Hygeia EnJoye- a pump that sucks… good.

Before I get sucked into my review of the Hygeia EnJoye pump I need to share something important:

A breast pump is not essential for all breastfeeding mothers.

You can, as woman have been doing for a very, very, very long time, have a successful breastfeeding relationship with just your boobs and your baby.  Fancy equipment is not required.  At least, not most of the time.

However, should you decide you need a pump for whatever reason (some I can think of: you work out of the home and want your child to have your milk while you are separated; you chose to be a milk donor to a milk bank or through direct donation; due to issues with latch/preemie/other problems you have to offer your child expressed milk; or any other reason that really isn’t anybody’s business but your own) then getting a good quality pump that fits your needs is a good idea.

 

I have been breastfeeding off and on for the last nearly 13 years.  Mostly on.  In that time I’ve used a lot of breast pumps.  So many that I can only name a few of the brands and the rest I have to describe like “the one that was a double and kind of had a teal colored base and never had enough suction but was pretty cheap so I bought the same brand when I burned out the first one…”  I burned through a lot of those breast pumps.  There are pumps I declared I hated and pumps that revolutionized my pumping experience.  Most were in between.  I’ve used every major brand on the market including the ones highly lauded and popular as “the best.”

My reasons for pumping varied: I was a working mom and had a performing career in opera and I had an emotional need to know that I could hand my baby to The Piano Man and he could feed her (my sexual abuse past made this a crucial element to my success in breastfeeding).  With all 5 of my nurslings my reasons for pumping shifted slightly (including changing careers and going into midwifery) and with my 3rd I had a full time office position and regular evening rehearsals that meant I really depended on my pump.

There was a time when all I cared about an electric pump was that it could get milk from my breast but over time my expectations for pumps changed and my standards went higher.  I’m sure that to some it sounds like I got snobby, I mean, really, if it gets milk from your breast hasn’t it served it’s purpose?

Call me crazy but I started wanting things like longevity (I do have 5 kids after all), no pain, settings I could control, easy to clean, great suction and it not to weigh a ton.  Even further down the road I started to care about things like safety, no mold growing inside the motor, the ethics of the company, multi-user capabilities so I could loan it out while I wasn’t using it, and responsible marketing and bonus points for being environmentally contentious.  That last point applied to all our purchases as a family but I never expected to find it in a breast pump.

Enter the Hygeia EnJoye.

For starters, it already gets the bonus points.  It is perfectly safe with it’s closed system to share, sell, or hand-me down when your done with it giving it 1 green star.  Even better, it is recyclable and the company will help you out with that just to be sure it doesn’t end up in a landfill.  More green stars than I can count.

I’m not going to lie, for some at $320 this pump may seem expensive.  If you’re not going to be pumping often enough then maybe it’s not worth the expense.  For me, it’s worth it and it’s a competitive pricing with comparable pumps that, in my humble but experienced opinion, don’t really compare.  Plus, I’m done with cheap pumps.  Over them, burned through a lot of them and I want a pump I can count on to suck… good.  And because Hygeia really likes to surprise people, they even have a return policy and amazing customer service.  Something rather rare in a pump company.  The last time I tried to get anywhere with a pump I wasn’t happy with (not Hygeia but a brand that shall remain nameless) I pretty much got laughed at.

When Smunchie was a newborn and we were trying to get her to gain weight thanks to her struggle with a heart defect, I pumped around the clock, every 2 hours as well as direct at the breast feedings.  It was exhausting.  My hospital grade Medela Lactina is what worked round the clock with me.  Rather used to the loud “whispers” my pump had made to me for months before getting the Hygeia EnJoye I was shocked at how quiet the EnJoye was.  Seriously, I couldn’t believe the thing was on at first.  Made me wish I had used that pump all those times I was pumping in the middle of the night with a sleeping baby and husband because not only was it super quiet, it was just as effective.

Months after having the EnJoye and while I was in the middle of pumping we lost power due to a storm.  Thanks to the rechargeable battery I was able to keep pumping away.  This made me excited, think about the possibilities of where I could pump!  The compact size of the EnJoye and it’s handy-dandy attractive bag made it easy to transport and could go with me wherever I would need to pump, the rechargeable battery making it that much more simple.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly because I swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

What I liked:

Pretty much everything.  The size, the bag, the entire system (being closed and safely mold-free), the fit of the flanges, the options with the controls, the strength of the suction, the quietness of the machine, the multi-user capabilities, the recycling program.  And the company.  Hygeia sent me this pump 10 months ago.  They’ve waited a dang long time for a review on a rather expensive product.  But because I know that the moms that are in the market for a pump are going to use it for more than a week or two I wanted to give a time tested review.  Ten months.  This pump has been used just about every day for the last 10 months and nothing has needed to be fixed or replaced in that time (with the exception of an accessory set).  Which is amazing since I stopped pumping about 6 months ago.  So how has it been in use all this time?  I handed it down to a first time mom with twins, a good friend of mine.  Perhaps my favorite feature: I can loan this pump out safely to another mother with zero risk of there being any health hazard.  Not mold, not disease, nothing.  Which makes me feel really great.  I spent the same amount of money on another pump by another company several years ago and all I can do with that pump is throw it away.  Not the Hygeia EnJoye, it is an investment that keeps on helping moms give breast milk to their babies for a long, long time.

The suction was great for me.  Not quite as strong as my Lactina but I still expressed my normal amount of milk in about 10 minutes so it certainly wasn’t a problem.  It worked consistently used as a double or single electric pump.

What I didn’t like:

Um… ok, there’s nothing I didn’t like.  There were things that didn’t impress me maybe but it wasn’t that I didn’t like them.  There is a Hygeia CARE button that allows you to record something (such as your baby’s cry) for 5 seconds to play back when you pump to help you let down to the pump.  This is a personal thing, I don’t usually need help letting down to a pump.  However, I know plenty of women do and I can see how this could be a really important feature for those women.  The button did provide lots of entertainment, Smunchie would burst into tears every time she heard the sample recording of a baby crying and then the big girls discovered they could leave me “secret messages” with it.  Nothing like pumping, having a baby hit that button and hearing your 10 year old say “mommy, I think we need to get some ice cream.”

Overall:

This is my favorite pump, ever.  It is the only pump I feel 100% confident recommending any more.  I trust the company (which, by the way, makes an awesome hand expression cup and educate women on hand expression, a handy tool for any breastfeeding mom), I trust the pump and I’m thrilled with my own personal experience with the pump as well as that of my friend.  My thanks to Hygeia for offering up a product that is competitive with other pumps on the market but goes above and beyond.