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A Strange Dream… and Breast Pumps

Pregnant women are no strangers to odd dreams. This is a well-known fact. I don’t know why pregnancy messes with dreams but it does.

I’ve had a vivid dream pretty much every night of this pregnancy so far. I can’t always recall them in the morning, but I know I had one. I’m quite a dreamer normally too, but I don’t always get to dream nightly.

Last night’s was just so lifelike and strange that I wanted to write it down as soon as I could. Granted, this is a good 13 hours since I woke this morning, but better late than never.

The first part I remember, I was in labor. It seemed to be a fairly good labor, not too out-of-control painful like I remember with my first. I don’t know if I was at home or at the hospital, but I was walking freely. I was trying to push and it wasn’t too productive so I decided to take a bathroom break. On my way there I had a huge urge to push, squatted down and pop! Out came the baby who I half caught and half landed on the floor. The baby was small, but not too small. Newborn sized, I guess. We didn’t know what we were having (which is odd because I HAVE to know) and I searched and searched for “the goods” and finally found tiny boy parts (you know, newborn sized).

Next thing we were at home. Mr. Handsome must have been at work because all the scenes are now just me and Kiddo1. I seemed to scatter-brained, like I had lost all concept of time. I would go a solid day without feeding my baby, then frantically fed him. I would forget to pick up Kiddo1 from school and he walked in the door at 4:40, a good two hours after school gets out, saying I forgot him and he had to walk by himself (which is only five blocks but apparently he waited for me for awhile). At one point I frantically decided I needed to pump some breast milk and did so with lightening speed with a very awesome Avent double electric breast pump that I’ve had my eye on in real life. This pump pulled a good 4-6 oz (whatever the size of those small Avent bottles is, we used those with Baby1) out of me in maybe two seconds.

I woke up and all I could think about was breast pumps. All day long. How do I find one that literally sucked the milk out of me in in an instant like it did in my dream?

As a soon-to-be breastfeeding mother who will be returning to a full-time job over a dozen miles from home, the breast pump is very important to me. With Baby1 I got, get this, a hand-powered single pump. It probably took 20 minutes of pumping to get a few ounces. On one boob. (snicker) It was active, manual labor. I couldn’t do anything but pump as it required both hands (one to pump, one to support). I will NOT do that again! Especially since this time I won’t have a conference room all to myself to pump in luxury and I will have very limited free time (I used to work in a corporate office with only a couple employees and lots of free rooms. It was a small company with a lot of branch offices. Very cushy job. Why did I go back to school and leave it?).

Given my current work environment is “cube land” with already over-booked conference rooms that don’t lock and have big ol’ interior windows, my options for pumping space are either the “quiet room” that is on the other side of the building (someone figured out that it is a quarter mile round trip) or a bathroom stall. Glamorous.

I also now have a position that is much more demanding on my time, with days filled with meetings and project plans. Luckily I have mandatory breaks (that I don’t currently use but will have to start!). Still, I need a pump that works fast.

While it is still early to purchase a pump, it is never too early to research. Might as well start now while it’s on my mind!

Quick run-down of my pump requirements:

  • It must be fast, a double-pump is required.
  • It must be electric and preferably has a battery-operated option (I can only plug-in if I walk all the way over to the “quiet room”).
  • It must be relatively compact so that I can lug it back and forth to work each day.
  • It must be comfortable.
  • It should be quiet. Everyone (well, all the ladies in the bathroom) will know that I’m pumping and I’m cool with that, but I would still like to keep the noise to a minimum.

Here are the brands I’m reviewing:

PhotobucketAvent Isis Double Electric ($200, $170 on Amazon)


  • Quick – reviewers consistently state they’ve been able to pump 5-6 oz in 10 minutes from one breast.
  • Powerful (one reviewer favorably compared it to a hospital-grade pump)
  • Customizable pace with memory and speed controls right on the neck of the pump
  • Quiet
  • Pump right into the same bottles you can use for feeding (although I’m interested in trying glass bottles this time)


  • Lots of parts to put together (although another reviewer said there were only four parts and it was easy to clean, so I guess this one is all about perspective)
  • Not battery operated!

PhotobucketMedela Pump In Style ($300, $280 on Amazon)


  • Battery pack
  • Fits in (and comes with) a backpack (or tote, depending on which one you get)
  • “Let down” and “expression” cycles mimic baby’s rhythm. Also customizable.
  • Easy to purchase spare parts


  • Not as quick as Avent – one reviewed quotes 6-8oz in 20 minutes, both breasts (Avent could do that in half the time).
  • Jury is out on the noise factor
  • Reviewed that the battery pack doesn’t last too long (out before 30 minutes were up on one review). Takes EIGHT AA batteries.
  • Expensive
  • Bottles/bags seem cheap and are not convenient (nipples not included, bags are twist-tie, etc)

PhotobucketLansinoh Affinity ($150, $130 on Amazon)


  • Battery operated (only six AA batteries)
  • Seems small enough (looks pretty compact from the picture anyway)
  • No complaints about the comfort level
  • Customizable speeds – 8 suction and 6 cycle settings
  • East to Clean – No need to clean tubing because closed system does not allow milk to back flow.
  • Perhaps even one-handed operation because the two pumps sit on one base
  • Conversion kit for Avent bottles


  • More than a couple reviews said that the suction quality reduces over time.
  • Loud (more reviewers said it was loud than those who said, basically, “it seems quiet but I have nothing to compare it to.”)
  • Need to purchase a carrying case and cooler separately (I don’t really see this as much of a con because I already have a few bags that can work)

Whew! I know that’s only three and there are lots of other pumps out there, but my research will have to be suspended for today. It is now 15 hours since I woke up and I’m sleepy! I think this is a good preliminary start though. At least it is helping me craft my qualifications, as it seems that multiple suction/cycle settings are helpful and the ability to locate spare parts is necessary. It also must be quick and easy to clean because that will cut into my time too.

More to come, and probably some more weird dream stories too!

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