Given the wide range of breast pumps available on the market, finding the right pump can become a chore. Whether you pump breast milk daily or on occasion (going back to work full-time, or when your partner wants to help feed the baby), these three tips on how to choose a breast pump will help you find the perfect companion to your breastfeeding journey.
1. Do your research.
As we mentioned earlier, there are different breast pump brands and options in the market. However, understanding their differences can help you make an informed decision and find the best breast pump for you. In today's market, breast pumps can be broken down into four main categories, single or double electric breast pumps, hospital-grade pumps, manual pumps, and wireless pumps.
Electric breast pumps are fitted with electric motors, whose job it is to suction the milk for you. These motors have different expression levels and levels of suction, depending on your pumping need. While most moms prefer to buy double electric breast pumps for the convenience that they allow (pumping both breasts at once), electric pumps are also available in singles.
Hospital-grade breast pumps are double-electric pumps known to offer the highest suction quality. However, given how expensive these pumps are, most new moms prefer to use these pumps in the hospital and not when pumping at home. Manual breast pumps rely on a mom's natural letdown and don't need electricity to function.
What makes wireless pumps so great is the fact that they fit directly into your bra. To add to this, the breast milk container and pump are one unit, making it a hands-free pumping solution. As it stands, there are only two wireless pumps available in the market, namely Willow and Elvie. What's more, both brands come with a full-coverage nursing bra for added privacy when you need it.
2. What's your budget?
Next, consider how much you're willing to spend on a pump. Single electric pumps retail from as low as $20, while manual and wireless breast pumps retail from $500. On the other hand, hospital-grade pumps like the Medela pump are available to rent. Medela's monthly rental program allows you to rent pumps online and have them delivered to you.
Also, don’t forget that your insurance company should be able to offer breastfeeding support (a lactation expert or consultant), and breastfeeding equipment, allowing you to get help with breastfeeding at no cost.
3. What accessories does the pump come with?
While an electric breast pump can make breastfeeding more convenient, you may require more than an effective pump motor to make sure your little one gets enough breast milk each day. You'll also need additional accessories such as storage bags, different size flanges or breast shields, a cooler bag, a lightweight backpack or carrying bag, and more.
Luckily, brands like Medela's hospital-grade pump come fitted with a removable breast pump, two sizes of flanges, a cooler bag, and an ice pack, four milk collection bottles with freezer-safe lids, a battery pack should you need to pump without a power source and mesh storage bags to pack your pump parts after cleaning.
If you're constantly on the road, you may want to consider the Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump. The Haakaa provides a comfortable fit over the breast that is not nursing to catch any leaks by collecting valuable "liquid gold." What this means for you is less waste, as it makes nursing pads almost unnecessary. What's more, you're also able to collect more breastmilk with almost no effort.
Whether you prefer the familiarity of a manual breast pump or are open to the ease of a double electric one, make sure that the breast pump you choose suits your needs.
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