Buying a breast pump may seem overwhelming at first glance because there are so many options to consider. However, once you know what is out there and determine what you plan on using one for, the choice is much simpler.
There are two basic types of breast pumps to choose from, which are electric and manual.
Electric pumps are great for the mom who also has to go to work, because they come in one breast or two breast models. This means you can pump whenever you are away from your baby for an extended period, which also helps your body know to keep making milk. They are very gentle when they suck your milk out, so don’t be scared of them, even if the device looks daunting to you.
These pumps can get rather expensive, but generally the quality improves with the price. They are designed to work for many years, so they could last through more than one pregnancy. Furthermore, they may need to be plugged in or run on a battery, depending on the model. This aspect also dictates how portable the gadget is.
Another type of electric pump is the hospital grade pump. These are often very expensive, so they are not usually purchased. However, they can be used while you are in the hospital, and in some cases can be rented, so you’ll be able to learn how to use a pump.
Manual pumps do not run on electricity. There is a bulb that you press so the machine can pump your milk out for you. These are not considered to be as efficient as electric breast pumps, but as a whole, they are less expensive. These devices are designed to be used for moms that may be away from their children for only a short period of time a day or rather infrequently.
When you buy a breast pump, most of the necessary items you will need come standard with the machine. This includes breast shields, which are the cone shaped protectors that you sit your breast in so the milk can come out. Many also come with carrying cases as well.
Other accessories that you will definitely need when using a breast pump are a cooling bag and storage containers. The cooling bag is to keep your milk cool after you pump it. This mainly comes into play if you are on the go or don’t have access to a refrigerator. If you do have access to one, you can simply place your pumped milk in there to ensure that it lasts longer. However, in order to store it, you will need special storage bags or containers to keep it in. These are not regular plastic sandwich bags; they are designed for this purpose. You can also place the milk in bottles to keep it protected.
Read the directions of the machine to make sure you are using it right. The directions will also probably tell you how to wash the device. It must be washed thoroughly after each use, so keep that in mind when you are deciding how often to pump.
Many women have more than one type of breast pump, so they have one at home and work, or an extra in case one stops working. Don’t feel bad if you can’t choose which type you want.
Spectra Baby S2 Plus Premier Electric Breast Pump
This pink and white model is a hospital grade pump that you can use at your home each time you need to. It comes with everything required for use and is hygienic. It features a closed pump system, so that it is next to impossible for germs to get into your milk supply or the milk tube.
There are many settings to choose from, which include different suction levels and modes. You can put the bottles in the freezer or the fridge after they are filled up, and the machine operates quietly, so you can really use it anywhere.
You do have to be somewhere where you are able to plug it in, or you will not be able to make use of it. A car charger is available to purchase separately as well. One thing that you may not like is that you will have to do a little trial and error to determine what settings work best for you. Make sure you give it a few trial runs before you really need to use it. This will help you get it just right.
- Is hospital grade
- Has many settings to choose from
- Very hygienic
- Operates quietly
- Will have to figure out the right settings for you
Medela Pump in Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump
If you need a pump that comes with absolutely everything you need, you don’t have to look any further than this Medela model. It comes with all the pump parts and accessories, but it also has a large bag to put everything in. There is even another smaller bag that fits inside the larger bag, which is a cold bag complete with an ice pack. This allows you to be able to store your milk, so that it won’t spoil if you are away from your baby or a refrigerator all day.
It even comes with a battery pack, so you can recharge it, or plug it in to use it. It is specifically for those that pump more than once a day, so the little things that other models may take advantage of are probably in this one.
One downside is that you have to be careful with it and make sure it’s working properly all the time. That means you will need to clean it after each use and reassemble it.
- Comes with battery pack
- Includes a bag
- Highly portable
- Must be careful with it
Bellababy Double Electric Breast Feeding Pumps
There is a large touch panel with an HD screen that comes with this pump. This makes it look like a cell phone, so it is familiar enough for anyone to get used to if they use a phone regularly. It comes with an emergency power bank, allowing you to use it in an emergency situation, and it charges quickly. It charges through USB, which can be convenient.
There are different modes to get used to as well, including 9 different suction levels and 4 modes. Essentially, you should be able to find something that works well for you. You should never feel pain when you use it, so if you do, there may be something wrong or you need to tweak the settings further.
The pump is louder than others in its class are, so it may not be great for use in all places. However, at home, this should not be an issue at all.
- Touch panel is included
- Has emergency power
- Recharges quickly
- Has different modes to take advantage of
- Pump is loud when on
Lansinoh Smartpump Double Electric Breast Pump
This Lansinoh pump is purple and white, which makes it stand out as far as style goes. It also stands out because of some unique features.
It is easy to put together and take apart, so you can keep it clean and store it properly. There are comfort features, to make sure momma is feeling comfortable while she is using it. Additionally, you can use it to pump directly into bags, so your milk is always ready to go.
It also connects to an app, which you can utilize via Bluetooth to schedule uses and keep track of when you last used it. It can also show you the duration, and how much you pumped. This can let you to notice if there are any changes or issues. It does go through batteries quickly, so make sure to keep some extras with you.
- Connects to an app
- Easy to put together
- Has comfort features
- Pumps directly into bags
- Goes through batteries quickly
Medela Sonata Smart Double Electric Breast Pump
There is a touchscreen base on this one, which means the controls are easy to use. It isn’t really complicated to learn. Like others, it is rechargeable, so it can be taken with you on the go.
It isn’t hard to keep clean either, since there are not many parts. There is an app you can use with this model also, and you will likely need to, if you want to take advantage of all the features it provides.
The app lets you track the pump’s use and the size of your child. Additionally, It will be easy to use if your touchscreen goes out. Some customers had problems with their screens, although the machine itself still functioned properly.
- Has a touchscreen
- A breeze to clean
- Will need to pair with the app
Philips Avent Double Electric Breast Pump
You get multiple expression levels with this pump. Expression is the amount of milk that is dispensed while pumping, so it’s a handy thing to be able to control. The part that connects to the breast has special grooves to make sure that it doesn’t hurt you when you use it.
In fact, you don’t have to lean over to get it to work, like you do with other products. You can sit normally and it should still work fine. It is compact in size, so you can fit it into your handbag with no problem. You can always keep it clean when you take care of it. One thing to note is that you will have to get used to the settings that are standard on the machine. They may not be what you have used or felt in the past.
- Different expression levels
- Allows you to sit normally
- Small in size
- Will have to get used to preprogrammed settings
Medela Manual Harmony Breast Pump
A manual breast pump requires no electricity or batteries. Normally you squeeze it to get it to work and that’s all it takes. This is a manual type, so it’s quite easy to use or learn how to use, if you haven’t seen one before.
It comes with a swivel handle, which you switch around when it is necessary. One side is to stimulate and the other side is for expression. There is also a bottle stand, so the bottle won’t fall over when you are filling it up.
The parts that touch the milk are BPA free too, meaning you will not leech chemicals into your milk before the baby can drink it.
You need to practice to be able to use this effectively. Otherwise, you may think that it doesn’t work. It takes some getting used to, but the process isn’t very difficult. It is a great backup pump to have in case your main one stops working or you need something that’s always reliable.
- Has swivel handle
- BPA free
- Comes with stand
- Will have to practice to get suction
Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump
This is another manual pump, which is easy to use and take care of. The whole thing can be placed in the dishwasher, so you know it will be sterilized and disinfected each time. You can also boil it in water if you want, or purchase an Avent sterilizer unit to keep it bacteria free.
It is small, so it can be placed anywhere, even an office drawer. You can have it at hand’s reach each day. There is an app you can use in conjunction with it, which offers advice on taking care of babies, and lets you document your latest feedings. You don’t have to use this app and it doesn’t give the pump any additional features, but it can help you remember when you use it.
There may be a squeaking noise present when you use it, which can be loud at times. Generally this means that there is little to no milk coming out, so be aware of that. You can also lube up the squeaky parts if need be, and see if that helps lessen the noise.
- Can wash in dishwasher
- Can fit anywhere
- Easy to learn to use
- Some may squeak