I have some thoughts brewing about my impending move and my garden, but I can’t help but gush! Huzzah! My new Hygeia breast pump is here!
With all my talk about desiring a natural birth, it probably won’t be a surprise that I also hope to breast feed. A friend of mine actually gave me an old Medela pump, but I decided not to use it for various reasons. There was a broken bit, for one, and it is what’s called an “open system” meaning that “the pump motor is ‘open’ to contact with the mother’s milk particles” compared to a “closed system” which is not (La Leche League). I just couldn’t get past the giant warning on the front of the device stating that it wasn’t meant to be used by more than one person. Now I’m sure my friend is a very healthy individual, but what if she didn’t know about something? What if?! Another friend of mine, who is a lactation consultant, warned me that I should listen to my instincts. Perhaps it’s a first time mother’s irrational worries, but the threat of contracting another person’s bacteria or virus (or giving them to my baby), scared the heck out of me. Beyond that, my lactation consultant friend explained that many open system pumps are very susceptible to mold. So the pump, while generously given*, ended up getting three strikes – a broken part, LLL and the FDA do not recommend using another’s open system pump, and mold issues.
I was lamenting what to do because breast pumps are expensive and my budget is currently quite tight. My consultant friend suggested looking into Hygeia pumps and, maybe, I’d get enough money at my shower to purchase one. I hadn’t heard of Hygeia before. They’re not in major shops and I hadn’t seen them on the more popular pregnancy websites such as The Bump and Baby Center. Turns out La Leche League endorses them! And the more I browse more naturally-leaning parenting stores, the more I see them offered as an alternative. Reviews looked pretty positive.
The biggest selling point to me is that it’s a closed system. Most closed system pumps are only available through hospitals. Hygeia only utilizes a closed system because they aim to be “eco-friendly.” They don’t want their pumps ending up in garbage dumps – the ultimate destination of many open-system breast pumps**. It’s a purchase I can feel good about because I could lend it to friends and family without worrying about the germ issue. I can send it back to Hygeia for recycling. It’s reusable. It’s recyclable. It meets my desire to live a more sustainable life and breast feed my baby while still having to work full time.
I’m very grateful to my mother and my husband’s uncle for the money they gave or sent for our baby shower. So I couldn’t manage to schedule a doula for my birth. So my hope for a natural birth may be complicated by some unforeseen health issue (I hope not!). At least I have a breast pump I like from a company I feel I can support! Now I just pray to Brighid that I can actually use it!
*Seriously, I’m VERY grateful to the friend who tried to help out by giving me her old pump.
**The irony isn’t lost on me. Yes, I purchased a brand new pump (reusability aside) and will likely have to dispose of the old Medela. Again, I just can’t shake the worries… At least I may be able to recycle some of the plastic bits and the motor…