Your baby is due any day now. You’ve decided you want to breastfeed, but you’re worried about those days when it just doesn’t fit into your lifestyle? Wouldn’t it be great for you and baby to get the benefits of breast milk with the convenience of bottle feeding?
Expressing your milk with a breast pump will give you that freedom. But where do you start? Finding reliable breast pump reviews can be exhausting, so we’ve put together this resource – an all inclusive guide to help you find the best breast pump to suit your needs.
Best Electric Breast Pump Guide
|Currently Unavailable||Medela Swing||Single||Frequent (1-2 times a day)||Mid-Range (£80-200)||4.4 stars|
|Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Breast Pump||Single||Frequent (1-2 times a day)||Budget (£40 - £79)||3.5 stars|
|Philips Avent Comfort||Single||Frequent (1-2 times a day)||Mid-Range (£80-200)||4.2 stars|
|Spectra 3||Single||Frequent (1-2 times a day)||Budget (£40 - £79)||4.3 stars|
|Ameda Lactaline||Single / Double||Frequent (1-2 times a day)||Mid-Range (£80-200)||4.2 stars|
|Babytec||Single||Occasional (1-2 times a week)||Budget (£40 - £79)||3.9 stars|
|Medela Mini||Single||Occasional (1-2 times a week)||Budget (£40 - £79)||3.8 stars|
|ARDO Calypso Double Plus||Single / Double||Frequent (1-2 times a day)||Mid-Range (£80-200)||4.3 stars|
|Currently Unavailable||Medela Freestyle||Double||High Usage / Exclusive Pumping (3-12 times a day)||Premium (£200-£300)||4.1 stars|
|Currently Unavailable||Medela Swing Maxi Double||Double||High Usage (3-5 times a day)||Premium (£200-£300)||4.2 stars|
|Lansinoh 2-in-1 Affinity||Single / Double||High Usage (3-5 times a day)||Mid-Range (£80-200)||4.2 stars|
|Spectra S1||Single/ Double||High Usage / Exclusive Pumping (3-12 times a day)||Mid-Range (£80-200)||4.1 stars|
|Lansinoh mOmma||Single||Frequent (1-2 times a day)||Budget (£40 - £79)||4.4 stars|
|Spectra Dew 350||Single / Double||High Usage / Exclusive Pumping (3-12 times a day)||Mid-Range (£80-200)||4.3 stars|
|ARDO Calypso||Single||Frequent (1-2 times a day)||Mid-Range (£80-200)||4.1 stars|
|Spectra S2||Single/ Double||High Usage / Exclusive Pumping (3-12 times a day)||Mid-Range (£80-200)||3.9 stars|
Top 5 Best Breast Pump Reviews
ARDO Calypso Double Plus
Pros: includes different breast shield sizes, easy to use, effective , comfortable, portable
Cons: no carry bag, drains batteries
The ARDO Calypso Double is the pump you need if you want to DOUBLE your output whilst expressing. A 20 minute session instead of 40 minutes with a single pump? Hello new found nap time! Double pumping gets to the rich, fatty milk that baby only gets to during long feeding sessions. You’ll feel like Super Mum as your tiny new born sprouts up and smashes those milestones, thriving on your breast milk.
It can be used as both a double and a single depending on your need. We love that it’s a hygienic closed system so no risk of mould growing in the motor. We would recommend this pump if you need a pump for frequent use, and to keep your milk supply high. Expect to pay around £125 for this breast pump, check out current prices here.
Click here for our in depth review of the Ardo Calypso.
Medela Swing with Calma
NOTICE: All electric Medela breast pump models are currently unavailable for sale in the UK at this time. We are unsure if this is due to a worldwide recall of products. We will update when we have more information on the issue.
Pros: quality brand, very effective, easy to use, very portable
Cons: open system
The Medela Swing is hands down the bestselling breast pump in the UK. It’s no surprise that it’s a multi award winning breast pump including WHICH? Best Buy Awards. The smart ‘2 phase-expression technology’ of the Medela swing mimics the natural feeding action of a breastfeeding baby. With adjustable suction rate and strength the Swing allows you to pump in comfort to produce the most milk. Great for frequent use and improve your milk supply as well as relieving sore nipple and engorgement. Looking for a double pump? Check out the Swing Maxi for a supersized version. Expect to pay around £110 for this pump.
Click here for our full review of the Medela Swing.
Philips Avent Comfort
The Philips Avent Comfort is our best rated breast pump when it comes to comfort. Adjustable suction, comfort cushions and an angled breast shield helps to make you relaxed during an expressing session so you get as much milk as possible. This pump is best suited to you if you pump occasionally or at most once a day. If you need to pump more often we suggest looking at some of our double pump recommendations. The pump is very easy to use and Avent accessories and bottles are readily available online and in most supermarkets. This breast pump will cost around £80.
Read our full Philips Avent Comfort review here.
The Spectra S1 is the most affordable home use breast pump if you need a pump for heavy use or exclusive pumping. It’s a hospital grade pump which means it can be used for all means of breastfeeding issues. If you have been using a breast pump in hospital and want to maintain the same expression schedule, then we highly recommend this pump for at home. This pump will tackle any breastfeeding problem thrown at it including sore nipples, multiple babies and low milk supply. Considering its performance this pump is a steal at the retail price of around £150 but check out online offers as you can sometimes pick it up for less.
Ameda Lactaline Personal Dual
Cons: no travel bag
The Ameda Lactaline is a great breast pump for frequent expressing. It can be used as either a double or a single pump depending on how much and how quickly you need to express. Ameda have ensured comfort with this pump by enabling you to choose 32 combinations of suction speed and strength. Plus you have the option of using different sized breast shields so there is no rubbing or nipple soreness while you pump. You’ll be looking to pay around £100 for this pump.
Check out our full Ameda Lactline review here.
Types of Breast Pump
Manual Breast Pump
This is a breast pump which requires no power source. They work by pushing a simple lever up and down with your hand to create a suction. The benefits of using a manual breast pump include being inexpensive, portable and easy to clean and assemble, due to fewer parts. They are quite tiring on your arms after pumping continuously for 20 minutes, especially if you pump a few times a day. Also some women fins that the suction is not strong enough to express the breast milk. We would recommend a manual pump if you are planning to express infrequently (2-3 times a month or less) or will be using a breast pump when travelling.
Electric Breast Pump
Buying an electric breast pump means you will need a power source to use it, either a mains power, batteries or a car power adapter. These breast pumps come with a breast shield and bottle connected to a pump motor which creates suction. Advantages of using an electric breast pump are increased efficiency, control over suction speed and strength, greater milk volumes and flexibility to pump ‘hands free’. You should consider whether an electric breast pump will be more beneficial to you than manual pump as they are more expensive to buy. We recommend buying an electric breast pump if you will be pumping frequently (weekly – daily ) and is essential if you plan on pumping exclusively. You will also need to consider if you need a single or a double breast pump.
How to use a Breast Pump
Single Breast Pump
A single breast pump has only one bottle attachment so you and expressing milk one breast at a time. This type of pump is for mums who use the pump infrequently (1-2 times a week) or frequently (1-2 times a day). The benefit of a single breast pump is that they are usually cheaper than the double pumps, and allows mums to have one hand free or feed baby on one side whilst pumping from the other. The downside is that a single pump takes longer to get a high volume of milk, so isn’t really suited to mums wanting high use of the pump (3-5 times a day) or who want to exclusively pump (6-12 times a day). The Medela swing breast pump is an example of a top rated single breast pump
Double Breast Pump
A double pump means halving the time it takes expressing milk, saving you lots of time, and what new mum doesn’t like to the sound of that? A top grade double pump is needed by mums who are expressing more than 3 times a daily. Don’t buy a budget pump if you are planning on pumping more than this as it will be false economy as you’ll soon be buying a second pump when the motor packs up as it’s not equipt for high usage. Finding the best breast pump for your needs is an investment for you and your family, especially if you plan on having more children in the future.
Advantages of using an Electric Breast Pump
Using an electric breast pump offers a solution to mums who want to give their baby breast milk but may not be able to, or want to, put baby directly to the breast.
Returning to work
Mums often worry that they won’t be able to breastfeed for the recommended 6 months as they have to go back to work. Working mums are legally entitled to breaks at work to express milk for their baby.
Baby with Special Needs
Some babies may not be able to feed directly from the breast due to attachment issues caused by prematurity, cleft lip and palate or severe tongue tie. Expressing milk for special feeding equipment will help encourage their immunity, especially if baby is still in a special care unit.
Increase Milk Supply
Most mums worry that there baby is not getting enough milk, it’s the number one reason for stopping breastfeeding in the UK. Expressing milk allows you to increase your milk supply by stimulating the hormone which helps you produce milk – the more you express the more you make. Physically seeing how much milk your baby is taking is also a huge relief for a lot of mums.
Getting a Rest
Breastfeeding can be a big responsibility, after all you are the only person with that can feed your baby. Sometimes its just nice to hand over the reigns for one feed and a lot of dads appreciate getting to feel the bond of feeding a baby. So you can go for forty winks whilst dad or granny tend to baby.
Unfortunately breastfeeding in public is a rather taboo subject and a lot of women are embarrassed to feed in public. Expressing milk means you can breastfeed in the comfort of your own home and pump when you need to visit family or in public.
This is the official name for fear of breastfeeding and is a real issue for a lot of women. Exclusive pumping is lesser known an option available to mums who still want their baby to receive all the benefits of breast milk.
Breast Pump Parts
Breast Shield – Also known as the flange. This is the part of the breast pump which cups around the breast. Your nipple should point directly towards the ‘tunnel’ part. Once the motor starts your nipple is pulled back and forth along the tunnel as your milk is released.
Connector – Attaches the shield to the collection bottle.
Tubing – Attaches the connector, or the breast shield in some models, to the motor.
Motor – Electronic part of the breast pump. This part houses the on/off buttons and the suction levels of the pump. The motor is often power by an AC mains adapter, however some models may have a battery option at the back of the motor.
Bottle Holder – Holds the bottle upright as the breast shield will make the bottle top heavy. The holder prevents your milk from spilling.
Collection Bottle – This is where your milk collects as you pump. A good bottle has measurements to see how much you’ve expressed during a session. Collection bottle will come with a flat storage lid and some may come with a lid to convert it into a feeding bottle. Not all collection bottles can be used as feeding bottles so you may need to decant the milk from the collection bottle to a feeding bottle.
Valve– This prevents the milk flowing back from the bottle into the tubing or the motor of the breast pump.
Membrane – Fits onto the valve and also helps to prevent back flow of milk and to create a vacuum for good suction. The membrane is very important, if it’s worn out or not fitted properly, the pump will not work well.