**Spoiler alert, there’s no perfect pump out there. However, there are some tips that we can share to help you select a pump that will fit your pumping needs and goals best. **
Here at Mother Nurture, we know firsthand how challenging it can be to choose a breast pump. With the many options to choose from, thousands of reviews to read online, blog posts, suggestions from friends and family, and various feedback on mom groups online, it can be overwhelming to figure out which one might be best for you.
Does your insurance cover a breast pump? How much does the pump itself cost? How much do the replacement parts cost? Consider your budget and insurance coverage to determine what pump will work best for you. It may be tempting to purchase a used/second-hand pump; however, most breast pumps are manufactured to last for one child. If a pump has been used previously, it may not have adequate suction needed to empty your breasts effectively, which can reduce your milk supply.
This could take up a whole blog post of its own, but the main thing to consider here is that some pumps have several modes/cycles that can be adjusted, whereas others only have one or two. If you are someone who needs extra customizability, you may need a pump that allows you to adjust the modes, suction level, etc. If you are someone who prefers a simpler option, you may want to consider one with less features/buttons.
Having a pump with a rechargeable battery can be a huge plus! Being able to pump without having to be attached to a wall makes a big difference no matter the size of the pump. Size, shape, and weight of the pump can also be a consideration based on where and when you will be pumping. Thinking through the level of flexibility and portability you will need for your pump can be an important consideration as the sizes can range quite a bit. Wearable pumps are also a consideration if you need extra flexibility to pump on-the-go or during a work shift, but they also have some downsides to consider. They are not typically recommended for exclusive pumping or to use as your primary pump, but can work wonderfully as a back-up or when you need to pump on the go.
Consider where you plan to pump. If you know you need an ultra-quiet pump then this might be an important factor for you. Some pumps are quite noisy while others are not. To learn more about noise levels of different pumps, check out this video by New Little Life.
Flange Sizes Available
Flange size is very important when it comes to pumping! Correct flange sizing is key for comfort and output, so making sure your flange size fits well is very important regardless of the type of pump that you have. Most pump companies send a standard 24mm and 27mm flange with the pump. Typically, they have a smaller and larger size that can be purchased separately, but not always. This is a consideration if you know that you need a smaller flange size than what the pump company manufactures (most women do). This is much more common than we originally realized! Of course, many companies do not recommend using flanges/parts from other manufacturers as it voids the warranty; however, most of these companies do not offer the smaller flange sizes that are typically needed. If you are having trouble finding the correct flange size or having discomfort while pumping, reach out to an IBCLC for guidance and recommendations.
Even when considering these factors, it is important to remember that everyone may respond differently to any given pump and there is not a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to selecting one. Having an idea of which features/factors are most important to you can be a great way to narrow down your search and find the pump that might fit your pumping/infant feeding goals best. If you are still feeling overwhelmed by all the options, would like to learn more about the various pumps and their features, or have questions about flange sizing, we are happy to answer any questions you might have and provide pumping support. You can check your insurance coverage for virtual or in-person visits here. You can book a virtual consultation with Mrika using the “Book Now” button below.
Article written by Mrika Harrigan, IBCLC. Mrika is Mother Nurture’s pump specialist and can meet with you virtually to go over all things pumping! If you have any questions about booking a virtual consultation, please reach out to us using the “Contact Us” section below.