The right breast pump is an essential for every breast feeding mum. And it’s important that you buy right first time because breast pumps are expensive and, as they come in contact with bodily fluids (breastmilk), are usually a single-use product only. Follow our easy steps to buy the best pump for you first time.
1. Decide how often you need to pump.
This can be hard because your breast pumping needs may change over time. But it’s an important decision because it may determine whether you invest in a manual or electric pump.
Manual breast pumps come in single style only. The hand pumping action creates the vacuum and suction motion that imitates your baby’s sucking motion. Manual breast pumps have the advantage of being the cheapest style of pump, but require a bit of effort so you don’t want to using one multiple times per day.
Electric breast pumps come in single & double styles. They are powered by an electric or battery operated motor that creates the vacuum & suction that imitates your baby’s sucking motion. Electric breastpumps feature several suction strengths and pre-programmed pumping rhythms that encourage breast milk let-down and then electronically mimics the suck, suck, breath, breath rhythm of your baby’s feeding.
When in doubt (& you can’t afford it), go electric, they are more versatile if your needs change.
2. Decide what breast pump features are most important to you including …
- easy to clean & assemble (minimum of parts)
- battery operated/portability
- single or double pumping action
- noise levels
- availability & cost of replacement parts
3. Choose the best style of pump for you.
- Manual breast pump
- Single electric breast pump
- Double electric breast pump
- Hospital rental or breast pump hire
Manual breast pump
Best for : occasional use
Price range : $39.95 – $99.95
Manual breast pump brands to investigate are : Medela, Avent, Chicco, Closer to Nature, Tommee Tippee, Nuk, Pigeon, Mam, Ameda, Spectra & Unimom.
Important note: hospital grade breast pumps have long motor lives and are designed for multiple users. They have back-flow protection systems so no milk can contaminate the internal parts.
A quick overview of breast pump accessories
When you are buying your breast pump, you may also want to consider what accessories might be useful to you.
A pumping bustier/bra used in conjunction with a single or double electric breast pump will allow you to pump hands-free. A hands-free bustier will fit over your feeding bra.
A travel kit will allow you to transport your pump and pumped breast milk and is great for mums pumping breastmilk at work (some portable pumps will come complete with a travel kit).
A car adaptor will allow you to use your electric breast pump in your car.
Breast milk storage pouches & systems will allow you to pump your breast milk directly into a pouch for easy storage and feeding.
A big thank you to online breast feeding specialists www.made4milk.com.au, who provided the expertise for this feature.
** All prices listed are an indication only and may be subject to variation.