Friday, February 29, 2008

Product Review - Playtex Embrace

If you have been reading this blog for even a small amount of time will know that I am a school teacher. And you will also know that I have committed to breastfeeding my daughter. These two things could be seen as incompatible. Fortunately, I have a great employer who has worked with me to make sure I have time to pump milk at school for Charlotte to take to daycare.

To do that, I use a Playtex Embrace. I have been surprised that more people don't use one since it was so much less expensive than the Medela and other pumps I looked at last summer.

The Embrace is a double-pump with a single flange size. I am large breasted (D-E depending on how long it's been :p) and find the flanges are comfortable even though I've heard it can be hard to be comfortable pumping large breasts. I have only heard one complaint about this particular pump and that person said it was slow. I can't say if this is true or not since I haven't tried other pumps, but I am fortunate that I can afford to spend ~25 minutes for each set-up and pumping session I have.

I am not sure if this is the right pump for someone who has to pump exclusively or to help establish a supply, but it works great for me and my schedule. I started pumping when Charlotte was 9 weeks old and my supply was already established. I pump 3 times a day, twice during my planning periods, and once right after school lets out. If Charlotte isn't hungry before we leave for school, I will sometimes pump when I get to school (otherwise I'd have to wait 5 hours 2 days a week).

The bag the Embrace comes in is stylish and inconspicuous. I've pumped in the car, at home, and in my classroom with this pump. I like that each component of the pump comes in a smaller bag and they all nest neatly inside the large bag.

Contrary to what I read on the Amazon reviews, the pump is incredibly easy to clean and assemble. The first few times I tried to assemble to horns to the pump were a little difficult, but as I got more accustomed to it, things got easier. To clean it, I will sometimes use the Medela Steam Bags. Usually though, I just disassemble and throw it in the dishwasher.

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