Friday, February 3, 2017

Pumping Mama: My Lansinoh Smartpump and Me

As I sit at my desk at work, rehydrating with tea (wait, is tea actually dehydrating?) after pumping, snacking on dry Cheerios like I did as a toddler, I can't help but...wait, what was the rest of that thought? I have no idea. Because I have severe Mom Brain. I need this 15 minute writing break to refocus the thinking parts of my brain before I dive back into work. I thought pumping would provide much needed breaks in my day to rest and recharge (ha!) but it turns out, pumping is draining. Literally and figuratively. I don't leave my pumping sessions feeling rejuvenated and ready for action. I'm often tired and...well, like I said, drained.

I'm using a Lansinoh Smartpump at work, which I generally love. I used the Medela Pump In Style Advanced once and exactly once - the Lansinoh is simpler to use and I find the flanges more comfortable. I was initially excited about the Smartpump because of its tracking features - it has an app that connects to the pump via bluetooth so you can log how long your pumping sessions are and what your output is, among other things. And for the first few months, I found that super useful. Now, however, as I've been pumping for about two months, I find that manually logging my ounces is more trouble than its worth, and I don't track anything else baby-related anymore. I'm not super concerned with tracking output over time because it's relatively stable, and I know how much I'm pumping because it says so right there on the bottle. As long as I fill those bottles over the course of the day, I don't care quite as much how much I get in each session.

Pumping at Work, Working While Pumping
Awkward photos are my specialty.


  • Super easy to use. The digital display makes keeping track of time, pumping strength, and "style" super easy, and the buttons to adjust are great. I hated the Medela's knob-style adjusters, and I felt like I could never get the pressure and speed quite right. I like the different pumping styles, and find it very easy to match one of their pre-set sucking patterns to how my baby typically nurses.
  • The flanges are comfortable. I'm kind of in between sizes with the Medela ones, but the Lansinoh ones fit me great.
  • Pretty quiet. Our conference room walls are pretty thin, and I'm told that it can't be heard in the room next to me.
  • It's a pretty compact little system (the cooler bag it comes with is large enough to hold 4 bottles, and ice pack, and all the pumping parts in a ziplock bag). I can fit the aforementioned cooler bag full of gear, the pump itself, and my hands free pumping bra in the small tote bag that Lansinoh provided. It's a bit more discreet than the Pump in Style backpack for sure, if that's something you care about (I don't), and I find it easier to carry than a backpack, or at least more convenient to carry.
  • My baby likes the Lansinoh mOmma bottles, so it's convenient to pump directly into the bottles she's going to drink from. The wide mouth makes them easy to clean as well.


  • Lots of parts. The Medela is a little more universal; there are substitute parts made by third parties that reduce the number of individual pieces you have to wash. The Lansinoh pump isn't difficult or complicated, but there are 5 separate pieces to wash (times 2) and it would be nice if there was an all-in-one type solution.
  • The rubbery part on the flanges sometimes catch drops of milk that I wish would flow down into the tube/bottle. When I take the flanges off, it's a little bit of a delicate balancing act to try to catch those drops (even though it's only a drop or two, every drop counts, right?) that stick to the rubbery lip.
  • The ice pack it comes with is a standard crappy little ice pack. I prefer the contoured hard pack that came with the Medela, so I use that one in my Lansinoh cooler bag (which is a better size than the Medela cooler bag).


  • I honestly don't find the "smart" elements of the pump to be that useful. If it automatically tracked the quantity of milk I was pumping, that might be better, though I don't know of any pump currently on the market that does that (perhaps the Willow, when it comes out?). The additional step of manually entering my #oz isn't useful enough to justify the extra couple of minutes...especially since the app asks for the quantity in ounces, and the bottle has more ml lines than oz lines, so I end up having to Google conversions to get the amount right when I'm in between whole ounces. The app allows you to track diapers and breastfeeding and bottles and growth and more...and I just find that I don't have the bandwidth to care about so much tracking. For folks who are super into data though, it would be useful to have all your baby-related tracking in one app.

Overall, I like this pump enough that I'm considering selling my Medela and all its accessories and buying an extra Lansinoh pump to keep at work (though I probably wouldn't get the "smart" one unless the price was the same, because eh), just so I don't have to unplug and replug every day. One less thing to carry back and forth, one less thing to do. The Lansinoh Smartpump retails for $174.98 on Amazon (vs $109.99 for the regular double electric pump), so it's competitively priced, as far as I'm concerned. I have a Medela hand pump as well, which I'm considering replacing with a Lansinoh hand pump, just to have uniformity with my bottles - baby is bottle agnostic, but it's kind of a pain to go back and forth and it would be simpler to just have one system to use.

Do you pump at work or at home? Do you have multiple systems or brand uniformity? What kind of pump do you have and why do you like it? Does pumping melt your brain or is it just me? Is it the pumping or the sleep deprivation? Or both? This too shall pass, right?

full disclosure: I received the Lansinoh Smart Pump for free in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own; they did not request a positive review or in any way influence this review.

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