Like with many baby-related items, one size doesn't fit all for all families. Even if the plan is to breastfeed your baby, things may not always go to plan. For this reason it's best to wait until your baby arrives to decide whether or not you need things like a breast pump.
All going well, you'll be able to breastfeed without any problems, and as your baby grows you may find it necessary to invest in a breast pump, so that you can offer breast milk to your baby even when you're not there. This is particularly useful for mothers who might have to go back to work.
More than anything, you want your breast pump to be effective. Breast pumps should work to produce the most milk possible in the least amount of time, comfortably. You also need to assess why you need to take up breast pumping, and where you will mostly be using it.
Here’s what you need to look for in a breast pump:
The sound created by the sucking motion of breast pumps has historically always been loud. This is a problem for women wanting to express milk during the day while at work. Wearable breast pumps are becoming increasingly popular for working mothers who want to maintain their supply during the day while they're away from their child. Regular expressing during the day will ensure milk supply doesn't diminish. For this reason it's important that your breast bump be discreet - and not loud!
It's important with any breast pump that it be easily disassembled and cleaned after each use. The parts are required to be rinsed, sanitised and air dried after each use to prevent bacteria growth. Any breast pumps that don't allow for this should be avoided.
In addition to a breast pump working efficiently, it's important that it be comfortable to wear. Without the right attachment to the breast, expressing milk can feel painful due to the suction motion. As much as the proper nipple attachment is required to provide comfort, so is the need for correct fitting by the user. For this reason it's important to watch tutorial videos or read instructions on how to properly fit any breast pump before using it.
One of the most important factors when it comes to using any breast pump is how efficiently it works. It's well known that expressing a decent amount of milk can take time, so it's important to maximise the volume acquired in that time. You need to find a breast pump with adequate suction and latch, so that milk can flow freely from the breast into the pump.
The last thing any new mum wants is to be weighed down by a heavy breast pump that limits mobility, especially with other kids to tend to! It's important to find a breast pump that can cater to your needs without leaving you feeling pinned down for extended periods of time as you express. The easier it is to use a breast pump, the more likely a mum is to use it!
We've done the research and rounded up our favourite breast pumps on the market. In no particular order, we pulled together reviews and videos on these breast pumps to help new mums make an informed decision based on their individual needs.
We LOVE the Express Cups that fit inside your bra, allowing you to pump with ease, discretely and hands-free - any time, anywhere! A sleek and compact design, it's super quiet and effective - perfect for the home or office. No longer are you plugged in and immobile - you can pump with both hands free, cooking dinner or putting on your make-up. And did we mention how quiet it is?! So much quieter than most other pumps!
The ONE Double Electric Breast Pump is a high-quality, closed system, and operates using a handy touchscreen unit. All parts that come in contact with breastmilk are free from Bisphenol A (BPA) and diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), and it comes with a 12 month warranty.
"The pump unit is super compact and good looking and it can be wire free once charged. Win, win, win!""Efficient and easy to use...really effective milk retrieval" - Youha reviewers via youha.com.au
Freestyle Flex™ is a Medela breast pump that is electric. It is designed to fit into your life with its light, compact design and USB-chargeable battery , which successfully give you the flexibility to express wherever and whenever you like, with no compromise on pumping performance. Hooray!
Compact, light and portable breast pump, easy to carry wherever you go
Built-in rechargeable battery so you can express anywhere – no need to search for a power point
USB port for powering up on the go
Your Medela breast pump connects to free MyMedela app – download and register to track pumping progress
Medela PersonalFit Flex™ breast shields for your comfort and increased milk flow
"For someone like me who is a first time mum, the Medela breast pump is very easy to use and clean. It's cordless and touch screen therefore i'm able to multitask at the same time when i have my medela bra making it hands-free. I produce a fair amount while expressing something like 350ml in 10minutes and that's at a suction strength L4. If you want a stronger suction then you can just up the strength easily on the product. There's also a timer on this product for convenience. This pump is really compact and I'm able to bring it with me anywhere or wherever i need to. I honestly really love this pump and would recommend it to any new mothers." SopNg via productreview.com
Every Drop Counts!
The Milky Goodness Breast Pump Milk Saver works by suctioning to your breast to catch any letdown or excess breast milk that would often be soaked up by a breast pad. It is primarily used on the alternate breast whilst feeding baby. The Breast Pump Milk Saver is made from a soft silicon which is comfortable, simple to use & requires no assembly.
This Milk Saver is BPA Free, medical grade silicone, easy to clean, portable & convenient to use. Dishwasher & steam steriliser safe. Also includes a spill proof lid.
Eonian Care experts have created this smart double electric breast pump with mum and bubs in mind. Featuring a rechargeable battery, soft massage cushion, flexible pumping settings, stylish design and many more thoughtful features. The Eonian breast pump is lightweight and electric, and is designed to give you maximum mobility, comfort and freedom.
"So happy with this pump compared to previous brands I’ve owned. The five level massage options is very effective at triggering my let down (which I had found difficult previously with pumps with a single let down function). It’s so light and comfortable to use, and the battery life is excellent. I was hesitant to buy it given that Eonian is a lesser known brand and there weren’t many reviews, so wanted to share my positive experience for others considering this pump." Rosanna Alexander via eoniancare.com.au/
The Minbie all-in-one pump has been designed to provide the most comfort, power, and portability to support a nurturing breastfeeding relationship between you and your little one. The Minbie breast pump features hospital grade suction, which helps you express more milk in less time, while the soft silicone cups protect your tender skin and potentially sore nipples! Unlike other pumps that keep you tied to the wall, Minbie's rechargeable lithium battery means your pump goes where you do. Pumping in the middle of the night? A backlit display and ultra-quiet motor won’t disturb those slumbering nearby. Complete with stimulation and expression modes, five adjustable pace settings, and twelve adjustable power levels, the Minbie Hospital Grade Double Breast Pump was created to provide power and peace of mind.
"After trying three different pumps, including a hospital grade rental, I am over the moon with the minbie. It’s just as good as the hospital grade pump, if not better, and certainly more comfortable to use. As a mum of twins that has struggled to keep up with supplying enough milk for them, and nearly giving up on breast feeding, the minbie has helped enormously! Added bonus - the minbie looks great on the night stand :-)" Rachel L, via minbie.com.au
Elvie Pump makes it possible to pump on your own terms - ditch the hours spent connected to a wall or cleaning tubes. With Elvie Pump you can lead the conference call, play with your kids, cook a delicious meal or simply enjoy some peace and quiet... all while you express milk right into your bra, so to speak.
Small and lightweight, Elvie Pump is worn inside a standard nursing bra, making it truly hands-free. Nothing to tie you down - or slow you down.
Revolutionary technology eliminates noise so that you can pump in peace - anytime, anywhere. You're able to connect to the free Elvie Pump app to monitor milk volume in real time, track pumping history for each breast and control the pump remotely.
The Elvie breast pump also automatically switches from Stimulation into Expression mode when it detects let-down and will pause when the bottle is full. One less thing to think about. Cool, eh?
"The amount of thought and care put into designing everything in this kit makes the price worth it and then some. The design and aesthetics of everything is clean and crisp looking and feeling.
Everything goes together with ease and a little patience.There are a lot of pieces and parts to the kit. Everything except for the charging part is dishwasher safe and breaks down so every piece and part is sure to be cleaned and is even able to be sterilized.
This is crucial when feeding our little one to be sure nothing harmful is ingested or passed through to him through this system When pumping the Elvie is very comfortable and doesn't feel mechanical on the nipple. No soreness at all. We loved how discreet it was when pumping. You could hardly tell they were even on except for the light that displays when you turn them on.
Gives a whole new definition to " hey your headlights are on" haha But on a serious note it frees your hands up and gives you the freedom of mobility while pumping with no tubes or cords connected like other setups..So you're free to multitask or tend to your little one.
The app was really well made too but when reading levels or milk we had pumped it didn't seem to be that accurate. The accessories included again added to their thoughtfulness and eye to detail of what a mother would need to nurse. I added a picture of a list of everything included in the box rather than show everything included and not know what was what. Since the thickness of the pumps fills your bra even more they added bra extenders to give you more room when you are wearing these pumps. It has neat little caps to cover the bladders that the milk drains into while pumping so you can put them directly into the fridge.
The ingenuity and care for a mother put into these really sold me and I'd highly recommend them to others." Gameoversuckas, via Best Buy
Haakaa Generation 3 keeps the same simple and effective breast pump design that you know and love, except now you can express directly into a detachable silicone bottle for easy feeding or storage! With a quick twist of the top, you can swap out your breast pump flange for any of the range of optional interchangeable attachments (each sold separately). The Gen. 3 range includes a feeding spoon head for when your baby moves on to solids, a sippy bottle top to help your independent toddler transition from a bottle to a cup and sealing discs to preserve any leftover food or milk after feeding. (Because who likes waste?)
Made from food grade silicone and non-toxic PP, this compact pump and bottle top combo is perfect for long-distance plane or car rides, or simply anywhere you would like to express quickly and discreetly.
The bottle teat included in this set is a Slow Flow teat suitable for newborn and onwards
"I am so glad I purchased this. Collecting +60ml off one side whilst feeding my little man on the other. The teet for the bottle is also great, my husband gives our man his dream feed with it, he gets little to no wind or discomfort as the flow is nice and steady for him. Couldn't be happier. Comfortable and easy to use. All mummas should have one." Pamela Johnson, via milkbarbreastpumps.com.au/
Mums around the country have been astonished by the revolutionary S2+ Spectra Breast Pump, as it's completely different to every other pump seen previously on the market. A sophisticated, hospital grade breast pump with highly adjustable settings, and extras like nightlight and timer, at a fraction of the price you’d expect.
Some of the exciting extras of this Spectra Breast Pump include powerful 320mmHg suction, double pumping, massage mode to encourage speedy letdown, ability to adjust both suction strength and cycle speed, night light and timer and much more. This pump is absolutely quiet and is the most portable and stylish hospital grade pump around.
"I did a lot of research and am so glad to have come across this Spectra Breast Pump and not go for the other popular expensive brands. I love the double pumping action, and the night light and timer have been a big big plus for me as I’m doing expressing every 4 hrs while my little man is getting stronger in the hospital ( he was 6 weeks early). One thing I found slightly annoying was that when u powered off, it didn’t reset to massage mode, so if u forgot and pumped the next time, it was quite painful. So now, my routine is to switch is back to massage mode before I turn the machine off. It is quiet though and lightweight. I will be expressing when I go back to work." Louisa Sahetapy via spectra-baby.com.au
The Tommee Tippee Made for Me Electric Breast Pump is portable, lightweight and discreet enough to give you confidence and freedom to express breast milk when and where you want. It's extremely quiet and gives you a choice of massage and express modes so that you can you can discover the most comfortable way to stimulate your milk flow and express your breast milk.
This Tommee Tippee breast pump gives you all the control of an electric pump, with a more natural feel thanks to a soft silicone cup that’s gentle on your breasts and a discrete USB-charged power unit that frees you up from clumsy cables. Every mum expresses different amounts at different rates - sometimes you’ll have more to express, other days, not so much. That’s absolutely fine. With this pump you can choose from 5 different massage and 9 express modes to stimulate your milk flow and express your breast milk throughout the whole of your breastfeeding experience.
"I got given this Tommee Tippee breast pump as a baby shower gift and was unsure if I would even use it. My little one is now 5 weeks old and I have used it several times. I use it to pump after the very early morning feed (around 3-5am) and find it works quickly and efficiently in getting the milk out. At this time you would rather be sleeping so this is a huge plus!" Cmpace, tommeetippee.com/en-au/
The Avent manual breast pump has a unique design, so your milk flows directly from your breast into the bottle, even when you are sitting up straight. This means you can sit more comfortably when pumping: no need for you to lean forward to make sure all your milk ends up in the bottle. Sitting comfortably and being relaxed when pumping, helps your milk to flow more easily.
The massage cushion of the Avent breast pump has a soft velvety texture that gives a warm feel to the skin for comfortable, gentle stimulation of your milk flow. The iconic petal cushion is designed to mimic baby suckling, intended to gently help stimulate let down. It's small and lightweight, which means it is easy to store and transport, making pumping on-the-go more discreet.
"I received the Avent Manual Breast Pump as part of the weeSpring Parent Panel. It was super easy to assemble and also take apart, which is a plus for me. The cleaning instructions are easy to follow and hardly take much time for me. Now, when using the pump, I find that it fits comfortably on my breast, especially with the pad. I have used it on and off and it hardly takes me any time to pump both sides. The handle is easy to grip and you don't feel like your hand gets tired from it. So far, I've only used it at home but with the warmer weather coming up we'll be traveling and I look forward to bringing it along with me since it won't take up much space in my bag." karenbonilla15 via philips.com.au/
It may be a case of trial and error as every skin is different! You can find many of these products within our baby play mat range here.
Want to see the best of baby play mats and play gyms in Australia up close? Come to our next Sydney baby expo or Melbourne baby expo by visiting our Sydney baby fair page here or our Melbourne baby fair page here.