Best Breast Pumps

It is recommended that mothers first establish their milk supply fully, via exclusive breastfeeding before pumping, unless there is some reason why the mother and baby cannot breastfeed immediately after birth. 

baby bottle feeding, bottle feeding, formula feeding

Do I Need a Breast Pump?

Reasons why mothers might need or want to express…

  • A mother might need to pump exclusively in the beginning, if her baby is very premature, is ill or has sucking problems.
  • Expressing milk can be used as a way to increase milk supply if it is done in-between breastfeeding sessions.
  • Pumping can be used as a way of relieving engorged breasts.
  • Pumping can help, when the mother needs to return to work.
  • If you have a good supply of milk and only need to relieve some engorgement from time to time, you might just find that hand expression of breastmilk is good enough and that you don’t need a pump.
  • Some mothers that have adopted a baby may want to induce lactation with a combination of breastfeeding and pumping.

How to prepare for breastfeeding during pregnancy

Should I use a Manual Breast Pump or Electric?

There are so many pumps to choose from. I always suggest that a mother uses a manual pump for normal pumping, but if you have a tight schedule and are pumping large amounts, quickly, then it is always best to get a good quality, electrical, double action breast pump. This will save you a lot of time and effort; these pumps will keep your milk supply up better than a manual breast pump. 

If you are pumping exclusively, then a hospital grade, a double electric breast pump is best. These hospital grade breast pumps can be rented at a hospital for about $3 a day.

Useful accessories to look out for that come with electric breast pumps are; car AC adapters, built-in milk coolers, travel cases and hands-free kits.

Manual hand pumps are smaller, lighter, cheaper, quieter and helpful if you like to control the suction, but definitely take up a lot of time. Some moms also complain that manual pumps do not get all the milk out.

Choosing a Breast Pump

Questions that can help you choose a breast pump

  • How often will you be pumping?
  • How much time are you prepared to spend on pumping?
  • How much money are you prepared to spend on pumping?
  • Do you need a pump that is easy to transport?
  • Are the breast shields the correct size?

How much do they cost?

Moms can hire a breast pump too, breast pump rental goes for about $30 – 60 per month, but most of these pumps can pay for themselves after a month or so if you compare it to the price of formula. Breast pumps can cost between $30 and $1000, depending on make, manual or electric. (Browse our breast pump store below) 

When Buying a Pump

Which feature should you look for, when buying a pump?

  • The best breast pumps have adjustable suction control (manual and electrical)
  • Efficiency: Does the pump allow you to pump both breasts at once? 
  • User-friendly: Easy to assemble, clean, use and its compact?

The Best Breast Pumps to Buy

Used breast pumps

Hospital breast pumps that are hired are FDA cleared and safe because of their unique parts, but it is not wise using any old pump. These used breast pumps could carry diseases.

You can find all types of breast pumps, to suit different needs in our store below.  

Breast Pumping Tips

  • Taking a warm bath before pumping, can help the milk flow more freely.
  • Wash and dry your hands before handling your breast pump.
  • The breast shield should not pinch or irritate your nipple. Make sure that your nipple is in the center of the breast cup.
  • Ensure that your breasts are lubricated before pumping. Lansinoh, olive oil, and even your own breastmilk works well for this. This will help for sore nipples. (Don’t use your own milk, if you suspect a thrush infection – it could make it worse)
  • Set up a comfortable place to pump, with a pumping station already set up for you. Make sure that you have good back support while pumping.
  • Follow safe breastmilk storage guidelines.
  • The speed of the pump should be set for comfort, you will produce more milk when relaxed.

How much Milk should I be Expressing when I Pump?

Even with the best breast pumps, pumping can never be used as a measuring tool, to see if you are producing enough milk. No pump can extract milk as your baby can. The amount of milk that comes out is different for everyone.

Some mothers will only need to pump for 15 minutes, while other moms might need to pump for a whole 40 minutes at a time.

Your breasts will only start to flow after a few minutes, this is called “let down" so try to be patient. The more milk you remove from your breasts, the more milk you will produce.

Learn more about how breastmilk production works.

Pump Accessories

Best breast pumps accessories you might need:

  • Breast shields can help for milk flow, and some are soothing.
  • Freezer bags “gel packs" for keeping milk cold during the day.
  • Lanolin ointment for sore nipples.

Cleaning Your Pump

How to clean a breast pump

  • Your breast pump can be stored without rinsing, in a closed container in your fridge for one day.
  • Each day the used breast pump parts are to be washed well, with hot, soapy water.
  • Let them air dry on clean paper toweling.

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