NURSING 101 : The Right Breastpump at Every Price Point

Have you heard?!  I just gave birth this past Monday and as I am slowly getting back on my feet, I thought this post was highly appropriate given the challenges I’ve struggled with this week with a preemie. Enjoy and I hope to be back posting real soon!

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As many of you know I am a huge lactivist.  Having breastfed both my children for a combined total of over 5+ years, I had seen the health benefits of breastfeeding first hand and have navigating every breastfeeding issue from mastitis to having the flu while breastfeeding, to low supply, and my child’s colic and food allergies.   I am so certain that breastfeeding is the only way to go, I decided to become a CLC, certified lactation counselor and am working towards my IBCLC certification, hoping to help new and seasoned mother’s alike navigate this crucial decision in your newborn’s health.

One of the most important decisions a family can make is whether or not to breastfeed.  With it comes a lot of commitment including which breast pump to choose.  One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is to suggest a breast-pump in a certain price range.  With so many choices now on the market at every price point, it may be hard to know which is best.  I truly believe that the right breast-pump can be your best friend when it comes to breastfeeding success.  Regardless of the price of a breast-pump, it will hands down always be a cheaper investment than formula feeding for the first year.

Here are my TOP CHOICES in 3 different price ranges all which meet my must have features to consider when choosing a breast-pump:

  • For the support of breastfeeding success I always recommend using a double pump.  Not only does it save time, it also saves sanity in many ways.
  • 2 Phase Expression mimicking the natural rhythm of baby is the most important feature if you plan of pumping frequently.  It will help to ensure long term supply.
  • I definitely am a fan of included AC power adapters but straight from the beginning knew battery power was an important factor to consider, especially if you plan on being mobile, going back to work, and you’re unsure about your access to an outlet.  With Little Miss A, I still wasn’t the most comfortable with breastpumping publicly and often found myself engorged hiding in the backseat of my car pumping thanks to a battery pack.  Now that I am more comfortable and confident in my own skin, I won’t hesitate to ask for a private area and an outlet.
  • Easy to assemble and clean – It is well known that time and sleep is a luxury in those first few weeks.  But I’ve often said, if you can survive the first two weeks of breastfeeding, your overall success rate and length of breastfeeding is increased significantly.  A huge part of saving your sanity is not having to worry about sanitizing and cleaning your parts properly.  I often recommend to my patients to purchase enough flanges and parts for at least a ½ days worth of feedings so you’re not always rushing to clean your parts in between each feeding.  I like to leave a bucket filled with warm soapy water to soak the used parts until you’re ready to clean them all at once. 
  • Portability – Whether its the size overall of the pump or a discreet tote to hold it all
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affinityproLANSINOH AFFINITY PRO DOUBLE BREASTPUMP $129.99
One of the best pumps in the $100-$200 range is the Lansinoh Affinity Pro Double Pump –  MSRP $129.99.  It’s got a lot of features you’d expect from a more expensive pump like it’s 2 phase expression and 3 customizable pumping styles which allows you to maximize milk production and comfort.  We love the included comfort fit flanges which is a luxury on higher end breast-pumps.   I love that it can be used via AC adapter or battery and includes back-lighting for those late night pumping sessions.  Even more added value is the included travel tote which you’ve come to expect only with higher end breast-pumps.

STANDOUT FEATURE: The price, at only $129.99 it surprisingly can compete with the most expensive pumps and hold its own.
CON: It’s loud. Part of it may be that it’s such a compact design there isn’t enough sound insulation from within.

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drbrownDR. BROWN’S SIMPLISSE DOUBLE ELECTRIC BREASTPUMP $249.99

This is the most natural feeling of breast-pumps.  The  Super Soft BabyFace Flexible Breastcups really conform and move with your breast and minimize the tugging and pinching you get with other breast-pumps.    The biggest thing to overcome is that need for suction to express milk out.  The biggest complaint I’ve seen regarding this pump is it’s lack of suction, but you need to understand that this pump works to mimic the natural compression movement that baby uses to extract milk from your breast.  This is a great pump for those with sensitive breasts and nipples.  If you find on other breast-pumps that your nipples are sore or bleeding, give this pump a try.

STANDOUT FEATURE: the Super Soft BabyFace Flexible Breastcups

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freestyleMEDELA FREESTYLE $379.99
This is the top of the line Medela pump and worth every penny according to many.  Having breastfed my first child for 2.5 years, all the features the Pump in Style was missing for me was included in this newer model.  I hated being tied to an outlet with the Pump in Style and I love the rechargeable battery on this one. Although with my son I was a stay at home mom, I appreciated being able to throw the pump into any bag for an extended day out.  Another standout feature was the improved parts.  I was constantly losing the membranes to the Pump in Style and unsure if I cleaned the valves completely in those nooks and corners I couldn’t quite get into.  There was definitely a great deal of thought in the design of the new connectors.  Larger, easier to access parts made for easier cleaning.

STANDOUT FEATURE:  Spare parts are readily available at most retailers.  Being the most mainstream of choices, in a pinch if that flange broke or you needed a new diaphragm, you won’t have any down time leading to decreased supply or other issues.
CON: The one size fits all hard plastic flanges, with the other two including comfort fit flanges, it would be nice to see the top of the line breastpump include this small feature.

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{ disclosure: a sample of the Lansinoh Affinity Pro Double Pump and the Dr. Brown’s Simplisse Double Electric Pump was provided for a review.  I am a self-purchased previous owner of a Medela Freestyle Pump and a L&D nurse at a hospital which uses Medela products.  No compensation was received to facilitate these reviews and recommendations.  As always all opinions expressed above are my very own. }