My first son was a few months old when I decided, in my new mom delirium, to have dinner with some friends. I knew I might get engorged, but figured I would be back soon enough. I didn’t feel like bringing my electric pump. It seemed like a huge hassle for only being gone a few hours. I didn’t even bring breast pads. (I know, I know, you’re all rolling your eyes right now). I deserved what I got, which was 2 golf ball-sized leak marks on my shirt that were illuminated dark blue on my light blue shirt. I ran to the bathroom to shove toilet paper into my bra, but the damage was done.
I didn’t know about manual pumps. My mom likes to laugh at this as this was her only option when she was breastfeeding me. But manual pumps have come a long way since my mom was getting arm cramps in the 70’s. If I had a manual pump I could have simply gone to the bathroom, pulled the small pump out of my bag, pumped and brought the milk home, drank it or dumped it.
A manual breast pump is ideal for occasional time away from baby, but even some moms who work full time prefer them over electric pumps. They are portable, lightweight and discreet. You have ultimate control over the suction rate. Once placed on your breast you create the pumping rhythm with your hand. Having this control can lead to more efficient and comfortable pumping.
A manual pump is also a lifesaver to keep at work for the day your pump malfunctions, you forget a part or a part wears out while you are at work. I think a good manual pump is one of those gifts any breastfeeding mom ends up using!
I really like the ARDO Amaryll ($41.95). The handle is ergonomically designed so all of your fingers fit on the handle and your thumb can be placed wherever is most comfortable for you. The handle has three different positions for right and left-handed moms as well as a center position. It’s excellent even if you have small hands. All this leads to cramp-free comfortable pumping.
A great benefit for all moms including moms who like to pump while breastfeeding is to take advantage of the breastfeeding-induced letdown. Like all Ardo products, the breast shell funnel is designed at an angle so that you do not have to lean forward to drain milk into the bottle.
Setup is a cinch. A few steps and you are ready to go. If you have trouble there are short videos on their site to walk you right through it. Totally impossible to fail. Disassembly is just as easy making clean-up quick.
You are going to get the best fit because the Amaryll comes with 3 different sized breast shells and others are available if necessary. You can also use the Optiflow (the silicone breast massager) with the Amaryll.
With the Amaryll you will have a lightweight and portable pumping option that requires no electricity and little strain on your body. Maintenance is minimal, cleaning is easy and set up is quick. If you get stuck at any point in the process you can go straight to their website to watch a 1 minute video with a straight answer.