The best breast pump is your baby. There is not a pump out there that can stimulate milk production or remove the milk in an equally effective way that your baby can - when correctly latched-on.
If you are a mom who plans to keep your baby near and able to breastfeed often you may not even have a reason to express your milk. On rare occasion or in the case of a blocked milk duct, you are at an advantage, financially and physically, mastering the art of hand expression (the next best breast pump).
How to Pump - milk pumping tips
There are circumstances when moms and babies must be apart and for that we are thankful for the great number and range of breast pumps on the market to choose from.
There are several aspects to consider including strength, portability, and even the amount of parts you will need to clean with each use. Keeping your breast pump clean is vital to ensuring pure and uncontaminated milk for your baby. Quick Clean Breast Pump Wipes are an example of hygienic wipes proven safe for cleaning breast-pumps, kits and accessories.
Choosing the best breast pump for you depends on your specific needs and goals. For example, the new mother of a premature and hospitalized baby, who may need to pump very frequently over an extended period of time, would do better with a full-size, double, automatic, electric pump. Whereas a mom who plans to be with her baby most of the time and infrequently needs to leave expressed milk may do well with manual expression (by hand) or a simple handle squeeze pump.
Hand-Held or Electric?
The first decision you’ll need to make when choosing the best breast pump for you is whether you want an electric pump or a smaller hand-held one. You’ll need to consider where your primary pumping place is – will you have access to an electric outlet? Some of the electric pumps are noisier - is noise an issue as in a work place or office? If time is limited, as in the case of the mom pumping at work, a double electric pump gets the job done twice as quick as manually pumping each breast one by one.
Hand-Held Breast Pumps
There are three types of hand-held breast pumps: manual, battery-operated, and a combination of battery and electric. Hand held pumps are also suitable for mothers who are pumping one breast while feeding from the other – at the same time.
Handle-Squeeze Pump This pump is a manual hand-held pump designed to be operated with one hand by the mother holding the flange to her breast and pumping a handle. This type is less expensive, lightweight, requires little to no space to use and is portable.
Mini-Electric Pumps These small, lightweight pumps are both portable and somewhat inexpensive and can also be operated with one hand. A small motor running on batteries or electricity provides the suction which saves you the energy of pumping required when using a handle-squeeze pump.
Electric Breast Pumps
An electric pump provides the most efficient pumping and is the best breast pump for a mother who needs to express milk frequently. Using an electric pump gives you the option of pumping both breasts simultaneously which saves time, increases stimulation for milk production, and allows you to acquire higher milk yields.
Semi-Automatic Suitable for mothers planning to pump several times per week.
These are small electric pumps that you can regulate the suction and release which are portable and less expensive than larger types of electric pumps.
Automatic for Personal Use Suitable for moms who need to pump several times per day and recommended for mothers who are often separated from their babies.
These pumps closely simulate a baby’s sucking pattern. While this type of pump usually costs between one hundred and up to a few hundred dollars it may be the best breast pump for a working mother who plans to express milk for her baby for many months.
Discreet Hands-Free This option is the best breast pump for moms on the go and working moms.
The latest technology in breast pumps allows mothers to pump in public. The pump is battery-operated and fits into your bra. You can even walk around while pumping your milk without anyone even knowing.
Full-Size Hospital Grade Automatic Suitable for moms who need to pump because they are unable to bring their babies to the breast as in the case of sick or premature babies and preparing for an adopted baby.
These are the fastest and most powerful pumps which also provide the best stimulation for creating and establishing milk supply. This choice could be the best breast pump for a mom needing to pump in a stressful situation.
Full-size pumps are expensive and are available for rent. Some health insurance companies will even help cover the expense of renting such a pump in the case of a sick or hospitalized baby.
Standards for Choosing Your Best Breast Pump
Fitting for the age and condition of your baby.
Suitable for the amount of time you will be using the pump.
Cycles quickly and replicates a baby’s sucking pattern.
Has a comfortable flange and is correct in size to match your breasts.
Uses standard bottles for collecting and
Pumps made by companies that manufacture artificial baby formula
Pumps without auto-cycling suction that may injure breast tissue.