c-sect for sure again)
  47. pilgrimmom

    pilgrimmom New Member


    Sorry for the late reply. I'm still partially breastfeeding baby at nights and once or twice a day. When I'm at work, baby takes expressed BM or formula.

    Two weeks sounds about right. You might want to wear breastpads for the initial few days to be on the safe side!

    Pilgrim Mom
  48. jeanyard

    jeanyard Member

    Pilgrim Mom,
    thanks for the reply. does your EBM turned yellowish during freezing?
    mine turns yellowish and when thawed, look very different from "fresh" milk. the thawed EBM is slightly yellow and oiler.
    is this normal?
  49. xinyao

    xinyao New Member

    hi ladies, i am new in this thread.
    after reading the info, it seem that i should not have bought my ameda breastpump n pigeon steriliser. I will have 3 mths maternity leave plus maybe on no pay leave later on.
    so i can TBF my baby with any pump??

    But i have got them. so now i have two pigeon wide neck bottles from the steriliser, two ameda bottles from the pump. and i have got a glass pigeon bottle too
    sound like i am too much rite..!
    is it really i shd not have bought them?
    oh dear....am i wasting money ...
    or i can jus keep them for later use when baby is bigger??
  50. pilgrimmom

    pilgrimmom New Member


    Yes it does get yellower when frozen, though when thawed and after a good shaking looks like ordinary milk. Maybe it's different for different moms? As long as you are freezing, storing and cleaning properly it should be fine.

    Hope this helps!

    Pilgrim Mom

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