Choosing the best breast pump involves more than just comparing features and prices. In order to narrow down your search, you’ll have to ask yourself a few questions.
How much do you plan to pump?
This is perhaps the most important question that you need to ask yourself. For those of you that plan on pumping frequently, a double electric breast pump takes less time and gives you the ability to express more milk. For those of you that plan on pumping moderately to frequently, and you’re not limited on time, a single electric may be the best breast pump for you. For those of you that only intend on pumping occasionally, a manual breast pump may be all that you need.
Are you having trouble establishing your milk supply?
If you’re having trouble establishing your milk supply or struggling with low milk supply, the best breast pump for you would be a hospital grade breast pump. Lactation specialists agree that using a hospital grade electric breast pump is the most efficient way to build your milk supply.
Most hospitals and medical supply stores will allow you to rent a hospital breast pump for anywhere between $10 to $60 dollars a month. Some women choose to purchase one, however, they are expensive, therefore those that do so intend to use it as a primary pump and have decided that the cost of renting for an extended period of time surpasses the purchase price.
Why else would someone invest so much money into a breast pump? Some women are unable to nurse at all, and therefore must pump exclusively. The hospital breast pump is the best breast pump for that kind of usage. It’s powerful and extremely efficient. Some women that choose to go back to work find that a hospital breast pump is worth the investment, either because of the constant use or because they plan on having more children down the road.
Are you trying to maintain your milk supply?
If your milk supply has already been established and you’re just trying to maintain it, a double electric breast pump may be the best breast pump for you. They work much like the hospital grade pumps and are almost just as powerful. If you plan on returning to work, and you’re worried that your supply may diminish, a double electric breast pump is the best breast pump for you.
The double breast pump will give you the ability to pump both breasts simultaneously, therefore taking less time, and helping you maintain and sometimes even build your supply.
If you’re not planning on returning to work, or only returning part-time, a single electric breast pump may be more than enough. Although you can only pump one breast at a time, a single electric breast pump will still get the job done.
Are you trying to relieve engorgement? Are you trying to store up a couple of extra bottles of milk for emergencies or night feedings?
If you only plan on pumping only occasionally, either to relieve engorgement or to have a few extra bottles on hand in the refrigerator, a manual breast pump may be the best breast pump for you. They’re extremely affordable, lightweight, and portable. Plus, they’re practically silent. Some women choose to purchase a manual breast pump just to have on hand in case of emergencies like their electric breast pump is on the fritz. They also make great travel companions. No need to worry about batteries or cords!
A single electric breast pump is also a good occasional use breast pump. Although they are a bit more expensive, they’re a lot less work. A manual breast pump is time-consuming, and sometimes tiring. A single electric breast pump is time-consuming, but at least it’s not as tiring.