In the post I placed on breast pump reviews, I promised a breast pump buying guide. Without further ado, here it is! Be sure to refer to the reviews for a listing of the three best pump in each category: Manual, electric, and double-electric pumps.
When you make the decision to breastfeed, you may find that there are times when a bottle will come in handy, but still wish to avoid formula supplementation. If you do not want to use formula, expressing your breast milk might seem daunting. So many breast pumps on the market, parenting forums with advice from a multitude of moms that prefer this pump or that pump, and even information from the manufacturers. What to choose? Manual or electric?
The choice between manual and electric lies with how you will be using the pump. Expressing occasionally to help keep up your supply or to have a small supply on hand may only require a manual pump. If you need a pump on a regular basis because you will be going back to work or your baby will need to stay in the hospital while you are home, electric will be your best option. Many mothers choose to express their milk while at work, choosing a double electric pump can save you a lot of time if pumping on a lunch break is your only option.
*Please note that most employers try to give women the time they need to pump.
Manual breast pumps are economical and easy for anyone to use. In areas or situations where electricity is unavailable or inconvenient, a manual pump will come in very handy. These pumps come with a carrying case and come apart to fit into a diaper bag or suitcase. Using a manual pump might be hard for some mothers. Some moms may need to use two hands until they find the best position to hold and pump at the same time.
Electric pumps offer a mother ease and dependability that a manual pump cannot compare with when mom needs to pump a lot of breast milk. These pumps can let you pump hands free depending on their design, but most will still need to be held. Some of these machines can be daunting for the new user to put together and use. Tubing, membranes, and other attachments are all required for the pump to work properly – this is why it is best to buy a new pump that will have all parts included. Used electric pumps are popular and considered to save money, but if new tubing and membranes are not purchased, there is the risk of transmitting disease or machine malfunction.
Some electric pumps come with a double pump. I stated earlier that these pumps can save time, which is a lifesaver if you must pump at work or have multiple children. The demands of parenting will have many new mothers feeling as if they have no time to do anything, much less pump! A good quality double-pump will reduce expression time by half. Using one of these will take some getting used to as you’ll need to hold both pumps at the same time. Once you get the hang of it, you may never want to be without a double-pump.