Until the Simplisse pump, all breast pumps were essentially the same. With a set of cones, valves, and tubes, they suck milk from your breast with pure suction. According to the Simplisse company and many mothers, this does not express milk the way that babies do, and will eventually cause damage to the breast tissue. The Simplisse "Breastfeeding Companion" expresses milk with a rather complicated looking apparatus designed to create an experience more like nursing your baby. Does it work? Absolutely! Is the pump perfect? Unfortunately, no. But even with its drawbacks, I highly recommend it, especially to mothers with lower milk supply or sore breasts or nipples.
- The suction is very gentle and pain free, so that even with extended pumping on the highest setting, there are no suction related injuries to the breast or nipple. I hadn't used a pump for weeks before trying this pump, and found it very gentle.
- The pump assembly has to be assembled very precisely. If the bottle isn't screwed in tightly enough, or the breast shield portion is not snapped all the way on, the pump will not work. Because this pump requires an air tight assembly to work, you can't pump directly into a bag like you can with a Medela pump.
- Few parts are available in stores or online. If you lose your silicone ring, or break the top of the pump assembly, you can't run out to your local baby or big box store to buy a replacement. You have to contact Simplisse's (admittedly awesome - see above) customer service and order the parts through them.
- There is a learning curve for your breasts -- if you are used to using a standard-type breast pump, you often won't show much of a result for a few pumping sessions. Most other reviews that I've read say that within 3-5 sessions, the milk output is comparable.
- The pump is equipped for double pumping, but the suction declines significantly when using both sides at once. I found it faster and more convenient to just pump one side at a time. Additionally, since the cups work best when not pressed against the breast, it does not function at its best in a pumping bustier. The switch that is used to adjust between single and dual pumping does not click into place to let you know that it is in the correct double pumping position, so I am never sure if it is positioned correctly.
Overall, I would give this pump 5/5 for functionality, 3/5 for convenience, and 3/5 for usability. Many of the drawbacks of this pump are due to it being a early model from this company. I very much look forward to Simplisse's future generations of pumps.
Visit Simplisse online: http://www.simplisse.com/