You plan to be a pumping machine once you have your baby. You want your baby to have nothing but breast milk, but you won’t be with her around the clock to do the job. Since you know you want to be a pumping machine, you’ll need a pumping machine.
To aid you in your plan to exclusively give your child breast milk, you’ll need to find the best electric breast pump to help you with your mission.
|Product||Best For||Our Rating|
|1. Spectra S1||All Round|
|2. Medela Freestyle||Hands-Free|
|3. Medela Pump in Style||Twins|
|4. Philips AVENT||Everyday Use|
|5. BelleMa Effective||Working Moms|
Don’t Feel Bad for Pumping
You may have initially wanted and expected to breastfeed your baby many of her meals, and only planned to pump on an as-needed basis. Sometimes your baby has other ideas that make all your hopes and plans futile. Some babies have difficulty learning how to properly latch so they can breastfeed.
When your baby can’t latch well, you can feel helpless and even like a failure. Things aren’t going the way you wanted them to, and it can be disappointing to say the least.
Even if you wanted to nurse your baby exclusively, you might not be in the position to do so. If you need to return to work, your baby will have to get used to taking some meals from a bottle.
Don’t feel bad if you need to pump breast milk more than you had intended to. You can still bond with your baby by giving her bottles full of breast milk. And she’ll still get the superior nutrition your breast milk provides for her – even if you are pumping it instead of nursing her.
Things to Look for in an Electric Breast Pump?
- One or two breasts: You can get single electric breast pumps or double pumps. Double pumps are capable of expressing milk from both breasts at once, which is a game changer for busy moms. If you know you are already going to be strapped for time between work and taking care of a new baby, you’ll likely want to spend the extra money to get a double pump. The money you give up will be inconsequential compared to the time you’ll save.
- Pack and go: Do you need your pump to be portable for work or trips? Some models are lighter and easier to pack than others. Knowing how often you expect to take your pump out of your house will let you know if you need to seek out one that isn’t as big and bulky.
- Energy source: Are you an outlet or a battery type of girl? If you don’t mind being tied down to an outlet every time you pump, you won’t mind a model that only has a power cord. But if you want to be able to pump from your favorite chair and there’s not an outlet within reach there, you’ll want to find a pump that uses batteries.
- The bottom line: Unless you’re one of the lucky few, cost is going to be a considering factor when you buy a breast pump. They can be extremely expensive for high-end models. If you start to feel bad for spending too much on a breast pump though, just remember the cost of formula over time is much higher than what you’ll spend on a breast pump. Plus, you’ll be offering your baby superior nutrition.
Things to Know Before Using Electric Pumps
- Before you attempt to use an electric pump, you first need to carefully read all of the instructions. Each unit is slightly different and it may include instructions that wouldn’t be important at all in a competitor’s model. Because electric pumps are so expensive, you don’t want to chance ruining one simply because you didn’t follow the directions.
- They are going to be noisy. They won’t make an ear-splitting racket, but you’ll want to make sure your baby isn’t napping right by the pump when you first turn it on. And if you’re looking for some nice quiet relaxing time while you pump, you’d better like noise or invest in a great pair of earplugs because all electric models will make at least a little noise and some are downright annoying.
- Make sure you have the right size of breast shields for your nipples. The breast shields are the part of the pump that you put over your nipples. The size needs to be spot on – if it’s too tight or too loose, it can be painful. Although a breast shield will come with your pump, it may not be the correct size for you. Most pump models have different sizes of breast shields you can order and they are easily removed and replaced from pumps.
How to Operate Your Electric Pump
- The first thing you need to do whether you’re using an electric pump or a manual one is wash your hands. You want the whole process to be as sanitary as possible. You are breastfeeding for health reasons so you shouldn’t skip one of the easiest ways to keep your baby healthy.
- You should find a place that you’ll be comfortable pumping, whether it’s a couch, comfy chair or bed. Being as relaxed as possible will make the process easier for you.
- Put a breast shield over your nipple and begin pumping.
- When you’re done, make sure to wash and rinse all the pieces of the pump that came in contact with your breast milk.
Can I Use a Manual Pump?
Manual pumps are best for women who don’t plan to pump on a daily basis. If you only need to pump a few times a week at most, you can consider buying a manual pump.
Women who plan to pump several times a day would be better off buying an electric pump, which is made to stand up to hardcore usage and saves moms time by expressing breast milk rapidly. No new mom has time to manually express milk about 10 times a day – they already don’t have enough sleep as it is.
How Long Will I Need to Pump For?
If you are determined to give your baby breast milk so she can reap as many health benefits as possible, try to resist the urge to stop pumping after a couple of months. Shoot for feeding her nothing but breast milk until she is at least six months old and keep going beyond that target goal if you can.
While at the age of six months you can introduce some other liquids, you should try to continue breastfeeding some until your baby reaches her first birthday at least.
The Best Electric Breast Pumps of 2018
Now that you know what you should look for, what to know before using an electric pump, and how long to pump for —
Here are the reviews of my top 5 favorite picks in 2018:
The main difference between the Spectra S1 pump and the Spectra S2 pump is that the S1 has a rechargeable battery while the S2 could only be used by plugging in its power cord. That one difference is well worth the extra money you’ll have to cough up to buy the S1 instead of the S2. You’ll be paying for your freedom to not have to sit close to an outlet, but it will be worth it, especially since you likely plan to be pumping 10 times a day or so.
Other than that difference, the Spectra S1 offers a lot of the same great features that make moms love about the S2. It’s a closed system and it is one of the quieter models on the market. It offers a letdown mode and has an adjustable program which lets moms take control over how the pump feels on their breasts.
It also comes with a timer and a night light, which may come in handy for those feedings in the middle of the night.
- Its closed system is good news for moms concerned with hygiene.
- A quieter pump than some electric pumps.
- It vibrates which some moms might not like.
- Pricier than the brand’s S2 pump.
This kit contains everything you’ll need to get started with breastfeeding, and even some things you may not have known would come in handy.
This double electric pump comes with a cooler and icepacks so when you pump on the go your precious breast milk won’t go to waste.
What sets the Freestyle apart from the competitors is how mobile it is. You can take it on the road, on vacation, and to the work place, but even when you are at home you can do anything you want while pumping because it has a hands-free option.
You can fold laundry or catch up on emails while your pump does all the work for you. This pump uses a rechargeable battery, and it comes with two sizes of breast shields which gives you a greater chance of finding a size that works for you.
- Gives you more freedom to do other things while pumping.
- Quieter than some other pumps.
- Doesn’t pump as quickly as some other pumps.
The Pump In Style is one of the more heavyweight pumps on the market. But what it lacks in portability, it makes up for in performance. This double electric pump can express your breast milk in just minutes, which can be a real lifesaver for busy moms who don’t have time for 30-minute pumping sessions 10 times a day.
It offers 2-phase expression technology. That might sound intimidating to moms-to-be, but here’s what that really means: It has a let-down button which signals your body that it’s time to release your breast milk. Once letdown happens and your milk begins to come out, you use the other phase, which pumps your milk quickly out of your breasts.
The pump comes with a microfiber bag to store all the accessories. While the pump is built in to the bag, it can be removed if you want.
- Pumps milk quickly.
- Can operate with a battery pack.
- Louder than some other electric pumps.
- Open system.
This isn’t a double electric pump, which means you can only pump one breast at a time. But this unit is also cheaper than double electric pumps are, which makes it a good alternative for moms who need to pump but simply don’t have the extra money to spend on a double pump.
This pump has been designed to eliminate lower back strain for moms. Many pumps require you to lean forward to let gravity assist you with pumping your breasts, but because of the design on this one, you don’t need to lean forward at all. That will make a more comfortable experience for moms who struggle with back issues.
When you use this breast pump, you start in the stimulation mode to let your body know it’s time to release milk. But after that, you get to choose which setting feels most comfortable to you – low, medium or high.
- Comfortable pumping experience.
- Easy to clean.
- Can only pump one breast at a time.
- Loses suction over time.
For the price, this pump makes our list. It’s far, far cheaper than some of the other pumps we’ve included.
You can use this pump on both breasts at once, or if your baby is feeding off of one breast, you can use the BelleMa to pump the other if your baby doesn’t mind the noise. Plus, this pump has independent controls for the left and right sides, which means that you can pump at whatever speed feels comfortable for each breast.
If you want a gentler touch with one side, you can do that without changing the speed of the pumping action for your other breast.
Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or you are heading back to the workforce once you have your baby, this pump will work in either setting. Because it’s so lightweight, it’s easy to carry from place to place.
- Can use plug in or battery pack.
- Easy to clean.
- Doesn’t come with a carrier.
- Not as much suction power as some other brands.
My Favorite Is…
The Spectra Baby USA S1 breast pump is our top pick for electric breast pumps. It’s a closed system, which is a great choice for moms who are worried about safety and contamination. It pumps milk quickly and comfortably so you won’t feel like half your life is spent being milked like a cow.
It can use battery power or be plugged into an outlet, which means you’ll be covered whether there’s a power outage or you need to pump in the car. If you plan on taking this unit to work, it’s lightweight and quiet enough to do that.
While it is pricier than some of the options on our list, moms who are worried about performance and comfort may find it’s worth the extra splurge.
Breast pumping can take some getting used to, so you want to have a pump at your side that will help you succeed. If you experience any difficulty while attempting to breastfeed, ask a friend or a specialist for some advice. Don’t give up – your baby is counting on you.