Update (7/12/2009): Happy Bambino is now carrying both Hygeia and Pumpin Pals so we’ve got a local source for both products! They also started carrying Ameda pumps. Mothers in the Madison area now have easy access to all the major quality pump options. (Hooray!)
The majority of breastfeeding mothers that I see in the Madison area end up wanting a breastpump — mostly because they’re heading back to work while their babies are still small. Many of the pumps that are available are expensive — and some are expensive, uncomfortable, and ineffective. In the Madison area the only really good pump brand mothers can find easily is Medela. Medela makes very nice pumps and accessories (and supports excellent basic breastfeeding research) but their products aren’t perfect for every woman. Mothers use Medela’s Pump In Style all the time (and generally like it a lot) but it’s pricey — so many people buy used ones despite safety concerns. It would be nice to have more quality options. Competition among pump brands can only be good for mothers!
I’m feeling optimistic about two companies and hoping they’re readily available to Madison mothers soon:
One is the Pumpin’ Pal breastshields. Some mothers have a hard time finding a Medela shield that feels right. Pumpin’ Pal shields are a different shape that seem to accomodate a wide range of nipple sizes. They can be used with Medela pumps.
The other is a new pump manufacturer: Hygeia. The really cool thing that they’re offering is a double electric pump (the EnJoye) that is in the price range of a Pump In Style but is safe for multiple users and has a motor that is guaranteed for three years. Also, a mother can return one of their pumps if it doesn’t work for her — not just if it is mechanically defective. Unfortunately I don’t have hands-on experience with these pumps yet so I can’t be enthusiastic without reservations. But, like I said, I’m feeling hopeful that this will give mothers more options.