The 8 Best Breast Pumps for Breastfeeding

Super Moms

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Keeping babies happy and well fed is any parent’s most rewarding job, but the out-of-pocket costs for breast pumps can be prohibitive. Thankfully, many insurance plans will now cover breast pump rentals or purchases, so those looking for support while nursing have more options than ever before.

What You Should Know

  • Night Light allows for easier mid-night pumping sessions
  • Backflow protector for an ultra-hygienic, closed system
  • The Bump Best of Baby award winner 2018

This hospital grade breast pump’s narrow tubing doesn’t require cleaning, thanks to the closed nature of the system. This helps prevent expressed milk from entering the tubing, protecting the milk and baby from bacteria while pumping. The rechargeable motor doesn’t suffer the loss of power of many other portable pumps while being operated on-the-go, and the ultra quiet 45-decibel motor makes it easy to pump quietly anytime — even if the baby is sleeping. Plus expressing milk is even faster with a double electric pump, but it also can be used as a single pump if needed. Mothers can also customize this pump’s settings to her body’s response.

Review Highlights

“This pump is AMAZING! It’s nice to have the mobility of a rechargeable battery because I can pump and do chores and even pump in the backseat of a car while someone else is driving.”

What You Should Know

  • Medela parts, tubes, bags and bottles are available practically everywhere
  • Twist knob to adjust motor speed
  • Pump into bottles or, with attachment, directly into storage bags

Medela pumps are a ubiquitous item in the workplace, offering ease of use and flexibility, and frequently are covered by insurance plans. The accessories are available at nearly every major store, so if you’re worried about pumping and freezing milk while traveling or away from your child, there’s never any concern about lost or broken adapters, attachments or damaged tubing; the nearest big-box store will have your replacements, no problem.

Review Highlights

“Three years later, I’m still using this pump (!) and it works just as well as day one! I belabored this choice for weeks, going back and forth between Medela and Ameda because of the “closed” vs. “open” debate. But this pump is great! I never thought I’d love a pump so much but the portability, convenience, and functionality of the PIS makes my life so much easier.”

What You Should Know

  • Comparable to hospital pump performance
  • Comes with a month of free Lactation Consultant care through the app
  • Lacks the clip-on option of the Medela Freestyle

The Medela Sonota comes with a hefty price tag, but it offers some useful support tools to help deal with those difficult newborn days. This breast pump was recognized as the top breast bump in The Bump’s 2019 Best of Baby Awards. Reviewers state it’s comparable to Medela’s hospital grade Symphony model, plus comes with app support to help connect you with expert lactation consultants. Along with helping you time your pumping sessions, it also features shields designed for more comfortable and productive pumping sessions. If you’ve used the medical grade Medela pumps and are looking for something comparable for home use, this is your best bet for replicating the fit and feel of the Symphony. All Medela double-electric breast pumps also have overflow protection, meaning they are equipped with a protective barrier to prevent milk from entering other areas of the pump.

Review Highlights

“I wish I hadn’t spent money on other pumps and bought this straight away. Worth the money. Saved my pumping journey!”

What You Should Know

  • Single or Double pumping option
  • Lightweight and highly portable
  • Backlit LCD helps you keep track of battery life and pumping session lengths

The memory functions on this small but sturdy pump help overcome that new parent brain drain. Recall previous settings with the touch of a button, so you aren’t constantly adjusting suction or speed while pumping. While it certainly isn’t easy to fall asleep while pumping, it happens a lot more than first-time parents would guess; the automatic 30-minute shut off on this pump prevents you from draining the batteries if you drift off. Surprisingly strong for such a lightweight pump, weighing less than a pound, this little pump slips into a bag easily and its a rechargeable option that’s great for traveling.

Review Highlights

“Great all around pump. Super portable and much quieter than my larger, plug-in one. I wasn’t expecting the suction to be as good as my old one, but it works great. Now I can pump in the car on the way to work! “

What You Should Know

  • Closed, hygienic system
  • Reviewers note; suction is weaker while on battery operation
  • 32 combination options for speed and suction

The large number of speed and suction options help encourage multiple letdowns per pumping session, making those minutes spent pumping more efficient, but it requires a free hand to manipulate the controls, so this double pump works best in conjunction with a hands-free nursing bra or similar clothing option.

Review Highlights

“Awesome price for a pretty good pump. The suction is good, and it’s definitely the most comfortable I’ve used”

What You Should Know

  • Three-speed, single-side pump
  • Best for supplemental pumping
  • Soft cushion minimizes tightness and red marks

If you’re struggling with low supply or are interested in filling your freezer with milk while at home with your newborn, this single breast pump is less expensive than double pumps, but more efficient than manuals. While inadequate for anyone who needs to pump both sides simultaneously during work breaks, it’s good for low supply, poor latch, or people concerned about building up a frozen stash in case of emergencies. After your baby nurses, pump the other side, so both breasts are fully drained after each feeding. Most of us have one slacker boob, and pumping it more frequently is a good way to encourage it to start pulling its weight around here.

Review Highlights

“I’ve had so many people tell me to buy the really expensive pumps. I had an Avent pump in the past and I’m glad I gave it a try again. I love this pump. Works great and is really easy to use.”

What You Should Know

  • FSA/HSA reimbursement eligible
  • Fits cup sizes A-H
  • Expensive, but innovative

The only truly innovative breast pump on the market right now, the Willow Wearable pump lets you nurse in any position, without being constrained by wires or bulky bags or loud pump motors. While it’s rarely, if ever, covered by insurance, it’s an expensive luxury that can pay dividends to any parent looking to pump more easily and efficiently, all while working, bonding with your new baby, or caring for older children.

Review Highlights

“I’m an ER/Trauma nurse and some days are just too busy to step off of the floor and pump. I invested in willow for this purpose and now can I not only rush around working with my pump on, I can pump more frequently since I don’t need 30-minute breaks all of the time! “

What You Should Know

  • Bottles, shields, etc. fit any Medela brand pump
  • Super lightweight and portable
  • Not suited to daily or long-term use

Manual pumps will never encroach onto the territory of good quality electric double-sided pumps for working parents, but anyone dealing with supply issues, or looking for a pump strictly for pumping and dumping after taking medication or to maintain supply while away from a nursing baby can find them a lifesaver. They’re also useful for diagnosing latch issues; bottle nipples are easier to drink from, so if your little one is screaming at the breast but guzzling from a bottle, it may be time to see a lactation consultant, a pediatric dentist, or upgrade to a quality double pump and pump exclusively.

Review Highlights

” I have a pump in style double electric pump for daily use, but this is great when on the go and if I’m engorged in the night. I’ll feed my baby on one side and use this on the other… The valves and flanges are also interchangeable with the medela PIS as well, making them easy to find in stores, which is nice. For someone who needs to pump infrequently only, this is probably all you need.”


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