Philips Avent Isis Manual by Hayley O’Dell

Breast pumps are a really personal piece of equipment for mothers, from hospital grade pumps, to household mini electric (double and single) and manuals, each mother responds differently to different breast pumps, unfortunately there is no way to “test” out a pump without spending the money, and this can sometimes end up in disappointment and frustration due to spending a huge chunk on a pump that you are not responding to.

In the first 2 weeks while my daughter was in NICU I used a hospital grade pump, these pumps have stronger suction and are multi-user machines.
When returning home from our NICU stay, we bought a (different brand) single electric pump, unfortunately I battled with this pump terribly, firstly the suction was not strong enough even on the highest setting and I continuously had milk in the tubing and motor. It also took very long to empty which was counterproductive when I had a newborn screaming because I was taking too long.

At 6 weeks I invested in the Philips Avent Isis Manual Breast Pump, and have been using this for the last 33 months to exclusively pump for my daughter. I found I was able to pump quicker and achieve the same yield at a similar pace to when I was pumping with a hospital grade electric pump.
I do have 2 other manual pumps, (different makes) as back-up pumps which I do not respond well to but do the job while waiting for spares for my Isis.

The Isis ranges in price from R1100 to R1200 and come with 1 size flange, a base, top rubber, diaphragm, handle and a complete bottle.

The manual for me is a wonderful pump, it is quiet, you are able to adjust speed and suction strength and you don’t have to rely on electricity to be able to pump, which is a life saver with Eskom and scheduled power outages.

I have had to replace my flange 5 times in the 33 months using this pump, twice due to the back “horn” where the handle attaches breaking off (they have since changed the type of plastic they use to make the pump to a more durable plastic), and three more times due to melting my pump parts during sterilization (oops!), as a personal preference I change out my diaphragm and rubber every 3 months. The replacement flange costs anywhere between R70 and R120 depending where you pick your parts up, and the rubber and diaphragm costs about R50 a set.

My only issue with the pump is that the handle wears on the back “horn” and the noise can become a little off putting while trying to focus on pumping, my remedy for this is to put a little “baby bum” cream on the back clip to stop it from rubbing, I also try to wait until my pump is completely dry and cool before pumping.

The back “horn”

Parts are easy to get and usually a consultant from Philips Avent will contact you when your parts have been delivered to your local Reggies or Pharmacy. Delivery can sometimes take up to a week so its always best to have either a back-up flange or pump available.

Washing and sterilizing is easy, the whole pump comes apart and all the pieces are easy to wash and sterilizer safe.

All in all I found this pump to be really easy to use, the handle is not too tight so your arm doesn’t get too tired while pumping for longer periods and longer sessions, the flange fits nicely and is at a comfortable angle, and the pump as a whole is small, sleek, light weight and easy to hold and despite the slight noise from the handle, its relatively quite and compact.

I would say that for moms who are on a budget, struggle with supply and need a stronger suction or who do not respond to electric pumps, then the Philips Avent Manual Isis is a great investment and wonderful for long term use.

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Philips Avent Isis Manual by A’Delia Taljaard

I have been using the Avent Isis for the last 4 months. And I am really happy with it! Used other brands pump with my first to children, but they can’t even compare with the Isis.

This pump retails between R1000-R1200 and parts are accessible from the big Baby stores. The parts come in at under R150, but it haven’t been necessary for me to change anything. As far as I have seen there is only one flange size.

I like the pump because it is very efficient and and quiet, because it is manual you can adjust the pump when pumping.

It really is ‘gentle’ on your nipples too. There is also a lot of nice extra’s to store breastmilk in that fit the pump, but it is a bit pricey though.