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Product Review: Lansinoh Double Electric Breast Pump

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Friday, January 12, 2007

It seems appropriate that I've got this product review ready to go just as several moms have delurked to tell us that they're still nursing after returning to work. Any breastfeeding mom knows what that means...it's breast pump time!

But figuring out which breast pump to buy can be challenging. After all, we're not talking about a $20 baby monitor or a $4 toy, we're talking about a major investment that can top a few hundred dollars and that can literally define the success or failure of a breastfeeding relationship. No pressure, right? As a mom that spent nearly 14 months exclusively pumping for her oldest daughter, breast pumps are a topic that I've always been interested in. Especially since good information on pumping is sort of hard to come by. That's why I was excited when the good folks at Lansinoh offered to send me one of their brand new double electric breast pumps to take for a spin.

The Lactivist Says: The most affordable breast pump that you bet your supply on!

Extremely affordable at under $200
Patented system to product from fluid backup
Speed and suction adjust independently
Duel power options
Small and portable

Small collection containers
Extremely hard to take apart
Didn't express as much milk as my PISA

Get ready for a lengthy review because when it comes to breast pumps, there are a million things that you need to consider. Overall, I found the Lansinoh Double Electric Breast Pump to be a good option at an extremely affordable price. At under $200 retail it's nearly $100 cheaper than most comparable breast pumps. While my initial reaction was that I thought it would be a great choice for a mom that pumped occasionally, but maybe not for a mom that pumped exclusively, I've since spoken with another mom that uses it to pump during work hours and she's had a great experience with it. Thus, I think my own testing was sort of tempered by being used to my Medela PISA. I firmly believe that bodies learn how to let-down for pumps the same way that they learn to let down with babies, so I'm 99% confident that a mom that used this pump consistently would get good performance out of it.

With that in mind, let's get to the good stuff.

First let's talk size and portability. As someone who lugged around a hospital grade Medela Lactina for six months, I can assure you that portability is a BIG deal to a mom that pumps frequently. The first thing that impressed me about the Lansinoh Double Electric Breast Pump was the size. It's only a few inches high and doesn't take up as much counter space as a DVD case. It's also incredibly light. Even out of the bag, my PISA pump is pretty heavy to lug around. You could toss the Lansinoh pump in a large purse or tote bag and hardly even know it was in there. (Note: The pump doesn't currently come with a tote bag because Lansinoh wanted to keep the cost of the product down, it's possible that in the future you'll be able to buy a tote bag specifically designed for this pump.) Another big bonus to the Lansinoh pump is that the pump itself has a compartment for six AA batteries. That's a plus to anyone used to carrying around a separate battery pack for their Medela.

Now that said, I'm not a huge fan of the pump parts themselves and the space that they take up. I'm used to being able to detach the flange from the rest of the pump body so that I have several small pieces to pack. The Lansinoh system allows you to unscrew the bottle from the flange and to remove the valve, but that's it. It's sort of like packing a blow dryer that doesn't fold...it's just an odd shape and it seemed kind of awkward to pack.

Next, let's consider cleaning. The biggest hassle when it comes to pumping (at least in my mind) is the clean up. (I'm the mom that bought the Playtex drop-in system simply because I didn't feel like washing bottles) Originally, the design of the Lansinoh system kind of irked me. Once again, I was used to my PISA and I wanted to be able to break it down into all it's tiny pump pieces. I kept thinking to myself that I couldn't possibly be getting the pump properly cleaned if I wasn't able to detach the flange from the rest of the system. After all, it's not uncommon to get "ring around the flange" from the suction on your nipples. That needs to be scrubbed out.

Once I thought about a bit more, I realized that Lansinoh was actually on to something. You see, the PISA has to separate because the suction system runs through the back of the pump. That leaves all sorts of little holes that have to be cleaned out. Since the Lansinoh system uses a whole other method of suction (more on this later) their parts don't have the same issue. In other words, there's far less crevices that you've got to work to get the milk out of. That's NEVER a bad thing. Finally, the valve that's used in the Lansinoh pump is just pure brilliance. (that's it on the left) When I first opened the package I looked at it and went "what the..." Then I realized that the pointed end is flexible and opens slightly to let the milk pour through. It works the same way as any other "membrane" or "flange" system, but it's sturdy enough and big enough that I didn't have to worry about accidentally losing it or throwing it away. (The pump also came with three extras, just in case.)

Now, on to functionality. After all, who cares how portable or easy to clean something is if it doesn't get the job done. Design and functionality are an area where Lansinoh has really scored some points. It's pretty clear that they put a lot of thought into the design of this product. Right off the top, two features stood out to me.

1.) The patented design that keeps milk or fluids from backing up into the tubing. One of the biggest issues I have with my PISA is that unless my pump parts have air dried to the point that there's not a molecule of water on them, I start seeing little bits of fluid and condensation working their way through the tubing as I pump. (And once that water gets in there, it is NEVER coming out.) Lansinoh addresses this issue in a way that's pure brilliance. What they've done is create an air chamber above the flange that's designed to create the suction. You can see from the slightly blurry picture over there on the right that there's a little rubber membrane that slides in there and a small tube that connects into it. The pump works by sucking the air out of the INSIDE of the rubber membrane which collapses and creates a suction effect for the pump. It works extremely well and in the dozen times I used the pump, I never saw a single drop of fluid in the tubes.

2.) The next feature that really caught my eye was the ability to individually set the suction and speed levels. When I moved from a hospital grade Lactina Select to my PISA I was dismayed to find that the only way to go full speed was to go full suction (ouch!). Having this level of control is unheard of on a pump that costs so little. I found that I was able to start on medium suction and full speed and then to slowly work my way up to higher suction levels as I went. This is probably the single most impressive feature (to me) of this pump.

So how did the pump perform? Well, the first time I put it all together and sat down to use it (while on a business trip in Chicago...see how much faith I have in the folks at Lansinoh?) I pumped about 8 ounces in 5 minutes. (Now remember, my milkshake DOES feed all the kids in the yard...) I was all ready to head home and write a raving review of the product. The problem was that the next time I used it, I got about 2 ounces in 5 minutes. In fact, for the next week, I found that anytime I used the Lansinoh pump I got about half the amount that I'd get at the same time of day if I used my PISA. Now I was ready to write a review slamming the product. (See why you take your time before writing reviews?)

Then I started to pay a little more attention. Apparently what had happened was that I wasn't getting that thin little membrane properly dried. Unless it air dries completely, it didn't tend to get the right suction going on in it's little vacuum chamber. Once I gave it another go while paying attention to that little trick I saw the amount that I could pump increase back to more reasonable levels.

Overall, I still find that I can pump a few ounces more with my PISA than I can with the Lansinoh pump, but as I mentioned earlier, I think a big part of it is what your body is used to. I'm pretty confident that if I used the Lansinoh pump exclusively for awhile that I'd start to see an increase in output that would match what I'm used to getting. If I was starting from scratch, I wouldn't hesitate to give the Lansinoh Double Electric Breast Pump a try.

Now, what were my issues with the pump? Well apart from the few I mentioned already, here they are...

1.) The white plastic cap that snaps onto the top of that vacuum chamber is darn near impossible to get off. I mean darn near IMPOSSIBLE. I'm used to unplugging the hoses (a no-no on this system) and taking the entire collection kit to the kitchen when I'm done pumping. With this system, you pretty much have to unscrew the bottles and take them in separately. Otherwise, you risk spilling or sloshing the milk while you try to pry those caps from their comfy little homes.

2.) The bottles that come by default are a little on the small side. They're basically four ounce bottles, though you could likely squeeze closer to five if you were careful not to spill. As someone with a pretty good pumping output I found that annoying. I can pump 12 ounces in a sitting (please don't hate me) and stopping to empty out the bottles is kind of a pain. That said, the pump will screw on to quite a few standard size bottles so I imagine you could remedy that by simply pumping into something other than the bottles that come with it.

For pumping moms (like me) that find themselves losing parts fairly often...no need to worry. Lansinoh's web site has an online store that sells replacement parts. (They're pretty affordable too!) It also sells larger sized flanges for women that need a little more space around the nipple.

Overall, I'm pretty impressed with Lansinoh's first foray into the world of breast pumps. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised...any company that creates a product as heavenly and salvationy (is that a word?) as Lansinoh's Lanolin Cream SHOULD know a little something about how to treat breasts.

While you can buy it online, quite a few major retailers are now carrying the Lansinoh Double Electric Breast Pump. You can run a search for a Lansinoh retailer near you or you can simply hit the nearest Target, Walmart or Meijer.


  1. Blogger Jennifer | 1:45 PM |  

    This looks suspiciously EXACTLY like my Ameda breast pump. EXACT same parts, even. As far as the white caps, mine were impossible to get off at first, but loosened a bit after several weeks/months of use. I love my Ameda breastpump. Funny how they look exactly alike. Ameda pump was relatively inexpensive as well and came with a bag. (~$160)

  2. Blogger Anne | 4:46 PM |  

    I second Jennfer's comment about it looking exactly like the Ameda, even down to the independent speed/suction controls. My only complaint with the valves was that I cleaned them too vigorously at first and ripped a few: they are very delicate, but replacement parts are all over the web. My Ameda did not come with a bag, but cost about $125. Worth every cent compared to the more expensive pumps.

  3. Blogger Judy | 4:20 PM |  

    I third the first two comments :) I went to the Blackwell Center today and bought a large flange for the Ameda Purely Yours pump and it fits the Lansinoh perfectly.

    So, if you like purple, buy the Lansinoh pump. It's a nice Lavender pump.

    I use a towel to grip the caps to pull them off and it's very manageable that way.

    I also noticed that it rocks back and forth a little while pumping. No biggie, but a little weight in the base would probably fix that.

  4. Blogger Carolina | 7:32 PM |  

    I have had an Ameda purely yours for over 3 years. I am pumping for my second child working full time. I was pleasantly surprised to find it is still doing a descent job 4 months into its second life. It does seem a little tired though.

    I also broke several valves at the beginning not knowing that even rinsing with a strong water flow was enough to damage them.

    However, having used the Medela hospital grade pumps at the lactation center, and from talking to other "pumping" mothers, I think someone working full time might be better getting the Medela pump in style advanced.

    Finally, I bought my Ameda with a matching backpack and cooler. As long as all you want to carry is the pump and its parts it works really well.

  5. Anonymous Carrie | 8:52 PM |  

    I have the Lansinoh Breast pump and I really like it so far. The only thing is I can't find replacement parts for it at any store. Only on the Lansinoh website. As for coming with only 4 oz bottles. I use the Dr Brown bottle system. Their bottles fit perfectly on the pump. You could easily buy 2 8oz Dr brown bottles and they would work.

  6. Blogger The Lactivist | 6:40 AM |  

    Carrie, the Lansinoh and Ameda Purely Yours parts are interchangable. If you can't find replacement parts for your Lansinoh pump, look for replacement parts for the APY.

    I have a friend who did this and it worked fine. :)

  7. Anonymous Anonymous | 1:15 PM |  

    It looks just like the Ameda Purely Yours because Ameda makes this pump for Lansinoh! :) It is the same pump. Parts, etc. are interchangable and the price for the Purely Yours and the Lansinoh double are the same now (without a carrying case). Honestly, I'd prefer to just put mine in my diaper bag anyway... :)

  8. Anonymous Anonymous | 1:52 PM |  

    Yes this is the same pump.
    From what heard ameda makes this pumps for lanisnoh.
    These pumps are the most strongest pumps i eve purchased,i still have mine in goo shape that i purchased at http://www.breastpumpsforsale.com

  9. Anonymous Angie | 1:41 PM |  

    Angie Said:
    After using foir 2weeks the pump rented from the hospital, I purpased this $147.88 pump saved $150.00 from what the hospital wanted to sale, and I think it works just as well, parts are easier to clean, : only negative thing is the motor noise, not so quiet but not bad, I think works great, I use every 3 hours all day and having no problems, I have to pump due to my daughter cant latch on so I am using very frequently, and yes it does look like the ameda pump and same parts. So I suggest this one or ameda one before spending $300.00 on one the hospital supplies. Sincerely, Angie from Lakeland , Florida

  10. Anonymous Anonymous | 1:38 PM |  

    I ran out and bought one of these when my Pump in style (kinda old) died in the middle of a work day. I didn't have many choices , Walmart was the closest store - but i was able to plug the tubing into my old Medela flanges, and pump just fine using the Medela parts - this was important becuase I didn't have time to sterilize anything. The Lansinoh parts have BPA, so I think I'll just use the old medela parts all the time and throw away the old Medela. This post is mainly to let you know about the BPA and that you can use the non BPA containgin Medela flnages, you just have to take the tubes off the ends of the contectors and plug them in. Oh it's also a bit noisier, but throw a towel over it and it is about the same as the Medela.

  11. Anonymous Anonymous | 9:56 PM |  

    I wonder if BPA is an issue in flanges? It's hardly coming in contact with the breastmilk... but please educate me because I don't know about this. I haven't done any research... yet.

    Thanks for the awesome review. I love this pump, though I've only tried a First Years pump that I didn't like at all.

    There is some noise that I'm sure the people in the next office can hear, but that doesn't bother me too much.

    Thanks for the recommendations on larger bottles. I'm going to do that.

  12. Anonymous Anonymous | 2:06 PM |  

    Thank you so much for writing a detailed and thoughtful review of this product. As a first time mom I have no idea what to look for or expect in a pump. I'd originally registered for a $280 Medela pump, but am now changing to the much more affordable Lansinoh. As you know these baby items add up quickly and I'd like to save money where I can. You've truly saved me alot of time and worrying!!

  13. Anonymous Anonymous | 5:17 PM |  

    regaurding the BPA issues I know for sure you can buy replacement parts from Ameda sites that are now BPA free- I just did this with my purely yours pump and the parts are interchangeable.

  14. Anonymous Rochelle | 9:43 AM |  

    I bought the Lansinoh double pump and have loved it. I work part time, have three children, and am a full time student. There were some minor problems with the tubing and cap, but one phone call to Lansinoh and the problem was corrected. They second day aired the parts to me. It now works great. The service was great too. The lack of a bag was not an issue for me, I have several extra diaper bags that work great.

  15. Blogger jessutopia | 8:09 PM |  

    some of the medela bottles and parts fit with this. I had Medela parts from the hospital pump I had to rent while I waited for my Lansinoh one to arrive in the mail, they looked like they would fit so I tried it and sure enough they did! I had hubby run to Target to get more Medela bottles since they were bigger and it was great. Just my 2 cents.

  16. Anonymous Marie | 8:34 PM |  

    I am an authorized dealer for Ameda/Hollister and just wanted to confirm what a few others have posted.

    The Lansinoh pump is manufactured by Ameda/Hollister and sold under the Lansinoh brand. It is the exact same pump as the Ameda Purely Yours. The accessory kit is called a HygieniKit and is now being made with BPA free plastic. It is also the only FDA approved closed pumping accessory system which means it keeps outside contaminants out of your pumped milk! (I am absolutely shocked that Medela has not come out with a closed accessory system , and I doubt they will because it would encourage more people to buy a used Pump In Style - that's a whole other issues though. There is a huge marker on Ebay for Used pumps!)

    Also, regarding BPA, studies have shown that it can leach into baby bottles (the testing done involved boiling polycarbonate plastic for 30 minutes!) As the bottles got worn, scratched, cracked etc, the leaching would increase.

    If you have old flanges that are polycarbonate, you really dont need to worry about the BPA as the milk is running through them for only a second . Not an expert on this issue at all but have done a ton of research and just wanted to get other people more aware.

    As for replacement parts for the Lansinoh, you can search for a local Ameda dealer on ameda.com if you need something in a pinch. Or you can order online from a ton of places. Ebay/amazon usually have the best prices!

    Last comment regarding the original author's review. You should not have a ring around the inside of the flanges. If this is happening all the time it is because your flanges are actually too small. The nipples should never rub against the inside of the flange tunnel!

    Ameda now makes a total of 7 size flanges and the ones that come with the pumps by default are only 25mm which is good for an B/small C cup size breast. Most women need a largee size flange (Medela acknowledges this on their website) yet the pumps always come with this "standard size" so you have to purchase more accessories.

    My opinion after having pumped and breastfed for 3 years is that the Ameda/Lansinoh pump is superior in function and value than the Medela PIS (including Advanced). Just my opinion, every woman is different.

    A recommendation to expecting moms would be to buy this pump $149 is average retail (no carry bag version). Even if you only plan on pumping occaisionally it is a better value and will last longer and give better results than a manual pump or single pump. (You can single or double pump with this)

    Take it from me, I started out with a manual, then an Evenflo single automatic, then a 1st Years double electric. All failed me and I did miserably. combined costs of the 3 would have been the same as buying the Laninoh/Ameda from the get go.

    Oh yeah, one last note on bottle sizes. The flanges have a universal thread so any standard bottle will screw on. All pumps on the market come with 4-5 oz bottles so you will need to either change them during a session or get bigger bottles if you pump a lot!

    best regards,

    Marie - Baby Love Breastfeeding Supplies

  17. Blogger Hales and Company | 8:19 AM |  

    I have used about every pump you can imagine. After using the Ameda and Medela at a children's hospital while my third child was there I found that the Ameda was the best for me. I never pumped and put off buying one until my fifth child was born and I ended up with a major breast infection and cracks. I almost weaned, but decided it was well worth the money to buy the Ameda pump. After pumping exclusively for two weeks I was able to nurse again. I wish I had just bought one with my first child because I use it everyday and I am a stay at home mom. I pump for his cereal and I love having a freezer full of milk for babysitters or occasions that are more comfortable using a bottle. The little parts need to be hand washed, but the big bulky parts can be put in the dish washer and mine has a sanitize setting so it is really easy. I reccomend this pump to anyone and couldn't be happier with it.

  18. Anonymous Anonymous | 11:17 AM |  

    I'm about to use this pump for the second time (second baby). I loved it the first time round. As for the valves, whenever they ripped, Lansinoh, replaced them for nothing!
    Stephanie G.

  19. Blogger mhelm | 9:10 AM |  

    i just bought this pump yesterday and it's not getting any milk out... i don't understand what i'm doing wrong. i also have the medela hand pump and i was getting 6 oz in about 20 min.

  20. Anonymous Dawn | 11:08 AM |  

    i bought a Lansinoh pump 8 years ago with my second daughter. It was wonderful, compact and came with a 2 part case. Top was for the pump, bottom was a cooler for the bottles. Which in my line of work is neccessary. Breast milk can not be the same frig with other peoples milk. I know it's stupid but for that work clause I need the cooler bag too. Now pregnant again I will need a pump again. I am disappointed that Lansinoh's new pump does not come with the bag again. I would pay the extra in cost for that. I will have to anyway to get bag to carry the pump in and then a cooler for the bottles. It just would be nicer to have their old bag back. All in one. Loved their company though, easy to get replacments parts and nice staff.

  21. Blogger Tanya Roberts, BSEd, LC | 4:23 PM |  

    I went to the Lansinoh site and they no longer sell parts for the older Lansinoh Double Pump, just the new Affinity. You can still buy the older pump parts at http://www.lactationconnection.com
    If you are not sure which pump you have, look on the bottom. The Affinity is made in Turkey. The older Lansinoh Double Pump is made in Switzerland.

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