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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Giving-up Pump Sales and Rentals

When I started my Breastfeeding Practice 7 years ago, I mistakenly thought, I had to provide pumps for sales and rentals to be successful. I thought I could not have a breastfeeding practice without pumps. I loaded up with the two leading brands and rentals.

I am totally wrong. I hardly sell or rent a pump.

What does this mean?
  • When I sell my last Medela Pump (which happens to be cheaper than Targets price) I am not going to stock up on pumps anymore.
  • When my contract for hospital grade rental pumps expires I am sending my rental pumps back.
Now, if I am wrong and I truly need to provide pump sales and rentals, PLEASE, someone let me know what information I haven't considered.

I will continue to provide replacement parts for Medela. I have some parts for the Ameda style pump, but overall Ameda and other promising new pump brands don't seem to be in too much demand in my area.

You'd think pump companies would have special interest in "latching" on to me and bribing me to support them. Truth is, I hardly get any support, emails, or calls from pump companies.

The mothers who come to me who legitimately need a pump, seem to have them before coming to me. Someone in the area is doing well with pumps sales/rentals. Target? the Hospitals? the Medical Supply? They are doing so well at selling pumps, I don't need to.

Mothers who come to me, often still have problems. Or they wouldn't have come to me. Could it be

THAT THE PUMP DIDN'T SOLVE THE PROBLEM? Yes, the pump didn't solve the problem. I try to correct the problem, I tell the mom to put the pump away, and just nurse the baby.

No pump. NO PUMP. I can't sell a single pump. I want the baby to nurse.

It is possible to have an out-patient breastfeeding practice and not be the supplier of pumps.

Mothers of preemies, the hospital will certainly supply you with the highest quality rental pump.

Working mothers (or those pumping for other reasons), Target will still be there for your pump purchase.

Others with medical problems (sore nipples, fussy babies, under or oversupply), be leery of what you are purchasing. If you need lactation support, get the right information.

 To summarize, some lucky person will get my last Medela pump. If anyone needs a rental pump, I will have till the end of the year. After that I officially retire from pump sales and rentals and concentrate on preserving breastfeeding. I will continue to carry replacement parts and kits.


watermelon and daisies said...

I have often questioned why pumps are deemed so essential for the breastfeeding mamas of today. I have heard two reasons that might be plausible. One - if the woman is going back to work, she pumps her own milk to give her child. Ok. I can see that. Second - pumps are used to give the mom's nipples a break when they are very sore from nursing, so they can heal and then she will try again. But wouldn't giving the baby a bottle mess with baby's latch and potentially undermine the breastfeeding relationship? And once they heal, and she goes back, won't they just get sore again? I need better information before I can be of help to women learning to nurse.

Mama K said...

OK, my daughter was signed in, that question was from me. - Kathy

Denise Punger MD IBCLC said...

When introducing a bottle there is ALWAYS a risk that it will interfere with the willingness of the baby to take the breast properly. You never know which babies will be affected. If you must use a bottle, better to wait until breastfeeding is established and preferable as long as possible.

In my personal case, I pumped at work and my two oldest were fed with bottles from 3 -12 months old during my shifts. Mine nursed for 6years. Bottles did not apparently stop them.

When using bottles to provide nipple releif, if you fix the problem it shouldn't necessarily hurt.

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