Choosing a breast pump can seem a little daunting if you don’t know where to start, what to look for and what you’ll need. There are so many breast pumps out there and all can be great for certain situations.
Let’s dive into the different types of pumps.
Manual Breast Pumps
These are hand held pumps that you physically pump with your hand to extract milk (e.g. Haakaa, Avent manual, Medela Harmony). These are great for throwing in your diaper bag/pumping bag for pumping on the go and are typically less expensive but not the best to have as your main pump option if you plan to pump exclusively or pump frequently (for example if you’re returning to work).
Pumpin Pals flanges are compatible with Medela pumps.
Electric Breast Pumps
These pumps are typically more efficient and plug into the wall. They usually come in either a single or double pump option (e.g. Spectra, Medela Freestyle, Ameda, Motif Luna). If you plan to exclusively pump, want to pump more frequently or are trying to boost your supply, having an electric pump will be a must. They are usually more pricey but will be much more effective to use regularly.
Pumpin Pals flanges are compatible with Spectra, Medela, Ameda, Baby Buddha, Rumble Tuff, Hygeia, and Lansinoh and Motif breast pumps.
Portable Breast Pumps
These pumps are similar to electric breast pumps in that they have an external flange but the motor is battery operated to allow you to move around (e.g. Baby Buddha, Genie Advanced). The flanges will connect to the motor using a set of pump tubing to allow for you to pump without being connected to the wall. With these pumps you’ll want to have a good pumping bra on hand to allow you to pump hands-free.
Wearable Breast Pumps
These pumps are amazing for busy mamas, if you have other children at home, or if you want to pump on the go. They usually come with a portable battery and fit in your bra for easy and discrete pumping (e.g. Imani, Elvie, Momcozy). These pumps wouldn’t likely be your go-to pump if you’re wanting or needing to pump exclusively but can be helpful for pumping here and there.
A Few Things To Consider When Choosing a Breast Pump
When looking for a pump, you want to think “What do I plan to use it for?” The type of pump you choose may change depending on your situation and how you plan to use it. There are some pumps that are ideal if you plan to exclusively pump (i.e. a double electric breast pump) and some that can work well for just the occasional pumping session (e.g. a manual pump). If you have other children at home with you or if you’ll be returning to work and are concerned about having enough time to pump, you may find that a wearable or portable pump may be ideal for you to have more consistency in your pumping schedule.
You also want to consider what pumps are covered by your insurance or benefits. A good breast pump can be pricey. But luckily if you have private insurance or health benefits, you may be able to get one covered! Contact your insurance or benefits company to find out exactly which brands and models they cover as well as any information they require in order to receive coverage for your pump.
I would recommend having an electric pump, either single or double, on hand. You never know what your breastfeeding journey will look like and having an efficient pump will be a lifesaver. Then depending on what you think you may like, you can choose to add in a manual, wearable or portable pump for ease and convenience if needed!
I wish you all the best with your breastfeeding and pumping journey! If you run into challenges or if you want more one on one support, reach out anytime or book in a free discovery call here. For more on my services and other breastfeeding resources, visit my website here.