After wrecking the seal of my brand new First Years breast pump and discovering that there was no way to repair it, I had to go out to get another one. We went to two places and could not find the First Years breast pump in stock. In the end, I bought the Pureen manual breast pump. At RM35, it was practically a steal so I figured there was really nothing to lose. Even if I wrecked this pump by accident, at least I wouldn’t feel so bad.
I have to say that I was quite impressed with my initial trial of the Pureen breast pump. For a cheap breast pump, it worked very well. The suction was great and the process of expressing breast milk went quite well. From memory, I was almost certain the suction was better than both the First Years and Avent manual breast pumps. I’ve only used it a couple of times, but it did seem like it was easier to express milk compared to the other two manual breast pumps I’ve used. I was almost sold until I tried it again and had a full let down. For some reason, the expressed milk wasn’t draining into the bottle and my milk overflowed. Considering how difficult it is for me to express milk, I was quite annoyed over the “spilled” milk.
An examination of the pump revealed that the problem was because the seal between the pump and the bottle was too tight. Most breast pumps have a rubber valve between the pump and the bottle. In the Pureen breast pump design, the rubber valve provides an air-tight seal if you attach the bottle too firmly to the pump. If the seal between the bottle and the pump is air-tight, it prevents the milk from draining into the bottle properly. Hence the reason why the milk overflowed instead of draining into the bottle.
I don’t know if that explanation made sense, but in short, you have to make sure you assemble your breast pump properly if you intend to use the Pureen breast pump to express milk. It is a very cheap breast pump and it works well enough if not for this one minor issue. My other gripe is that the bottle that comes with the pump only holds five ounces at most. If you get a big let down, you’ll have to drain the bottle before continuing expressing your milk. If you have problems expressing breast milk like I do, you’ll also know that interrupting a let down stops the flow of milk and it is not a simple matter of re-establishing the pumping action to trigger another let down.
The Pureen breast pump is made of polycarbonate, therefore it is not BPA-free like the more expensive breast pumps on the market. Since we aren’t storing the milk in these bottles, I figured it would be okay to have a breast pump that isn’t BPA-free. So long as my milk storage containers and baby bottles are BPA-free, I think we’re pretty safe from BPA leaching.
All in all, for the price I paid for this breast pump, I guess I can’t really complain about the negatives too much. Other than these negatives, the Pureen breast pump achieves its intended purpose quite well.