Before going into the first year’s breast pump reviews, it’s important to learn a bit about the company. This can help you decide if the brand is for you or not!
When a company is around for more than half-a-century, it certainly is treated with a lot of respect in the market.
The First Years, Inc is one such company. A major player to reckon with in the breast pumps industry.
The First Years Inc was formerly known as Kiddie Products Inc.
The company has fully focussed on the marketing of products required by infants in the first three years of life.
This includes things like feeding, sleeping, bathing, diapering, and transporting / travel.
The company has been consistently winning awards for better product design and product safety over the years.
Last year, the company’s name featured at the thirty-fifth position in the “Global 100” listing by the prestigious Boston Globe.
This is along with grades the top-performing publicly-held companies in Massachusetts on the parameters of return on average equity, and yearly changes in revenue, profit margin and total revenue.
Reviews of First Years Breast Pump [A Complete Guide]
First Years Natural Comfort & Easy Comfort MANUAL Breast Pumps
The first breed of breast pumps that came in the market was manually operated. Grand-mothers recall, with a mist in their eye, of their experiences and travails of breastfeeding.
Their experiments with the manual breast pump would invariably be included in their tales.
Manual breast pumps have come a long way since.
Companies have invested millions of dollars in researching and developing just the right models. One that can stimulate the suckle – release cycle of the child at the breast.
And most are aimed at maximizing the letting down process without hurting the breast in whatever manner.
The First Years Natural Comfort Manual Breastpump and Easy Comfort Manual Breastpumps are in this league.
Designed by lactation experts of Boston’s Children Hospital, these pumps simulate the baby’s natural feeding pattern quite effectively.
The Features and Specifications
The Natural Comfort breast pump can be operated by electricity or battery. Even though its primary utility is as a manual device.
The Easy Comfort breast pump has the uniqueness of an adjustable hand positioning option. Mothers often complain of fatigued hands, due mostly to repetitive hand motion.
The Easy Comfort model takes care of this particular problem very easily, since its handle can swivel from one angle to another. And you can lock it in a particular position, too.
Both models are very easy to assemble and clean. As there are no mechanical or electric components, the devices have a naturally quiet operation which makes them quite discreet.
The Easy Comfort Manual Breastpump comes with another version – the DELUXE version.
Here, the makers have added a foot pedal that the mother can operate by her foot. With this version, the mother is totally freed from repetitively having to pump with her hands.
Which One Is Best Between the Two?
Which of the two breast pumps should the mother go in for? First and foremost, manual breast pumps are only for breastfeeding moms for whom time is _not_ a premium.
A busy, or working mother who has to constantly look at her watch while pumping is best at ease with an electric device.
The Natural Comfort & Easy Comfort Manual breast pumps are to be considered by mothers when they do not have to rush anywhere.
Perhaps the mother is planning to go out for the evening, perhaps, and is not quite sure about her time of return.
In such a case, she might do well to express her milk in containers that can be kept in cold storage. The person who is staying behind with the child then has the responsibility to feed the infant on time.
Therefore, between the two, the Natural Comfort breast pump is best if the mother feels that a situation may arise in the future when she may have to work for some part of her time.
On the other hand, the Easy Comfort breast pump is an obvious choice for moms who tire easily – the swiveling handle of this pump alleviates her particular problem to a great extent.
The kit containing the breast pumps has other handy accessories, too. Most notably, it comes in a trendy shoulder bag, which has an insulated compartment.
There are two 5 oz milk-collecting bottles to store milk. The set is light-weight and compact. This makes manual pumps an ideal companion for a picnic.
While the rest of the folks are frolicking around, the mother is busy with the next feed for the child who is sitting in the cradle, enjoying the show!
First Years Natural Comfort & Easy Comfort Electric Breastpumps
Some products, like some children, have an unfair advantage right from their birth.
These products are the results of the best brains in the field. And at the prototype stage itself, consumers test them vigorously, even though they are the ultimate beneficiaries.
When such products emerge out of the factory’s doors, they in most cases “born to lead”.
The First Years’ Natural Comfort and Easy Comfort Electric Breastpumps have this unfair advantage.
They have behind their design medical doctors, some of whom work with the Children’s Hospital in Boston.
Parents with experience often test the products as part of their membership in the Parents Council network of the company before they get into the market.
This means that any design glitches are visible and allow the company to resolve them faster.
The Natural Comfort Electric Breastpump comes in both the Single and Double models. The Double pumping version has a unique feature of a single handle for both the flanges.
It allows the mother to pump from both the breasts simultaneously or, alternatively, one at a time.
Both the single and double pumps have an automatic 3.5-second suction and release cycle and a “comfort control” dial that you can adjust to a comfortable position.
Overview of Features
The Easy Comfort Electric Breastpump, on the other hand, has a one-second suction and release cycle.
The same control dial that the mother can rotate to customize the suction strength which she is most comfortable with.
The distinctive feature of Easy Comfort is that it comes in a stylish black bag with an attitude and some brains!
When the mother opens the bag, the lightweight pump can be lifted out. The heavier components such as the motor and the AC adapter stay inside.
This brand, too, has two versions – Double as well as Single.
Both the brands can operate with the help of an electric outlet (using an AC adapter). Or with the help of batteries.
They come with cold packs and an insulated compartment. Where the models differ is in the number and capacity of milk-collecting bottles that come in the kit.
Which One Should You Choose?
Which of the two brands the mother should buy, depends on which suction level from each pump she is most comfortable with.
A double pump is more expensive, naturally, and becomes a necessity when time is at a premium – perhaps the lunch hour is too short to expand on a single pump.
On the other hand, a single pump might be quite okay when the mother has to pump only occasionally.
The autocycle in both the models extends just the right sucking and releasing the pressure that a child performs normally at the breast.
The body naturally responds to the rhythmic action by letting down copious amounts of milk. For mothers with children in the stage of growth bursts, this is a definite advantage.
Mothers suffering from the recurrent problem of engorgement or mastitis can benefit from these pumps too. In some instances, improper latching on by the infant may lead to sore nipples.
The pump helps the mother to continue expressing milk and feeding it to her child, without having the child damage her nipples again.
First Years Products and Accessories
What makes this company different from the rest of the competition is their demonstrated effort at building a network of parental networks, all on their own.
The “Parents Council” is an online community of 300,000 parents who bond together for the purpose of sharing news, views, and experiences on issues related to child care.
The center is undoubtedly centered around The First Years’ own products.
However, the network is an excellent source of information for new and expectant parents who are invariably in a state of anxiety on matters pertaining to infant care and rearing.
A very important advantage that the company derives from this community is that it obtains feedback information from parents on its present products.
Plus, they proactively collect opinions and experiences of parents on their usage.
The parents are also involved in new product development. Also, members of the community get to try out the company’s latest prototypes before the rest of the world.
This grassroots’ connectivity is what gives The First Years an edge.
The First Year Breast Pump
In the breast pumps segment, the company has the following offerings: –
- Natural Comfort Single and Double Electric Pumps
- Natural Comfort Manual Pump
- Easy Comfort Single and Double Electric Pumps
- Easy Comfort Manual and Deluxe Pump
- And many more…
Needless to say, each model has gone through a rigorous design process. This is aided by the Children’s Hospital, and has been approved by the Parents Council!
A Brief History of the Company
The company became a wholly-owned subsidiary of RC2 Corp in September 2004.
With the combined might that RC2 Corporation along with its other companies brings to bear, The First Years’ now has the benefit of targetting its wares to children with a touch of glamor!
RC2 has licensed “Winnie the Pooh” and “Mickey Mouse” from Disney Enterprises, Inc.
And “Sesame Street” from Sesame Workshop, for marketing the products of First Years as well as other associated companies under its belt.
Further, The First Years has now leveraged RC2’s marketing network to supply its wares to mass merchandising chains, drug stores, and grocery chains and specialty retailers.
With such positive winds blowing in its favor, the future of The First Years appears quite rosy.