I’ve recently returned to work full time which means lots of time pumping for Declan! And obviously pumping is on my mind as it was the subject of my last post as well (check out my tips!). Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, my insurance covered the cost of a double electric breast pump. I had several choices but decided to try the Hygeia Q as I had heard positive things about Hygeia through the grapevine. My Google investigating didn’t turn up a ton about the Hygeia so I thought I’d do my part and give Google something to find :). Note: I was not compensated in any way by Hygeia for this review …in fact, I’ve sent them a bit of my money for spare parts! My pump was paid for by my insurance company.
The Hygeia Q is a slightly stripped down version of the Hygeia EnJoye. The EnJoye has two models (one has an internal rechargeable battery pack), a built in carry handle, and a feature that let’s you record baby’s voice; the Q does not and is the model most insurance companies will provide. The motor is the same on each pump and you won’t notice a performance difference. You can purchase an external battery pack separately through Hygeia if that’s a feature that you need.
Three things in particular made the Hygeia attractive to me:
It’s a closed system pump. This means there’s no way that milk (and therefore mold and other ick) can get into your motor. This also makes it safe to share between users; each user should purchase her own tubing and flanges however. My prior pump – the Ameda Purely Yours is also a closed system. Medela’s non-hospital grade models (including the Freestyle and Pump in Style) are NOT closed systems. Hygeia accomplishes a closed system with their bacteriostatic filter…more on that in a second. You can read more about
You can independently control cycle rate and suction strength. Hygeia pumps have separate dials for cycle rate and suction strength meaning you have complete control. Why does this matter? Because ideally you want your pump to mimic how a baby nurses with a fast suck to trigger a letdown and a slower, slightly stronger suck to keep the milk flowing. Every woman is going to have a different “sweet spot” on the dials – even from session to session – so this level of control is HUGE. The Ameda Purely Yours is very similar in this regard. Medela models have “2 phase expression” – in my opinion this is an inferior set up as it doesn’t allow for the same level of control (and be careful as some insurance provide Medela pumps don’t allow ANY control over cycle rate).
Hygeia is WHO Code compliant. Basically this means they aren’t advertising in a way that does anything to promote bottle feeding. The US does not currently enforce the WHO Code (boo US!) which means that many companies are huge violators. Ameda is currently code compliant; Medela is not. You can read more about the WHO Code here.
And one bonus thing…Hygeia recycles! You can read more about their pump recycling program here.
That’s all lovely, you might say but tell me how this pump SUCKS! In a good way that is 🙂 So far I’ve been very pleased with my Hygeia’s performance. It’s only been a month but I’ll be sure to return with updates as we get further down the road. Here’s what I’ve learned so far…pros and cons.
- My output with the Hygeia is good! That’s a pretty important feature.
- It’s also comfortable. I generally have my suction set somewhere about halfway up the dial and find the pumping action to be as comfortable as one might hope a pump would be (note, pumping should never hurt! It’s just a little…awkward as you might imagine being hooked to a machine could be).
- It’s not super loud…or at least no louder than any other pump I’ve used.
- Hygeia parts are expensive and harder to find. Every pumping mama knows that it’s smart to have extra tubing, valves, and flanges on hand. Hygeia’s parts aren’t available in big box stores (although you can find everything but the bacteriostatic filter on Amazon currently) which makes it a tad inconvenient. BUT you may be happy to know that Medela parts work just fine on the Hygeia (again you’ll need a bacteriostatic filter from Hygeia though). I’ve actually been using flanges from Maymom which are working just fine so far; they are quite cheap and come in a wide range of sizes should you be like me and need a size other than the standard 27 mm flange (the Maymom tubing is not as nice though). I also discovered that an Ameda flange kit will work as well (again you need to use the Hygeia bacteriostatic filter but the Ameda tubing will connect to it). So if you have a favorite flange, chances are it will work with the Hygeia.
- Another part consideration is that the Hygeia flanges have a larger connection for the collection bottles. You may find this annoying as it means fewer bottles will fit. Hygeia has a list here as well as a reducer you can use to connect smaller mouthed bottles. I don’t know how well the reducer works though not having used it myself.
- The bacteriostatic filter is both interesting and annoying. Annoying because they aren’t cheap and are tricky to find (easy to order directly from Hygeia though). And you do have to replace them regularly or if they ever get wet (which they shouldn’t unless you dunk them!). But they are pretty fab in that they keep milk and ick out of your motor – so yay for that!
- It is possible (although unlikely) that milk will get in the tubing. But it will NOT get in the motor (again the bacteriostatic filter). This was a bit of an adjustment for me as I’m used to the Ameda flange system which makes it impossible for milk to get in your tubes…nice because tubes are a pain to clean.
- It’s a bit large…or at least large compared to my old Ameda. It’s also a bit awkward to transport since it doesn’t have a handle or come with a bag. But most pump bags are pretty ugly anyway and I found a Ju-Ju-Be Be Light makes a perfect pump bag. I use a Be Quick for my flanges, stick my tubing and bacteriostatic filter in the inner pocket, and use the outer bottle pockets to carry home my pumped milk (in these cute little 8 oz mason jars with plastic lids that let me date them easily).
- I can’t comment on how well the pump runs on battery power but would love to hear from you if you’ve used it on batteries!
Overall I’m pleased with my decision to go with a Hygeia breast pump this go round. I will be sure to report back should anything change. I’ve not had reason to connect with Hygeia’s customer service so far but would love to hear from you if you have (as quick customer service is pretty key for a pump). For me the make or break features of a breast pump (aside from that it gets the milk out!) are that it is a closed system and that the suction and cycle rate can be independently and fully controlled – and that’s certainly true of the Hygeia. If you’ve been using the Hygeia, please tell us what you think!