First Years Pumps
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 breastpumps industry.
Avon, Massachusetts-based The First Years, Inc was formerly known as Kiddie Products Inc. The company has fully focussed on marketing of stuff required by infants in the first three years of life, such as feeding, sleeping, bathing, diapering, and transporting / travel.
In a formal association with the Child Development Unit of the Children’s Hospital at Boston, Massachusetts, the company has consistently come up with products that are medically of the highest quality in terms of their functionality and utility.
The company has been consistently winning awards for product design and product safety over the years. Last year, the company’s name figured at the thirty-fifth position in the “Global 100” listing brought out by the prestigious Boston Globe, which 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.
What marks The First Years as different from the rest of the competition is their demonstrated effort at building a network of parental network all on their own. The “Parents Council” is an online community of 300,000 parents who bond together for the purpose of sharing of news, views and experiences on issues related to child care. Though naturally centered around The First Years’ own products, the network is nevertheless 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 proactively collects opinions and experiences of parents on their usage. The parents are also involved in new product development; members of the community get to try out the company’s latest prototypes before the rest of the world. This grass roots’ connectivity is what gives The First Years an edge.
In the breastpumps 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, and Easy Comfort Manual and Deluxe Pump. Needless to say, each model has gone through a rigorous design process aided by the Children’s Hospital, and has been approved by the Parents Council!
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 associate companies under its belt. Further, The First Years has now leveraged RC2’s marketing network to supply its wares to mass merchandising chains, drug store and grocery chains and specialty retailers. With such positive winds blowing in its favor, the future of The First Years appears quite rosy.
Reviews of First Years Breast Pump [A Complete Guide]
First Years Natural Comfort & Easy Comfort MANUAL Breast Pumps
The first breed of breastpumps that came in the market were, ofcourse, manually operated. Grand- mothers recall, with a mist in their eye, of their experiences and travails of breastfeeding. Their experiments with the manual breastpump would invariably be included in their tales.
Manual breastpumps have come a long way since. Companies have invested millions of dollars in researching and developing just the right models that can stimulate the suckle – release cycle of the child at the breast, and maximize 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 Natural Comfort breastpump has an added advantage of being operated by electricity or battery also, though its primary utility is as a manual device. The Easy Comfort breastpump 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. It can be locked in a particular position, too.
Both the 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 – this is aptly called 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 of the two breastpumps should the mother go in for? First and foremost, manual breastpumps 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 breastpumps 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 can then be instructed to feed the infant on time.
Therefore, between the two, the Natural Comfort breastpump may be considered 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 breastpump is an obvious choice for moms who tire easily – the swivelling handle of this pump alleviates her particular problem to a great extent.
The kit containing the breastpumps 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 choice to be carried on 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 designed by the best brains in the field, and at the prototype stage itself, get rigorously tested by the consumers who are its ultimate beneficiaries. When such products emerge out of the factory’s doors, they can rightly be called as “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. These products were tested by experienced parents who are part of the Parents Council network of the company before they were launched. This has ensured that any design glitches are taken care of at the very outset.
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 can be adjusted to the desired comfort position.
The Easy Comfort Electric Breastpump, on the other hand, has a one-second suction and release cycle, and the same control dial that the mother can rotate to customize the suction strength which she is most comfortable with. The distinctive feature about 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, and 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 be operated using an electric outlet (using an AC adapter), or with the help of batteries. They come with cold packs and insulated compartment. Where the models differ is in the number and capacity of milk-collecting bottles that come in the kit.
Which of the two brands the mother should buy, depends on which suction level offered by them 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 expend on a single pump. On the other hand, a single pump might be quite okay when the mother has to pump only occasionally.
The auto cycle in both the models extends just the right sucking and releasing 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 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.