I have noticed more of my clients are buying used breastpumps or borrowing pumps from friends or family. As the prices of high-quality breastpumps increase, resourceful moms try to find less expensive alternatives to new pumps that can cost as much as 300 dollars. Before you acquire a used pump, please consider the following.
Three hundred dollars is a lot of money, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of formula. Estimates range from $1500 to $2300 per year!
Breastfeeding moms who need to be separated from their babies for work or school depend on their pumps every day. Breastpumps do have warranties, but they are not transferable. So if you have a used pump, you have no warranty. In addition you have no idea how long a used pump will function. When it fails, you will need to buy or rent another pump.
A used pump has been USED. A running motor does not guarantee the pump’s effectiveness. The vacuum may have diminished over time, causing it to be ineffective or inefficient. This is not only frustrating, but it may result in decreased milk production, increase the use of formula and necessitate buying a new pump.
When you borrow a pump from a friend, you are further diminishing the pumps life-span. And what if it stops working altogether while it’s in your possession? You will need to purchase a new one to continue to pump and/or to ensure you return a functional pump to your friend.
Most of my clients who start out with used pumps, end up buying a new one anyway. Clearly, used breastpumps are not the bargain that they appear to be!
Written by Renee Beebe, M.Ed., IBCLC. Renee is a lactation consultant in private practice in Seattle, Washington. She is available for home/hospital visits and phone consultations. Renee can be reached at www.second9months.com.
For information related to health concerns of used breastpumps, see “The Health Risks of Pump Sharing.”