Which are the best breast pumps? There are so many types out there.
Here’s how to choose a breast pump that suits your needs and decide if you need one at all!
Before heading off to buy a breast pump, consider if you really need one at all.
If you are on maternity leave or a stay-at-home mom, breastfeeding works well, and you have no immediate urge to go out with your friends or hubby and leave your baby at home, you really do not need to buy a breast pump.
But for many moms, it is not possible to be present every time the baby is ready to eat. In such a case, a breast pump is particularly useful. By keeping the milk supply up and providing the benefits of breast milk while you return to work or need a break, a breast pump can make it possible for the baby to get the nutrition and disease-fighting substances despite the mom not being there all the time.
In addition, using a breast pump is an efficient way to prepare for breastfeeding an adopted baby as well as to keep the milk supply up even if your baby was born too early and can’t nurse in the beginning.
But which pump to choose?
There are several different types and brands available at very different prices. Here we try to help guide you to which may be the best breast pump for your situation.
¤ Tips on How to Choose Breast Pump
When To Buy One?
If you are still pregnant with your first child and you will stay at home with your baby after he or she is born, I would certainly recommend postponing any purchase of a breast pump. Chances are that you won’t need it!
But if you already know that you will go back to work early, are waiting for your adopted baby, or are at high risk of giving birth too early, then buying a pump in advance can make sense.
Another option is to rent one to be able to try out which are the best breast pumps for you.
What Type Of Pump Do I Need?
This is a good question since there are many available; however, basically, the choice comes down to either a manual type or an electric or battery-operated breast pump.
The best breast pumps for you will depend on the type you prefer and, of course, how often you will use them. Some women decide to use both. Maybe one more efficient but slightly heavier for home use and then a lighter, smaller one to carry along.
The Different Types In Detail
An electric hospital-grade breast pump is often used when a highly efficient pump is needed. This could be when preparing for adoptive breastfeeding or when a mom has problems maintaining her milk supply for her special needs infant (for example, a pre-term or sick newborn baby who can’t nurse effectively yet). The pumps have a suck-and-release that most resemble the baby’s rate of nursing. These are the best breast pumps available; however, they are expensive at about $1000. In addition, they are usually quite heavy and unwieldy.
The personal-use breast pumps that are top of the line are electric and are a combination of the proficiency of the hospital pump without the bulk. Most moms that are returning to work find these are very reliable and have the best cycling times. They weigh only about eight pounds, and many have adapters or battery packs so they can be used in places that may lack electrical access. These breast pumps are more affordable than the hospital type, generally costing from $200 to $350.
The mid-range breast pumps are typically electric or battery-powered. They are commonly used by moms who are only gone for a short period of time on an occasional basis and leave their baby with a sitter or a family member. They are portable – weighing only about two pounds – and they are less expensive – from $50 to $150 – which are the good aspects. The cons for these breast pumps are they often take longer, battery-operated models often need new batteries, and if you are going to choose one of these types, you need to see if it has an adjustable suction, as it is often not strong enough or too strong.
A manual pump uses neither batteries nor electricity but only manual effort and is dependent on the preferences of the mother. Some prefer more efficient models, and some say manual pumps are more natural. These pumps are smaller, weigh less, and are quite affordable. In addition, they are quieter.
There are moms who do not like the manual breast pump because they say they do not empty all the milk from their breasts and are tiring for their hands. They range in price from $30 to $60. The type that is similar in shape to a bicycle horn should not be purchased as the rubber balls can allow the build-up of harmful bacteria.
Many breast pumps have two carrying cases and an assortment of accessories included. There may be storage bags, bottles, labels, breast flanges, clips, and nipple ointment. Some may not have the accessories included, and they must be purchased separately.
Another possible accessory is a hands-free breast pump bra that holds the bottles while pumping, so you don’t have to. The first time I saw this, I thought it was a joke. It looked so funny! But it can be super convenient!
The choice of the best breast pump will be a personal decision. Some moms find that the one they are using is not the best one for them and may try different types before settling on one. There are many places that rent breast pumps, so it may be wise to go this route before making the ultimate choice of the one you will use.
Read Next about Breastfeeding
Paula Dennholt founded Easy Baby Life in 2006 and has been a passionate parenting and pregnancy writer since then. Her parenting approach and writing is based on studies in cognitive-behavioral models and therapy for children and her experience as a mother and stepmother. Life as a parent has convinced her of how crucial it is to put relationships before rules. She strongly believes in positive parenting and a science-based approach.
Paula cooperates with a team of pediatricians that you find here. They write or review all health-related articles.