I have noticed more of my clients are buying used breastpumps or borrowing pumps from friends or family. As the prices of high-quality breastpumps increase, resourceful moms try to find less expensive alternatives to new pumps that can cost as much as 400 dollars. Before you acquire a used pump, please consider the following.
Three hundred dollars is a lot of money, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of formula. Estimates range from $1000 to $4000 per year!
Breastfeeding moms who are separated from their babies for work or school depend on their pumps every day. Pumps do have warranties, typically lasting from 90 days to 1 year, but they usually are not transferable. So if you have a used pump, you have no warranty. In addition you have no idea how long a used pump will function. When it fails, you will need to buy or rent another pump.
A used pump has been USED. A running motor does not guarantee the pump’s effectiveness. The vacuum may have diminished over time, causing it to be ineffective or inefficient. This is not only frustrating, but it may result in decreased milk production, increase the use of formula and necessitate buying a new pump. In addition, a pump that is not working well can lead to sore nipples because moms will increase the suction to try to compensate. Ouch!
When you borrow a pump from a friend, you are further diminishing the pump’s life-span. And what if it stops working altogether while it’s in your possession? You will need to purchase a new one to continue to pump and/or to ensure you return a functional pump to your friend.
One great solution is a relative newcomer on the breast pump market–Hygeia. Hygeia pumps are economical and come with a 3-year transferrable warranty. That’s right! Hygeia pumps are meant to be shared and are actually FDA approved for that purpose. If you want to pass on your Hygeia pump to your friend, all she needs to make it absolutely safe is a new filter–a $5.00 item!
Whatever you decide to do about purchasing a breast pump, consider this: Most of my clients who start out with used pumps, end up buying a new one anyway. Clearly, used breast pumps are not the bargain that they appear to be!
See also: Sharing Breast Pumps: Is it Safe?