What is the best breast pump?
Life for a woman changes as soon as she delivers her baby. While her body prepares to adjust to the new life, she has to work towards getting her health back and learning how to do life with a newborn. Things become even more demanding for a working mother, especially when it comes to feeding the baby and keeping up with an exhausting work schedule.
Most health professionals recommend breastfeeding for babies less than 6 months of age which means that a breastfeeding mom will also have to learn how to work and pump. The best way to go about this is to use an electric breast pump. But, you don’t want just any pump, you want the best breast pump for working moms. Today we will explore the best breast pumps on the market for working mothers regardless of what type of work you do.
This is for you if you:
- Plan to pump while breastfeeding
- Want the best pumping experience possible
- Like to use the experiences and reviews of other mothers to aid in your decision making
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Why does a mother need to pump?
You have to admit laying on the couch watching Netflix curled up nursing your infant isn’t a bad gig. But, what happens when maternity leave is over and it’s time to go back to work or you just need some time to yourself?
You’ll have to pump!
Whether to opt for an electric breast pump or not is based entirely on a mother’s lifestyle and routine. If you work from home or decide not to return to work at all, breastfeeding on the couch could be a viable option for you. But, generally, the natural process of breastfeeding gets tiring since mothers have to be available to feed their baby on demand. The same is not the case with a breast pump. Milk can easily be pumped ahead of the baby’s feeding schedule and anyone can feed the baby with a bottle thereby allowing the mother the opportunity to relax, spend time with another child, or even work.
So, for working mothers, a breast pump is not a choice but an absolute necessity!
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Think about it, with a breast pump milk can be pumped while driving, while at work, or even while baby nurses on the opposite breast and then stashed fresh or frozen for the baby depending on when the milk will be used. This is one of the best ways for a working mom to ensure that her baby is getting the nourishment he/she needs despite her returning to work and not being the baby’s sole caretaker.
If you’re still on the fence about pumping, remember if breastfeeding your child is important to you and you have to go back to work, breast pumps help you make sure that you maintain an adequate milk supply and your baby gets to continue their normal feeding schedule even if mom isn’t around. It doesn’t replace you or the bond you share while nursing and your baby will be happy to return to your breast when you get home!
The breast pump just gives you flexibility.
With a breast pump, you can easily plan your day and have enough milk ready for your baby even if you have to work late or get caught in traffic. You just simply have to create a work pumping schedule that works for you and be consistent!
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As a mom who pumped and worked for 2 years, it is doable, even with a fast-paced and demanding job. You just need the right breast pump that fits your needs. And, we are going to find that for you today! Keep in mind your breast pump could very well end up being the best friend you need to help you transition to being a working breastfeeding mom while offering you the support you need in making sure your baby is fed and staying healthy.
Types of breast pumps
Breast pumps are typically categorized into 4 types of pumps:
- Double electric breast pumps
- Single electric breast pumps
- Battery operated breast pumps
- Manual breast pumps
Of course, any of these would allow you to pump milk but generally speaking the best breast pump for a working mom is a double electric breast pump.
A double electric breast pump allows you to be able to pump milk from each breast at the same time. Obviously this would shorten your overall pumping time and give you more milk in a single session. With a single electric pump, you’d only be able to pump 1 breast at a time. That could be problematic if you only have time for short pump breaks.
In your search, you may have also come across a manual pump like this one. Although you don’t want to use a manual pump as your main source of pumping milk, it is something every pumping mom should have. It will save your sanity when you forget to pack one of your pump pieces and it also helps with clogged ducts and engorgement. Make sure to have one in your pumping bag at all times.
How to choose a breast pump
Since you and your breast pump will be tied to each other for a while, it’s important that you choose one that’s comfortable and can stand the test of time. Here is what you should consider:
- Remember you’ll be taking this pump with you to work every day. You want something that’s not too big, not too heavy, and won’t keep you tied to an outlet.
- If you’re going to invest in a breast pump, you want it to meet your specific needs. You want to be able to adjust the suction for your comfort and increase the speed if need be. This is not the time for one size fits all!
- There are many professionals like teachers, lawyers, and healthcare providers, who don’t have the flexibility to take traditional pumping breaks. They may have to pump where they are but that doesn’t mean everyone around them has to know about it!
- Easy to get replacement parts
- Breast pumps aren’t cheap but your’s may be free through your insurance. Click here to find out. If your insurance doesn’t cover the cost of your breast pump, don’t fret. There are still affordable choices on the market that can fit your needs as a busy working mom.
Best breast pumps for working mothers
If you search for the best breast pumps, you will be overwhelmed with the number of responses you’ll get. And then after you read all of the articles you just end up confused and back to square one. To make it easy for you, here is a list of the best breast pumps for working mothers based on feedback from other working moms just like you!
Medela Pump in Style Advanced
If you’ve been around any breastfeeding mother, chances are you’ve heard of the Medela breast pump!
Medela was founded in 1961 and has been recognized as an expert advocate of breastfeeding through its development of innovative, research-based breast pump technology. They offer a variety of breast pumps but the one most loved by working moms is the pump in style advanced.
This is a double electric breast pump perfect for mothers who pump several times a day. The non-insured issued pump comes with 3 different stylish bags you get to choose from (On-the-go-tote, Backpack, or the Metro Bag). The pump itself comes with a dial that allows you to adjust the vacuum for your comfortable pumping experience.
It also has a removable cooler bag with a contoured ice pack that could hold up to 4 breast milk bottles. All parts that touch the milk are made without BPA. The pump package includes everything you need when you pump. This makes it one of the best breast pumps for working mothers.
Working moms love it because:
- It’s easy to get replacement parts
- Suction strength is better than a lot of the other pumps
- Can be used with a battery pack so no limitations on where to pump
- You can use an adapter to pump in the car! This can be a major win if you have at least a 10-minute commute to work.
- Normally free with insurance
- It’s not as quiet as some of the other breast pumps on the market. So if you’re pumping in a shared office, other people will hear you. It’s not that big of a deal but something to keep in mind.
- The pump in style is also an open system pump meaning there is no barrier preventing milk from leaking back into the tubing or from leaking into the breast pump. Again, not a big deal. Should you decide to purchase this pump you’ll just need to clean your tubing in between sessions and allow the pump to continue cycling after your done to remove any excess condensation.
Spectra Baby USA – S1 Plus Premier Electric Breast Pump
This pump was launched to compete with Medela Breast pumps and it indeed does that quite well. Working moms LOVE the spectra pumps!
Spectra S1 comes with a narrow tubing that keeps tubing dry by preventing air flow between expressed milk and pump tubing while pumping, protecting breast milk and baby from bacteria, mold, and viruses.
This pump also allows mom to customize her pump’s settings to her own body’s response and follow her flow to find which settings work best for her. The S1 can do this because it has completely adjustable suction and 2 phase cycling in let-down and expression mode.
Working moms love it because:
- It has a built-in rechargeable battery.
- The battery lasts a long time
- Has a backlight and a timer
- Several different setting options
- You can get up and do things while pumping
- More expensive than other spectra pumps
Best wearable breast pump
Willow Hands-Free Breast Pump
Billed as the world’s first all-in-one, in-bra wearable breast pump, the Willow as it is called lets mothers actually go about their day to day routines while pumping milk! It doesn’t come with any of the unusually long connectors or tubes —instead, the flanges, milk collection bags, and motor (which is actually exceptionally quiet) are combined into two separate pumps that you slip over your breasts and into your bra. Willow senses automatically and makes the switch from stimulation to expression. You can track how much you’re pumping and for how long by using the willow app. This is cutting edge and easily my favorite breast pump for working moms.
Working moms love it because:
- This pump is completely hands-free
- It’s a total game-changer because there aren’t any movement limitations so you don’t have to worry about leaks
- The Willow allows moms to continue their breastfeeding journey even when they work jobs where it’s impossible to take pump breaks
- Removes the stress of not having enough time to pump
- The 3rd generation is very gentle on the nipples
- Great battery life
- Expensive (but working moms are still willing to pay double the current price for the freedom and flexibility it gives them)
- Steep learning curve but once you master it, you’ll love it!
- Boobs look extremely big when wearing it
- Only holds 4oz on each side
- Need to use a lot of lube
This is another hands-free system that gives working moms both freedom and flexibility to get their breast pumping sessions in. It comes with over 100 different pump settings and 3 reprogrammable memory buttons! So once you find your favorite settings all you have to do is set as one of your favorites and you’re good to go. You can customize your settings for stimulation, let down, and power pumping! Worried about not getting enough suction? This pumps boasts hospital grade suction along with a turbo mode that allows for a long powerful draw cycle.
When you order the Freemie, you’ll get the pump, next-generation cup set, pump connection kit, power adapter kit, clothing kit, and carrying bag.
Working moms love it because:
- Holds 8oz on each side instead of 4oz
- Easy to hide under clothing
- Easier system to learn
- Pumping sessions need to be longer
- Louder than other hands-free pumps
- Leaks if you bed over
Medela Freestyle Flex
This Medela breast pump is designed for daily use for moms who pump several times a day, thanks to its patented, research based 2-Phase Expression Technology which produces more milk in less time. It has a reliable closed system design with overflow protection that prevents breast milk from entering the tubing. This ensures hygienic milk for your little one. Another advantage is that it comes with PersonalFit Flex, which means breast shields can be adapted to fit your shape for individual comfort and this helps to increase milk flow. Freestyle flex can get connected with your Medela app to give you additional support for your breastfeeding journey
Many mothers aren’t aware of the Medela Freestyle Flex but those that do love it because:
- Closed system
- Small enough to take with you anywhere
- Weighs less than a pound
- Sessions sync to the phone
- Powerful Suction
- Parts are easy to clean
- The battery doesn’t last long
What is the best breast pump for working moms?
Breastfeeding is meant to be a beautiful journey of nurturing and nourishment. A breast pump makes it easier for a working mother to enjoy it and to also stay productive when needed the most.
Hopefully, that list wasn’t too overwhelming and helped you narrow down the key differences between the most popular breast pumps for working moms. Ultimately the best breast pump for you is the one that’s going to fit your lifestyle and work environment. Do you need the freedom that comes with a hands-free pump? Then the Willow might be just what you need! But, if it’s outside of your budget, give the Freemie a try.
Maybe you like the idea of sitting down to pump and not trying to do a million other things at the same time. If that sounds more like you, you can’t go wrong with either the Medela Pump In Style Advanced or the Spectra S1.
Remember, before purchasing any breast pump, be sure to check and see if the one you want is covered by your insurance! That may just make the difference in you being able to get one of the more expensive hands-free pumps that other working moms love.
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