The Definitive Guide To Breast Pumps

Most breast pump reviews consist of strategically placed jargon based on a shrewd marketing scheme. The reviews never explain fully why their products are the best breast pumps. They state simply that their products are top of the line and present simplistic information without explaining how the products affect us as women.

I prefer honesty and a full analysis as to which breast pumps are the most suited for my breastfeeding needs. I wanted to comprehend fully how each breast pump worked and how they benefited me. I delved into the jungle of breast pumps and products to achieve exactly that. I completed a breast pump comparison to establish the best breast pumps for every woman and discovered the best for myself along the way.

Types of Breast Pumps: Manual or Electric?

The multitude of breast pumps I discovered was a bit overwhelming at first. I researched several models to evaluate the specifications and features to establish which models were the top breast pumps. I conducted my research, not on brand names, but by evaluating which breast pumps accommodate all women.

We experience new challenges related to breast health during pregnancy and as we age. Some women develop allergies to materials such as latex. Some of us develop breast related medical conditions such as cystic fibroid disease and even breast cancer. The emergence of breast conditions and the multitude of challenges affect which breast pumps we select. As women, we want the chosen breast pumps to accommodate us, regardless of the bells and whistles shown in the advertisements.

Electric Breast Pumps

Single Breast Pumps

Philips Avent

Electric breast pumps are the most convenient way to express milk

The single breast pumps are available in electric, battery powered, and manual models. The single breast models allow for milk expression from one breast at a time. The models accommodate women with cystic fibroid disease. These options are idyllic also for new mothers who previously underwent a single mastectomy and opted out of reconstruction.

I found the single breast pumps beneficial as I received my diagnosis of cystic fibroid disease after my second child. The presence of a large cyst hinders the ability to express milk from the affected breast which renders simultaneous expression nearly impossible. I found this option the better choice to accommodate my needs, and it presented an effective yet comfortable option.

The Phillips Avent single breast pumps became my favorite among electric breast pumps. The active massage cushion allowed for comfortable milk expression without the pinching associated with the traditional plastic flange options. The added comfort is vital to those of us with the breast disease as scar tissue accumulates often with the drainage and removal of cysts.

The single breast options allow mothers to carry them easily in diaper bags. Some models come with carrying cases, which are convenient but often unnecessary. The use of the carrying case is entirely up to personal preference.

The drawback of the single breast pumps is the length of time required to express milk fully from both breasts. The time required is significantly greater than that needed for a double breast pump. I would not recommend the single breast pumps for any mother who is frequently on the go as that would hinder the advantages of using a breast pump.

The battery powered options are beneficial when pumping on the go. The user simply connects the chosen single breast pump according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The user positions the breast into the breast flange and presses the ON button. The provided cup fills with breast milk and the user unscrews the bottle from the flange upon completion. The user dispenses the milk into a storage container straight from the bottle, or she stores the bottle in a refrigerated area.

Double Breast Pumps

Double breast pumps are an easy way to increase the milk supply

The double breast pumps are perfect for mothers on the go. The double breast pumps are an enormous asset to women with fast paced careers who wish to breastfeed. The milk expression process is quicker than that of single breast pumps which is the greatest advantage hands down. Mothers who choose these options produce a large inventory of breast milk quickly.

The double breast pumps provide the option to purchase an electric or battery powered option. A popular feature among the double breast pumps is the multi phase expression technology. According to reports the technology mimics the feeling of a baby nursing. I disagree in terms of their ability to mimic a baby, but I agree that these are convenient options.

I prefer the Lansinoh Affinity double electric breast pump above other double breast pump options. This option speeds up the process along without pain, and it is affordable. The Lansinoh model is easy to clean and portable. The option fits within a medium sized diaper bag, and it is lightweight. Other double breast pump options are heavy and require an additional carrying case. An extra carrying case, in addition to a diaper bag, is just inconvenient.

In terms of cleaning, the Lansinoh Affinity is idyllic. Those of us who are a little obsessive compulsive in terms of baby level cleanliness love this option. I disassembled this option with ease and cleaned it rather quickly.

I recommend highly the Lansinoh Affinity to women with latex allergies. I possess latex allergies, and I testify that using latex breast flanges result in a highly adverse allergic reaction. I learned this lesson the hard way. The allergic reaction is not simply itching or irritation; it is painful cracking and bleeding of the nipples. The packaging for breast pumps establishes whether the chosen breast pump flanges contain latex. I strongly suggest reading the label before making a final purchase.

The user places her breasts into the breast flange just as she did with the single option. The double breast pump performs in the same manner as the single option, but as its name suggests it expresses milk from both breasts simultaneously. A breast pump bra works best with the double breast pumps.

Manual Breast Pumps

A manual breast pump is a tried and tested method for expressing breast milk

I recommend manual breast pumps only if the force applied by electric pumps is too painful to the individual woman. Most insurance companies cover the cost of the manual breast pump option which is one of its few advantages. The option is easy to clean, and the cost is considerably low.

My oldest son was three months premature, and the neonatal nurses provided me with a manual breast pump to maintain my ability to produce milk. My son spent the next three months in the NICU, and I spent the entirety of those three months in utter hell. I recommend a manual breast pump only as a last resort.

The manual breast pumps require mothers to push and pull a large lever to express milk which produces a harsh suction. The process seems to last forever, and the end results are sore, irritated nipples. These options are considerably cheaper than other options, but the pain and inconvenience forgo the savings.

Breast Pump Bras: A Helpful Accessory

Simple Wishes Hands Free Pumping Bustier

Breast pump bras allow moms to continue every day activities with ease

Here’s a helpful tip for mothers – get a breast pump bra. These helpful devices are rarely mentioned but I have found them to be extremely useful. The main problem with pumping breast milk is that it takes time and you almost always have to be sitting down or stationary to do it.

A breast pump bra allows you to go about everyday activities in your home while continuing to express milk. These bras will allow you to be hands-free and hold your breast pump in place while you work. They possess the features of a nursing bra with the comfort of sports bra.

I prefer the Simple Wishes hands-free breast pump bra. I spent around $30 for my Simple Wishes bra. I experienced hands-free milk expression with my affordable option. The Simple Wishes breast pump bra accommodates breast pads without discomfort, and it prevents leakage by holding the pads firmly in place. The thick fabric construction provided adequate breast support without constriction. The bra option is available in a multitude of colors. The straps are removable and adjust with ease. This option accommodates women of all shapes and sizes. In terms of comfort, I consider the Simple Wishes breast pump bra as the Ahh bra for nursing mothers.

Breast Pump Reviews: Top 3 Breast Pumps on Amazon

1. Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump

The Medela Pump In Style is a popular choice with premium features

The Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump sells for $259.99 on Amazon. This option comes with a cooler style tote bag which provides an excellent storage option. An ice pack is available with this option to keep the breast milk cold.

The breast pump console fits into the front corner panel of the tote bag, and a Velcro panel encloses the console securely. The breast flanges feature a silicone construction and eliminates the worry of latex allergies. According to Amazon customers, clean up is easy, and the product is beneficial for working mothers. The accompany tote stores up to one day’s worth of milk expression, and the lactation consultants recommend the product highly.

The cost of this double breast pump can be restrictive but it will work wonders for moms without a restrictive budget. I perceive this option as paying more for a name brand than for simply a viable product. Other Medela breast pumps are also available with the similar high quality features and capabilities at lower prices.

2. Phillips Avent Electric Single Breast Pump

Philips Avent

The Philips Avent offers a great range of products at affordable price points

The Phillips Avent Electric Single Breast Pump sells for $110.49 on Amazon. I recommend these options highly. The Phillips Avent provides the active massage cushions constructed of soft silicone. The product lacks the cooler carrying case which accompanies some breast pump options, but it fits perfectly in the diaper bag and lightweight. This Phillips option comes with the battery pack for added mobility.

The breast flanges or massage cushions eliminate the pain associated with most electric breast pumps. I found the milk expression process less tedious using this product, and I experienced no discomfort even with existing scar tissue. The silicone construction eliminated allergy concerns and fears of the possible severe allergic reaction.

Amazon features a manual and twin model of this product. These products provide the same pleasant experience I share. The prices are $32.15 for the manual and $169.98 for the twin. Replacement parts and accessories are available for all three products through Amazon. The greatest aspect of this product is manual, and single breast pumps connect easily to the twin option without adjustment.

3. Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump

medela harmony

Medela Harmony - A manual breast pump that does the job

The Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pumps sell for $31.29 on Amazon. According to Amazon customers, this option is inconvenient and lacks the quality of the electric models. The breast flanges feature a hard silicone construction is similar to a suction cup, and it is painful and uncomfortable. The process is tedious and tires the mother before she expresses her full milk supply from the first breast.

I am unfamiliar with this particular Medela manual breast pump, but I am well-versed in manual breast pump use. The process is painful and tiring. The cost is low which makes it affordable for anyone, but the long drawn out process is not worth the savings. I honestly   felt that I received a mammogram upon completing manual expression.

My suggestion for any mother requiring a manual breast pump is to utilize the Phillips active massage cushion options or similar products. The breast flanges which feature the suction cup shaped hard silicone provide for an unpleasant experience. We experience a plentiful variety of unpleasantness as women; breast pump selection need not become one of them.

In conclusion, the best breast pumps on the market provide comfort, effective milk expression and offer high quality features at affordable prices. The breast pumps mentioned above all ensure accommodation of the individual needs of the buyer. The individual woman understands her body. She knows what is best for her, despite the marketing geniuses who select their words carefully. She takes the time to evaluate, and comparison shop for breast pumps to ensure we receive the best options available. Her final selections reflect the best breast pump option that meets the needs of everyday women who are imperfectly perfect.