Updated: June 4, 2015

Breast Pump Reviews:

The number of breast feeding mothers has steadily increased since the 1970's as more research shows that breast milk provides more nutrition and immunities than standard baby formula. With education comes more working moms who need to return to work after having a baby, but still want to give their newborn and infant children breast milk. The idea behind using a breast pump is that the mother can pump her breasts of excess milk so that there is always a supply of her milk for the baby. When mom returns to work, she has pre-pumped breast milk she can leave in bottles for the daycare center or babysitter when she can't be their to breastfeed. Experts recommend breast feeding for a mininum of at least 6 months and anything more is a bonus. It's not always easy juggling a new baby, other family responsibilities and potentially going back to work, so new mothers need to be patient with the breast feeding process. Many moms find that the first few times they attempt breast feeding it can be painful and not nearly as easy as everyone says it is.
breast Pump


Choosing the best breast pump can be challenging as the market has been flooded in the past fews years with new makes and models. My wife used a breast pump after both our children were born because they were "ineffective sucklers" and she still wanted to give them her breast milk instead of substituting formula. She rented a Medela double electric breast pump from the lactation department in the hospital and it made all the difference in the world. There are manual pumps and electric pumps, each has its own purpose and convenience. If you plan on only being away from the baby every once in a while, then perhaps a simple manual or hand pump will do the trick. Electric pumps are better for women who will return to work and need to effectively empty their breasts and protect their milk supply. An electric double breast pump will empty your breasts in about 10-15 minutes or less. Look for breast pumps that have adjustable suction so you can find the most comfortable setting. You will also want to find a breast pump that assembles and cleans easily. If you plan on taking the pump with you to work, try to buy a model that is lightweight and comes with a carrying case or backpack. Some pumps are noisier than others, so if noise is a concern test them first to listen. Make sure the breast shields fit properly, my wife ended up having to upgrade to a larger size since she underestimated how large her breasts would be when engorged with milk. Manual breast pumps will cost less than $50 while electric pumps with carrying cases will be closer to $200. We will go into a rent vs buy comparison down below in the article. The top breast pump brands are Medela, Ameda, Avent, Evenflo, Playtex, Dr. Brown, Whittlestone and Whisper Wear. One key reminder, all doctors and lactation specialists tell you to NEVER buy a used breast pump due to the risk of bacteria and viruses. We researched the top breast pumps based on consumer reviews at Target, Amazon and Breastpumpsdirect.com. We also read lactation experts opinions online and read a very informative article that was recently published in the Wall Street Journal. Consumer Reports offered more of a "buying guide" to breast pumps, but we couldn't find head to head comparisons from CR. Based on the user reviews and expert advise, we have put the best breast pump choices down below. You can browse the most popular breast pumps online here.

Best Breast Pump:

The two models that received the best reviews and ratings not only from lactation specialists but breast feeding mothers were the Medela Pump In Style and the Ameda Purely Yours. The Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump with Metro Bag ($260) is considered a daily use breast pump that offers electric, battery, or manual operation. Features dual pump or single pump action and the suction is adjustable. The Medela has a fashionable black microfiber shoulder bag which all modern moms can feel good about. Breast feeding moms say the Medela Pump in Style works effectively and is great at "triggering the letdown". The dual pump allows mothers to get done pumping in "no time at all" and cleanup is easy. Medela also offers a slightly cheaper breast pump called the PIS Original ($200) and the more expensive PIS Advanced Backpack ($310). The Ameda Purely Yours w/ Carryall ($200) is a closed system double pump that has a lightweight design. It's piston driven and FDA approved with build-in bottle holders and includes a carryall bag and milk storage. The Ameda breast pump can run on electricity or batteries. Owners say it's very reliable and feels like a professional grade breast pump. There are 8 adjustable suction settings and 4 cycle speeds to choose from. Mothers say it simulates a babies nursing pattern very closely and they feel safe knowing the patented system on the Ameda protects your milk from potential contaminants. Check out all the top selling Medela breast pumps here.

Electric Breast Pump:

Ok, so spending over $200 on a breast pump may not make sense for you. If you only plan on using the breast pump once a week or so, then you don't need all the bells and whistles that come with the "daily breast pump models". Manual breast pumps can be time intensive and not all moms have spare time to give in already hectic schedules so they want a good valued electric pump. The First Years and Playtex brands are definitely cheaper than other manufacturers, but overall reviews were negative for their products. Bosombuddies.com, a site all about breast feeding, has tons of information and we found the Medela Double Select Breastpump ($110) as the perfect choice for women who want something more powerful and convenient than a manual breast pump but don't want to spend $200. The Medela Double Select is the best "occassional electric breast pump" on the market. RECOMMENDED - The Lansinoh Double Electric Breast Pump is another popular model that comes pre-assembled and is easy to use. Moms can set the vacuum strength and cycle speed and the closed system prevents milk back up that can get into the pump motor or tubing. Cleaning is simple and comments from mothers include "excellent pump at a great price" and "better than anticipated".

Manual Breast Pump:

The Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump ($35) is the clear winner here. Manual breast pumps are not meant to be the fastest way to expel breast milk, but they are effective when you only need to pump your breasts every once in while. The Medela Harmony has 2 different modes of pumping that try to mimic your babies suckling patterns. The Let-Down mode initiates faster milk production or "let-down" as it's commonly called. In the Expression Mode, the hand breast pump will simulate deeper suckling for maximum milk flow in the shortest time possible. The Medela hand breast pump is compatible with almost all standard baby bottles and it includes 1 Harmony pump, 1 Medela breast shield, two 5-oz containers, 2 lids and 1 bottle stand. Women say this breast pump is great for occasional pumping and ideal for stay at home moms who still want to get out of the house but leave dad at home with a fresh milk supply. As with all breast feeding, many moms said at first the milk supply was minimal, but the more they pumped the more milk came in. The Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump is available at Amazon.com or Target. RECOMMENDED - The Avent Isis Manual Breast Pump is another top seller that comes with 2 Avent 4 oz feeding bottles and two sealing discs for breast milk storage. The portable system is more comfortable and convenient than many of the other manual breast pumps on the market. You can see all the top rated manual breast pumps online here.

Breast Pump Rental:

Renting a quality hospital grade breast pump is a great idea if you plan on only breast feeding for a short period of time. The equivalent high end breast pump in stores can set you back $250+ or more. My wife rented hers (a quality hospital style pump) for about $45/month. After such a difficult initial few days, my wife didn't know if she could continue more than a few months so renting seemed like a better decision than committing to buying a breast pump. Another factor is - how many kids do you plan on having? Buying a breast pump with your first child makes sense if you plan on having more down the road. That way you will get plenty of use from it. With the breast pump rental my wife had, the electric pump and storage box is included in the monthly rental fee, but she did have to buy the breast shields and other equipment that attaches to the pump. I would say anything less than 6 months of breastfeeding you are better off renting than buying. Ultimately it's your choice and go with whatever makes you more comfortable.