Are you struggling to find the right breast pump to make it easier to feed your baby?Finding the right breast pump is a huge task as there are thousands of breast pumps available in the market and not all are suited for every mother. Some pumps which work for a particular mother may not suit another mother. We all know the importance of breast milk and with changing lifestyles and busier lives, feeding your baby the right way is becoming more and more difficult, especially for working moms. Breast pumps make this whole process a lot easier and make sure that your baby gets breast milk even when the mother is not physically present to nurse the baby.
There are so many types of breast pumps available in the market suited for different concerns so it is important that you first understand why you need a breast pump before reading about types of breast pumps and the most popular pumps available in the market. The baby’s safety is the topmost priority for a mother and this is the reason why it is important to choose a pump which is safe and efficient in collection breast milk.
Why do you need a breast pump?
First of all, every mother knows the importance of breast milk for their baby. It is rich in nutrients and makes for the ideal first food for the newborns. However, not all mothers are available 24*7 for their baby to breastfeed them. They might need to go back to work or run some errands when they cannot feed their baby on time. There might also be some unavoidable situations wherein it becomes impossible for the new mother to feed the baby on time.
Some babies also find it easier to drink from a bottle after a stage or cannot grasp at the breast properly. This also warrants the use of a breast pump to make things easier as you have no other option. In case your baby adapts to a particular bottle, you can still feed breast milk to him or her using these breast pumps.
Another great reason to use a breast pump is to share the feeding duties with your partner. This allows both parents to bond with the baby equally and makes the life of a new mother easy without compromising on the nutritional aspect.
For all the above reasons, using a breast pump to store the breast milk for the baby can help a lot in ensuring that your baby gets the right nutrition. It also helps you reach your breastfeeding goal even when you cannot nurse directly from the breast.
To make the decision-making process easier, we have compiled a list of ten best breast pumps available in the market which are great in terms of efficiency, design, and ease of use. A list of FAQs along with few tips and tricks to use breast pumps is also included at the end for helping you make an informed decision.
Editor Pick Best Breast Pumps
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Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump
If you are looking for a double electric breast pump, the Lansinoh breast pump is a good option to consider. With three pumping styles and 8 suction levels to choose from, this pump is good for mothers who are in a hurry and find it difficult to use a manual breast pump. This electric breast pump can be used both ways as a single breast pump and as a double breast pump. The pack includes breast milk storage bottles, two flanges, bottle stands, bottle nipple collar and caps, AC adapter and replacement parts, and one carrying tote.
The pump is designed to maximize the comfort and optimize milk production. It features a hygienic closed design which guarantees that no milk flows back into the tubing or the motor to control mold growth. It also makes it easier to clean the pump. The pump is lightweight and is quite compact so you can travel with it easily. The flanges of the pump have a soft rim which is flexible and provides a good seal while pumping.
The pump is fitted with a lighted LCD screen which makes it easier to note down the time of pumping and volume also. It also shows you the suction level, clock timer, and battery levels of the pump. You can use this LCD screen to breast pump at night time and in low light conditions also. All the parts used in this pump are 100% free of BPA and BPS so your baby is getting pure breast milk through the bottle without any harmful side effects.
Another great feature of this breast pump is that it uses a two-phase technology which consists of a stimulation phase and an expression phase. The stimulation phase enables rapid pumping rhythm to initiate milk flow and the expression phase slows down the pumping rhythm to sustain and maximize the milk flow.
The price of this breast pump unit is a bit high as compared to other types of pumps available in the market but you can treat it as a onetime investment for your baby.PROS:
- Offers three pumping styles and eight suction levels to customize the pumping experience.
- Can be used as a single pump and a double pump for ease of use.
- All parts are 100% BPA and BPS free.
- The design of the pump is hygienic and easy to use.
- The price of the pump is a little high as compared to other units.
- It takes some time to pump the desired volume of milk into the bottle.
Final verdict:This electric breast pump is very good for ladies who want to pump a lot of milk in a limited amount of time. It has a hygienic design and uses BPA-free parts which are completely safe for the baby.
NOKIRE Manual Breast Pump
Manual breast pumps are preferred by a lot of new mothers as they are gentle and do not hurt the breasts with strong suction like electric pumps. This pump from Nokire is an affordable option to consider if you want to go for a manual breast pump. It is made up of 100% BPA-free food grade silicone and is FDA approved. The pump is very lightweight and is very portable. It operates very silently so you do not have to worry about the time and place of pumping.
The pack consists of one bottle, one ergonomic handle, one breast cover with a steaming suction air valve, one breast pad with dust cover, and one suction silicone with dust cover. One polypropylene lip and one nipple are also included with the pump. The design of the pump makes it easy for the mother to use the pump on the go and it fits any diaper bag easily.
The handheld design of the pump enables single hand use also. The capacity of the bottle is around 150 ml. It is easy to clean this pump as it is dishwasher safe and you can also clean it with plain water by hand. It is easy to assemble and does not take up a lot of your time but the pump does lose suction over a period of time as the grip loosens.
The price of this manual pump is quite affordable and you can also buy two to three pumps together for back up.PROS:
- The pump is very lightweight and portable so you can carry it anywhere.
- Silent manual pumping and soft and flexible design for ease of use.
- Made up of 100% BPA-free FDA approved materials which are eco-friendly.
- Comes at a very affordable price as compared to other breast pumps.
- Very easy to clean and does not take much time to assemble.
- The suction is a little strong and can leave the nipples sore after pumping.
- Does not work with any other feeding bottle.
Final verdict:This manual breast pump is very easy to use and the portable design makes it very easy to use it on the go. It is safe for both the mother and the baby and is easy to assemble and clean. The affordable price is an added advantage.
NUK Expressive Double Electric Breast Pump
One of the most advanced breast pumps available in the market, this electric breast pump from NUK offers you an unparalleled pumping experience. It is very simple and efficient to use. The design is lightweight and the pump fits any tote bag for storage and traveling purposes.
Each pack includes one electric pump with an ergonomic handle and a photo holder, 2 silicone cushions, 2 breast shields, 2 breast milk containers of 5 oz. Capacity, caps, seal disks, and 2 collars. The parts which come in contact with the milk are made up of BPA-free materials for safety. The photo holder on the unit allows you to keep a photo of your baby in front of you to relax through the whole process.
The pump comes with 32 settings through which you can control the suction strength and pumping speed. The digital display on top of the pump unit displays your selected settings and helps you mimic the natural breastfeeding environment with your baby. The push buttons on the unit also include a memory button which saves your preferred settings for future use to save some time. It operates quietly but does make more sound as compared to a manual pump. The parts are easy to assemble and can be cleaned in just a few minutes.
Another great feature of this pump is that the breast cushion is soft and comes with massaging rings which add to the comfort and ease the process. The double pumping feature allows you to use both the breasts simultaneously for milk production. Studies have proven that using double pumping regularly can enhance the levels of prolactin in the body which leads to more milk production.
The price of this pump is very high but you can get it at a discount online to save some money.PROS:
- Double pumping with 32 customizable settings to offer a comfortable pumping experience.
- The memory button saves preferred settings to avoid wastage of time.
- The pump is portable, lightweight, and can be cleaned easily.
- The soft massage rings on the breast cushion enhance the comfort factor.
- The price of the pump is very high and it is one of the most expensive breast pumps in the market.
- The milk gets in the tubing if you do not fit the parts back properly after cleaning.
Final verdict:This double pump from NUK is one of the bestsellers from the brand because of the speed and suction strength options it offers and the neat and lightweight design. The multiple features make this pump worth the high price.
Baabyoo Baby Breastfeeding Breast Pump
There are very few double breast pumps available in the market which charge through USB and this breast pump is one such few pumps. It answers all design concerns with its bottle design which can be used to collect breast milk, feed the baby, and then store the milk for future use. The pump is very easy to set up and can be used for long trips as it occupies very little space.
The pump comes with 2 modes for suction and 9 gears to choose from so that you can choose a comfortable setting for breast pumping. The pump is powerful yet lightweight so that you can get the maximum use out of the unit. It is made up of food grade silicone which is BPA-free and FDA approved. The milk storage capacity of the pump is 150 ml and pumping rate is 100 T/minute.
The pump needs to be plugged in for use as it does not use batteries for charging and uses USB. You can adjust the lactation strength and the pumping strength easily using the customizable modes. It is very quiet in operation and does not make as much noise as some other electric pumps take.
Another great feature of this pump is that it comes with a handheld controller which makes it so easy to change settings on the go. There are four push buttons on the controller which include 1 on-off button, one mode changing button to choose between massage mode and breast pumping mode, 1 key to weaken suction and 1 key to strengthen suction.
The price of the breast pump is quite affordable and it is one the cheapest electric breast pumps available in the market.PROS:
- Double electric breast pump with multi-functional bottles for ease of use.
- Charges through USB so works on power bank also.
- Ideal for long tours and takes very little space.
- Multiple modes and controller help in customizing the experience.
- Very affordable as compared to other electric breast pumps.
- Only one nipple for two bottles which makes milk prone to secondary contamination.
- The plastic lid on the inside of the bottle is sharp and can cut the skin.
Final verdict:This double breast pump is good if you want to fill two milk bottles simultaneously and are looking for an affordable option. It is easy to control and is portable for using on the go while traveling.
Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump
One of the most popular breast pumps available in the market, the Medele harmony manual breast pump is perfect for everyday use as it is efficient and portable. Each pack includes one manual pump, 2 bottles with lids of 5 oz. Capacity, 2 membranes, one bottle stand, and one nipple with a collar. The pump has a soft ergonomic handle which makes it easy to hold the pump while using. All the parts of the pump which come in contact with milk at any given point of time are made from BPA-free materials for the baby’s safety.
The pump operates on the two-phase principle with one initiation phase and one sustaining phase to maintain optimum milk flow. It operates very quietly and is very comfortable on the skin. Another advantage of this pump is that it fits other Medela breast shields also so you can use any other shield with this unit.
The pump is very simple to clean and you can assemble it within just a few seconds. The soft handle is easy to squeeze so it does not put a lot of strain on your hand while pumping milk. This pump is good for mothers who do not want to carry a bulky electrical unit on their trips as this pump fits all bags and totes easily.
The price of this manual breast pump is quite affordable as compared to the quality of the pump.PROS:
- Easy to operate and does not take much space in the bag.
- Does not make as much noise as electric pumps.
- Quite affordable and offers better results than some electric pumps also.
- The handle is ergonomic and does not put a lot of strain on the hand while pumping.
- The pump loses suction slowly with use.
- It does not offer the speed which you can get with electric pumps.
Final verdict:This manual breast pump from Medela is the preferred choice of many new mothers who prefer manual pumps over electric pumps. It is also good for traveling purposes because of the compact size and easy assembling.
Vakey Electric Breast Pump
If you are looking for an electric breast pump for traveling purposes, this product from Vakey is a good option which has all the features of expensive breast pumps at a fraction of their price. It charges through USB and is made using 100% BPA-free material.
The pump comes with one USB cable and one nipple with lid along with all the other supporting attachments. The design of the pump is safe and completely hygienic as it uses one-way flow design to regulate milk flow and avoid contamination. The capacity of the milk bottle which comes with the pump is 5 oz. There are two modes and 9 gears to choose from in the pump including one suction mode and one prolactin mode which helps in better lactation as it massages the breasts.
The standard bottle mouth on the pump allows you to attach any feeding bottle to the pump to improve the experience as some babies tend to prefer a specific feeding bottle. The pump also comes with an LED display monitor which displays the time, gear, stimulation, and expression and has buttons to increase or decrease vacuum.
The pump is also very easy to clean and can be disassembled quite easily without leaving any blind spots. The suction shield has a good surface area so women with larger breasts or nipples can also easily use the pump without any overflowing. The pump is very gentle on the skin and does not make the breasts sore after use.
The price of this electric pump is lesser than other double electric pumps but more than manual pumps. You can also get it at some discount online during the sale.PROS:
- Affordable pump for traveling mothers who want a compact electric pump.
- Uses one way flow technology to prevent milk going back into the tubes.
- Easy to clean and all parts are removable for better cleaning.
- Suitable to use for bigger breasts or nipples as the suction area is bigger than other pumps.
- LED display helps to keep a check on the time and speed settings.
- The suction of the pump is not strong enough according to some users.
- It does not charge through batteries so you have to plug it into the USB for charging.
Final verdict:This portable electric pump is a perfect companion for mothers who travel a lot and do not want to use a manual pump. It offers a customized pumping experience and the LED display feature makes it more effective at this price.
Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump
One of the most basic breast pumps available in the market, the Philips Avent manual pump is a bestseller from the brand because of its simple design and efficient working. It is compatible with all Philips Avent feeding bottles so you do not have to worry about keeping a separate bottle to use the pump. The pump is very compact in size so it fits all sizes of bags.
Each pack contains one breast pump body, 1 large massage cushion of 25 mm, 1 4 oz. bottle with nipple, one sealing disk for storage of milk, and 2 pieces of breast pad sample packs. The design of this breast pump is simple and lightweight. It can be used with one hand also. The angled neck of the suction pump uses gravity to make the milk flow into the attached bottle. This enables the mother to sit in a relaxed position while pumping as most pumps require the mother to lean forward which results in back pain over a period of time.
The pump comes with a small and wide milk bottle instead of the usual long slender bottles. The soft massage cushion on the pump stimulates milk flow and allows easy pumping. The breast shaped nipple mimics natural breastfeeding which makes it easier for the baby to switch from breast feeding to bottle feeding.
The components of the pump are easy to clean and it can also be sterilized in the microwave. This feature comes handy for mothers who are not satisfied with just cleaning the pump with water. The price of the pump is reasonable and you can get it at a discount online.PROS:
- The design of the pump mimics natural breast feeding and allows the baby to transition easily.
- Easy to clean and can be sterilized in the microwave also for ease of use.
- Does not hurt the back as the pump uses gravity to make the milk flow into the bottle.
- Small compact shape to fit any bag size easily.
- Is expensive as compared to other manual pumps available in the market.
- You need to press the pump hard against your breast to form a good suction.
Final verdict:The Philips Avent manual breast pump is one of the preferred breast pumps for new moms as it is simple to use and compact to carry. The natural design of the suction plate and the nipple make it easy for the mother and the baby.
Check Video Review
Haoqin Micro Cube Breastfeeding Pump Electric Comfort Single Breast Pump
One of the most compact breast pumps available in the market, this single breast pump from Haoqin uses 100% food grade silicone to ensure a hygienic pumping experience. Each pack contains one host, one bottle, one pipe, one charger, one nipple with lid, one USB cable, and one storage bag. The capacity of the pump is 150 ml. The pump is quite portable and has a non-breakable design.
The pump uses a warm and soft massage cushion which stimulates the breasts to release milk easily without any pull. The pump functions when plugged in and does not hold charge. It operates quietly and makes much less noise as compared to other electric pumps. There are three expression settings to choose from so you can start with the gentlest setting and go higher as you get comfortable with the flow.
The pump operates on two settings which include a simple massage mode and one actual pumping mode. It does take a little bit more time to take out milk from both the breasts because of its small size but feels very natural against the skin. The electric powered suction is convenient and easy to use multiple times a day. The quality of the pump is sturdy so it will last for a very long time.
This unit is also easy to clean as each piece can be taken apart for cleaning. The price of the pump is reasonable if you compare its quality with other electric breast pumps available in the market.PROS:
- Compact and portable design for ease of use.
- The material used in the pump is safe and hygienic for the baby and the mother.
- Offers two modes and three expression settings to choose from.
- Easy to clean and comes with a storage bag for traveling purposes.
- Can take a lot of time to empty out both breasts as it operates on a slower speed.
- It needs to be plugged in to use so can be a little difficult to travel with.
Final verdict:This compact breast pump offers many customizable settings to choose from so you can adjust the suction strength and pumping modes easily to suit your requirements. The compact size and the quality add to its benefits.
Spectra Baby Double/Single Electric Breast Pump
This breast pump from Spectra is one of the most popular electric breast pumps in the market because of its versatility. It is a hospital grade electric breast pump which can be used as a single pump and a double pump. It is lightweight and portable so you can carry it in any bag during traveling also.
Each pack contains one Spectra S2 breast pump, 2 spectra wide-necked bottles, 2 spectra backflow preventer, 2 tubings, 4 flanges, and 2 spectra duckbill valve. The material used in the pump and its accessories is 100% BPA free. It has a closed design which prevents the milk from flowing back into the tubes.
There are two customizable modes available in this pump. One mode is the letdown mode which signals the breast to release milk. Another mode is the expression mode which sustains and optimizes the milk flow. The digital controls on the pump allow you to control the speed and the rhythm of the flow easily. Another great feature of this pump is that it is a hospital grade pump which means that this pump is great in terms of power but does not make as much noise as other electrical pumps.
This pump charges through only electrical cord so it might not be a good option for mothers who like to use rechargeable or battery-operated breast pumps on the go during traveling. The timer and the nightlight on the pump make it easier for mothers who prefer to pump during night time.
The price of this pump is high but the efficiency and the features make it worth the high price. It pays for itself in the long run as the design is sturdy and lasts for the whole nursing period if you maintain the pump properly.PROS:
- Can be used as a single or a double pump according to the requirement.
- Digital controls with customizable modes allow ease of control.
- Backflow preventer keeps the tube and the motor free from moisture damage.
- Powerful motor with letdown mode and expression mode operates smoothly without any noise.
- Is expensive when compared to other breast pumps available in the market.
- Does not function on batteries so can be bit difficult to use on the go.
Final verdict:The Spectra S2 hospital grade electric breast pump is one of the most popular breast pumps used by thousands of mothers all over the world. It is great in terms of power and ease of use. The customizable modes and other features make it worth the high price.
Check Video Review
Evenflo Feeding Advanced Breast Pump Essentials Set
When it comes to buying a breastfeeding pump, the supporting accessories are as important as the main pump itself and this breast pump essentials set from Evenflo make it easier for the new mothers to get all these accessories at one place. It comes with everything you would need for pumping breast milk for your little one.
The white clean design of the unit makes it aesthetically better than some of the other electric pumps. It has smooth edges and does not look bulky. The set is lightweight and portable enough for traveling purposes also. One carrying bag is also included with the set for ease of use.
Each set contains one pumping unit, 2 membranes, 2 valves, 40 milk storage bags, 4 extra milk bottles in addition to the 2 bottles already attached to the pump, and 60 breast pads apart from the adapter and other tubings. 2 full-length breastfeeding programs are also included with this set to help new mothers understand the whole process. The advanced double electric breast pump is one of the most powerful pumps you can get in the market. It is the perfect starter kit for mothers who need a good and efficient set for breast milk storage and pumping.
The flanges that come with the set are very comfortable on the nipples and create a good suction which does not let the milk overflow. There are three different types of flanges in the set which include one basic flange and 2 soft flanges for added comfort. Another great feature of this pump set is that it functions on both batteries and AC current so it is good for home use as well as for traveling.
The price of this set is moderate if you look at the extra accessories and the functionality of the pump provided with the set. It might seem expensive when compared to other pumps but the numbers of supporting parts you get make it worth the investment in the long run.PROS:
- Serves as a good starter kit for new mothers who want the pump and the supporting accessories in one single set.
- The flanges are very soft and comfortable to use and do not leave any soreness in the nipples.
- The pump is good in terms of power and offers both modes of charging for ease of use.
- Simple and aesthetically pleasing design.
- It is a bit difficult to clean as some moulded parts are hard to wash with a cleaning brush.
- Can seem a little expensive to some users.
Final verdict:This breast pumping set from Evenflo is a great kit for people who do not like to buy all accessories separately and want one whole set for usage. It provides you with all the things you need for breast pumping at an affordable price.
Check Video Review
Types of breast pumps:
Now that we have discussed out top ten picks when it comes to breast pumps, it is very important to understand more about the different types of breast pumps and their uses. With so many different types of pumps available in the market, new mothers can get confused with the choices. There are two basic categories on the basis of which we classify breast pumps:
On the basis of the number of pumps:
- Single breast pump
These types of breast pumps include only one single pump with a single flange which works on one breast at one point of time. Pumps like these are good for women who do not have time constraints and do not want to expose both breasts together for pumping. It is also cheaper as compared to double pumps and does not take much space in the bag.
- Double breast pump
Double breast pumps are pumps which work on both breasts at the same time and is more efficient in terms of milk production as they stimulate the breasts to produce more milk. These pumps are costlier as compared to the single breast pumps available in the market but save a lot of time and energy.
On the basis of operation:
- Manual breast pumps
These pumps are the most basic types of breast pumps available in the market which function manually without any electrical power. You have to create the suction by manually pressing on a handle on the pump. These pumps are lightweight and portable so they are good for traveling purposes also. They are less efficient as compared to electric pumps in terms of speed and volume of pumped milk as manual suction is not as strong as electrical suction. They can be operated with one hand also. These pumps are good for occasional pumping needs or for traveling purposes.
- Electrical breast pumps
Electric breast pumps are more suitable these days with the working lifestyles and time constraints. These pumps use electric suction to stimulate the breasts to release milk. The pumps also come in double and single versions. These pumps also come with additional features like night time timer, LED display, customizable suction strength and speed settings, and take less time to pump more volume. These pumps are generally expensive as compared to manual pumps and are a little bulky. These types of pumps require an electrical adapter and power cord for functioning.
- Battery-powered breast pumps
These pumps take electric pumps up a notch with a rechargeable feature to make them travel-friendly. This makes electric breast pumps more efficient and eliminates the need to have a power supply to use the pump. The additional batteries might add to the weight of the pump but make the pump more portable as it offers the combined benefits of both electrical and manual pumps. These pumps cost as much as the electric pumps.
- Hospital grade pumps
Pumps which are heavy-duty in terms of strength and working efficiency are usually referred to as hospital grade pumps. These pumps have a powerful motor and generally the most expensive breast pumps available in the market. They have a long motor life and are bulkier than modern pumps. Hospital grade breast pump also take lesser time to extract more volume of milk. They are silent in terms of operational noise.
The right way to use a breast pump:
Understanding the correct way to use a breast pump is another important factor to consider as even the most advanced breast pumps won’t function efficiently if you are using the wrong technique. We are going to elaborate on the right ways to use a breast pump for both manual and electric pumps so that it is easier to understand the working of these pumps
The right way to use a manual breast pump:
Manual pumps are easier to operate and do not require a lot of technical knowledge. First, you have to initiate a letdown phase for your breasts which simply means that you have to stimulate the breasts to bring the milk from the back of the breasts towards the nipples. You can gently massage your breasts or cover them with a warm washcloth for initiating the milk pumping. After this, cover your nipples with the breast shield provided with the pump and form a secure suction to begin pumping. You can lean down a little bit to let gravity do half of your work. Once the milk starts flowing into the bottle, keep pumping until the flow becomes slower. Repeat for the next breast.
The right way to use an electric breast pump:
Electric pumps are more efficient as compared to manual pumps and require much less efforts. They are time saving and yield more output. To use an electric breast pump, first attach the shield to your breasts. Use two shields if you are using a double pump and one shield if it is a single pump. Turn on the machine once you have attached the shields securely. Select the suction strength and the speed through the buttons on the pump. Start with the letdown phase and then ease into the expression phase once the milk starts flowing into the bottles. Turn off the machine once the flow begins to slow down. Make sure that you pull the shield off the breast slowly to avoid any soreness afterwards.
Factors to be considered when buying a breast pump:
Every person who wishes to buy a breast pump should understand that what might have worked for somebody might not work for you or vice versa as breast pumps work on many factors. Before purchasing a breast pump, the following factors should be considered so that you can get the right pump for use:
- Type of pump
We have already elaborated on the various types of breast pumps available in the market and their features. It is very important that you go through the types before investing in a breast pump. Choose from single and double pumps depending on whether you plan to use both breasts simultaneously for pumping or not. Choose from electrical, manual, and battery-powered pumps depending on the requirement.
- Estimated Pumping Volume
Calculate approximately how much milk you would need in a day from the pump depending on whether you are naturally breastfeeding also in addition to the pump or completely relying on it. This volume will be an important parameter in deciding which pump you should purchase as some pumps are designed to handle more volume while some models cannot handle a lot of milk and can break. If you are going to be pumping only once or twice a day, you can go for smaller pumps but if you are planning to pump for 5-6 times a day, then it is better to go for a sturdy model.
The design of the pump is another critical criterion which needs to be considered. Some pumps come with adjustable controls for suction strength, speed, and modes. These adjustable features help you to customize the breastfeeding experience and use the settings which seem the most comfortable. The flanges used in the pump should be soft and the backflow preventer should be present to stop the milk from flowing back into the tubes and the motor. A might light and timer are some of the other features that can prove to be very useful in the long run.
The cost of the breast pump plays a major role in whether you purchase the pump or not. It is important to understand that a breast pump is a necessary investment for the mother and the baby so you need to designate a decent budget for the purchase. Buying a good breast pump can not only help your baby to get proper nutrition but also saves a lot of money which goes in buying formula every other day. Check if your health insurance covers a breast pump also. Manual pumps tend to be cheaper as compared to electric pumps so choose accordingly.
- Ease of cleaning
Cleaning a breast pump after using is a tiresome but very critical task to ensure the health and hygiene of your baby. Assembling the pump back together after cleaning is another headache for new mothers who want to spend more time with their baby. Choose a pump which uses lesser number of parts and can be cleaned easily in the dishwasher or using a brush. Some pumps have a few parts which cannot be cleaned easily and can become a thriving ground for mold and bacteria.
The last and the most important factor is the portability of the breast pump. With busy lifestyles and frequent travels, lightweight and portable breast pumps are the need of the hour. It is very important to understand that carrying a bulky and heavy pump all day every day can cause so much discomfort and decrease the willingness to use the pump over time. Mothers who go back to work after delivery can carry portable breast pumps easily in any bag. Mothers who stay at home can go for heavy pumps which have more features and a powerful motor.
How to clean a breast pump
Most mothers tend to dread this part but it is one of the critical tasks when it comes to using a breast pump. Some pumps are easier to clean as compared to other pumps so they should be given preference over complex pumps which are difficult to clean.
First of all, disassemble the pump after use and take out each of the parts for cleaning purposes. Read the instructions carefully to understand if the parts are dishwasher – safe or have to be washed by hand. In both the cases, choose a soap which is very gentle and does not contain any harmful chemicals which can harm the health of the baby.
Next, rinse every part under running water and wash them with soap solution. Clean the parts using a little wire brush and then rinse them in hot water finally to get clean pump parts. Air dry the parts before using them again to get maximum benefits.
Some breast pumps can also be sanitized easily in baby bottle sanitizer but make sure that you read the usage instructions that come with the pump before trying this technique for cleaning the parts.
Most Common FAQs for buying a breast pump:
Here are some of the common questions asked by people before buying a breast pump to make an informed purchase:
Q: Why do people use breast pumps?
Many new mothers cannot be available with their baby all the time for various reasons so they use breast milk to ensure that their baby gets adequate nutrition in their absence. Some premature or normal babies cannot latch well on to the breasts and using a bottle to feed breast milk to them is a good option. These pumps can also be used to give a break to the breasts to relieve pain and swelling in the area due to constant feeding.
Q: What not to eat and drink while breastfeeding?
It is very important to maintain a healthy diet and light exercise schedule after pregnancy as advised by the doctor. Include fresh fruits, nuts, dairy items, and fresh vegetables in your diet as these items replenish the lost energy and also increase the nutritional content of the breast milk. Avoid eating fatty foods and drinking alcohol while nursing the baby as this can have harmful side-effects. Do not crash diet or delay your meals while producing breast milk. Eating well-balanced snacks also helps in maintaining a healthy body.
Q: Can you lose weight by pumping breast milk?
Women have to gain weight during the pregnancy and this added weight is later used to produce breast milk by the body. Producing breast milk takes a lot of the energy and using pump can help you some of the pregnancy weight easily. Pumping breast milk burns calories naturally so it is a win-win situation for both the mother and the baby. Choose a well-balanced lifestyle along with breast pumping to get ideal results in terms of weightless.
Q: How much breast milk should I be able to pump?
You can expect to pump around 1 ounce – 30 ounces of milk per day while using a breast pump depending on various factors. The volume of milk production increases from the time you start the pumping initially to when you get full practice. Draining your breasts completely and naturally once in a while helps in enhancing milk production over the course of the nursing period.
Q: When should you pump your breast milk?
You can start pumping milk after a few weeks of the birth of your baby if you produce more milk than your baby can drink. Most mothers prefer to pump milk in the morning. Ideally, you should pump milk either one hour before nursing or one hour after nursing your baby. Most babies need to be fed around 8-12 times a day so you can also pump every 2 hours depending on the requirement. Just make sure that you leave enough milk for the baby to breast feed naturally.
Q: How long can a woman’s breasts produce milk?
This depends on a lot of factors but a woman can normally produce breast milk for a few years on an average before the milk dries up or until the next pregnancy occurs. Your body produces a hormone called prolactin when delivery occurs to produce breast milk. There are many medications or hormonal therapies you can take to increase or decrease the production of breast milk.
Q: Is it painful to pump breast milk?
Some soreness in the breasts in expected when you start pumping breast milk initially. However, if you use the right technique and give your breasts proper rest, the pain is bearable. In fact, if you do not pump the breast milk or feed your baby naturally, the breasts can become very painful because of the heaviness due to the produced milk.
Q: Can pumping damage your nipples?
If you pump breast milk using the wrong technique, your nipples can get damaged with prolonged use. Using a higher suction strength than necessary to pulling the flange away from the nipple while the pump is still operating are some of the reasons because of which pumping can damage the nipples. Some women experience a condition called a nipple thrush which can cause broken, painful, or dry nipples after pumping. Consult your doctor if you experience a lot of pain or your nipples look and behave differently than usual.
Q: How long can you keep breast milk in the fridge?
Freshly pumped breast milk can be kept in the freezer for up to five days when stored in a clean storage bag. It is advisable to use the breast milk within three days for getting all the benefits. Do not refreeze the milk once thawed as it loses the nutrients. It is very important to understand the correct way of freezing pumped breast milk as not using the right technique can waste all your efforts in pumping.
Q: How long are you supposed to pump?
It takes around 15 minutes to pump both breasts completely if you are using an electrical double breast pump. If you are using a single pump, it will take around 20-130 minutes to pump completely. A manual pump takes as much time as a single electric pump but it also depends on your hand motion. You can multitask easily by doing some other chore while pumping or completing your calls.
Some tips to keep in mind when buying and using a breast pump to get desired results:
Always make sure that you sanitize your hands and clean the pumping equipment before each use to maintain proper hygiene.
- Do not pull the shields away from the breast abruptly if you are using an electrical pump as this can cause a lot of pain. Turn off the pump and gently break the seal with your fingers to remove the shield painlessly.
- Wait for some time after initiating the pumping as milk does not start to flow instantly once you start pumping.
- Look for breast pump bags which have an inbuilt cooler in them as it keeps the milk fresh and safe for a longer period of time.
- Keep different parts in different compartments in the pump bag as the shields and tubings can get damaged in transit if not secured properly inside the bag.
- Keep a few extra bottles and pumping tubes in spare if you do not feel like cleaning the equipment immediately after use.
- Try using a nipple cream if you are pumping multiple times a day to prevent any unnecessary damage to the nipples.
- Freezing the milk in different amounts rather than freezing in uniform freezing bags can help in feeding your baby on special days when there is a need for extra feed. Opening a 1 ounce bag is preferable to opening a four ounce bag and wasting all the extra milk after feeding.
- One tip which most mothers follow is to take a break on the weekends from all the pumping and feeding the baby naturally. This increases milk production in the following week and helps the mothers bond with the baby,
- You can alternate between the letdown phase and the expression phase every once in a while to stimulate the breasts to let down more easily and frequently.
- Pumping the car on your way to work can save a lot of time for busy mothers. All you need is a car adapter for the pump and a nursing bra which can help you use the pump easily.
- If you do not want to use the community fridge at your workplace to store pumped milk, buy a small personal fridge which is very compact and can save you the multiple trips to the community fridge every other hour.
- Always have backup parts on hand when you are pumping in the house or at work as sometimes the parts don’t work and you will be left with painful breasts without any pumping if you don’t have extra parts at your disposal.
- Check your pumping equipment if you have been suddenly noticing a drop in milk volume as faulty pumps and flanges can cause a significant decrease in the milk production.
So these are some of the most popular breast pumps available in the market which are known for their efficiency and design. All these pumps are loved by mothers across the world and are rich in terms of features also. You can choose from manual pumps or electric pumps based on the requirement as both pumps have their own benefits and limitations.
It is important to understand all about the type of breast pumps and how to use them before taking the decision since buying a breast pump is a very important decision for you and your baby. Refer to this list of FAQs before making the purchase to get an idea about breast milk pumping.
Have you used a breast pump? Which is your favorite breast pump and how was your experience?