Best breast pumps: Which breast pump should you buy?

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  • Buying a breast pump is much easier than you may think – and doesn’t have to be too costly either. This baby essential will come in handy if you are breastfeeding and wish to share the feeding responsibilities.

    What breast pump to buy: Manual or electric?

    There are lots of different models to choose from but the first decision you need to make is whether to choose a manual and electric breast pump.

    A manual pump is a good option if you plan on expressing milk every now and then. It’s easy to use, lightweight and easy to transport as it can be stored in your handbag or changing bag. Manual breast pumps are often cheaper than electric ones too which is ideal if you’re trying to save money.

    If you’re going to pump regularly it’s recommended that you buy an electric breast pump which uses a lot less of your energy and is much quicker.

    The choice is completely down to your situation and it may be best to leave buying the pump until you’re comfortable with breastfeeding. Leading mum blogger and journalist Liz Jarvis says, ‘If you’re planning to breastfeed, don’t waste money on equipment like pumps or cushions until you know whether it’s actually going to work out for you.’

    Where to buy one: Best electric breast pumps

    Here are some of the most popular breast pumps available in the UK at the moment, which are recommended by mums.

    Mothercare’s bestselling electric breast pump

    Tommee Tippee closer to nature electric breast pump set £99.99

    Features: This pump features a unique silicone cup to provide ultimate comfort when expressing and has four adjustable suction phases ranging from light to high allowing your total control. For your convenience the breast pump can be either mains or battery operated giving you the freedom to be able to express while away from home.

    The Closer to Nature breast pump also comes complete with a range of useful accessories including a steriliser box which can hold the breast pump and a small bottle allowing you to steam sterilise them in a microwave. Other useful accessories include a milk storage pot to store expressed breast milk in the fridge of freezer, 6 breast pads, plus one 150ml Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottle with a slow flow teat that mimics the natural movement of mum’s breast helping baby to switch between breast and bottle with ease.

    GoodtoKnow: The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature breast pump has been designed to closely mimic your baby’s natural feeding actions to help maximise the amount of milk expressed.

    Amazon’s bestselling electric breast pump

    Medela Swing Electric breast pump with Calma £134.99Features: The Medela Swing Electric breast pump comes with lots of features including a swing motor unit, PersonalFit Breastshield 24 mm, connector, tubing, valve head and valve membrane, one breast milk bottle, one bottle stand, a mains adapter, bag and sling as well as a Calma feeding device.

    GoodtoKnow: This is a single user product. If used by more than one person it may present a health risk and it will void the warranty.

    Where to buy one: Best manual breast pumps

    Amazon’s bestselling manual breast pump

    Haakaa Silicon Breast Pump £16.10Features: Made from 100% food grade silicone, simple suction, 100% eco-friendly and safe for mum, baby and our environment, soft and comfortable, BPA, PVC and Phthalate free, compatible with all Haakaa wild neck bottles and no cords, batteries or assembly required.

    GoodtoKnow: This breast pump is dishwasher safe and also can be sterilised and left to sit in boiling water.

    Breast pumps recommended by real mums

    We asked new mums to tell us about their favourite breast pumps and why they’d recommended them to other mums…

    Annie, mum to Sara, 6 weeks

    Medela Breast Pump in Style Tire Lait Advanced Breast Pump with On the Go Tote
    looks complicated, but has great instructions. The speed can be altered to mimic the baby’s feeding rhythm to help with faster let-down and higher milk yield. The backpack makes it great to transport. It’s quite expensive at £422.89, but the pump is hospital-grade and it comes with a double-pumping accessory kit as well as the backpack, manual breastpump kit, cooler pack, battery pack, 4 containers and a mains adaptor.

    How to buy a cheap breast pump

    We’re all about saving money here at GoodtoKnow – especially when it comes to expensive buys, so we’re sharing some of our top tips for buying a breast pump on the cheap.

    • Online vs in store: With most baby essentials you’re best to go see them in the flesh but with a breast pump it doesn’t really matter – just as long as it works properly and is comfortable for you. Most stores will let you return your breast pump if you don’t need it or if it didn’t work for you and your baby so always keep the reciept so you can get money back. Do your research too, visit stores to see if they’re cheaper in store and then look online and opt for the cheaper.
    • Sales: If you’re lucky enough to be buying your baby essentials when there are sales on e.g. Black Friday, Boxing Day sales, January sales and end of season sale, you’re sure to grab yourself a bargain!
    • Vouchers and discount codes: It’s always worth having a Google to find out if there’s any recent discount codes for the store you’re buying from – even if its free delivery, it’ll make a difference to your overall budget.

    Breast pump safety

    There are no rules and regulations about buying a breast pump. However, for hygiene reasons, it’s recommended that you buy a breast pump brand new instead of using a second hand or ready-used one.

    Once you purchase your breast pump you need to make sure you clean it regularly to make sure you and your baby are safe from unwanted bacteria or infection.

    Some mums find they’re successful with one type of pump and not with others – everyone is different. If you buy one and it doesn’t work for you, make sure you take it back for a refund, rather than assume you can’t express – it just might not be the right one for you.