Any breastfeeding mom knows the importance of finding the best breast pump for those days when you need to pump between feedings. A breast pump that doesn't do the job can leave you frustrated, but also in pain. Since each woman and her body and needs are different, what works for one woman may not work for another.
That's why we have gathered the top tips for helping you pick the best breast pump to help in your breastfeeding journey.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I planned to buy a breast pump sometime after giving birth. My plan was to establish breastfeeding before building a freezer stash of breast milk that could be used when I was not home to nurse on demand. Unfortunately, when my daughter was around two weeks old, she forgot how to latch.
I needed to pump, but had not purchased a breast pump yet. In a panic, I bought a manual pump until I could meet with a lactation consultant. I wasn't sure what I needed and felt rushed due to the urgency of our situation. Later, I bought a double electric pump, but often packed the manual pump for weekend trips. I hope these tips help you when choosing a breast pump.
Tips For Picking The Best Breast Pump
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Know your needs. When you first have your baby, you really won't know how breastfeeding is going to work for your body and your child. You can, however, have a good idea of why you will need a breast pump. Below are some things to consider when trying to figure out what your actual needs are.
- Manual versus electric: If you will only be pumping a small amount on a rare occasion an inexpensive manual pump is likely the best breast pump for your needs. If you, however, will be pumping on a regular basis, then investing in a double electric pump will be just what you need to save time, effort, and frustration.
- Portability: If you will be returning to the workforce outside your home after your baby is born, you will likely want to invest in a smaller and easier to transport breast pump. While most are easy to load and take anywhere, there are some that are a bit bulkier and not as discreet. Deciding how easy it will be to carry with you daily can make a big difference. You may also want to look for one that has a car charger or battery operation instead of always needing an outlet.
Set a budget. Ultimately one of the biggest decisions to make regarding buying the best breast pump for your needs is going to be your budget. Unfortunately, high-powered hospital grade breast pumps can be a pretty big investment. If you will be pumping frequently, a $200-$300 investment is well worth it to save on costs of formula or other frustrations. If you will only be using on a rare occasion, a lower priced breast pump may be sufficient for your needs.
When considering your budget, think about looking for used breast pumps to purchase on sites like eBay or local swap shops for moms. While it may seem like an odd decision, it is completely sanitary to do when you clean properly and invest in new tubing for the pump. This is a great way to get a nicer pump for up to half the price.
Rent before you buy. There are many places you can rent a breast pump from to avoid the out of pocket expense. Check with you obstetrician or pediatric clinic during your pregnancy to ask about programs available in you area. You may also ask at the hospital or with the local Le Leche League. You can almost always find an organization that allows you to rent a breast pump for a time after your baby is born. This can help you decide what pump you want to invest in for long-term use.
Some of our favorite breast pump options:
- Medela Pump In Style Breast Pump
- Phillips AVENT Double Electric Breast Pump
- Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump
If you are looking for the best breast pump to help you manage your new life as a breastfeeding mom, these tips will guide you to the right decision.
More Breastfeeding Tips:
- How To Know When To Stop Breastfeeding
- Tips For Handling Breastfeeding Pain
- Tips For Full-Figured Breastfeeding Moms
- My Top 10 Breastfeeding Tips