Like so many baby brands, Yoomi was (apparently) launched by parents out of necessity: it originally made its name with a self-heating feeding bottle – a brilliant innovation that recharges in the microwave.
After such a good start, then, I was greatly surprised to find its first breast pump leans so heavily on the Medela Swing (£134.99) in design, having borrowed the Swiss brand’s yellow and many of its features.
However, it costs £45 less, has a digital display and includes a manual option. I was keen to see if it could live up to the product it emulates.
The Yoomi 3-in-1 breast pump is available from Uber Kids.
The Yoomi comes in a sweet little gift-style box, wrapped in white tissue paper – as though designed for baby showers. I became slightly wary on seeing the instruction leaflet inside, which is printed on a standard office printer in an unbound A5 format.
Ok, there’s nothing wrong with independent companies starting small and improving as they build their success, but when I spend £90 on something I’m about to attach to my breast, I want those little reassurances of quality such as a professionally printed leaflet.
Mum’s guide to buying a breast pump
How does it work?
Like most breast pumps, the electric unit offers two settings – stimulation and expression – that are designed to mimic a baby’s natural feeding behaviour at the breast. ‘Stimulation’ gives a very gentle set of shallow pumps, which bring on the natural let-down reflex (when your milk starts to flow). ‘Expression’ vamps up the pressure, giving the long, harder sucks that babies take after this.
The manual pump is, again, much like Medela’s Harmony manual pump (£24.99), but a chunkier version that lacks many of the features, such as the free rotating swivel, comfortable spring action and the firm fit of stand to bottle.
Breast pumps – what types are there?
How comfortable was it?
The soft suction pad that goes over your nipple looked really comfy, but as you often get with soft pads, it pinched a bit. (Generally, my preference is for a hard pad, which is not moulded to your breast, so you’re not being wrung out like a cloth. However, every body is different, so I’m not taking this into account.) I found the default setting for stimulation was just right, and actually felt pretty natural.
But when I switched to the Expression setting, yeowch! My nipples felt as though they were being squeezed at the end, like a bad latch.
However, a bit of adjusting (to the absolute minimum speed) and it was fine. What would be better, however, is if the factory settings were at the minimum to begin with, to enable the user to build up to the right level for them.
What did you think of the amount of milk you could collect?
In terms of productivity (ie, quantity of milk produced: you become obsessed with this when you’re having to pump) it was actually as effective as the Medela Swing and the Lansinoh Single Electric, although not as comfortable as either of them.
How easy is it to use?
It’s pretty obvious what to do in electric and manual modes – I didn’t require the instructions, but beginners would likely find them easy to follow.
For the electric unit, you simply attach, press the On button, and it starts in stimulation mode. Battery powered is the same, but using batteries, rather than a mains unit.
For manual mode, you just fix the handle to the top and start pumping.
How robust/durable does it seem?
It’s hard to know. There’s nothing to say it will fall apart, but then so far there’s not much evidence of a quality product in terms of the packaging and materials used.
This claims to be very quiet – was it?
It’s not bad, but the Lansinoh pump is quieter.
How portable is it?
Its electric motor unit is larger than the Medela Swing, and all the parts are chunkier. I would say that neither the manual nor electric unit are quite handbag size, but definitely changing-bag size.
A reasonable-value breast pump that offers both automatic and manual options, but don’t expect the same features and comfort level as the more expensive brands.
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