Top Selling Breast Pumps

Before we get into the specific details regarding breast pumps it might be helpful to have some background on milk production and breast feeding. It is pretty incredible: the concept that a woman’s body cannot only grow a baby inside, but after the baby has been born, the mother’s body is able to continue sustaining the life of her baby through breast milk alone. It’s pretty cool being a mom!
About midway through their pregnancies, pregnant mothers might notice that their breasts have some leakage. (However, if you aren’t leaking, don’t worry; that doesn’t reflect on whether or not your breast are adequately preparing themselves for the eventual arrival of your baby!) At this time, hormones is what is driving milk production (it isn’t supply-and-demand, which is what so many breastfeeding discussions seem to focus on), and a mother’s breasts produces a thick yellow fluid that is full of colostrum (immunoglobulins) and antibodies. It is available in small quantities (which matches the marble-sized stomach of the baby) in a mother’s breasts until her mature milk develops (usually 2 to 3 days after the birth of her baby). Colostrum is very important as the first food that a baby consumes, since it is very nutritious (it is often called “liquid gold” due to its golden color and how valuable it is for a baby) and it is also easy to digest. For newborns it has a laxative effective, which helps them pass their first tarry stools which are referred to as meconium and expel bilirubin. This all helps with preventing jaundice from developing.

Top Selling Breast Pumps of 2016

At birth, when the placenta is delivered, it causes there to be a sudden decrease in estrogen/progesterone/HPL (human placental lactogen) levels. Whenever progesterone levels drop at the same time that there are high prolactin levels, it signals to the mother’s body to start full milk production. This can result in a feeling of engorgement whenever the mature milk of a mother’s comes in initially. Fortunately, soon after, control over the supply of milk switches over to supply-and-demand, so that engorgement feeling will subside, as the baby will nurse quite frequently (8 to 12 times in a 24-hour period) and the breast is emptied.

After nursing has become well-established, typically the milk supply is highest in the morning (making it a good time for pumping, if a mother needs to start to build up a frozen milk supply when preparing to go back to work). During a typical pumping or nursing session, a mother might feel a burning or tingling sensation during let down (also referred to as milk ejection). This let down reflex is a type of involuntary reaction. Whenever the breast is suckled by the baby, it sends a message to the brain of the mother to release the hormones oxytocin (which is responsible for releasing milk out of the milk ducts) and prolactin (which is responsible for producing milk). During let down, a mother might see milk spraying or dripping from the breast that isn’t being used (and some mothers find that it is especially effective for pumping on that side as the baby nurses the other one, to take advantage of the baby helping to release the milk- however, it isn’t necessary; many mothers opt for wearing a breast pad on the one not in use so that it collects any milk that is leaking. Then the baby is switched over to the second side, if the baby is hungry still after nursing on the first breast). Although the initial let down at the beginning of a nursing session may be most physically noticeable for the mother, many mothers have multiple let downs during one pumping or nursing session.

Check out our Table of the Best Breast Pumps Here!

What Makes A Breast Pump Good?

A good breast pump, at the most basic of levels, is one that painlessly and effectively removes milk out of the breast of the mother, while still enabling her to maintain her supply of milk (which is based eventually on supply and demand, following the initial few days postpartum during which time hormones drive it) even when the baby isn’t close by. It should ideally be efficient (a pumping session should take longer than 20 minutes) be affordable, quiet, easy to use, clean and physically comfortable for a broad range of mothers (that might mean having flanges in a variety of different sizes for accommodating different nipple sizes). Although a majority of pumps are adjustable to a certain degree, we discovered that pumps offering individuals controls for cycle speed and vacuum strength (instead of just one option for pumping with more suction strength) make a huge difference in the amount of milk that is collected.

Some mothers might need to have a pump that is more portable, especially those spending workdays out without having reliable access to private space or a wall outlet for pumping. For these mothers, a travel adapter for using in their car or having a battery pack are more necessities (however many mothers don’t ever have the need for using either of these accessories). Before loading up on travel accessories or paying for a more expensive pump, which your insurance might not cover, you should first consider how often you will be pumping while away from wall outlets.

Other features that might be considered as “nice to have” instead of “must have” include recording devices and timers for capturing the cries of a baby in order to stimulate let down. These can both be easily achieved by using your smartphone, so you don’t have to spend extra money on this. Many manufacturers of breast pumps have a tiered pump system, which ranges from fairly basic pumps up to top of the line ones that come up with a bunch of bells and whistles (e.g. pump transport bags, extra flanges and bottles, cooler bags and packs, etc.) Throughout the product line, the pump motor usually stays the same until a jump is made to rental heavier-duty hospital-grade pumps. For our guide, after we had narrowed down which pump brands we wanted to test and focus in on certain models, we contacted those manufacturers and ask them which pumps were covered most reliably by health insurance and then tested the ones that were most accessible by insurance.

All You Need To Know About Breast Pumps

Research has shown that the average cost of a breast pump is approximately $200. While it is possible to obtain a pump for a lesser amount, it is generally the case that cheaper pumps provide lower quality features with poor motors and/or inabilities to tailor the pumping session regarding speed and vacuum strength.

Contrary to popular belief, a breast pump is not your typical “piece of mom equipment” – it is an investment. It is not essential, but ownership of a high quality breast pump can make your breast-feeding term a great deal easier. In fact, it is possible that you may breastfeed for a longer period of time because the task is so simple to manage; particularly, if the pump is suitable to your needs and budget.

The Working Moms Pump: Medela Pump In Style Advance

Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump

The Medela Pump In Style Advance breast pump is a portable dual-electric pump, making it highly efficient in everyday use. It is plug-in electricity operated, but can also operate on batteries to promote the portability feature; either way, the 2-Phase Expression technology expresses milk in a short period of time. The Metro Bag version of this pump can be removed from the bag providing you with several options on carrying the item and areas to pump.

The Budget Pump: Lansinoh Affinity

Lansinoh Affinity breast pump

If you aren’t prepared to spend $300+ on a breast pump, but require a dual-electric version, then the Lansinoh Affinity option is for you. The less costly price tag does not mean lower quality in this case; in fact, the Lansinoh Affinity has the same features as some of the more expensive pumps available – including an option between battery and plug-in operation. It also presents with adjustable speeds, adjustable suction settings, and flexible flanges for more comfortable expression.

The Convenient Pump: Philips Avent Comfort Breast Pump

Philips Avent Comfort Breast Pump

The Philips Avent Comfort Breast Pump is one of the lightest and smallest pumps available with fewer parts for less maintenance. Of course, fewer parts does not mean less features; in fact, this breast pump is highly sophisticated and has an angled neck for comfortable pumping with molded bottles and nipples to assist the baby in switching from mom to pump bottle without too much distress. Bonus feature: you can express directly into the bottle!


The Comfortable Pump: Dr. Brown’s Simplisse Double Electric

Dr. Brown’s Simplisse Double Electric Breast Pump

If you are concerned about discomfort, then it is recommended you opt for Dr. Brown’s Double Electric breast pump. This high quality pump is focused on comfort through a natural pumping experienced and presents with soft breast cups that move to mimic the baby’s tongue movements. This will encourage pumping and reduce distress for both parties. In addition, the technology doesn’t pinch in the way other breast pumps seem to; thus increasing the ease of the activity.


The Best Manual Pump: Medela Harmony

Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump

If you are not planning on frequent expression of milk, or are looking for a back-up breast pump, it is recommended that you purchase a manual pump instead of spending vast amounts of money on an electric one. The most effective manual pump option is the Medela Harmony breast pump that produces milk quickly and in large quantities. The 2-Phase Expression technology assists in mimicking the fast starting and slowing natural progression of breastfeeding, making it a very simple process; furthermore, it comes with a convenient stand to reduce any spillage.


The Best Hospital-Grade Pump: Ameda Elite

Ameda Elite Breast Pump

If you are searching for a high quality breast pump option, but are not interested in a portable pump option, it may be worthwhile considering one of the hospital-grade pumps. A highly efficient choice is the Ameda Elite pump: a lightweight option with silent features and hygienic milk collection systems.


The Portable Pump: Freemie Freedom

Freemie Freedom Portable Breast Pump

A highly significant feature to breast pumps is the portability of the item; however, there are always difficulties with portable pumps that should be addressed. The Freemie Freedom option looks at these issues and meets them making the pump silent, comfortable, hands-free, and possible to pump underneath a shirt. It’s true! The pump presents with molded cups that slid underneath the bra, connect to the pump, and express the milk.

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