Thursday, 26 March 2015

Product Review: Closer to nature Breast Pump

Over the last 2 weeks I've had the opportunity to test out the Closer to nature electric breast pump. This neat little package contains:

  • The electric pump 
  • a 150ml bottle with a level 1 flow teat
  • a milk storage lid
  • 6 disposable breast pads
  • a breast pump steriliser box (which is like a big tupperware container which you can use to store or clean your pump parts)





I've actually had my eye on this pump for a while for several reasons:

  1. The only bottle the Little Man would use (if he condescended to use one at all) was the closer to nature bottles. Therefore they are the bottles we decided to have on hand when Missy May came along. 
  2. I was getting very tired of using my manual Philips Avent pump which I used for 2 years while breastfeeding Little Man and returned to using when I started back at work 7 months after having Missy May. Take it from me, you can get some serious carpel tunnel from using a manual pump especially when at work when you've already spent half the day clicking away on a computer. 
  3. Expressing from a Philips Avent and having to empty into a closer to nature bottle for storage just gave me more things to wash and I was looking forward to being able to express and store straight into the Closer To Nature bottles so that Missy May could have them all ready for daycare the next day. 

Assembly

Putting the pump together was very straight forward. The controls for the electric pump can either take batteries or be connected to power from the wall making it very convenient to port around cordless. 

Like most other pumps there are a lot of parts that go into putting it all together however the instructions are quite straight forward and after one or two runs it's pretty easy to remember what goes where. 

Usage

The first time I saw this pump in action was at a blogger's event which wasn't the quietest of locations. The hum of the pump mechanism seemed pretty discrete. So when I received my own pump I confidently assembled it and packed it up to bring to work for that day's expressing. 

However after I had shut all the blinds in my office and started this little baby up I had to shut it down straight away because in the quiet of an office full of male engineers working to the clicky click of the keyboard and mouse, the Closer to Nature pump mechanism was roaring loud. And it wasn't just a continuous hum either which could have been attributed to the air conditioner or a overclocking server. It was obviously a pumping sound. I gingerly tried it out a couple more times, even burying the pump part in my thermal lunch bag to muffle the sound. 

Unfortunately I was too self conscious about the sound to continue to express properly and since I didn't bring my Avent manual pump along, I had to give my boss a quick explanation that I had to dash home for a bit and would be back in an hour, and went home to finish expressing. I gave the Closer To Nature pump another try and in the solitude of home I was able to get it to work for me. 

The pump action is very gentle and comfortable. If I had one critique it would be that the focus is too much on the nipple and there is not enough distributed massage which I found to be much more helpful for expressing a greater quantity of milk. 

The previous day I had conducted a control test with my Philips Avent in order to compare how much milk the Closer To nature pump would be able to do in comparison. Unfortunately, even though the Closer To Nature Pump was expressing, it wasn't going nearly as fast as I needed it to, in order to get back to work within the hour and I had to switch back to the Avent Manual Pump to finish the job quickly.

On the weekend when I had more leisure I gave the Closer To Nature pump another go and although slow, it did manage to fill up a 120ml bottle (I can usually get about 200-250ml with the Avent)

Compliments

  • Great portable little unit. 
  • Attaches straight to a closer to nature bottles for storage and delivery
  • Variable pump power for personal comfort
  • One of the most affordable electric pumps on the market

Critiques

  • Really Loud Pump Mechanism.
Since I only ever express at work or when the baby is asleep. This is a pretty big issue for me because in both situations being discrete and quiet is always preferred. 

  • No lock on the pump 
I was puzzled several times to find my bag humming and vibrating because the pump had activated when I had set down my bag in the car, and again at my desk. With batteries in the pump there is no way to prevent this except being VERY VERY gentle in carrying it around. A light tap would set it off. 
 
  • Lack of distributed suction
As described above, the suction was very much concentrated at the top which I found to be a little uncomfortable after a while. Also I reckon this might have led to reduced supply. 

Conclusion

The Closer To Nature Pump might be a good idea for someone who would be using it only occasionally in the privacy of their own home and wants something other than a manual pump. However, I personally found it very slow to get a good flow going even at the highest setting. 

The volume of the pump and the sensitivity of the controls is almost unforgivable. And I won't be taking this pump back to work. Even in a private office with 4 walls that go all the way from ground to ceiling (office walls aren't exactly thick) I'm sure the pump could clearly be heard by the junior engineers on the other side of the wall. 


Have you tried out the Closer To Nature Pump? Please share your experiences and is there any way to make it quieter? Or do you know a good quiet electric pump to recommend I try next? 

4 comments:

  1. Did you see my earlier comment? Seems to have disappeared...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hmmm... Anyway, I said it would be interesting to compare the noise on this pump to the Phillips Avent electric pump. I love the Phillips pump but it isn't quiet either. Far from it. But I'm not sure you'd hear it through walls?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hmmm... Anyway, I said it would be interesting to compare the noise on this pump to the Phillips Avent electric pump. I love the Phillips pump but it isn't quiet either. Far from it. But I'm not sure you'd hear it through walls?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was going to use the sound pressure app on my phone to measure the closer to nature pump. We should compare decibels /nerd 😄

    ReplyDelete