Mother and Baby

The Best Breast Pumps: The best single, double, electric and manual breast pumps on the market

For a first-time mum, breast pumps might look daunting, but they make life so much easier if you decide to breastfeed your baby. Spoiler alert: the best breast pump for you isn’t always the most expensive one and may you need to do some research into the best solutions for your needs. Luckily, we’ve done all the hard work for you, so here’s everything you need to know about choosing a breast pump.

What is a breast pump?

A breast pump allows you to extract milk to feed your baby via a bottle. They can also help relieve engorgement when your breasts feel painful, boost your milk flow, feed twins or premature babies or keep milk levels up when your baby is struggling to feed. They are also handy if you want to share the feeds with your partner, or continue breastfeeding once you return to work. There are a number of different options available – single, double, manual and electric. But how do you choose the best one for you?

How do you choose a breast pump?

How natural do you want it to feel? Of course, it won’t fully feel like it does when you’re feeding your baby, but electric breast pumps work too closely imitate breastfeeding. Most will operate with a two-phase programme, the first stage stimulating the flow, the second copying the longer sucking motion of your baby when feeding. You need to look for a breast pump that is easy to assemble and to use, lightweight, compact and durable. Also, it needs to have a good suction power to facilitate the express process. See below the most important points to keep in mind when choosing for a breast pump:

The types of breast pumps

Electric breast pump

This is one of the most popular as you can adjust both speed and suction. You can have also single and double allowing to pump one or two breasts at the same time.  You find them in plugs or batteries.

Manual breast pump

This one requires your strength to squeeze the lever in order to create suction to express your milk. The advantages are: quieter, smaller and cheaper, perfect for trips and casually pumps on the go.

Hospital-grade breast pump

This one is the most efficient and expensive as it pumps really fast and strong making the activity more productive. They are very expensive and can be rented in some cases.

The technology of breast pumps

Basically are two types of the technology of breast pumps as said above, one is manually and the other is electrical. Both have advantages and in some cases, it's better to buy one of each if you are mum that really need has breast pumping a daily activity.

The extra features of breast pumps

Some breast pumps come with extra features, including feeding bottles, breast milk storage bags (pump & save bags), cleaning equipment or auto cleaning plastic bags, breast pads, milk storage pot and soft massage cushion. Sometimes, the breast pumps can also have stimulation mode, rechargeable battery and charging via USB.

The prices of breast pumps

Usually, the prices range from £30 for a manual breast pump to a £1000 to a hospital-grade. An electrical one is around 50 to 150 pounds.

What are the best breast pumps in 2018?

Best double electric breast pump for fast expressing breast milk: Lansinoh 2 in 1 Double Electric

£119.00 Buy Now

 

Advantages

  • It's an award-winning breast pump

  • It’s a very effective pump and is great value for money

  • It is excellent quality and a great buy if you’re looking to express a lot of milk quickly

  • The pump also uses batteries

Disadvantages

  • You’ll need both hands

  • It’s also quite noisy

Best electric breast pump for under £100: Nuby Natural Touch Digital

£66.65 Buy Now

Advantages

  • Comfortable and simple to use

  • Has five different settings for suction and speed that are all easy to navigate

  • Adjusts the pump to your flow, preventing soreness

  • Compact and easy to store when not in use

  • Pretty quiet which is a big plus

Best manual breast pump for under  £50: Medela Harmony

£22.49 Buy Now

 

 

Advantages

  • Highly-efficient when it comes to expressing a lot of milk in a small amount of time

  • One of the smallest on the market and could definitely fit into most handbags with ease

  • Comfortable to use and the spring handle allows you to express at different angles

  • Offers two speeds – push the top and get a short, gentle suction to stimulate flow, then push the handle in once let-down starts

Best double electric breast pump for maximum comfort: Medela Swing Maxi

£196.90 Buy Now

 

Advantages

  • Provides fantastic support, with maximum comfort

  • Portable and lightweight for a double pump

  • Has a range of different vacuum levels and settings to suit your needs and comfort

Disadvantages

  • There’s no screen or digital display, meaning you’ll have to get old-school when it comes to keeping track of how long you’ve been pumping

 

Best single electric breast pump for expressing on-the-move: Lansinoh Single Electric

£74.64 Buy Now

Advantages

  • It's in a compact, lightweight package

  • Six different adjustable settings in each of the two phases

  • The breast shields have a soft silicone ring to maximize comfort

  • The digital display is a super handy feature as it keeps track of how long you’ve been expressing

 

Best single electric breast pump for comfort: Philips Avent Comfort

£88.88 Buy Now

 

Advantages

  • Easy to carry around

  • One of the most comfortable on the market

  • Good suction and massage cushion

  • Pumping is easy to clean and sterilise

  • It makes sure your milk ends up in the bottle without any mess

Disadvantages

  • it’s pretty noisy compared to some of the others on this list

When should you use a breast pump?

A breast pump may be used in different scenarios including:

  • When you are going to be separate from your baby (when you are travelling or at work or at school, for example)
  • When you need to relieve engorgement pain and pressure from your breast
  • When you need to keep your milk supply (you can even freeze your milk, all breast milk can be refrigerated for a maximum of two days. Please make sure you follow all the best practices when storing your breast milk)
  • When  feeding twins
  • To boost your milk flow
  • To share the feeding duties with your partner

Do you need a breast pump?

If you’re only planning on expressing occasionally, a manual pump is often a much cheaper investment and can cost as little as £15. They are also far more discreet than an electric breast pump, so if you’re expressing in a toilet cubicle at work, this is probably the preferred option.

That said, manual breast pumps are much more labour intensive, so if you’re in a rush and want to express milk quickly and efficiently, an electric breast pump is worth investing in.

If you’re feeding twins, or are going to be separate from your baby for a longer period, using a double pump is a good option. Recent scientific research also suggests there are benefits to double pumping, as it stimulates an additional milk ejection and has been found to stimulate prolactin levels, meaning you pump a higher volume of milk, but also the milk pumped has more fat, with a higher energy content for your little one.

How hard is it to use a breast pump?

The first time you get your breast pump out of the box, it will look terrifying, but you’ll soon get used to expressing. Ensure you don’t have any clothing trapped under the shield and lean forward slightly to stop milk spilling out of the pump. You will be able to sterilise most parts of the breast pump but check the manufacturer instructions beforehand. When carrying your breast pump around with you, keep parts in a zip-lock bag or a sealed container. It might also worth investing in storage bags for freezing your milk, which can be defrosted in the fridge overnight. All breast milk can be refrigerated for a maximum of two days.

General usage tips about the best breast pumps

  • Always check if the breast pump is in the correct position to make sure you are getting most out of every pumping.
  • The more organised you are, the more milk you are likely to get, as you will be stress-free and more relaxed. So, set up a routine to make sure you know how much time you need to do it.
  • If you can, always choose plug electricals breast pumps, as they are usually stronger when connected than when with batteries.  

Important: The electricals breast pumps have usually a two-phase programme, one is for stimulating the flow and the other copying the longer sucking motion of your baby when feeding.

Breast pumps safety tips

As you are dealing with your baby food, you need to make this process as clean as possible. You need to make sure that the material that is in contact with your milk is safe for food contact (BPA-free and 100% Food Grade Silicone). Also, you need to be able to sterilise most parts of the breast pump. Avoid sharing your breast pump with anyone.

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