What to Look Out for When Choosing a Breast Pump

Article By
Sonni-Ann
Published On
22 Aug, 2022
Read Time
3 minutes

If you're thinking of using a breast pump as part of your feeding routine, we're here to help find the perfect one for you. Many parents choose to express breast milk for their baby, and using a breast pump can be particularly helpful if...

Think about how much time you have

Some breast pumps make expressing breast milk easier and quicker. Before you purchase yours, it's a good idea to check the reviews from other parents to see how easy the pump is to use.

If you're going to have plenty of time to pump, or just want to pump occasionally, a hand-powered manual breast pump might suit you. But if you'd like to pump at work or you don't have a lot of time to pump, you may want to consider an electric breast pump.

Wearable pumps are another option that work well for parents who want to express breast milk discreetly and hands-free.

Consider how much you want to spend

When planning which kind of pump you'd like to use, it can help to consider your budget, as well as how often you'll be using your pump.

If you're mainly breastfeeding and only pumping occasionally, you may not need to spend as much on a pump as you will if you're going to be using it a lot.

*Based on a survey from Which? of 1,008 parents who had used a breast pump within the last five years (January 2018).

Electric vs manual breast pumps

Which pump you choose is entirely up to you!

There are only two types - manual and electric - but there're lots of different brands and options available, from single or double, to wearable, so it's all about finding one that you're comfortable with.

According to Which?, 53% of parents own an electric breast pump, 38% have a manual breast pump, and 9% have both*.

Choosing an electric breast pump

If you think you'll be using your breast pump a lot, then choosing an electric one is probably your best bet. They work fast and do all the work for you, so save your wrists and hands from aches and pains that can be caused by prolonged manual pumping.

In addition, for parents with babies in special care baby units (SCBU) or neonatal intensive care units (NICU) who're exclusively expressing, it's best to spend a little more on an electric breast pump. This will help make feeding your baby a little easier and maintain your breast milk supply.

Choosing a manual breast pump

Manual breast pumps are often cheaper than electric ones. So, if you're only going to be expressing occasionally, then a manual, hand-held pump may be the best choice for you.

They can also be quieter, easier to use on the go, and mean that you're totally in control of the pace at which you pump. This can be appealing to some parents who may find electric pumps a little daunting when they're just getting started.

What are closed and open system breast pumps?

When you're shopping for your perfect breast pump, you might hear about open and closed systems, but what does this mean?

  • A pump with a closed system means that none of your breast milk touches the breast pump or air while you're pumping. All Tommee Tippee pumps feature a hygienic closed system that makes sure breast milk only goes into the bottle, not into the air tube or pump.
  • With an open system pump, the breast milk can touch the tubes and the air inside of the breast pump. For this reason, open-system pumps can't be used safely by another person.

Whichever type of pump you choose, they all need to be cleaned and sterilised after each use.