Updated on April 6, 2017
Ameda Purely Yours Double Electric Breast Pump Review
I received this item at no cost to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.
An effective breast pump is a key component in the breastfeeding mother’s tool kit. Even if you don’t plan on leaving baby often or don’t think you’ll need to provide breastmilk in a bottle, you should still really consider getting a pump. Not only can a breast pump help establish a great milk supply, but it can help alleviate engorgement, allow you to create a freezer stash, and even help clear out blocked ducts if you get them. Maybe you’re even considering the possibility of donating breastmilk! I recommend that all new moms that plan to breastfeed have a pump when they bring baby home because if you discover that you need one, you’ll want to have one ready. I’ve had the opportunity to try out the Ameda Purely Yours double electric breast pump from Mothers Choice Products over the last month, and I have a lot to say about it. I’ve really put this pump to the test and it has some really great features that make it not only effective, but also hygienic and an all around smart design.
The Ameda Purely Yours double electric breast pump is a closed system breast pump. There are two types of breast pump systems: open and closed. In a closed system, there is a membrane that prevents condensation from forming in the tubes that connect the breast flanges to the breast pump motor. In addition to preventing condensation, this membrane prevents breast milk from entering those tubes and making its way to the motor. In an open pump system, there are no membranes that prevent condensation or milk from entering those tubes. Is one system better than the other? In a word, yes. When a pump is an open system, there is the possibility of breast milk traveling along the tubes and entering the pump motor. When this happens, it can result in mold or bacteria growth. There is no way to clean out the actual pump motor, so replacing the tubing doesn’t actually solve the problem. The bacteria that may grow in the motor of the pump has the potential to travel back into the tubing and may reach the breast milk that is being freshly pumped. None of that can happen with a closed system like the Ameda Purely Yours double electric breast pump. What that means is that the Ameda Purely Yours pump is a more hygienic pump for expressing breastmilk than one that is an open system.
The Ameda Purely Yours comes with the pump base/motor, the tubing adapter (to attach the tubing to the pump base), the tubing, two adapter caps (to attach the tubing to the breast flanges), two silicone diaphragms (the membrane that creates the closed system), two medium breast flanges, four valves (one pair is a replacement set), two 4oz bottles, two bottle lids, and an AC power adapter. When put together, Ameda calls it the HygieniKit because, well, it’s a hygienic closed system! There’s also a manual with cleaning, sterilizing, assembly, use, and troubleshooting information inside.
The Ameda Purely Yours has customizable speed and suction settings. What that means is that you can adjust the level of suction independently from the speed of the pump. In this way you can truly customize the way the pump operates for you. It also allows you to more closely mimic your baby’s rhythm at the breast, and that means more milk production at the pump! Prefer a strong suction, but at a slower speed? You can do that! Prefer a medium suction at a higher speed? You can do that too! Ameda also has seven, yes SEVEN, different flange size options. The flange is the part of the HygieniKit that sits on your breast with the opening over your nipple. It should come as no surprise that no two moms’ nipples, breasts, and areola are exactly the same, so not all moms can use the same flange size. If the flange size that the Ameda Purely Yours pump comes with doesn’t fit your breast properly, there are six other sizes to choose from. The odds are pretty good that you’ll find the perfect fit for you, and that makes pumping not only more comfortable, but also more effective.
The Ameda Purely Yours breast pump has three different power options available. It comes with an AC power adapter (an adapter that plugs into the wall), can be used with 6 AA batteries, or can be used with a car adapter (sold separately). This gives you lots of options for how and when to use the pump. You aren’t limited to pumping while sitting within range of an electrical outlet.
The base of the pump has two built in bottle holders. This allows you to place the assembled HygieniKit securely onto the pump base while you get yourself all situated to begin pumping. No more worrying that the pump parts that you so carefully sterilized are going to tip over or fall onto the floor. When you’re finished pumping, the bottles of breast milk can be placed back into those bottle holders so you don’t risk spilling or tipping them over. Because when it comes to breastmilk and pumping, you absolutely will cry over spilled milk!
How it works:
I used the Ameda Purely Yours for an entire month so I could really get a feel for how it performs in different scenarios. I pump almost exclusively for the Northern Star Mothers Milk Bank here in Calgary. They supply donated breastmilk to premature and fragile babies at NICUs in Calgary and across Canada. I’ve been pumping for them since Petit Prince was around 6 weeks old, and try to have enough milk to drop off once a month. Most of the time, I’m pumping once a day. My regular pumping time is in the evening around 10:30pm. That ends up being roughly 3 hours after Petit Prince’s last feed, and (hopefully) at least 3 hours before a night time feeding. As this is a normal daily pumping session for me, I have a pretty healthy supply of milk at that time. In addition to pumping for donation, I also pump to relieve uncomfortably full breasts (like when Petit Prince sleeps in unexpectedly), and when I have baby-free plans and need to leave a bottle of fresh milk for King Dad to give Petit Prince. So I have used the Ameda Purely Yours double electric breast pump at different times and for different reasons.
Before using the Ameda Purely Yours for the first time, I made sure to read over the manual so I had some idea of how it was supposed to work. Let me say that the manual for this pump is awesome. It is really helpful and explains how the pump works, how to tell if the flange is the correct size, how to adjust the speed and suction, and of course how to put the pump together (among other things). A good manual for a breast pump is really important!
On to how it actually works! I responded quite well to the Ameda Purely Yours breast pump. I really liked that I could adjust the suction separately from the speed. To start out, it is recommended that you turn the suction on first and get it to the desired level. Then you turn the speed dial to the maximum speed. When set to the maximum speed it is meant to help trigger a letdown. Other pumps I’ve used have an automatic letdown setting, but the Ameda Purely Yours allows you to customize the speed and suction to best trigger your letdown. Once your letdown is underway, you can lower the speed to wherever it is most comfortable for you. This type of adjustment was all new to me, so it took some trial and error to find the best setting for me, but once I got it, it was great. It was really nice to be able to adjust just the speed of the pump without having to increase the level of suction. This makes it possible to closely mimic the speed and suction that your own baby has when nursing at the breast. That should, in theory, allow you to have a more productive pumping session. I will say that I wish the speed of the Ameda Purely Yours could be a little bit faster at the maximum setting. I prefer a fairly quick suction to trigger a letdown as this brings on a letdown more quickly for me. I was still able to trigger a letdown with the Ameda Purely Yours, but it took more time than I was accustomed to because the speed was not as fast as I would have hoped. Once I did get a letdown, I could turn the speed down a little bit and the milk would just flow. I was able to trigger a second letdown with the Ameda Purely Yours, something I had not been successful in doing with the other pumps I’ve used. When the milk was slowing down, I could just turn the speed all the way up to max again, and within a couple of minutes I’d have another letdown and get a few more minutes of pumping out of it.
The flange took a little getting used to. It was a lot taller than what I’d been using, but in the end I actually really liked the design. The uppermost part of the flange (where the silicone diaphragms sit) is up and out of the way of the tunnel on the flange where the nipple is suctioned. This is actually a brilliant design. It allowed me to have a nice clear view of my nipples while the pump was operating. I could easily see that they were centred properly in the flange, and I could see that the milk was flowing. If I did need to adjust the placement on the nipple, it was easy to do because I could actually see where things were shifting.
Now this is probably not an issue that everyone will have, but I found the 4oz bottles that came with the pump to be a bit small. They are the perfect size for feeding, and that’s wonderful, but they just didn’t have as much capacity as I typically need for an average pumping session. I usually pump into 5oz bottles, and often need to switch one side out for a small 2-3oz snappies breastmilk storage container part way through the pumping session. With the 4oz bottles, I was having to switch out for another container pretty well every session. Not a huge deal, but I wished the pump had come with 5oz bottles instead. On the plus side, the Ameda Purely Yours flanges do fit any standard sized bottle, so I could pump into the 5oz bottles that I have if I wanted to! I did find switching out to a new container to be easy enough to do without making a big mess. I simply popped the adapter cap off the top of the flange which stopped the suction on that breast, then I could unscrew the full bottle and attach a new one without dripping milk everywhere or having to remove the flange from the breast. Then I would pop the adapter cap back on and it was right back to it.
For the most part, I used this pump with the AC adapter (ie. plugged into the wall), but I also tried using batteries to operate the pump. My main concern with batteries was that I would lose suction or the batteries wouldn’t last very long. To my surprise, there was absolutely no loss of suction with the batteries compared to using the AC adapter. I had batteries in the pump for two weeks and they were still going strong after pumping at least once per day over that time period. I loved being able to move around the house with the pump if I needed to! It wasn’t small enough to fit into my pocket or anything, but the pump base was light enough that it wasn’t a bother to carry it in one hand if I needed to get up and grab something while I was pumping.
The tubing adapter (the part that attaches the tubing to the pump base) allows you to pump just one breast at a time if you want. There were times when Petit Prince would unexpectedly be awake for a feed at 10pm, and the breast he fed from would be pretty well empty. In those situations, I’d close off one side on the tubing adapter, and pump one breast only. The level of suction was consistent with what it was for pumping both sides at the same time.
Although I did not need to use the Ameda Purely Yours at the maximum suction level, I was able to. In other words, the maximum suction level wasn’t so high that I couldn’t use it with no discomfort. Why does that matter? Well, I didn’t feel as though the maximum suction level of this pump was as strong as it is on my other pump. This is not an issue for me because I don’t need to use a very strong suction to have success pumping, but it may be an issue for those who do need a very strong suction.
In terms of cleaning and putting the flanges back together for use, I found it pretty good. I use a bottle brush the clean my pump flanges, so I don’t find that I have any trouble getting into the nooks and crannies of the flange itself. Since the flange consists of only three actual parts (the flange, diaphragm, and valves) it’s really easy to put it back together and put it back together properly! That is really important with a pump because if you can’t get it put together properly, you won’t be able to pump!
Let’s talk about the sound. It’s no secret that breast pumps are not whisper quiet. Most pumps make a fair bit of noise while they are operating. Is the Ameda Purely Yours the loudest pump I’ve used? Definitely not. What does it sound like? It sounds different. The pump makes a bit of a grinding sound. It’s certainly not what I would call quiet, but it’s also not the loudest one I’ve used.
- Closed system pump = hygienic
- Speed and suction can be adjusted separately
- Can be used as a double or a single
- Power options: AC adapter, batteries, or car adapter (not tested)
- No loss of suction when operating with batteries
- Built in bottle holders on the pump base
- Flange design makes it possible to see that it is placed correctly
- Easy to reassemble after washing
- Maximum speed and maximum suction could both be higher
- 4oz bottles are on the small side
- Does not come with a carrying bag (though this model HERE does include a carrying bag)
Overall, I quite liked the Ameda Purely Yours double electric breast pump. The customizable speed and suction really set this pump a step above in this regard. I’ve often found myself wishing I could have a faster pump without having to increase the suction beyond the point of comfort, and the Ameda Purely Yours delivers on that front. Though it doesn’t have an automatic letdown phase, you can adjust the settings to create a custom one that triggers a letdown for you. The built in bottle holders are really a life saver, especially if you need to switch out full bottles to continue pumping! That this pump is a closed system is a big deal. It is just so much more hygienic than an open system, and it really gives you peace of mind knowing that there’s no chance that mold or bacteria will build up in your pump motor.
Mothers Choice Products (the Canadian distributor of Ameda breast pumps) proudly supports breastmilk donation in Canada. They supply Sterifeed milk bottles to milk banks across the country. These bottles fit right onto the pasteurizers that the milk banks use when processing donated breast milk. As you probably are aware by now, breastmilk donation is something that is very dear to my heart (as I am a breastmilk donor), so I love that Mothers Choice Products plays an important role in breastmilk donation in Canada!
How would you like the WIN an Ameda Purely Yours double electric breast pump for yourself? One lucky Canadian reader will win an Ameda Purely Yours double electric breast pump from Mothers Choice Products. Just scroll down to the giveaway and get your entries in for a chance to win. This giveaway is open to Canadian residents, 18+, and closes on March 11th, 2016. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.
Can’t wait for the giveaway to end? You can purchase an Ameda Purely Yours double electric breast pump right HERE.