Whether you’re breastfeeding your newborn or pumping for baby to sip during work or travel, it’s important to have the right equipment. A good breast pump can help you build a milk supply, keep you feeling comfortable and relaxed during pumping sessions, and even make breastfeeding easier once baby is ready to nurse or take formula from a bottle. But with so many options on the market, how do you decide which pump is best? We talked to moms and experts for tips and advice about the best breast pumps and what to look for when choosing one.
When deciding which breast pump to buy, consider how often you plan to use it, your pumping goals and how portable you need it to be. For example, if you’ll be exclusively pumping, a traditional electric or portable pump is a good option. These types of pumps have enough power to help you build a healthy milk supply in record time.
On the other hand, if you plan to pump occasionally (say, for work or before bed) or want something more portable for traveling, a wearable and hands-free manual breast pump could be a better fit. These types of pumps tuck into your bra and connect to short tubes that run to a separate motor for the pumping action. They’re easy to transport and require no batteries or electricity. However, they’re usually less powerful than traditional electric pumps.
Another factor to think about is how much you’re willing to spend on a pump. Breast pumps come in a wide range of price points, so it’s important to read reviews and compare specs before making a decision. If you’re on a budget, a basic double pump may suit your needs well and cost less than a high-end model.
The Medela Symphony earned the top spot in our 2023 Mom-Must Have Awards Opens a New Window, and is a great choice for moms who need a strong, reliable pump. This machine can help achieve faster letdown and milk flow, and its flange sizing system is user-friendly. It also has an impressive amount of suction and operates relatively quietly compared to other pumps we tested.
If you’re on a tighter budget, the Bellababy Affinity is a solid option. It’s simple and straightforward with a few perks, including a customizable setting that lets you adjust settings to your liking and a compact design that fits into a petite bag for daily travel. This pump doesn’t have as many parts as other models and is easy to clean, though its tubing can attract hair and lint.