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If you ever asked me, which product that contribute the most to my successful breastfeeding journey, I would answer it is my Avent Isis manual pump. Curious why? Find out more details in my Philips Avent breast pump reviews right here.
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Table of Contents
A Quick Glance
This is an older generation of Avent manual breast pump (NOT Avent Comfort series). Philips Avent Isis manual breast pump, or in short, Avent manual pump, is a portable handheld breast pump model, which require no battery or electricity.
Its efficiency was claimed to resemble hospital grade pump (read the claim here). The main selling point of this pump is its patented five-petal massage cushion that helps creating a comfortable (non-painful) pumping experience.
Why I love this breast pump
The reason is simple. This is the ONLY pump that is able to drain and empty my breast MOST EFFECTIVELY. I have tried other breast pump models (even single electric and dual breast pump), but none of them can beat the amount of milk that can be expressed using Avent Isis manual breast pump.
Here is the proof…
In my pumping routine, I use Avent Isis manual breast pump and Medela Swing simultaneously. Here’s how I do it.
I attach my Medela Swing (by nursing bra, ensuring tight attachment) on my left (which is the super producer breast, hoping that Swing will be able to extract decent amount of milk) and use Avent on my right breast.
Once I reach let-down, I start both pumps at the same time. When I can no longer extract milk from my right breast using my Avent, I switch position, and do the same thing. And the result is…
Avent manual breast pump outperforms Medela Swing. It is able to extract MUCH MORE milk, and hence empties breasts more efficiently. This is such a CRUCIAL feature that we want from our breast pump.
If I don’t pump with Avent manual breast pump from the beginning, perhaps I’d think that I would never have enough milk for my babies. Thanks to my close-to-5-year-old Avent breast pump, I can still breastfeed and pump milk for my daughter till now.
Alright, enough for the raves.. Now I would like to point out some more general pros and cons of Avent manual breast pump.
- Soft massage cushion that helps massaging breast while pumping, leading to more milk being expressed and more comfortable pumping experience.
- Strong suction. Every mother has different suction preference. From my personal experience, strong suction works best to extract milk out of breast, provided that it is still within your comfortable level. I’ve tried several breast pump models (not hospital ones), and so far I feel Avent Isis manual breast pump is the one that gives strongest suction yet not painful. Other models either does not have provide enough comparable suction, or if it does, pumping becomes uncomfortable.
- Pump body comes with funnel cover and base cover, making it easier to keep sterile when not in use. With other breast pump models, I need to get additional storage or sealable plastic bag to keep it covered.
- Lightweight and portable, does not dependent on power source. This feature makes it great to bring for travelling. I’ve been travelling several times with this pump. Its portability makes pumping while travelling feels like a breeze.
- Able to see milk spraying out of breast. I don’t know if this matters to you, but for me, seeing my milk spraying is part of my milk-producing booster, as well as a gauge when my milk-ejection reflex starts. That’s when I switch fro stimulation phase to pumping phase. And, when I can’t see any more milk spraying, I know it is time to stop.
- You are in full control. You set your pumping rhythm, you are free to stop any time to massage or gently squeeze your breast and restart again. You can even readjust the flange position and recreate vacuum (which I find is a good way to get milk out) any time. You are in full control of your pump and not the other way around.
- Express milk faster. With Avent, you get more milk faster. I think this is because you can control the speed (and hence, pump at faster speed) and Avent has a pretty high suction, which extracts more milk. I can say this because I have another electric breast pump (Medela Swing) which I use in combination with Avent. I found Swing operates in slower speed and thus, it takes longer to extract out the milk. Not only me experience this. My sister, who has a double electric breast pump (Ameda), also notice this speed difference.
Cons (and tricks to alleviate some of them):
- Small star-shape valve that easily pops out while pumping. I personally never had this issue before, but I definitely hate fiddling with this small valve. Based on my friend’s suggestion, I replace this valve with duck-bill valve and never had problem ever since.
- Noisy squeak from pump handle. You want a quiet breast pump, especially if you pump often. Squeaky breast pump is annoying and ruin your pumping mood. Fortunately, there’s a quick fix on this. Simply apply a small amount of coconut oil / olive oil on your pump handle base, and gone the squeaky. Some mothers suggest applying lotion or moisturizer, but I am not comfortable applying non-edible substance on my breast pump. I don’t want it to ruin my milk, so I stay with edible substances.
- Milk collected under massage cushion. I hate this! Even more because I don’t have abundant milk supply. Every drop of milk is precious, so I tried to minimize milk wastage. To minimize this issue, assemble the pump while still wet. Yes, wet, don’t wipe it dry. And this issue, miraculously, is gone.
- Milk collected on pump neck. I hate this, but I don’t have any solution except to unscrew the pump body carefully after each pumping session and pour out the milk into the bottle. PS: Issues 2 and 3 are addressed in the new Avent Comfort manual breast pump.
- Breast flange only has one size. This is the biggest disadvantage of Avent manual breast pump. It only has one flange size, which is around the same size of Medela standard flange size (24-mm diameter). That may make pumping not comfortable especially if you have bigger breast (think of Medela flange size XL). For this problem, some mothers reported that removing the soft-petal cushion may help. Note that the new Avent Comfort breast pump has larger soft-petal cushion that was designed specifically to address this problem. Check it out here. I personally have opposite issue. My breast is small (think of A-cup size), such that almost all of my breast tissue is covered inside the flange, making it slightly more difficult to retain the vacuum condition while pumping. I sincerely hope that Philips Avent will consider creating a smaller breast flange for mothers like me. Yes, I am able to extract most of my milk with the current model, but sometimes I wonder if I would be able to extract even more if Avent has a smaller flange.
In Amazon, this breast pump is rated 4 out of 5 and received close to 700 reviews. Click here to read more reviews.
Who is this breast pump for?
- Have tried double or single electric breast pump and only manage to extract a small amount of milk
- Already use dual pump but still want to get more milk
- Feel your breast is still not empty even after pumping
Then I strongly recommend this breast pump to try.
This is NOT for:
- Nursing mother with extra large breast ( you better try other model that offer big-size breast flange)
- Rigorous power pumping (it is handheld and thus can be very tiring to solely pump with this => rather, I suggest combination of dual pump and Avent manual to ensure empty breast)
- Exclusive pumping (you need dual pump, but yes, you can have avent manual as the last finishing touch to further empty your breast
Does Avent Isis manual pump is appropriate for working mother?
I would say, it depends on your working environment, and depends how you are going to use it.
If you are going to pump solely with this, please note that it may take you longer, compared with if you use it in combination with other electric pump. If you have flexible working arrangement (say, you can sneak out of your desk for about 20 minutes or so without some one constantly looking for you), then yes, this pump is for you.
In my case, yes, i I use this pump at work (in combo with other electric pump to make pumping faster). Typically, It takes me about 20-30 minutes to pump with combo Avent Isis + other single electric breast pump.
Summing it up…
- This breast pump is easy to use and very efficient in emptying breast, yet it has some pros and cons to weigh on. Considering its main advantage of being able to empty breast very well and extract MORE milk, I highly recommend to try this breast pump.
- Unfortunately, this breast pump has been discontinued by the manufacturer, therefore, only a few left in stock. So, act fast.
Have you tried Avent Isis manual breast pump before? What is your favourite breast pump and why? Leave me a comment below to share your experience.