Choosing the Right Breast Pump
When you’re looking for a breast pump to use on your breastfeeding journey, it’s crucial to understand the different types of breast pumps available and choose one that will fit your lifestyle and help you reach your breastfeeding and pumping goals. If you want to take the guesswork out of the process, take our easy product selector quiz to find your breast pump. Additionally, read below for some important factors to consider and questions to ask when choosing a breast pump. (Oh, and before you head to the store or online to purchase, remember to check with your insurance company on the level of coverage they offer for breast pump reimbursement!)
How often will you be pumping?
I want to exclusively pump for my baby.
Most breast pumps are made for moms who are both nursing and pumping throughout their standard day. Exclusively pumping is an entirely different experience which puts added stress and demand on your equipment to meet the same needs without any assistance from baby. To succeed, it’s important that you choose a breast pump designed to withstand this level of use. Even among our own products, the only breast pump we recommend for an exclusively pumping mom is our Symphony® Breast Pump, which has been clinically proven to initiate, build, and maintain breast milk supply for the mom and baby who are unable to breastfeed.
I’m going to both pump and nurse daily.
Whether you want to build a breast milk stash or increase your breast milk output, a double electric breast pump will work best if you’re going to be both nursing and pumping daily.
I’ll nurse primarily and pump occasionally when I’m away from baby.
If your goal is to exclusively nurse your baby with just a bit of pumping on the side, a double electric breast pump will save you time, but if you’d like a different option, a single electric breast pump can also meet your needs effectively. A manual breast pump is another great portable option when you’re on the go!
Where will you pump?
I want to pump everywhere!
If you want the ease of portability to pump wherever you’re out and about, you’ll need a versatile, trusted breast pump that has a bag for storing all your breast pump parts and alternative power options like a car adaptor or rechargeable battery in case you need to pump on the run.
I’ll pump at work or in the nursery – shh!
For moms who want extra discretion while pumping, consider a super quiet and efficient pump that won’t disturb baby or co-workers while operating.
I want to pump hands-free outdoors or around the house.
Keep in mind the power options of the types of breast pumps you’re considering. Knowing whether you'll need to be near an outlet or have other options like battery power or a car adaptor can make a big difference when planning ahead for where and how you'll be pumping.
If you want to easily log all your baby's feeding and growth activity, consider a smart, connected breast pump or using a tracking app that keeps all the important information at your fingertips. Keeping track through the app of your pumping sessions, baby’s feedings, diaper output, and growth stats will be helpful to you and your baby’s doctor.
Don't forget to check the research! Only Medela breast pumps utilize our patented 2-Phase Expression(R) technology, which more closely mimics a baby’s breastfeeding behavior (starting off with a quick and light suction pattern to stimulate milk flow, and then moving to a slower, deeper suction pattern to bring out more milk faster). What this research-based performance in our breast pumps means for you is a more efficient pumping session that will maximize your time and help you keep your breast milk supply going strong.
What about open vs. closed system breast pumps?
You may have heard about open and closed system breast pumps, but it’s not a factor that should determine your final breast pump purchase. All Medela pumps and parts are made to be optimized for performance, safety, and hygiene. Have more questions on an open vs. closed system breast pump? Check out this video to learn more.
A breast pump that is reliable and helps you reach your breastfeeding goals is an important part of providing the best for your baby. As you’re determining breast pump options to fit your needs, always keep in mind that no matter how long you use a breast pump, or how short or long your breastfeeding journey may be, every drop counts!