Between my two postpartums, I have got to know my pumps VERY well. To avoid being a recipe post that makes you listen to my childhood forever before the actual recipe, I’m going to put a quick table comparison and my links here at the top! If you like the personal experience/opinion and my other breastfeeding supplies, keep reading after! ☺️
Medela (Amazon) – https://amzn.to/3mz7Jaa
Elvie (Amazon) – https://amzn.to/3gK03hu
I struggled ever getting Asher to latch, and didn’t reach out to consultants for help, and wound up pumping exclusively for 7 months.
I was so determined I wanted to have breast milk for him, and had always had a year in my head. If you asked me during, though, MAN, I hated pumping!! It was a massive time commitment. Pumping itself, bottle feeding, and all the cleaning of pump parts and bottles.
There’s no way I would have gone as long as I did without a good pump, and Medela was great. Once you got used to the obnoxious pump sounds, it had fantastic suction and I believe my supply was superior then to what it has been this time around with Winry (it’s hard to compare when I’m not constantly pumping this time).
It had a few more parts than my Elvie does, including the annoying tubing. One of my favorite parts when comparing the two, the Medela you pumped straight into bottles baby could drink out of. All you had to do was bring along the nipple + ring.
The worst part had to be needing to be plugged in, along with the bulkiness of the system. (Also with this, unless you put a cover-up of sorts over the flanges, your nipples are exposed). Overall, though, a great quality pump, that got the job done on a budget.
Which brings me to Elvie – which is in a lot of ways the exact opposite. It succeeds in correcting my biggest complaints – no more being tied to a wall, much more compact to carry in a bag, and so so quiet (quiet ≠ silent. But if you’re in a room with people talking, it’s not noticeable! Especially if your shirt isn’t tight tight.) While it has slightly less parts, the collection bottles are not feeding bottles, so you have to transfer to/carry along a whole separate bottle.
My biggest complaint about the Elvie is it’s suction. Now don’t get me wrong, it is more than adequate most of the time! But I’ve had times when I’m away from Win, and want to sit down and really empty out the girls, and the Elvie has not been as efficient/I’m not sure I would recommend if you’re one that struggles with low supply. I’d think if you’re staying hydrated and on a bit of a schedule, you should be good to go, but something to consider.
It plugs in to charge, charges quickly, and lasts a handful of pump sessions before needing charged again. I do think most of the suction complaint can be linked to the amount of charge – which can be frustrating when you have “half a charge”. I actually sat down to use one today, it turned on as it had partial charge, but I was very frustrated when the suction was completely inadequate and I had to use the other pump for both sides. Most of the time that wouldn’t be a big deal, but today I was trying to pump during a short lunch break, and that doubled my pump time.
So – my point haha – I’m thinking today maybe the battery life is more the problem than the actual suction quality. I think so long as you keep a good eye on battery level, you’re good to go. So I would say on my chart where Medela has “better suction”, it should really be “more CONSISTENT suction”.
Last, with the Elvie, you can control with buttons directly on the tech, or you can use an app on your phone! Which I think is super cool. Elvie also monitors the volume pumped, tracks on the app, and the pumps auto pause when the bottle is full – no overflowing! Friendly warning though, the bottles can leak some when they’re full if you lean forward too much.
Where Elvie really gets my vote is when you have multiple kiddos. If I had to sit and pump attached to the wall while trying to manage a baby and my three year old? Wouldn’t go well for me at all. I’d probably struggle for a while, but I know I’d hate it. Elvie, latched well, or not at all.
Trying to push myself to pump exclusively with only Ash was HARD. I felt like I was constantly on the clock, I was obsessive with timers on my phone and my app to track how many ounces I was getting.. I was proud of what I was doing for him, but it was getting to where it was not not good for me – and that was just taking care of one kiddo. I really think I would have felt differently about that experience if I wasn’t tied down. With how compact the Elvie is, I would have been able to be pumping and bottle feeding him at the same time much much easier when needed.
I have got out my Medela two separate times this time around when I’ve had a clogged duct or close to one. The better suction helped get that taken care of quickly. Otherwise the Elvie has given me freedom while I pump, and after all of that with Ash, it is just pretty incredible to be walking around doing anything WHILE pumping. Just really cool technology.
That being said, tech gets pricey, especially when it’s new, and Elvie is much less budget friendly than the Medela. Medela retails at $195, and was covered by insurance. The double Elvie is $499. My insurance kicked me the $150, and then paid the rest. For me, it was an investment I wanted to make. While I completely believe fed is best, I wanted the health benefits and bonding I believe come from breastfeeding. And when weighing the potential formula savings against the $300ish I was paying for the pump, the new pump won! (the formula we liked for Ash was $130 a month, 6mo = $780, https://amzn.to/3DhHjji)
All in all, I think they are both fantastic pumps, winning in different ways. So like anything, you have to try and decide what’s best for YOU and meeting your own goals – we are all so different! No matter what route you go, I’m cheering for you, momma!
Recap & Other Breastfeeding Supplies
I am linking my “Maternity + Postpartum” list from my Amazon Storefront (affiliate links) – here I have all of my other favorite breastfeeding tools, pump accessories, and other momma recovery supplies: https://www.amazon.com/shop/nicolelucashall?listId=20R2QF1W6QJNO&ref=cm_sw_em_r_inf_list_own_nicolelucashall_dp_gCP8r3LP4OWGb
If you’re a new momma, I highly, highly recommend the haaka (https://amzn.to/2WC9qbY). With it I was able to feed Win on one side and suction it onto the other, and got my freezer stash stocked up REAL quick (200+ ounces) + jump start on my supply increasing before growth spurts.
I’ve also had several scenarios where the manual Medela (https://amzn.to/3Bpm4dn) was really handy, and the nipple shields + cream saved me some tears through several spurts of cluster feeding. (All of these are above on storefront!)
If you have any questions, shoot me an email! Or subscribe to emails if you want posts straight to your inbox! Happy Monday!
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