Small, quiet, and lightweight. Designed to wear inside a nursing bra so that you can discreetly pump anytime without interrupting the flow of your day. Simple assembly and easy to clean. Free app monitors volume and can control pumps.
Many users report that the app can be glitchy and inconsistent.
A breast pump that offers powerful yet gentle milk expression and quiet operation. Lauded for its mobility and portability. Battery is long-lasting.
Several reports of units breaking down after a few months of use.
Three pumping styles and eight suction levels to imitate baby's feeding pattern for maximum milk production. Use as a single or double pump. Can pump directly into milk bags. Soft-rim cups. Easy to fit in diaper bag. Plug in or use six "AA" batteries.
May lose suction over time.
No-lean design for comfortable pumping position. Quiet. Three intensity settings plus gentle starting mode. Massage cushion and comfort petals help stimulate milk flow. Power cushions for easier expression. Lightweight and compact. BPA-free.
Getting the hang of the settings can be a challenge.
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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed for their first six months of life. After that, the AAP recommends that babies continue supplemental breastfeeding until they reach one year of age — or until mom and baby decide to stop.
The strong benefits of breastfeeding are many, and they include the following:
Big boosts to the baby’s immune system.
Potential reduction in diseases later in life, including diabetes, cancer, and asthma.
Quicker return to pre-baby weight for mom.
Bonding time for mother and baby.
Savings in time and money: no bottles or formula to buy, no waiting while formula warms.
For some women, however, breastfeeding is not an option.
Certain medical conditions or medicines rule out breastfeeding. Some moms simply don’t have the time, support, or encouragement to keep breastfeeding. Some moms adopt their babies. For these moms and their little ones, formula is a fine alternative.
But even moms who do breastfeed sometimes want or need to give their baby a bottle. This is especially likely if the mother works outside the home, but other common reasons include needing to get some rest, wanting to include the father in the feeding process, traveling, and simply needing a break.
But just because baby is getting a bottle doesn’t mean it can’t be breastmilk. And the easiest way to get that breastmilk is through the use of a breast pump.
Says Aimee Ketchum, pediatric occupational therapist and BestReviews’ expert consultant, “People use pumps because they are either away from their baby or their baby is not able to breastfeed at the breast.”
Here at BestReviews, we want to help you find the best breast pump for your needs!
If you’re ready to buy a breast pump, check out the five models in the product list above.
If you’d like to learn more about these helpful devices, please read on. We’ll explain what you need to know when choosing the right breast pump for you and your baby.
There are four main types of breast pumps. Several factors determine which type of pump is right for you and your baby, including how often you plan to use the pump, the age of your baby, medical issues faced by you or your baby, and how much time you have to devote to pumping.
If you use your breast pump infrequently or want a small pump to use while traveling, a battery-powered pump could well be all you need. These pumps are lightweight, fairly inexpensive, and quite portable. But they are slow, and they don’t usually mimic a baby’s natural sucking cycle. Furthermore, this type of pump tends to burn through batteries quickly.
These are the large, powerful pumps used in hospitals and lactation centers and rented out by many medical supply shops.
Most have several controls that allow you to tailor the pressure, intensity, and rhythm to your needs, making pumping a fairly speedy process.
Consider this type of pump if you are in the very early weeks of nursing and still trying to establish a milk supply, if your baby is struggling to latch onto your nipple, if you have a medical issue that makes it difficult to produce enough milk, or if your baby is a preemie or has a medical issue that makes nursing a challenge.
Personal-use electric pumps are not as large or as powerful as a hospital-grade pumps, but they’re lighter in weight and generally equipped with variable controls for suction levels and cycles.
This type of pump is an excellent choice for a working mother or any mom who needs to be away from her baby on a regular basis. Most come with a carrying case and a set of accessories, including milk containers and lids.
Personal-use electric pumps are the most popular type of breast pumps for women who plan on nursing long-term while working.
These pumps have a bulb or lever that you work manually to create suction.
They are small, lightweight, inexpensive, and quiet, but they make pumping a lengthy and potentially cumbersome process.
You might appreciate this type of pump if you rarely pump, if you only need a pump for travel, or if you anticipate being without electricity for a short time.
There are several features that can make pumping your milk easier and faster.
This simulates a baby’s natural sucking pattern: rapid and shallow at first, then slow and deep.
The more you are able to tailor your pump’s settings to your own comfort level, the happier you are likely to be.
Some pumps let you store your preferred settings in the pump’s memory so you don’t need to waste time resetting each time you use it.
Many electric pumps have attachments that allow you to pump both breasts simultaneously. This cuts your pumping time in half – a major consideration if you pump at work or in another situation where time is limited.
Says Aimee, “Choosing a pump that takes too long to express the milk is one of the most common mistakes.”
Double-pumping also helps increase the level of prolactin, the hormone that regulates your milk supply.
These handy adapters plug into your car’s power outlet so you can pump on the go.
If you’re going to tote your breast pump back and forth to work each day, you’ll want a pump that is reasonably lightweight, easy to carry, and discreet.
Most electric breast pumps come with a range of accessories, including tubing, milk containers, and a carrying case.
Some pumps include a backpack for easy portability of your pump and accessories.
BPA is a chemical found in plastic that can be harmful to your baby. Choose a breast pump that is BPA-free in all areas that contact the breast milk.
Some pumps have a battery backup in case you find yourself without electricity.
Just as it generally takes practice for you and your baby to become fully comfortable and skilled at breastfeeding, there is usually a bit of a learning curve when it comes to expressing milk with a breast pump. The following tips will help make things easier.
Do your best to pump on a regular schedule. This keeps your milk supply steady and decreases discomfort and the risk of leaks.
You might need to try a few different flange sizes before finding the one that fits you best.
Massaging your breasts before pumping will help increase your milk flow.
Find a private, quiet place to pump. It’s hard to relax with frequent interruptions.
Reading, listening to music, crafting, checking email, or watching a movie are all potential ways to relax enough to let your milk come down.
If you are using a single pump, switch breasts periodically during the pumping session.
Look at a picture of your baby while you pump, or even keep one of his blankets or tee shirts nearby. This helps your milk flow.
Keep a clean cloth diaper or towel with your pump to dry your breasts when you’re finished.
Drink plenty of water and other healthy fluids while nursing and pumping. You need the hydration, and it will help with your milk production.
Wear clothing that makes it easy to access your breasts, and lean forward slightly while pumping to keep milk from dripping onto your shirt or pants.
Rinse your pump’s tubing, flanges, and collection bottles after every use, and then wash them with warm, soapy water.
Q. How long can breast milk be stored?
A. In a properly sealed container, your breast milk should stay safe in the refrigerator for three to five days. You can freeze it for up to six months.
Q. What should I do if pumping hurts?
A. While you might have a bit of discomfort in the beginning, pumping shouldn’t hurt. If it does, check that the pump flange is not rubbing against your nipple, and lower the pump suction. Applying a breast moisturizer may also help with chapped or sore nipples. If the pain is severe, however, or interferes with breastfeeding or pumping, check with your doctor or lactation consultant.
Q. Are there any techniques to increase milk production when pumping?
A. Yes, there are. First, be sure you’re comfortable and relaxed and that your pump is set appropriately. Next, try a few “power pumping” sessions. These are multiple short pumping sessions carried out in one hour. A typical schedule might be:
20 minutes pumping
10 minutes pumping
10 minutes pumping
Do two power-pumping sessions each day.
You can also try pumping more frequently throughout the day, or adding in a few extra pumping sessions between your baby’s nursing sessions.
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