The best breast pumps that don’t drive you crazy

Pregnancy, birth and the early post-natal phase are pretty much all about feeling uncomfortable, sore and full of aches. Of course, your precious bundle makes it all worth it but wouldn’t it be nice just to feel a little less niggled by multiple parts of your own body. That’s why you need a breast pump that doesn’t drive you insane.

Every breastfeeding mother has her own lifestyle and a unique attitude towards breastfeeding. Choosing the best breast pump for you will depend on how you want to breastfeed your baby and how often you plan to feed it with a bottle.

Do I really need a breast pump?

  • Are you planning on going back to work?
  • Do you need to relieve breasts that are heavy and sore from too much milk?
  • Do you want your partner, children or parents to help feed your newborn?
  • Is there a need to boost your milk supply or store some milk?
  • Is your baby enable to not suck or eat directly from your breast?
  • Do you want to give breast milk to your child, but you do not want to breastfeed?
  • Are you the parent of twins?

If you answered yes to at least one of these question then you should consider a breast pump. You can’t be expected to breastfeed permanently and be with your baby 24 hours a day. If you want to continue giving your baby breast milk, a breast pump is a very effective way to maintain good milk production.

Having the right kit, such as a breast pump, oodles of breast pads, gallons of nipple cream and a nifty drop-cup bra to hand will make the first weeks much easier.

What is the best breast pump?

You could read breast pump reviews all day, every day and still feel confused about the right choice for you. It’s such a personal product as all bodies, boobs, women and babies are different.

I’ve selected the best breast pumps and tried to gather as much info as possible to help you choose the one that will fit you the best.

Manual breast pumps

The Pros

  • Cheaper. A good choice if you know it’s only for occasional use.
  • Light, compact and quiet. Ideal if you’re out and about a lot with another child or going back to work. The Haakaa breast pump is one piece, super lightweight and will fit in a handbag.
  • Easier to use than electric on full breasts.

The Cons

  • Pumping can tire hands and wrists so choose one with an ergonomic handle like the Mam manual breast pump.
  • You need hands to pump and hands to stop a toddler licking the cat.
  • Slower to produce milk.
  • May take time to learn the best rhythm to pump. A pump with ‘two phases’ one for initial pumping, the other for established milk flow.

Electric Breast Pumps

The Pros

  • Less effort. The cup is placed on the breast by you and then the machine takes over. No hand tiring pumping or fiddling with the suction controls.
  • Faster more productive expression. Electric breast pump reviews will consistently tell you how much quicker they are. Parents with more than one child will find this invaluable. Yay! Extra Peppa Pig time with the three-year-old.
  • More settings and adjustability to suit all boobs, any soreness and different levels of milk supply.
  • Choice. Spend more and enjoy extra clever features.

The Cons

  • Significantly more expensive, even for the basic models.
  • Noisier and less discreet. May disturb a baby feeding on the other breast.
  • Cleaning and sterilising are more of a faff with extra bits and pieces to drop or lose.
  • Usually bigger and heavier than manual pumps.

What about a double electric breast pump?

Many designs of electric breast pumps will offer a double pump version. The benefits of expressing from both boobs at the same time far outweigh the slight indignity and your new found sympathy with dairy cows.

  • More effective, faster milk production.
  • The milk produced has higher energy content when a double pump is used.
  • Thorough drainage of the breast which leads to an increase in supply and higher quality milk.

Tips to draw your milk

Breast feeding is an emotive subject for many new parents. If you’re planning on trying to breast feed your new baby you’ll need support, patience and time.

If you are breastfeeding mainly:

Draw your milk in the morning. This is the time of day when you have the most milk.

Draw your milk between each breastfeed, either 30 to 60 minutes after or at least one hour before. This will leave enough milk for the baby to feed.

If you’re exclusively using a breast pump to feed your baby:

Try to draw your milk 8 to 10 times a day, every 3 hours or so. Normal production of breast milk is 750ml to 1L every 24 hours.

Once you have reached maximum milk production, try to maintain a pace that allows you to reach that 1L every day.

Every mum and every baby is different. So you have to what’s best for both of you. If you want more tips we’ve written the ultimate guide to expressing your milk with all our tips and advice to do it like a pro.

Feeding your baby is a mother’s most natural and strongest instinct. It’s about choosing what makes YOU and YOUR baby happy and healthy. Breast, bottle, mixed feeding, electric breast pump, manual breast pump or hand expression are all perfectly wonderful ways to nourish your child.

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