Electric and manual breast pumps have their own advantages and disadvantages. So, the best choice for other moms might differ from what you need or want to use.
You might even choose to have both types of breast pumps to suit different purposes. For example, the Ameda Mya Joy pump’s customizable settings can give you more options for pumping at home or even at work. But the Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump can easily fit inside your bag for pumping on the go.
There’s no such thing as the perfect breast pump that suits everyone. So, don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t choose the best one right away. We’re here to help you out.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding has plenty of benefits for your baby and you.
According to the CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), it may reduce your risk of having breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
The CDC recommends breastfeeding because it may reduce your baby’s risk of the following:
- Diarrhea and vomiting due to gastrointestinal infections
- Type 1 diabetes
- SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
- Severe lower respiratory disease
- Ear infections such as acute otitis media
Choosing A Breast Pump
A breast pump can come in handy if you need to regularly leave your infant for a few hours each day for work or simply want to have expressed breast milk for your child to drink anytime.
Benefits of Manual Breast Pumps
The following are the benefits of a manual breast pump:
- They’re a lot cheaper than electric breast pumps.
- Once you get one, you don’t need to buy batteries or plug it in.
- They’re lightweight and small enough to fit your bag.
- They’re quiet, making them ideal for discrete pumping.
- They only have a few components to clean and sterilize.
- Most have a simple, easy-to-use mechanism.
Benefits of Electric Breast Pumps
But you might also prefer getting an electric breast pump because of the following benefits:
- They have more suction power.
- Most have customizable settings for suction strength, speed, and mode (if extra options such as massage and letdown are available).
- Many electric breast pumps are designed to mimic your baby’s suckling pattern. This can help promote letdown so you can collect more milk.
- Most have double breast pumping options so you can collect milk from both breasts at the same time. This can save you plenty of time, especially if you’re busy.
- Some also feature indication levels, so you’ll know how much milk you’ve collected.
- There are also wearable options that let you pump discreetly, even if you’re busy or on the go.
- Others, such as the Medela Freestyle Flex, can be connected to smart apps on your phone for easy monitoring.
- Many of these electric breast pumps need to be plugged in. But there are also some that you can use with batteries.
Factors To Help You Choose
The following are some factors to consider in finding the best breast pump to get:
- Frequency of use. Consider why you’re buying them and how often you’ll need to pump. Although manual pumps are cheap, they’ll require you to use your hands. That might not be ideal if you need to pump regularly, several times a day.
- Portability. Consider your lifestyle and whether you’ll need a pump that you can easily bring around or one you’ll most likely use at home.
- Insurance coverage. Moms in the US are entitled to a free breast pump through insurance. Depending on your health insurance plan, it may be a new one you can keep or a rental. While you’re free to choose which pump to get, your choices might be limited to what your health insurance will cover or the options available from a vendor you like.
- Price & upgrades. The price might not matter if your insurance plan will cover the entire cost, but you might need to pay up for breast pump upgrades. These are special features such as wearability or connectivity to smart apps.
- Customizable options. Different pumps offer different features, with some having more customizable options than others. Check the options for strength, speed, variability of suction, and available modes (such as massage and letdown).
- Comfort. Some pumps might have stronger suction power (above 250 mmHg) but could be uncomfortable on your breasts. Others aren’t that strong, but they can be more comfortable and might even promote better letdowns.
- Sound. The loudness of the pump matters. While you might not worry about pumping discreetly at home, a loud pump can still wake your precious baby up. Manual pumps might win this because they don’t produce a sound at all.
- Other special parts or features. Some pumps have extra features you might prefer. For example, wearable options can let you discreetly collect milk even while you’re commuting to work, busy attending meetings, or doing chores at home. Other pumps, such as the Ameda Mya Portable, can even be clipped to the waistband of your pants.
Breast pumps can help you maximize the benefits of breastfeeding. Finding the right one will depend on your needs and preferences.
Remember, there’s no right or wrong choice because each breast pump can help you collect your liquid gold for your baby.