Every mom wants to do the best for her baby and for many that include breastfeeding but demands of contemporary life make it difficult or even impossible to breastfeed every time your little one is hungry. The right breast pump will simplify your life while still delivering the unmatched health benefits of mother’s milk to your precious child. Breast pumps offer a dizzying array of features that can make it hard to choose the best breast pump for you. Many are electric and highly portable for efficiency and convenience. Featuring multiple suction settings and modes such as massage, they tout safety and boast of closed hygienic systems and freedom from problematic materials such as BPA and phthalate. What does it all mean? So you won’t end up with a pump that is a big hassle, too noisy, or leaves you feeling sore use this handy guide to check out our top breast pump picks and learn more about what to look for when shopping breast pumps.
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Medela Electric Breast Pump for Double Pumping
Medela is often recognized as the gold standard in breast pumps as demonstrated by the many great features of this double electric breast pump. Designed with the busy mother on-the-go in mind, this pump makes it possible to pump discreetly and efficiently several times a day so that you can meet the needs of your hungry baby without compromising other important responsibilities. Strong suction and double pumps provide optimal flow and efficient milk collection from both breasts at the same time, a plus for moms who are pumping on a tight schedule. Power and performance do not mean that comfort is not a priority with this Medela, because two PersonalFit Breast Shields adapt to each woman’s unique contours while 2-Phase Expression technology gently and effectively stimulates let-down and maximum flow. Medela designers have thought of everything, Every aspect of this pumping system is super-convenient, from the easy-to-use controls for adjusting speed and suction to the stylish and discreet tote bag that includes a portable, rechargeable battery pack and a removable cooler bag with an ice pack for storing your liquid gold. If pumping will be part of your schedule as a breastfeeding mother, this Medela double electric pump must be part of your decision-making.
- Research-based 2-phase expression technology
- Discreet tote bag, portable battery pack
- Single knob adjustable speed and suction
- Removable cooler bag with a contoured ice pack
- Brand: Medela
- Product dimensions: 13.7 x 5.1 x 10.2 in.
- Product weight: 6.79 lbs.
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Lansinoh Double Electric Breast Pump Bluetooth
If you are a breastfeeding mom who plans to pump regularly, maybe because of a return to work, the Lansinoh double electric breast pump is the pump you need to maintain your supply while providing enough breastmilk to keep your hungry little one satisfied. This product is packed with features that will make your pumping experience as convenient and low-stress as possible. With 3 adjustable pumping styles, 8 adjustable suction levels, and two flange sizes, you can choose the combination that best matches your baby’s feeding pattern and optimizes comfort and milk flow. A hygienic closed system prevents those backups that can necessitate extra cleaning and care as well as cause a risk of bacterial or mold growth. Conveniently, you can pump directly into pre-sterilized Lansinoh breastmilk storage bags that can be safely stored in the breastmilk cooler that is part of the handy pump tote. All attachments are made of BPA and BPS-free materials that are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning and sanitizing. Included with the purchase of this pump is a connection with the Lansinoh Baby App via Bluetooth technology, with an easy-to-read LCD backlit display that allows you to track breastfeeding and pumping sessions and more, and gives you access to a wealth of breastfeeding tips and resources. Put your mind at rest with the purchase of this Lansinoh double electric breast pump for your breastmilk pumping needs.
- Connects to Lansinoh Baby App via Bluetooth
- pumping styles, 8 suction levels
- Can pump directly into pre-sterilized Lansinoh breastmilk storage bags
- Mom-founded and parent-led
- Brand: Lansinoh
- Product dimensions: 11.0 x 9.8 x 7.8 in.
- Product weight: 2 lbs.
BabyBuddha Portable and Compact Breast Pump
This BabyBuddha breast pump is so amazingly compact and lightweight that it can be hung around your neck using the included lanyard. With your hands-free, you can conveniently care for your baby or perform other tasks. This pump is also so extraordinarily quiet that it is nearly silent, allowing you to pump without risk of waking your sleeping baby and super-discreetly if you are at work or in some other setting outside your home. With the safety of your precious child a priority, the BabyBuddha is constructed of BPA-free materials and hygienically designed to avoid backups that could lead to bacterial or mold buildups. This double-pumping system is also mindful of your comfort, featuring softly cushioned flanges and multiple suction modes to best mimic your little one’s feeding pattern. Unlike the complex interfaces of some other electric pumping systems, a trackball allows you to easily navigate through the 14 comfort settings offered by your BabyBuddha. In addition to all this unmatched functionality, the purchase of this pump brings you access to a staff of licensed lactation consultants who can answer your questions and guide you through any breastfeeding challenges, making this breast pump a value that is hard to beat.
- Portable and compact
- Extra-quiet operation
- Hygienic design
- Softly cushioned flange
- Easy to use
- Brand: BabyBuddha
- Product dimensions: 8.3 x 7.6 x 6.9 in.
- 1.44 oz.
Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Portable Breast Pump
This Lansinoh double electric breast pump is a cost-effective option for a busy mom on the go. It features three pumping styles and eight adjustable suction levels so that you can choose the combination that is best for your comfort and optimizes your milk flow. ComfortFit flanges fit your unique contours. With all parts made of BPA and BPS-free materials, this system makes the safety of you and your baby a priority. Hygienic closed-system design prevents backups, reducing cleaning hassles, and the risk of health-threatening bacterial and mold build-ups. Because you can pump directly into pre-sterilized Lansinoh breastmilk bags, every drop of liquid gold can be stored to feed your baby and there are fewer parts to clean. Session duration and battery status can be readily monitored using the LCD display. Quiet operation and compact size make this pump ideal for pumping whenever and wherever you need to do it, and thanks to its handy tote it conveniently goes everywhere with you. This pump is compatible with other Lansinoh products.
- pumping styles, 8 suction levels
- Closed system design
- Directly pumps into pre-sterilized storage bags
- Brand: Lansinoh
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 5 x 4 in.
- Product weight: 2 lbs.
Evenflo Feeding Hospital Strength Breast Feeding
Thanks to the “hospital strength” delivered by this Evenflo breast pump, you can optimize the yield of your pumping sessions. Greater efficiency does not have to mean compromised comfort since this Evenflo pump offers “velvety soft”flanges in a variety of sizes so that you can choose one that provides the best snug and comfortable fit for you. A good fit is not just a nice frill that makes pumping more relaxing, it is important because it enhances letdown and reduces waste of your precious milk. Safety for you and your baby is a priority with this pump which also features a closed hygienic system that prevents backups that lead to harmful mold and bacterial growth and also simplifies cleaning, a plus for a breastfeeding mother with a packed schedule. This device can be used with ordinary batteries or plugged into any convenient electrical outlet thanks to the included AC adaptor, allowing a busy mom to pump anywhere. Because this Evenflo pump is compatible with other Evenflo feeding products, you have the added convenience of pumping directly into bottles or bags. As if all these great features were not enough, you get your breastfeeding questions and concerns answered by two ninety- minute online breastfeeding and pumping classes led by a noted lactation consultant, an added bonus included with this breast pump kit.
- Hospital strength, multiple combinations of speed and suction
- Closed hygienic system
- Plug into any electrical outlet or use with batteries
- Multiple flange sizes
- Brand: Evenflo Feeding
- Product dimensions: 12.2 x 9.7 5.2 in.
- Product weight: 2.8 lbs.
Bellababy Double Electric Breast Feeding Pumps
The Bellababy double electric breast pump is an affordable solution for budget-conscious breastfeeding moms looking for an efficient and convenient pumping option. This Bellababy pump system is loaded with features. Four modes and multiple suction levels offer the breastfeeding mom a variety of patterns and strengths including a massage setting to stimulate letdown and enhance comfort and yield. A petaling massage cushion made of liquid silicone gently stimulates the breast during expression mode. Thanks to handy adapters you can pump directly into bags or bottles and avoid the waste and hassle of leaks. With safety in mind, this pump features a closed system so you don’t have to worry about messy and unhygienic backups, and all parts are free of harmful BPA and phthalates. With a built-in 2200mAh Li-ion battery, this pump is lightweight and portable, a plus for an on-the-go breastfeeding mom. A wireless high-definition sensitive touch screen enables Mom to monitor and control her pumping session metrics including mode, suction level, session duration, and battery status. You can’t afford to consider this cost-effective Bellababy double electric breast pump in making your breast pump buying decision.
- Includes 2 storage bag adapters, 10 storage bags
- modes, 9 suction levels
- High-def display of mode, suction level, duration, and battery status
- Touch panel operation
- Portable, built-in battery
- Brand: Bellababy
- Product dimensions: 14 x 10.1 x 4.3 in.
- Product weight: 2.7 lbs. shipping weight
MOSFiATA Rechargeable Electric Breast Pump
This MOSFiATA rechargeable electric breast pump packs a ton of great features for a very affordable price, making it excellent value for any budget-savvy mom. This breast pump boasts 8 adjustable levels of efficient but gentle massage suction that ensure more effective breast emptying. A petal-type silicone pad provides extra massage and gently stimulates milk flow, enhancing mom’s comfort, and optimizing milk production. The memory function retains preferred settings, making your pumping session super-convenient, and because you can pump both sides at once your pumping time is dramatically cut. You can monitor and control the expression mode, battery status, and other functionality during your pumping sessions thanks to handy touchscreen technology. This device is conveniently USB- chargeable and its motor runs ultra-quiet at a noise level of fewer than 50 decibels, so you don’t risk waking your little one or attracting unnecessary attention as you pump. Safety is also assured with this pump made of 100% BPA-free material and featuring an anti-backflow design that prevents messy and unhygienic back up into the tubes or even the motor, guiding every precious drop to bottle or bag for collection. A handy carry bag makes it easy to take this pump wherever you go.
- modes, 9 suction levels
- BPA-free, food-grade silicone attachments
- High-capacity, rechargeable, built-in battery
- Brand: MOSFiATA
- Product dimensions: 7.56 x 7.24 x 5.28 in.
- Product weight: 1.63 lbs.
YUNBABY THE BEST BREAST PUMP FOR TRAVEL
So lightweight and convenient, this Yunbaby breast pump is a terrific portable choice for a mom on the go. The three working modes of massage, stimulation, and expression combine with nine suction levels to ensure a comfortable and productive pumping session. The pump’s operation can be readily monitored and controlled using a convenient interface. The high-capacity 1800 mAh battery powers 90 minutes of pumping and can be recharged using the included USB charger or by plugging it in at any wall outlet using the included adapter. Comfort is enhanced by a soft, petal-shaped cushion that also assures better fit and less wasteful, messy leakage. For the safety of you and your baby, all parts of this pump are made of food-grade BPA-free materials and are easily disassembled and dishwasher safe for quick cleanup. Clever design allows you to pump directly into pre-sterilized breastmilk storage bags or a high-capacity Yunbaby bottle, for sanitary, convenient, and waste-free milk collection,
- All-in-one design, lightweight
- BPA-free, food-grade material
- modes, adjustable suction levels
- Brand: Yunbaby
- Product dimension: 3.54 x 3.42 x 8.66 in.
- Product weight: 12.3 oz.
Philips Avent Breast SCF330/30 Pump Manual
The Philips AVENT manual breast pump is a super-uncomplicated, super-affordable option that is convenient for pumping at home or on the go. It is so compact and lightweight that you can easily operate it with only one hand. Its ergonomic design allows you to sit in a comfortable, natural position while the angled neck channels milk into the collection container which also doubles as a feeding bottle. The five textured petals of the soft massage cushion mimic the natural sucking patterns of your baby, gently stimulating milk flow, making your pumping session both more relaxing and more productive. The included nipple is a natural breast shape reducing the risk of nipple confusion for your baby. All parts are BPA-free and easily disassembled for cleaning in the dishwasher. This pump is fully compatible with your other Philips AVENT feeding products.
- Unique comfortable design
- The soft, textured massage cushion
- Compact, lightweight design
- Compatible with other Philips Avent feeding products
- BPA-free polypropylene and silicone
- Brand: Philips AVENT
- Product dimensions: 3.54 x 7.72 x 8.86 in.
- Product weight: 12.7 oz.
Haakaa Manual Breast Pump
Nothing could be simpler than this Haakaa manual breast pump. Made of high- quality, food-grade silicone, it is soft and comfortable for even the most sensitive skin. With no moving parts, you can attach the Haakaa pump to your breast by simply squeezing and fitting it over your breast and letting natural suction do the rest. This manual pump is great for collecting leakage of the lateral breast during feeding, expressing excess after feeding, or to relieve pressure between feedings. The flange of this pump is designed to fit breasts of all sizes and shapes. With no cords or assembly, you can quickly clean and sanitize the Haakaa breast pump by boiling in water for 2-3 minutes and have it ready for reuse in almost no time. It is so compact and lightweight and its operation is so quiet and discreet, it is easy to take this Haakaa pump with you everywhere you go to have at the ready whenever you may need it.
- Manual pump, no cords or batteries
- Lightweight, portable
- The flange fits all kinds of breasts
- BPA, PVC, lead, phthalate-free high-quality, food-grade silicone
- Brand: Haakaa
- Product dimensions: 1.91 x 19.91 x 6.95 in.
- Product weight: 3.98 oz.
How to Choose the Best Breast Pump
Breastfeeding has exploded in popularity as a way to guarantee excellent nutrition for our newest addition as well as providing other innumerable health benefits. Breastfeeding can be beneficial for mom too, helping a new mother shed those pregnancy pounds and firm up abdominal muscles stretched out of shape by pregnancy and delivery.
Even when exclusively breastfeeding, it is not always easy to put your baby on the breast for every single feeding, and with many mothers returning to workplaces outside the home, it becomes impossible. That’s where breast pumping comes in. By pumping your milk, you continue to share the benefits of breastmilk with your baby when away from your baby or otherwise unable to feed directly from the breast. If you pump and have bottled breastmilk on hand, your partner can handle that midnight feeding, and a friend, relative, or another caregiver can feed your baby mother’s milk even when you are unavailable, and share in the bonding experience. Even if you can always be with your baby, pumping provides a way to capture lateral breast leakage during feeding, relieve pressure between feedings, and conserve excess after feedings. Pumping also helps to stimulate greater milk production. To help you choose the best breast pump to meet your needs, we will look at the different kinds of breast pumps and the advantages and disadvantages of each, and what features to look for when you are making your decision.
Manual or Electric?
All breast pumps have some sort of flange that fits over the breast and some way to collect the milk in a bag or bottle. The biggest difference is in how the pump is powered. Manual pumps are operated by hand and can be as simple as a single-piece molded bulb that has no moving parts and relies on negative pressure applied by a hand squeeze for suction, or it may consist of several moving parts and look as we expect a pump to look with a lever or plunger-like handle. A manual pump has the advantage of being inexpensive and simple. You do not have to worry about access to power, and they are typically easy to clean and maintain. Being very lightweight they are highly portable and usable just about anywhere. On the flipside, manual pumps are usually not an efficient way to collect milk and can be time-consuming to use.
An electric pump typically is made up of several parts including tubes and valves, but instead of a lever or plunger, it has a small electric motor that runs off battery or mains power. Battery power tends to provide less pumping power than mains power but has the advantage of being more portable – you are not constrained to being near an outlet. If you have to keep replacing batteries in your pump that can get expensive, so many electric pumps have built-in rechargeable batteries that can be charged either from an outlet or a USB port making them even more versatile and convenient. When it’s time to pump you don’t want to find yourself stuck with an electric pump that’s out of juice and no handy wall outlet in sight. An electric pump that offers the option to run off an outlet or by battery power is a plus for portability and versatility, and a built-in battery that can be charged by either USB or AC adapter makes life easier still.
Electric pumps may be single, pumping only one breast at a time, or double, allowing emptying of both breasts simultaneously. There are also lots of extra features that you may get with the purchase of an electric pump. Electric pumps these days often offer several different settings featuring a variety of suction patterns and strengths. They may have different kinds of controls and monitors to manage everything from speed and strength of suction to duration of the pumping session and battery status. You may even get online access to lactation training and expertise with your purchase of a breast pump.
Your preference for a manual or an electric pump is individual and depends a lot on your expected use and your budget. If you need a pump for daily use where you will need to pump milk to supply most of your baby’s feedings, an electric pump is a safer bet. For the typical mom working outside the home, even the best manual pump is too slow to provide adequate output in an acceptable timeframe. However, if you need to pump to capture leakage, collect excess, relieve pressure, or just for the occasional bottle, a manual pump may be more cost-effective. A manual pump also has the advantages of not requiring a power source and being silent, factors that may matter more in some situations. And manual pumps are often a lot less expensive than electric ones. However, even once you have made the manual or electric decision, there are a lot of other factors to consider too.
Weight is an important consideration if only for your comfort during the pumping process. You will weary of the weight of a heavier pump if you have to support it during pumping sessions several times a day. Many electric pumps these days are amazingly lightweight often weighing in at mere ounces, so it is worth paying attention to that metric as you make your decision. Portability of your breast pump is important because you want a pump that is easy to take with you whether it is an occasional weekend at grandma’s or a daily commute to the office, so make sure you check in on the weights of your options. Some newer breast pumps even boast hands-free operation, a real boon for a busy mom. There are even some hands-free pumps that can be worn discreetly under clothing.
Another important factor to consider if you are a busy mom is how easy the pump is to maintain. You want a pump that is easy to disassemble, clean, and reassembles. Some pumps are fiendishly complicated so be attentive to the inventory of parts and user comments about the ease of use. The parts of many pumps are dishwasher safe, making them quick and easy to sanitize for the next use. Cleaning is more than a convenience issue because mold or bacteria harbored by parts that are hard to clean can become a health hazard for you and your baby.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to consider noise. While manual pumps typically are quiet to use, electric pumps operate at a range of noise levels. Noise is important – especially when your baby has finally dropped off to sleep nearby, or you want to pump discreetly at work or in some other situation where you just don’t need a noisy pump to draw unwelcome attention. If noise could be a deal-breaker for you, read the product description and user reviews carefully for information about the noise level of any device you purchase.
Safe and Hygienic Design
Many pumps advertise that they are free of harmful materials such as BPA, BPS, or phthalate, or tout that they are constructed of food-grade materials or silicone, so look for these claims. It is also important to look for evidence that the pump has a “closed” system. That means the pump has a valve that prevents milk from backing up into tubing or even into the pump mechanism or motor itself, places that are hard to clean adequately. It is well worth paying the little extra that a closed system pump may cost so that you can be sure the pump is straightforward to clean and will stay hygienic during operation.
Seal and Suction
We all want a breast pump that will do the job and efficiently extract milk in a reasonable time. However, you do not want a pump with a flange that leaks or suction that is excruciating. Unfortunately, those are things you cannot know until you try the pump because every breastfeeding mom has a unique body with its own shape and letdown pattern. Most breast pumps are somewhat uncomfortable to use but pumping should not be painful. Most manufacturers recognize the variations among women and offer pumps with an assortment of flanges, and flanges that are soft and cushioned for greater comfort. Electric pumps often feature adjustable suction levels and patterns including massage settings to help stimulate letdown and mimic baby’s sucking for more comfortable and productive pumping sessions. Check product descriptions and user reviews to find a pump that is likely to minimize leakage and maximize comfort during pumping, but keep in mind there are no guarantees that what has worked for others will work for you.
Compatibility with Other Feeding Products
When purchasing your pump keep in mind which type of bottles and bags you want to use with it. Many pumps are advertised as being compatible with feeding products such as bags and bottles, especially those made by the same manufacturer. Being able to pump directly into a feeding bottle or pre-sterilized bag can be a huge convenience that reduces waste and saves the cleaning of extra pieces. If there is a manufacturer whose feeding products you already love, it is worth limiting your search to pumps that are compatible.
The purchase of a breast pump often includes some sort of extras that may clinch the deal for you when it’s hard to make up your mind. Among the most common and most useful is a carry bag. These bags can be well-designed to conveniently accommodate the pump with all its attachments so that everything is accessible and well-organized whenever you are ready to pump. Some bags have a cooler compartment for safely storing your milk after each session. A well-designed bag can be a big plus for a busy mother.
Many electric pumps are accompanied by a monitor/controller that allows the user to monitor and control such things as suction strength and setting, session duration, and battery status. Some electric pumps can be quite sophisticated with a capacity for saving settings, accessing pumping and feeding history, and even connecting to lactation training or expertise.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why use a breast pump? A: A breast pump can be used to relieve engorgement and prevent mastitis, a painful condition that may lead to infection. Pumping also reduces waste of precious breastmilk by conserving lateral leakage and excess production. It also enables you to provide your baby with breastmilk even when nursing is not possible whether due to medical or scheduling challenges. Your partner or other caregivers can help out with feedings and enjoy bonding with baby thanks to bottled breastmilk and do so without compromising the health benefits of mother’s milk.
Q: How often should I pump breast milk? A: When the baby is newborn and for the first several weeks of life you need to pump and nurse for a total of 8-10 times every 24 hours. The more you pump and nurse, the more milk you can produce.
Q: What are the side effects of breast pumping? A: Whether it is awkwardness due to lack of privacy or time pressure, difficulty operating the pump, or just discomfort, stress will make letdown of your milk more difficult even if your breasts are full. You may find it hard to collect more than a few drops of milk if you are tense. The most important factor in successful breast pumping is making sure you feel comfortable and relaxed. A common complaint of breast pump users is sore nipples. Many pumps have massage settings and cushioned flanges to improve letdown and comfort. To avoid nipple irritation and optimize milk production, it is advisable to start pumping at a less powerful suction level and increase suction gradually,
Q: Does pumping cause breasts to sag? A: Just as when you are nursing your baby, it is important to support your breasts when pumping too. Always wear a good nursing bra throughout your breastfeeding journey to guard against the irreversible stretching of ligaments that can result in sagging breasts. Use a cushion or rolled baby blanket when you are nursing or pumping to help support your baby or the pump to prevent the fatigue that can lead to sagging.
Q: How long can breast milk be stored? A: According to the CDC, freshly-pumped breast milk can be safely kept at room temperature (77F or lower) for up to four hours under clean conditions, up to 4 days in the refrigerator, and 6-12 months in the freezer.
Q: What is a hospital grade breast pump? A: A hospital grade breast pump is a multi-use rental breast pump designed for use by multiple users. With powerful motors, these pumps are exceptionally durable to withstand sustained use over a period of time. They are designed to be fully disassembled for effective sanitizing and also feature a closed hygienic system to ensure contamination does not result from milk backing up in the tubing or mechanism.
Conclusion: Choosing the Best Breast Pump
Choosing the best breast pump is a very personal decision depending on your budget and needs. If you just need the occasional bottle and are on a tight budget, a manual pump is a good choice and it is quiet to operate and simple to maintain too. When pumping is a daily part of your routine and supplies most of your baby’s feeding needs, an electric pump is a better choice. Keep in mind power access: can you rely on battery power or is proximity to a wall outlet or USB port essential? When it comes to privacy quiet operation is key. As for portability, think about size, weight, as well as storage, and have a way to safely store and carry your liquid gold. Keep sight of your own priorities as you choose the best breast pump for you.