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Buyer's Guide: Breast Pumps

Buyer's Guide: Breast Pumps

Did you know that the first breast pump was invented in the mid-19th century? These rudimentary breast pumps were created as medical devices for mothers who were unable to express milk properly, and the designs have evolved since into the modern breast pumps that we see today.

Depending on your lifestyle needs and personal preference for feeding, you may or may not require a breast pump. However, for breastfeeding moms, the biggest advantage of using a pump is that your baby can benefit from your milk at any time of the day.

Breast pumps range from the affordable to the extravagant, and quality often goes hand-in-hand with price. There’s a pump for every budget, so before you fork out cash for one, it’ll be smart to examine your own needs!


what’s available

manual pump

These devices operate through a continual squeezing motion on the hand pump, and as a result, are small, inexpensive and portable. Manual pumps are easy to use, and quieter than an electric pump – the best thing is, they provide a dose of post-childbirth exercise!

portable motorized pump

A portable motorized pump is a blend between the 3 pump types – electric-powered to minimize the hassle of manual use, yet small and light enough to be carried around. In terms of speed and efficiency of milk expression, these gizmos are ahead of the manual pump.

hospital-grade motorized pump

As the name suggests, these pumps are the Ferraris of the breast pump world. They get the job done like no other, and come with a hefty price tag to boot. If you’re going to be pumping often in the convenience of your home, then these pumps may be what you’re looking for.


refine your selection

A breast pump is a rather personal device, so select one that matches your lifestyle needs, baby’s feeding habits, and of course your desired budget.

lifestyle considerations

    • Frequency of use: First, decide on how often you’ll need to use the pump. This depends on the number of times you express milk within a day, and your baby’s feeding sessions. For moms who “latch-on” more than once a day, an electric breast pump would probably be a good investment. Otherwise, a manual pump would suffice for the occasional milk expression.
    • Portability: If you’re a working mom or always on the go, then your pump should match your activity levels. Make sure the pump you choose is small and light enough to be carried around; battery-operated models would allow you more freedom to express milk wherever.
    • Comfort: The pump you choose has to be comfortable for you, but it’s hard to sample a pump without buying it (for hygiene reasons!). You can consider renting one to try before you buy, or selecting a pump with adjustable suction levels to regulate the pumping pressure for comfort.
    • Personal preference: Whether you choose a manual or motorized pump is really down to your personal choices, and if you favor portability, ease-of-use, sound levels, or cost-efficiency.

features to look for

    • Adjustable settings: For a motorized pump, you should be able to manage the suction control to allow your breasts to get used to the pumping action, and then gradually increase the efficiency. Some motorized pumps even allow you to tailor the suction to match your baby’s sucking patterns.
    • Double-pumping: Twice the speed of pumping is always a good thing.
    • Easy to clean and assemble: The pump will need to be cleaned and sanitized, so you might as well choose one which can be disassembled and disinfected with ease.
    • Size & weight: Ensure that your pump is small and potable enough to suit your needs. 



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