For breastfeeding mothers who occasionally, or even frequently, want to hand feeding duties over to dad for a well-earned break yourself, the breast pump is a great invention. The Philips AVENT Manual Breast Pump is, as the name states, a manual (as opposed to battery or mains-powered) single breast pump, compatible with the whole AVENT bottle-feeding range and fully equipped to give mum a break.
Like all manual pumps, the time to express a feed is largely determined by how much milk mum produces but the Philips AVENT Manual Breast Pump claims to be as efficient as hospital pumps. While the pump is efficient with a strong suction action, it takes practice to get the position and rhythm right for optimum milk production.
What we love
It is small and light, barely bigger than one of the bottles themselves and can be carried around discretely if you need to express on the move. Let’s face it mums, if you are having to express milk when you are out you don’t really want the whole world to know what you are up to! As the unit fits directly onto feeding bottles it saves on washing up and equipment as expressed milk can be stored and used straight from the pump.
The unit is easy to assemble and take apart and fits easily into most types of steriliser. It is easy to put in the dishwasher but the valve is especially small and fiddly and unless you put it in the cutlery tray it could get lost. Also, the pump has many nooks and crannies so you may want to check that it is fully cleaned by the machine or just do it by hand to be sure.
At around £25 it is an inexpensive option for those who occasionally want to express but it is perhaps a little tiring and inefficient for heavy duty use. The pump is very durable however, with the replacement parts included in the box more than enough to last its expressing lifetime of around nine months. It may be too time consuming to be used for regular expressing, particularly in the early days and weeks of feeding.
What to watch out for
The Philips AVENT Manual Breast Pump includes a patented Let-down Massage Cushion that claims to imitate the way baby feeds and improve milk production. Some mothers have however found it to be either a little restrictive or it reduces the suction around the breast, making expressing less effective. They prefer to use the pump without the extra lining.
All manual pumps can prove tiring on the hand if it takes you a while to express milk but the Philips AVENT Manual Breast Pump’s handle is relatively stiff giving the user hand-ache sooner than on some other models.
Who is Philips AVENT Manual Breast Pump best for?
Mums who need to express milk discreetly on the go.
It is a good value breast pump and is efficient with a strong suction action. It is particularly good to fit in your bag subtly if you may need to express when you are out and about.