Being a new mom can be overwhelming. After all, there are tons of decisions you'll have to make before and after the arrival of your little bundle of joy. One of the most important decisions includes whether or not you should get a breast pump.
Well, regardless of whether you're planning on going back to work or will be staying at home, investing in a breast pump can be beneficial for you in the long run. A breast pump will allow you to store milk in advance in case you have to spend time away from your baby.
Additionally, it will also eliminate the need for you to supplement your baby’s diet with formula milk in case you have a low milk supply.
However, with so many different brands and options to choose from, investing in the right breast pump can become a challenging decision. Rest assured, this handy guide will teach you everything there is to know about this accessory.
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Best Manual Breast Pump
Best Electric Breast Pump
Best Electric Breast Pump With Bag
Why Should You Choose Your Breast Pump Carefully
Before we dive into the details, here are a couple of reason why you should invest in a breast pump carefully:
- Safety Concerns: All new moms can’t help but be exceptionally protective about their newborns. This why most mothers invest in BPA-free products for their children. BPA is an industrial plastic that can be potentially harmful to your young one, which is why you must take special care when choosing the right breast pump. We recommend you only choose from the most reputable brands when investing in a pump.
- Comfort: It’s worth opting for a pump that has an ergonomic design, especially if you’re buying a manual breast pump. Most pumping sessions last about 10 to 15 minutes so ensure you have invested in a product that won’t strain your hand or cause fatigue. Additionally, some advanced models allow moms to express milk in a more comfortable position that won’t result in back pains.
- Necessity: Over the years, breast pumps have become a necessity for most moms. Expressing some milk beforehand allows other family members also to share the responsibility of feeding the baby, which is why it is worth investing in a quality product that is durable and will last for plenty of months to come.
Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Breast Pump
Here are a couple of factors you should consider before investing in a breast pump:
How Often Will You Be Using The Breast Pump
Will you only be away from your baby for a couple of hours or will be spending plenty of hours away from them? Whatever you decide, it’s essential you invest in a breast pump according to your needs. A single hand pump may be all you’ll need if you have a good milk supply and will only be using the pump occasionally.
These portable pumps are the best since they offer enough discretion and aren't too bulky. But if you're keen on joining workplace after your maternity leave, an electric pump might be a better option. If you’re an expecting mother, consider waiting around till your baby is born to make a better decision.
A normal pumping session lasts about 10 to 15 minutes. However, if you’ll be spending time at work or are likely to be in a hurry, you'll benefit from an electric breast pump that will quicken the process.
Purchasing a double-breast pump is also a good option for other time crunch situations. Double breast pumps stimulate milk productions while significantly reducing the pumping time.
Single Pump Vs. Double Pump
When investing in a breast pump, you need to choose between two main types: single pumps and double pumps. As the name indicates, a single pump allows moms to express milk from one breast. These pumps are ideal for moms who don't need to bottle up too much milk.
Additionally, single pumps are much easier to use and leaves one hand free. The only downside is that single pumps aren't able to collect as much milk as double pumps and take a relatively long time to pump.
If you have twins or spend hours away from your baby, you are likely to benefit from a double pump. These pumps express milk from both breasts, allowing moms to pump more milk in a relatively short period. Double pumps are an excellent choice for moms who need to express milk regularly or spend hours at work.
Another factor to keep in mind is that you can select manual or electric versions of both kinds of pumps. Consider opting for electric models to save time and energy. Also, note that you can modify most single pumps into double ones by investing in a pump set.
Portability is one of the most important factors you should consider when investing in a breast pump, especially if you intend on traveling or need a pump while you're carrying out day to day operations. Opting for a portable model is always a great choice since you won't have to worry about carrying excessive weight.
We have examined that most hospital-grade pumps tend to be the heaviest whereas manual designs are typically the lightest.
However, if you're in search of an electric model, invest in a pump that comes with a handy carrying case, which makes it easier for folks to carry around the pump wherever they go. Mothers who are concerned about discretion or are on the lookout for something lightweight will benefit from a manual pump.
With the rise in illnesses, many new moms are particular about purchasing the safest products for their babies. Bisphenol A, also popularly known as BPA, is commonly used in making plastic materials.
The industrial material is a health hazard to babies and adults, which is why most moms invest in breast pumps that are made using BPA free materials. When investing in a breast pump, ensure all the parts are made using harmless substances that won't negatively affect your baby in any way.
Adjustable Vacuum Strength
Vacuum strength is a popular feature that you only find in electric breast pumps. Why is that, you ask? The reason is that all pumps use vacuum power to draw milk into the containers. Unlike electric pumps, the vacuum strength remains uniform in manual breast pumps.
Electric pumps allow you to modify the setting according to your needs, which means you can choose from a low, medium or high vacuum setting. Additionally, some pumps may also include a let-down feature.
This feature starts pumping at high speed but gradually slows down to a normal rate, mimicking the natural suction of a baby. It's worth noting that while manual pumps don't have an adjustable vacuum feature, some models may have a let-down feature.
For added portability and convenience, some breast pumps come attached in a storage case. A carrying case also eliminates the need for moms to carry additional bags.
Also, you won't have to worry about stuffing or losing the pump's accessories in your handbag. It's also worth investing in a carrying case that has a cooler compartment, which allows moms to store milk for some time without worrying about spoilage.
If you plan on pumping frequently, you’re likely to benefit from a breast pump that comes with accessories to make the process less stressful. Hence, before investing in a pump, ensure it comes with plenty of accessories to ease the pumping process. Here is a list of accessories you should probably look out for:
- Reusable ice packs
- Vacuum cylinder
Other accessories such as built in battery and multiple breast shields are also handy. Investing in an electric breast pump with an in-built battery ensures that you can still pump milk even if you don't have access to a power cord.
Want to invest on the best breast pumps in the market? Here are some of the best models divided into different categories:
Best Manual Breast Pump
Here's our recommendation for the best manual breast pumps:
Winner: Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump
For those who are unaware of the brand, Medela has been manufacturing breast pumps for over 50 years now. The small, family owned company has come a long way to become a global market leader in breast equipment.
With the brand’s commitment to highlight and spread awareness about the importance of breastfeeding, Medela sponsors lactation research all around the world. So, if you’re in search of a quality breast pump, you can certainly put your trust on the brand.
Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump is one of the best hand breast pumps on the market. It is designed to mimic the natural sucking pattern of babies.
The pump stimulates the breasts and then adopts a sucking pattern to draw out milk more efficiently. This advanced technology's hard to find anywhere else. Some notable features of the product include:
- Weighs Only a Pound: The manual breast pump weighs just a pound, so you easily carry it inside your handbag without straining your shoulders. You can also stow the pump away inside your car for emergencies or at work.
- BPA Free: BPA is a form of plastic, which manufacturers use for making water bottles, baby bottles and other types of products designed for business or home use. Unfortunately, research shows that this plastic can cause dangerous health issues including newborn babies. To ensure the utmost safety of your child, Medela guarantees their breast pumps are completely BPA free.
- Can be Converted to Electric: Though this breast pump is suitable for occasional use, it can also be converted to electric if you require a more durable pump. Simply purchase the conversion kit if you wish to get more use out of the pump in the future.
- Accessories: For an incredibly nominal price, the purchase includes a manual pump, one bottle stand, 1 cap, one nipple with collar and two membranes.
Runner Up: Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump
The Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump is easy to assemble breast pump that is perfect for occasional use. You can conveniently carry the pump in your purse or carry it along with you on road trips.
What's best is that new moms can conveniently switch from two pumping models: expression and stimulation for better use. It also includes two fit flanges of different sizes to achieve the right suction. Not to mention, the wide neck bottle results in convenient milk transfer.
You can also use a nipple attachment so that you can store, pump and feed milk to your baby with the same bottle. Some notable features of the breast pump include:
- Ergonomic Design: The easy to handle and ergonomic design reduces hand fatigue so that your arm does not strain. For added convenience, you can use the pump with Lansinoh’s Momma bottle and other storage milk bottles.
- Easy to Clean: It will only take you a few minutes to take the bottle apart. Once you can clean the bottle, you can leave the pieces out in the open to air dry. Simply put the bottle back together, and you're good to go.
- Wide Neck Bottle: Thanks to the wide neck bottle, milk transfer becomes much easier and convenient to carry around. It is also compatible with the NaturalWave nipple which makes it convenient for moms to store, feed and pump milk at the same time.
Best Electric Breast Pump
Here's our recommendation fot the best electric breast pumps:
Winner: Spectra Baby USA S2 Double/Single Breast Pump
The Spectra S2 is an incredibly affordable hospital grade breast pump that has multiple features despite its low price tag. Moms will be pleased to know that the pump offers several adjustable options, making the pump especially appealing to new moms.
Additionally, the pump is also a great option for moms with twins since they can conveniently pump single or double bottles with ease.
Unlike other pumps in the market, the breast pump offers comfortable suction which means that new moms will not have any complaints. The Spectra Baby USA S2 Double/Single Breast Pump is an excellent choice for everyday use.
What makes the pump super great is that it operates discreetly and quietly without any problems. The pump is designed to improve flow. Some notable features of the product include:
- Super Quiet: The breast pump is super quiet, making it perfect for use in public places for added discretion. What's best is that the fully adjustable program of the pump will suit your body.
- Closed System: Thanks to the closed system, the breast pump is more hygienic for both the mother and the baby, making it perfect for everyday use.
- Night light and time: To ensure your little one doesn't wake up, the Spectra S2 includes a night light, which allows moms to pump milk in the middle of the night for added convenience. It also has a timer for increased functionality and added convenience.
- Excellent for Double Pumping: The Spectra S2 has all the features for easy double pumping, which makes the Spectra S2 perfect for moms who have twins or would want to pump twice as more milk at the same time.
- Adjustable Suction: The powerful suction is sturdy yet comfortable at the same time so that you don’t have any problems with the breast pump.
Runner Up: Philips AVENT Single Electronic Breast Pump
The Philips AVENT Single Electronic Breast Pump is convenient, easy to use breast pump that allows moms to express milk both manually and electronically in the comfort of their homes.
While this pump is not a heavy-duty hospital pump, it still allows moms to draw out milk in large quantities in a relatively short amount of time.
What's best is the breast pump can be powered by a battery pack, main power outlet or by using manual power, which makes it breast pump flexible for the user in all kinds of locations such as home, offices and public spots.
You will also benefit from a light indicator that lets moms know when the battery is running low. Some notable features of the product include:
- Comfortable to Use Breast Pump: The Philips AVENT Single is among the only breast pumps on the market that enable mothers to adopt a comfortable position instead of leaning forward, which often results in back pain and general discomfort. Sitting in a comfortable position helps moms relax.
- Clinically Proven: The breast pump includes a clinically proven massage cushion that offers gentle compression for gentle milk stimulation. The comfortable, innovation cushion provides a velvety texture that allows new moms to relax while expressing. Mothers will also be pleased to know that the removable cushion improves hygiene and prevents milk pooling.
- Simple Settings: Mothers can benefit from the gentle stimulation mode for improved results. You can select from 3 expression settings, according to your personal preference and desired suction intensity.
- Easy to Combine Bottle and Breast Feeding: Thanks to the Phillips AVENT Single, combining breast and bottle feeding becomes a breeze. The Comfort breast pump and the Natural bottle is easy to integrate, making it easier for moms to pump, store and feed milk without a problem.
Best Electric Breast Pump With Bag
Here's our recommendation:
Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump
The Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump is among the best breast pumps on the market for several reasons. With all of its great features, moms and efficiently pump large amounts of milk in a relatively short amount of time. What's best is the pump's portable design, built into a tote bag.
Simply put all your necessary items in the bag, and you're good to go. Moreover, the pump comes with many cool accessories you probably won't get elsewhere with the same price. Sure, there are plenty of pumps that are available for a lower price, not all of them offer exceptional quality accessories.
Fortunately, the Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump is certainly a name you can trust. Here are a few notable features of the product you should know about:
- Convenient Pumping: Unlike other pumps on the market, this pump is part of the tote. All you have to unzip the small compartment and you’re good to go. The plug is conveniently stored inside the pocket, making it easier for moms into just grab and plug it to the nearest electrical socket. You can also use a battery operated adapter for added comfort.
- Ideal for Frequent Pumpers: The Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump is suitable for moms who are frequent pumpers. So, if you're a working mom or are exclusively pumping breast milk because of problems in milk supply, this is likely to be the option for you.
- Stylish Microfiber Bag: The stylish microfiber bag is incredibly functional and holds everything you will possibly need to pump, which eliminates the need for carrying an additional bag for holding other supplies and accessories.
- Removable Cooler Bag: Aside from all the cool accessories, you are likely to benefit from the cooler bag that has a contoured ice pack. The bag can hold four breast milk bottles along with an ice pack to keep the bottles cold, which prevents the milk from spoiling until you have access to a refrigerator.
Pumping breast milk makes it possible for the new mom to take a break or resume back to work without supplementing her newborn’s diet with formula milk. Hopefully, this detailed guide has taught you everything there is to know about the best breast pumps. Good luck!