I'm happy to share a review of the Hygeia EnJoye LBI breastpump today.*
I was very interested in trying out this relatively new entry into the breastpump market. When I had my son I used the Medela Pump in Style at work. Since then I've used a Medela Symphony (hospital grade) and Harmony (manual). I haven't used any Ameda pumps personally, but helped a lot of moms get set up with them while working as a lactation consultant.
The Enjoye pump comes with the pump itself, a parts kit, a cooler bag, a diaper changing pad, and a nice tote bag (available in black and brown) with a lot of pockets. A 'door' on the front of the pump opens up and creates a space where you can place a picture of your baby. The pump itself is quite straight forward in operation, and the pump parts are very similar to Medela parts.
The pump is in many ways the same as other pumps, with a dial for suction and one for cycling speed. It allows for single or double pumping, and the flange/bottle assembly is similar to Medela's system. Unlike Medela pumps, the Hygeia pumps do not automatically change the cycling pattern from fast to slow. That feature is intended to mimic the suck pattern of babies, who suckle quickly at first to elicit a let down, and then more slowly when the milk has let down. This can be accomplished with the EnJoye (or any other pump which has adjustable cycling) by manually adjusting the cycling speed from fast to slow when the milk lets down.
The Enjoye pump sells for $299 (with internal rechargeable battery), which is in the range of the Pump in Style. This pump is available with an external power supply only for $219, and with an external battery pack for $259.
There are a number of things I really like about this pump:
Worked well. I've used a number of pumps, and while the cycling speed was lower than I'd like (see below), the Enjoye worked well for me. I'm pumping now for a milk bank, and when I heard, through this podcast interview, that milk banks often face shortages around the holidays, I brought the EnJoye pump with me on our family trip in December and used it to pump milk for the Mothers' Milk Bank of San Jose. It's fairly compact, and worked quite well on our trip.
Closed system allows for sharing or reselling. The Enjoye pump has an FDA cleared closed system, so milk cannot enter the inner workings of the pump. This means that the pump can be shared, as long as each user has their own parts kit (or it has been sterilized). So the pump can be safely shared or even resold. I think that this adds significant value to the pump. It's always driven me crazy, from both a financial and environmental perspective, that the Pump in Style isn't supposed to be shared, especially when it's generally used for a short period of time. Hygeia's system is a big improvement.
Recycling option. Hygeia also offers a recycling option. When you're done with the pump (or the person you gave it to is), you can send it in and Hygeia will recycle the pump. The parts are also BPA free.
Rechargeable internal battery. The Enjoye LBI has an internal, rechargeable battery which lasts up to four hours. This is also a great advance over external, AA battery power sources, which likely use batteries which end up in the landfill (though you could use rechargeables). It's also very convenient; you can charge it any time and don't have to bring along an external power source.
Return policy and warranty. Hygeia offers mothers the option to return the pump within 21 days of purchase, and also offers a three year warranty.
Recording/playback device. I have to say that I think it's a little silly, but the pump allows you to record a sound (such as your baby's cry or cooing) and play it back when pumping. It's supposed to help you let down milk more easily.
Standard size flange is 27mm. In recent years it's become clear that many, if not most women need a flange size bigger than the 24mm flange which comes with Medela pumps (I understand that Medela is now including 24 and 27mm flanges with some pumps). The right flange size is important for both comfort and the effectiveness of pumping.
WHO Code support. The Hygeia website states support for the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.
Things I like less about this pump:
Cycling speed is slower. The Enjoye pump has a cycling speed range (this means the number of 'pumps' per minute) of 50 to 80 cycles per minute. This compares to the range of 54 to 120 cyles per minute on the Pump in Style. Why is this important? (Medela-funded) research indicates that a faster cycling speed is better at eliciting the let down reflex, likely because it more closely resembles the cycling pattern of babies. The suction range on the EnJoye is similar to the Pump in Style.
Flange sizes are limited. Compared to Medela, the flange size options are more limited. Medela's standard flange size is 24mm; Hygeia's is 27mm. They also make flanges 27, 28, and 30 mm (sizes up to 36 mm are coming), but none smaller than 27mm. Because Medela pumps are sold at more retailers (like Target), it's possible to buy replacement parts for Medela pumps more quickly than ordering online.
Manual is disappointing, bottles don't attach smoothly, a few extra valve pieces should be included. I found the instruction manual to be dry, technical, and unattractive, and I think it would be much improved with more information about pumping and about flange sizing. I must be getting old, because I also didn't like the really small font. For some reason the bottles on my pump didn't attach smoothly to the neck of the flange assembly. Finally, it would also be very helpful if Hygeia would include an extra set of those little valve pieces you place inside the collection bottle could be included. It's easy to lose small parts, and if you do you're sunk. Medela includes an extra set of their white valve pieces.
Finally, Hygeia also makes a manual expression collection device, called the Expression Cup.* I'm not great at manual expression, though I'm getting better as I practice! This cup definitely makes hand expression easier, as it allows you to catch milk would otherwise fly off in all different directions.
*I was provided a review sample of this product.