The Best Breast Pumps for Breastfeeding Moms

Totally overwhelmed by your options? Find out what type of pump is most suitable for you, plus learn which breast pumps are the best.

Totally overwhelmed by your options? Find out what type of pump is most suitable for you, plus learn which breast pumps are the best.

If you’re putting together your baby shower registry, you’re likely asking yourself two questions: “Do I really need a breast pump if I plan to breastfeed?” (Hint: Yes!) and “What is the best breast pump?!” Look no further because we’ve got the answers you need.

In this post, we’ll cover:

Types of Breast Pumps

When it comes to breast pumps, you’ve got two main options: electric and manual pumps.

Electric breast pumps

These types of pumps are ideal for mothers who work out of the home and pump several times throughout the day.

Electric Breast Pumps – The Best Breast Pumps for Breastfeeding Moms post by Mama Natural

Manual breast pumps

Manual pumps are ideal for mamas who only pump occasionally or who need to pump without access to electric outlets. Even if you don’t work out of the home, it’s nice to have a pump on hand to help build a freezer stash, to use milk to make baby food, to relieve clogged ducts, or to make it through a nursing strike. This light weight, minimal pump is easy to throw in your diaper bag and go. Hands-free pumps can also catch milk from your unused breast while your baby nurses on the other side.

Manual Breast Pumps – The Best Breast Pumps for Breastfeeding Moms post by Mama Natural

The Best Breast Pumps

Once you’ve decided that you should add a breast pump to your registry list, your next step is to decide which one? Ask yourself:

  • Will I use the pump daily?
  • Do my pumping sessions as quick and efficient as possible?
  • Do I need a hands-free option?

If you’ve answered yes to any of the above questions, consider an electric breast pump.

Best electric breast pumps

The winner: 

There’s a reason Medela continues to be a top pump brand: It mimics the way a baby nurses to maximize your pumping session. This means you’ll get more milk—faster! The Medela Pump-in-Style Backpack contains everything you need to pump at home or at work, including multiple nipple flanges, coolers, ice packs, and more. The best part? The entire pump is built into a backpack, so it’s extremely easy to pack up and go. This model also comes with a backup battery, so you don’t have to rely on a power source.

The runners up:

Medela Freestyle Double Electric Pump
Medela Freestyle Double Electric Pump

Similar to the Pump-in-Style, the Freestyle offers the options to use battery or AC power. The Freestyle also comes with a digital device to log breastfeeding sessions, which is helpful if you plan on pumping a lot. The only downside? The storage case is a tote-style, which may not be as easy to carry as the backpack.

— Check it Out —
Medela Freestyle Double Electric Pump
Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Pump
Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Pump

The Lansinoh double electric pump allows you to pump your breast milk directly into sterilized milk storage bags, which means you won't have to worry about pouring milk from bottles into the storage bags. Many mamas find this to be an invaluable time-saver. And, like the Medela Freestyle, this too comes with a digital tracker to help you log your pumping sessions.

— Check it Out —
Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Pump
Philips Avent Electric Pump
Philips Avent Electric Pump

This pump's flanges feature comfortable massaging ridges that promise to help increase output. Philips Avent also proudly boasts a "no lean forward" design, which means you can pump and recline without fear of leaking milk. Another perk? This quiet pump also features BPA-free parts.

— Check it Out —
Philips Avent Electric Pump
Spectra 2
Spectra 2

A favorite of moms in my birth course, this electric breast pump has the strength of a hospital-grade pump in a small, but is nice and compact. It's a great choice for natural mamas, since all storage containers and parts that come into contact with breast milk are BPA- and DEHP-free.

— Check it Out —
Spectra 2

Note: If you are pumping exclusively for a NICU baby or have supply issues, consider renting a “hospital grade” pump, which is the strongest and most effective electric breast pump out there.

What about the new wireless electric breast pumps?

There’s another type of electric breast pump just starting to emerge on the market: wireless (and tubeless!) pumps. These pumps slide right into your nursing bra so you can pump discreetly anywhere, at any time—a huge moms who work in an office or travel frequently.

Best manual breast pumps

Now ask yourself these questions:

  • Will I pump only occasionally?
  • Do I need a pump that can be used anywhere?
  • Can I do without a hands-free option?
  • Do I need a backup pump to keep in my desk or car?

If you answered yes to these questions, consider a manual breast pump.

Whether you are only purchasing a manual pump or you are grabbing one as a backup for your electric, you’ve got plenty of options.

The winner: 

Medela Harmony – The Best Breast Pumps for Maximum Milk Output breastfeeding post by Mama Natural

Again, Medela comes out as a clear winner. The Medela Harmony features two pumping options to stimulate the initial let-down and then flow of milk. Although manual pumps do not have the option to be hands-free, it’s important that the manual pumps are comfortable for your hands. The handle of the Harmony pump is ergonomically correct, which means your hand won’t cramp up during a pumping session. The Harmony pump is also efficient and can sport different sized flanges for your comfort. It’s also BPA-free, lightweight, and affordable.

The runners up:

Do You Need a Breast Pump?

Even if you’re exclusively breastfeeding, it’s worth getting a pump, especially if you…

Need to give baby a bottle

After breastfeeding has been established, it’s a good idea to introduce a bottle at four to five weeks to give you the freedom you need to leave baby for a few hours at a time, whether for work, errands, or even a date night. Bottle feeding can also be a special way for fathers or grandparents to bond with the baby and help care for the baby.

Plan to return to work

A breast pump is essential for a mom who plans to return to work and continue to breastfeed. A pump allows you to build a freezer supply and provide the milk your baby will need throughout the day.

A quick note on breast pumps and baby bottles: If you want the efficiency of these pumps, but don’t like the fact that pumps come with plastic bottles, try LifeFactory baby bottles. They are compatible with most “major” pumps.

How Much Do Breast Pumps Cost?

Breast pumps vary dramatically from $28, to $200, to $2000+ (for the hospital grade pumps). In general, a quality manual breast pump costs about $30, while a quality electric breast pump costs about $150-200.

The good news is that many insurance companies do cover a small selection of breast pumps. Learn more about how to get a free breast pump through insurance.

Want to Learn More?

Once you’ve purchased the best breast pump for you, check out these resources:

Genevieve Howland

About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 130,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.

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