As a first-time mum, I’ve been dreading the thought of going back to work at the end of my maternity leave.
Being separated for more than a couple of hours from my baby is scary enough, not to mention the added stress of switching my sleep-deprived brain into ‘work mode’.
I travel quite a bit for work, which will be a new challenge to add to my struggles with breastfeeding; my milk didn’t come in for five days despite the best efforts (more like excruciating pain) of an overenthusiastic midwife trying to ‘milk’ colostrum from me.
Ensuring my baby continues breastfeeding and maintaining my supply is one of my biggest concerns.
There’s always the worry in the back of my mind – will I have a place to pump at work? Will there be a power point free? How do I discreetly pump in the car if I’m desperate? Will it mean lugging around an additional machine everywhere I travel?
I’ve also had mastitis a few times after inadvertently skipping feeds when going out without my baby, so not pumping is a mistake I don’t want to make again.
Being asked to review the Tommee Tippee Made for Me single electric breast pump has been great timing to confront these fears.
The first thing I noticed when opening the packaging for the Made for Me breast pump is how small and light it is – it is small enough to fit into my handbag.
I was given a mini insulated lunch cool bag for Christmas and it fits perfectly in there with space for an ice brick to keep the milk cool during storage.
I’ve tried a few other breast pumps during my breastfeeding journey and love that the flanges of these are soft moulded silicone, which are so much more comfortable than the hard plastic some others have.
Having previously gotten cracked bleeding nipples from a hospital pump which a nurse had turned up too high, I’m super sensitive to the potential for abrasions with incorrect positioning, but the clever design means I don’t need to be worried as there is plenty of room in the flange.
In the past I’ve tried pumping bras in an attempt to go hands-free, but they’re not something I want to have to wear all day, so the ergonomic body is also surprisingly comfortable to hold compared to other pumps I’ve tried.
The pump part is very light considering how strong the pump is. I found I could express a normal feed in about 10 minutes which is the same volume in the same amount of time I get from my non-portable breast pump which is much larger and heavier.