Product Reviews

Comfortably natural [Product review, Part 1]

April 2, 2013

On the first night I brought my first baby home from the hospital, I sat in the living room at 3 in the morning and sobbed as I expressed milk. My husband, who thought it was the baby crying, woke up to see what had happened, only to find me in the dark, crying like a baby.

I borrowed a mini electric breastpump from a friend and had spent the last 45 minutes in the wee hours of the morning trying to express milk. I only managed a pathetic 5ml. I was engorged and clearly in great distress.

As I eased into motherhood and started reading reviews about breastpumps from forums (actually it was the husband that started reading up first), I became very particular about the type of breastpump I used.

For me, a breastpump must be three things – fast, comfortable and light. I’m not going to be wasting 45 minutes expressing so little, I’m not going to be bending forward and breaking my back, I’m not going to be lugging a brick around if I need to bring the pump out.

The one I’ve settled on using after that 3am-sobbing-in-the-night episode is a pretty sturdy one, one in which many mothers swear by. It’s trusty and has served me well since I had Ben. I breastfed Ben for 11 months, Becks for 3 and am still serving Nat as his milk machine at 13 months, and have been using it to express milk when I was away from them at work.

But I’ll be frank. This pump has only fulfilled one out of the three criteria I have. It’s fast because it has one helluva electric motor, but it’s hardly comfortable nor light. So when Philips AVENT sent over their new Comfort range breastpump for a mother who’s still searching for the perfect one that fits all three criteria, I couldn’t wait to review it to see if I’ve finally found ‘the one’.

The single electric Comfort breastpump

The single electric Comfort breastpump

So I tried it while the baby was still at infantcare in February and was pleasantly surprised to see how compact it was and how light it felt. I’ll be the first to admit that its weight made me kinda skeptical of the speed of the breastpump motor. After opening it up, I separated and sterilised the parts, which was easy and definitely idiot-proof. The parts, which are few, are intuitively designed for assembly.

I used it in a RECLINING position cos’ it says I can “sit more comfortably with no need to lean forward” when using it. I’ve never done that using a breastpump ever since that one time I tried and the milk flowed backwards and made me very dirty, so I thought for the sake of the review, I’d give it a go.

Yes, so I leaned back on a nice huge pillow to use the Philips AVENT Comfort breastpump.

Nope, I'm sorry you're not going to get a picture of me. Here's a prettier model instead.

Nope, I’m sorry you’re not going to get a picture of me. Here’s a prettier model instead.

Comfort – check. Its unique petals were very nice to have against those tired boobs unlike the one I’m used to using, which sucks you very hard, if you know what I mean. This one actually felt soothing and warm.

Comfort, without spillage – check. The pump is indeed designed in a way that you can actually lean back a fair bit. I actually caught a few minutes of shut-eye while expressing, which was a first for me!

As for speed, it did take longer than my usual to express 120ml from one side, even though I opted for the fastest of its pumping settings, after using it in gentle stimulation mode. Comparatively speaking, the one I own is quicker and sucks much harder. Oh well, but for the few minutes of shut-eye I could get, I didn’t mind it actually.

Philips Avent Comfort breastpump review

120ml in about 20 minutes, using the fastest mode available

And its weight? The base unit of the Philips AVENT Comfort is so much lighter than what I am used to lugging around. It is easy to keep (the tube simply wraps around the base unit), compact, and has a nice shade of purple. It is also easy to use on the go with batteries.

There you have it, two out of three criteria fulfilled. For its comfort and compactness, I would say the Philips AVENT breastpump is thoughtfully designed for the tired mother who wants to unwind while expressing milk, and worth the investment if you’re looking for comfort spelled with a capital C.

I’ve also had the opportunity to review the new Natural range Philips AVENT milk bottles. More on it in Part Two.

More details:
  • The single electric Comfort breastpump retails at $309 and the twin electric retails at $779 and are available at leading departmental stores. baby specialty shops and selected hospital pharmacies from January 2013.

Disclosure: I received the single electric Comfort breastpump and Natural range feeding bottles for the purpose of this review. This post is part of a series of sponsored conversations by Philips AVENT.

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