How Do I Choose the Best Breast Pump for My Needs?
That is one of the first questions you will ask yourself when you decide to breastfeed or exclusively pump. If your a full time working mom, part time or stay at home mom you'll want to choose a breast pump that gives your the support and comfort you need in order to have achieve Pumping Success!
Use our 7 step guide to find the best breast pump for your needs.
We will cover all aspects from best breast pump to bottle options.
- Let's start by figuring out what pump will work best for your lifestyle. Here is our Breast Pump Comparison Chart. For example, if you are planning on pumping more than an occasional baby bottle, your best bet is a double pump from a brand like Spectra or Medela. While the double electric pumps may cost more upfront prices ranging from $100-$500, this usually replaces the cost of formula.
- Decide on a brand of breast pump. Now that you have determind the best pump type you can compare brands. One thing to consider is how much support the brand you choose offers. Several brands like Spectra, Medela or Adro offer great customer support to mothers. Many brands even have private Facebook groups for moms. Here are some links to brand specific facebook groups: Spectra Mom Support Group, Ardo Moms.
- What Breast Pump Flange size to choose (IMPORTANT): The flange is connected to the breast pump tubing and comes into direct contact with your breast. The flange is not a one size fits all part, and when using your nipple should not be rubbing or sticking to the side of the flange. As you can imagine that is not only uncomfortable but can lead to less productive pumping. Keep in mind that your nipple size will increase while you are pumping. We strongly recommend having every size flange available from your breast pump manufacturer on hand, until you get the hang of which size fits your body the best. You can also purchase generic flanges that will fit most pumps. Pumping Pals overs variety kits, so you can order a pair of small, medium, and large all in one kit.
- Order extra breast pump parts. It is a good idea to have a spare set of breast pump parts this should include tubing, valves and membranes. Especially if you are pumping over half the time or are exclusivey pumping. Most manufacturers sell part kits to go along with the pump you have selected.
- Decide on how you want to store your breast milk. Pumping right into a bottle is a great choice for part time pumpers. Another option is using a breast milk storage bag, our favorite is the NUK brand as it is compatible with virtually all pumps. You can also purchase containers to store your breast milk in from plastic to glass mason jars. Check out our Breast Pump Baby Bottle Comparison Guide to see which bottles will work with your breast pump.
- Choose a baby bottle that will fit your needs. As mentioned in the above step you can pump right into some baby bottles (see step 5). Or you can choose any brand of baby bottle and pour your breast milk into the bottle. Choices for baby bottles will include glass, plastic, silicone or stainless steel. One of our favorites is the Comotomo baby bottle which is plastic free, lightweight and easy to pour breast milk into. Here is a link to our Comotomo Baby Bottle Guide.
- Support. Even the most prepared moms will tell you everything did not go as expected when it comes to feeding your baby. If the way you are currently feeding your baby is not going so well, reach out to specialists and friends for help. We list several ideas on getting support in our Postpartum Resource Guide.
IMPORTANT: At TGBB we are firm believers in the saying "A Fed Baby is the Best Baby." In other words, we are a judgement free website/community. You choose which method is right for feeding your baby. We strive to provide useful information for all moms regardless of how they choose to feed their babies.
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