Let’s face it: breastfeeding isn’t the easiest thing in the world; in fact, it is often quite challenging. It can take some time to get used to feeding a newborn, and the right breast pump can make the transition easier. In addition, many women find a great pump to be a necessity when feeding a baby.
Whether you work full-time or part-time outside the home or stay home with your children (a full-time job itself), a pump could be a real lifesaver! It allows you to increase supply, build up a reserve, and provide nourishment for your baby no matter where you are.
What To Look For In A Breast Pump
- Functionality. You want a pump that’s right for your lifestyle. Are you going to be pumping at home, at work, or both? Do you need something that’s portable? Do you need a cordless option while on the go?
- Comfort. While pumping can be uncomfortable until you get used to it, it should eventually be comfortable. Many women need different sizes of flange for each breast in order to be comfortable and get the best results. Options to change the amount of suction can help make pumping more comfortable.
- Features. There are a lot of great features in pumps. Some give the option of pumping both breasts at once or one at a time. If time is a concern, you might want to be able to pump both sides at once. Do you need a pump with a lit LED screen for nighttime pumping?
- Battery vs. Cord. Do you need a rechargeable battery so you can pump on the go or are you ok with using a power cord? Some of the options on this list offer both options.
- Price. Obviously, your budget should play a part in your selection. This list has options at several price points.
Nursing is not always easy, at least not for me, and I want to share. I understand it is not for everyone. No one told me it would hurt at first and that I would have to teach my newborn how to nurse. It took a good solid two weeks before nursing started to become easier. I often tell other expecting first time mothers that nursing is not easy, but if they can stick with it for two weeks it will start to get better and soon will become much easier.
Thanks to the modern day breast pump, mothers like me can still nurse their babies even while working full-time.
12 Good Electric Breast Pumps for Nursing Moms
|Top Electric Breast Pumps||Product Details|
|Spectra Baby USA S1|
|Spectra Baby USA S2|
|Medela Pump in Style|
|Medela Freestyle Flex|
|Lansinoh Signature Pro|
|Evenflo Feeding Advanced|
|Elvie Single Wearable|
Spectra Baby USA S1
If you are planning on pumping on a regular basis, the Spectra Baby S1 is a great choice. It is hospital grade and allows you to pump either one or two breasts at once. You can pump into bags or bottles, which is great for storing milk for later.
A closed system makes cleaning this unit easy and helps keep your milk sanitary. All parts of the pump and accessories are BPA free.
This unit is portable and functions quietly, offering privacy. The rechargeable battery means you can use the Spectra Baby S1 either with or without the power cord.
With 2 phase cycling in let-down and expression mode as well as adjustable suction, this model pumps quickly and comfortably. The only drawback with this pump is that it is larger than some of the other options. However, with the great features it offers, it is our top recommendation.
Spectra Baby USA S2
The Spectra Baby USA S2 is exactly the same as the Spectra Baby USA S1 except that the S2 does not have a rechargeable battery. It has to be plugged in.
This machine is compatible with Avent, Mam, and Pura bottles as well as the Spectra bottles it comes with. You can buy a separate adapter so you can use this unit with any bottle.
Included with this pump are two tubes, two back-flow valves, two breast shields, two valves, two bottles, and two caps for the bottles.
Basically, if you want a pump that’s portable, go with the S1. If you don’t need portability and want to save some money, go with the S2.
Medela Pump in Style
The Medela Pump in Style features the Medela 2-Phase Expression technology, which produces more milk in less time. It comes in a discreet and stylish bag that holds your pump for you. The Pump in Style comes with a removable cooler bag and ice pack that can hold up to four breast milk bottles while you are pumping away from home.
Customizable settings means you can adjust the suction amount so you are comfortable and so you pump in a timely manner.
While every pump featured offers the ability to function on batteries and/or a plug, this one also offers an AC adapter for when you are on the road (please don’t drive and pump,–leave the driving up to another responsible adult).
It’s easy to buy replacement accessory parts for this pump, as they come in a convenient kit. Don’t worry, though, because this is an excellent quality pump and you likely won’t need replacements for a long time.
Bellababy Double Electric Breast Pump
If you are on a limited budget or like to multi-task while pumping, Bellababy might be a good option for you. This affordable electric breast pump has a closed system. It has 4 different modes as well as 9 suction levels so you can pump in a way that’s comfortable for you.
This pump is rechargeable with a USB. You can pump either using the battery or by plugging it in. You can even pump while doing other activities, which is great for busy moms.
An LCD screen displays the mode, time pumping, and battery status, which makes pumping easier to track. The Bellababy is a fairly quiet machine that is lightweight and very portable.
The only drawback I found with this pump is that it takes longer than pumps listed above. However, the convenience of pumping while doing other activities as well as the low price tag can make this pump a good option. It can also be used as a secondary pump when needed.
Medela Freestyle Flex
This Medela Freestyle Double Breast Pump is compact and very light. It comes with a 3-hour rechargeable battery, making it easier to pump on the go. This makes it ideal for mothers who need to pump multiple times a day.
Like the Swing pump, it includes Medela’s exclusive pumping technology which helps you to pump faster. The Freestyle also gives you the ability to adjust the pumps speed and vacuum settings.
Other great features include the one-touch let-down button, breast shields for additional comfort, and a lit digital display, which is great for those late-night pumping sessions.
In addition, it offers a memory button and timer which allow you to track your pumping sessions, saving you even more time.
The pump set includes everything you need to pump all in a discreet tote bag to keep your pumping essentials organized. It also includes a removable cooler bag with contoured ice pack.
Ameda MYA Portable Breast Pump
If you need a compact, lightweight pump that’s easy to transport, check out the Ameda MYA. This small pump weighs half a pound,, and the pump fits in the palm of your hand. It is quiet and has 2 phase adjustable suction to give you the function and comfort you are looking for.
One of the best features of this option is that you can use it with or without the cord. If the battery starts to get low, just plug it in and keep pumping without loss of suction power.
With this pump comes a tote, dual collection system with 24mm flanges, a power adapter, and 2 extra valves.
Unfortunately, this pump doesn’t fit other wide mouth bottles, and the suction on this Ameda isn’t as good as on the Spectra models.
Medela Swing Breast Pump
The Medela electric breast pump has been considered by many as the gold standard of breast pumps and for good reason. But for many, the Medela is out of their budget range, until now.
The Swing Breast pump is small, light, and affordable. The Swing Breast Pump features Medela’s 2-Phase Expression(R) technology, which is similar to a baby nursing, for the most comfortable and effective results.
This pump comes with all the accessories you need to get started along with a drawstring bag for travel; you will still need a separate cooler. While this pump is effective and fast, keep in mind the time it will take to pump a single side at a time when away from your baby. This is an open system so it is more difficult to clean.
Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump
This electric breast pump from Lansinoh provides everything a new mom needs to express milk for her baby. In addition to an efficient pump, she’ll get a tote, nipple, sample nursing pads, and sample storage bags. It includes an AC adapter which plugs into the wall but can also be powered with AA batteries and a car adapter, both of which are sold separately.
As the winner of a Mom’s Choice Award, the Lansinoh is both easy and comfortable to use. Moms love the soft, cushioned seal and adjustable suction levels which mirror baby’s feeding. Another wonderful feature is how easy it is to clean all the parts of this pump. These are the main reasons that moms everywhere agree this is an excellent electric breast pump!
Evenflow Feeding Advanced Breast Pump
This breast pump allows you to pump both sides at the same time. This helps save you time over having to pump one side at time. The design prevents milk backup and is easy to clean.
It features 32 settings, helping you find the perfect combination of suction and speed that is most comfortable for you. There is a shoulder bag, drawstring bag, and cooler for caring your pump and its parts discreetly when traveling to and from work.
This is a great pump for those who are planning to primarily nurse and supplement with pumping. How long it takes to pump will vary from woman to woman, however, most report it taking about 20+ minutes to empty both sides and longer when pumping one side at a time.
Elvie Single Wearable Smart Breast Pump
Pumping really doesn’t get easier than this. Worn inside a standard nursing bra, this small, lightweight pump is utterly hands-free to allow you to pump anytime, anywhere. In a meeting? No problem! Walking through the grocery store? Go for it! With its silent operation, this pump is the pinnacle of discretion.
In addition to being convenient and discreet, the Elvie pump is also smart. It connects to a free app that allows you to control the pump remotely, measures your milk output in real time, and tracks your pumping history. The pump itself, which has seven suction speeds, also switches automatically between its “Stimulation” and “Expression” modes as needed, and it pauses itself when it detects that the bottle is full.
With no pesky tubes and only five main component parts to wash, maintenance is a breeze. The package includes one hub, two valves, two spouts, two bottles, two storage lids, two seals, two breast shields, two bra adjusters, a USB charging cable, and a storage bag to keep everything in.
Ikare BP-16 Hospital-Grade Double Electric Breast Pump
If you’re looking for a completely customizable pumping experience, the Ikare BP-16 is for you. In addition to five preset modes—Massage, Bionic, Deep Express, Massage/Bionic, and Massage/Deep Express—each of which has six suction strengths, it has a freestyle mode that allows you to choose from twenty speed options and six suction strengths. That’s 150 different modes! Add three different flange sizes to choose from, and you’re guaranteed to find the perfect combination for a comfortable pumping experience.
As a hospital-grade breast pump, the Ikare BP-16 has a stronger suction ability, which allows for the expression of more milk in less time. Despite its powerful suction, however, this pump’s noise output is less than 35db. Designed as a closed system with overflow protection, the Ikare also features a backlit touchscreen to make nighttime pumping easier.
In addition to a built-in, rechargeable battery that lasts up to three hours, this set comes with a cooler bag and ice pack, two massage pads, four duckbill valves, two bottles, two bottle caps, two nipples and covers, two pump connectors, four breast shields, a power adapter, and tubes with a splitter.
Willow Wearable Double Electric Breast Pump
Designed to be worn inside the bra, this compact pump uses patented technology to simulate the continuous suction created by a baby’s latch. This allows you more freedom to move—or even lie down—as you pump, without worrying about spills or leakage.
There are two ways to pump with this set: by using the all-in-one spill-proof, self-sealing storage bags, or by using reusable containers (sold separately) to pump, pour, and repeat. With the first option, you have 360 degrees of freedom to move without spillage, and with the second option you have 190 degrees.
To customize your pumping experience, there are seven suction strength levels and a sensitivity setting, as well as flanges in various sizes. The Willow app allows you to track your real-time milk volume and pumping history. It also offers personalized tips for more effective pumping. Finally, this pump automatically shuts itself off once you’ve pumped four ounces and independently transitions from stimulation to expression as needed.
Breast Pumping Tricks and Tips
With each child, I learned new tricks to making it easier and easier to the point I no longer worry about juggling all my kids, a baby, work, and nursing. While some wait to start pumping their breast milk until they are about to go back to work, I have learned for myself it is best to start pumping right away; this helps ensure I keep my milk supply longer and to be honest, it helps relieve the pain of being engorged the first couple of weeks too.
While this is what works for me, understand every body is different. I struggle to keep my milk supply while others might have to work to get it to go away. Another benefit of pumping is that it allows my husband and others the opportunity to feed our babies.
Breast Feeding should not be attempted by fathers with hairy chests, since they can make the baby sneeze and give it wind.
~Mike Harding, The Armchair Anarchist’s Almanac, 1981
Do You Need an Expensive Breast Pump?
What is the best pump for you? It depends, what you are using it for. Consider if time is an issue. The faster the pump, the less time you will spend away from your family and/or work to pump. Do you want the option to pump both sides at the same time or are you OK pumping one side at a time as needed? I personally like having the option to do both at the same time for when I am away and to pump a single side while I am nursing my baby. This helps increase my milk supply by tricking my body into making more milk.
Breast Pump Safety
With any product that comes in contact with something your child digests, safety is an issue. All breast pump parts that can come into contact with your breast milk should be BPA free. All of the pumps listed below fall into that category. For convenience, all can either operate on batteries or have a rechargeable battery for when you are on the go. Many times I have found myself pumping while on road trips so I don’t have to stop and nurse a hungry baby.
Lastly, due to cost, it may be tempting to share, borrow, or purchase a used breast pump. The Food and Drug Administration cautions against this as breast milk can carry bacteria and viruses that can contaminate pumps. If your pump is designated as “single-user,” that means only one person should use it…ever.
What are important features in a breast pump?
Look for breast pumps with features which suite your lifestyle and needs. Some pumps allow you to pump both breasts simultaneously. Others are equipped with an LED screen, which is convenient for nighttime pumping, while some come with batteries others need a power cord. Adjustable suction levels help makes pumping more comfortable.
Is a battery powered or electric powered cord best for a breast pump?
There are certainly advantages of both battery powered and electric breast pumps. Pumps which rely on batteries are convenient if you need to use it on the go but using a power cord will save you the hassle and expensive of changing out batteries. Each power source provides unique advantages to new moms. Many moms who work away from home prefer a battery powered pump for convenience.
How much do I need to spend to get a good breast pump?
While you can certainly find breast pumps for under $100, they can cost over $200. Manual breast pumps tend to be less expensive and are a great option if you won’t be pumping very often. On the other hand, double electric breast pumps are costly but you’ll be happy to have a high-quality pump if you’ll be using it frequently. Hence, how much you need to spend depends on how you’ll use it.