Choosing the right breast pump can make a significant difference in your pumping experience. What sort of pump works best for you may depend on a variety of factors - for instance, your lifestyle, working situation and personal preference. Here are some factors to consider when selecting the best pump for you.
The type of pump
There are two main types of breast pumps: manual and electric. Manual pumps are portable and inexpensive, but they require manual operation. Electric pumps are more convenient, faster, and can be more effective, but they are also more expensive. Wearable breast pumps are a modern option that many mothers find convenient, since they can pump while they care for their baby or carry out other daily tasks. These are great for pumping while on the go, but some mums do find that they collect less milk when using them, perhaps due to less suction (others love them though!).
Your frequency of pumping
If you plan to pump several times a day, an electric pump may be a better choice as it is faster and more efficient. If you’re only pumping for the occasional much needed dinner date or girls night (hello margaritas) then you may find that a cheaper manual option is just fine for you.
If you need to pump while on the go, a portable electric pump could work for you. Some smaller electric pumps come with battery packs or can be used with a car adapter, making them easy to use while traveling. Wearable pumps are another convenient option and can be used while driving or at work.
Breast pumps can range in price from under $100 to over $500. Consider your budget and the type of pump you need when making your decision.
For parents in the US, some insurance plans may cover the cost of a breast pump. Australian parents may be eligible for a rebate or pump rental depending on their insurance plan. Check with your insurance provider to see what options are available to you.
What matters to you?
Consider what features are important to you, such as adjustable suction strength, how much noise you can handle, and comfort. Read reviews from other mothers who have used the pumps you are considering. Ask for recommendations from friends, family members, or a lactation consultant.
It's important to find a pump that meets your individual needs and budget. Take your time, do your research, and choose the pump that is right for you.