The 6 Best Breast Pumps and How to Choose One
In today’s article, we’ll be discussing the best breast pump for lactating moms.
Getting pregnant comes with a lot of excitement, as well as lots of decision-making. Having understood that a baby is on the way, you may decide to get a crib, a car seat, a changing table, or even a stroller. You’ve decided who will be your gynecologist or your baby’s pediatrician, you’ve had to plan child care, and also make medical-related decisions.
Many pregnant women don’t see the need for a breast pump, but if you find out that you do need one, and its now time to choose a breast pump out of the many brands out there, you might feel overwhelmed.
It is not strange! We understand. Making decisions can be a very stressful process, especially in the last trimester of pregnancy. So, to give you some relief, we’ve pooled a list of the 6 best breast pumps, how and why they are good for you, and where you can purchase the original quality.
Comparing close system and open system breast pumps
You will consider certain factors when choosing a pump. The first is to decide whether you want a closed system or open system breast pump. It is important to note that open and closed systems are not medical terms, so, their usage may differ according to the brands. You must understand what each brand means by the term if it appears on the product description.
A closed system pump prevents milk from overflowing and leaking into the pump system. This maintains the hygienic condition of the entire system. The fact is, it isn’t possible to keep any system completely closed. Air must flow in and out of that system. The inflow and outflow of air help the vacuuming action of the pump to function at an optimal level. However, a truly closed system will be “almost closed.”
As the name implies, an open system breast pump doesn’t have a barrier.
There is the possibility of seeing some used breast pumps on sale. A study has shown that most American mothers who breastfeed do pump as well. While you may want to order it cheaply, don’t forget that there are some parts of a breast pump that cannot be easily cleaned after exposure to the milk from another woman’s breast.
So, due to the high risk of having another person’s milk enter an open system pump, most women don’t fancy buying the second-hand version of these pumps.
Our breast pump selection process
When handpicking the pumps to include on this list, we reviewed the user experiences. We selected from a wide range of pumps and prices. Everyone knows that the efficiency of each pump depends on the reason for pumping, and their budgets are wide.
Apart from the prices and the popularity, we examined the features of each pump – did they make the pumping process easier? Let’s be frank – when it comes to an everyday item, ease of use and comfort should be a top priority. No matter your needs, you’ll find any of these options useful.
Best overall breast pump
Spectra S1 Plus Electric Breast Pump
Price: Starting from $199.99
The Spectra S1 Plus is a closed system breast pump. It has options for both single and double pumping. The vacuum pump is strong and adjustable, and of course, covered by many insurance programs.
Spectra S1 Plus Electric Pump is lightweight. It has a handle that makes mobility easy. Powered by both battery and power cord, you can use it anytime, anywhere. There’s also a night-light feature, a timer, and two light levels that eases the stress of pumping at cockcrow.
When coupling it for the first time, ensure that you put the backflow valves together to prevent the moisture from building up in the tubing. Not all babies can use the bottle that comes with it so, you may want to buy a separate bottle.
Best natural suction breast pump
Haaka silicone manual breast pump
Price: Starting from $12.94
It is a cheap one and quite portable. The Haaka has provision for storage, so your milk won’t go to waste. so, how do you use it? It’s easy. Just attach the Haaka to the breast opposite the one your baby is sucking. The milk will trickle in. you can also use this opportunity to collect a small amount of milk when weaning your baby.
Haaka silicone manual breast pump does not have any real pump, per se, so you don’t have to worry about the closed or open systems thing. It is clean – completely! However, you’ll have to apply a great deal of manual labor when using it. There’s also the risk of spilling some milk due to its shape. So, you may have to get a storage cover for it.
Best manual breast pump
Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump
Price: Starting from $28.44
One of the most important components of a manual breast pump is the handle. Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump has a swivel handle that makes it unique compared to others in its category.
You can move its handle to any position that is convenient for you. And you can use it with ease. Also, it is cheap and is more portable than some electric models. The absence of a motor or tubing makes it easy to clean.
However, to be honest, this isn’t the right pump for people who intend to pump plenty of milk.
Most comfortable manual breast pump
Philips Avent Manual Breast Pump
Price: Starting from $25.93
Philips Avent Manual Breast Pump is designed for comfort. The design allows you to pump manually in a reclined position. The comfortability of the pump is attributed to the silicone liner in it. You can dismantle and clean the pump with ease. It is also portable and cheap.
Does it have any disadvantages? Well, for starters, it doesn’t have any bumper, so, it may likely bang against the collection bottle during usage. There’s no swivel on the handle, and you can’t also adjust the grip. The parts wear out easily, but this is no big deal as the spare parts are easy to source.
Best portable breast pump
Medela Pump In Style Advanced On-the-Go Tote
Price: Starting from $156.09
The Medela Pump In Style Advanced On-the-Go Tote is bagged, so you can carry it anywhere you want to. Its pumping efficiency is great, and suction is optimized. This means that you can pump faster. However, you may not have much control over the suction levels as compared to other pumps. Medela is a closed system pump, so it has a better level of hygiene compared to others in its category.
Note that this pump is a bit of a noisemaker. It isn’t so quiet, but the spare parts are widely available.
Best electric breast pump
Bellababy Double Electric Breast Pump
Price: Starting from $49.00
Bellababy electric pump has an HD display with a touch panel. The screen displays every information that you need as a breastfeeding mom. You can also control the pump with a single touch. Bellababy Electric Breast Pump is a closed system pump with a strong suction – one that works well even when the battery power is low.
It may be portable, but then, it isn’t so quiet. There are also a lot of parts to sanitize and clean.
Things to consider when shopping for a pump
Several factors should be considered when shopping for a breast pump:
- Lifestyle and pumping needs: Will you be using your pump frequently? Why do you want to pump your milk? Consider these.
- Does your health insurance cover any of these pumps? A 2012 study found that private health insurers in the US cover breast pump under the Affordable Care Act.
- Strength of suction
- Noise level
It is also important to test a pump before buying it. Some healthcare providers offer pump rental services. Discuss with your gynecologist about breast pump usage, and where you can buy or rent them.
Tonika Bruce, MSN, RN, MBA. is an accomplished nurse leader, published author, and personal development expert passionate about advancing healthcare management and quality patient outcomes.
She taps into the years of experience in healthcare management to produce credible and easy-to-understand health and leadership content. Her exceptional work has been featured in reputable publications, including Forbes, Recruiter, Inc, and the Color of Wellness magazine.