Breast pumps are nursing moms’ close companions. Sometimes, the difference between a robust breast milk supply and a lackluster one, a great breastfeeding experience and a stressful one, is a good breast pump. This explains why you need to carefully consider the breast pump you buy to express milk for your baby.
With many models, brands, features, and types of breast pumps on the market, selecting the pump to buy can be a nightmare. So to start, when do you need a breast pump? Breast pumps are used by both moms who breastfeed exclusively and those who don’t. Milk production, your lifestyle, and the appetite of your little one determine how often you’ll use your breast pump.
Unlike breast pumps, babies latch onto breasts and use their sucking power to stimulate more milk flow and volume. Therefore, milk letdown when a baby breastfeeds can be much more than when you pump breast milk. Milk production and letdown also vary from one mom to another.
Breast pumps can help you soften and reduce the volume of your engorged breasts to enable your newborn to easily latch onto them. They can also come as lifesavers, relieving you of the load when your baby isn’t able to. If experiencing low milk supply, a breast pump can help stimulate milk production to meet the demand-supply curve for your little one.
Keep your milk supply going by using multi-user breast pumps, particularly if your nipples are inverted or your baby is ill or experiencing delayed development and can’t latch onto your breasts. If you’re going away from your baby for a certain period, be it to work, shopping, a gym, etc., you need to invest in a breast pump.
When shopping for double breast pumps, you must first choose the type of breast pump you need by evaluating their pros, cons, and price points. Manual pumps
come with flanges and manual levers, which are hand-operated to create suctions on two breasts at a time. Although using manual pumps is labor-intensive and time-consuming, they’re less expensive than electric breast pumps and portable for use on-the-go. They’re also easy to clean and maintain. Opt for this type of pump if your milk supply is already well-established.
, on the other hand, are battery and/or electric-powered. Since these pumps are fast, they’re big time savers. Most electric pumps can also be configured to pump one breast at a time. Double electric breast pumps are perfect if you need to pump often, you’re returning to work, you experience low milk supply and need stimulation, or you simply prefer to exclusively feed your baby breast milk without direct breastfeeding.
can either be multi-user or single-user. Designed for use by hospitals and lactation consultants, these pumps are available for hire because they’re costly. Many moms can use this type of pump at the same time. Opt for a multi-user pump if you want to feed your baby exclusively on pumped breast milk or you need to establish milk supply.
Electric breast pumps
are fast, efficient, provide control over suction strength and speed, increase milk flow, and support hands-free use. Due to health and hygiene and motor lifespan, avoid used single-user breast pumps; they need to be recycled. Also consider various accessories such as tote bags
, milk bottles
, teats, and bibs
as they’re used with double breast pumps and/or when feeding the baby.
Unless you’re planning to take your baby wherever you go, consider investing in a double breast pump for the reasons discussed under the section above. A double electric breast pump is fast, hence saves you time. If you’re expressing at least thrice a day, consider buying a top-grade double pump.
Avoid false economy if you’re planning to pump milk more often, as the pump would break down sooner rather than later. Planning for more children? Invest in a good pump you can use in the future. Maintenance, power supply, and accessories a double breast pump comes with can influence the price of your pump.
The price of new manual breast pumps you can use at home range from $15 to $40. A double electric breast pump costs between $50 and $250, and the price of high-end hospital-grade double breast pumps ranges from $900 to $2500. If you’re not planning to have more kids in the future, consider renting a powerful multi-user pump.
Expression kits also increase the amount you can pay for a breast pump. When you hire a breast pump, it comes with a new expression kit and costs between $44 and $65 for the first couple of weeks.
Double breast pumps come with many features to choose from. There are basic features you need to consider when buying a pump for a wonderful pumping experience. Choose the most relevant and appropriate features to help you express as much breast milk as possible for storage.
Here are some important features to consider:
- Fitting flanges that don’t rub against your nipples to prevent friction
- Multi-phase suction for improved milk production
- Soft silicone cushion for comfortable milk expression
- Accessories such as bags and coolers for increased function
- Valves to prevent expressed milk backflow
- LCD screen and bottle holders for display and securing your milk bottles in place, respectively
- Tubing and motor for hygiene and performance, respectively
- Lightweight for use on-the-go
- Batteries for breast pump use on-the-go
- Motor warranty for prolonged guaranteed use and protection
With the right features, you can expect your double breast pump to improve letdown and offer hands-free use.
Construction and Design
Fitting Flanges/Breast Shield – since flanges hold your nipples while pumping, they need to fit. The right flanges don’t rub against your nipples as the friction can lead to pain, bleeding, or even infections.
Suction – if you’re looking to improve milk production, consider a multi-phase suction for stimulation and expression.
Soft Silicone Cushions – choose a breast pump with this feature for gentle massages and cushioned comfort.
Accessories – double breast pumps come with various accessories you need to consider such as pump bags, cases, or backpacks for portable use, and storage systems for keeping expressed milk in glass containers or bags.
Freezing Packs and Insulated Coolers - help keep expressed milk cold for future use. Power supply, lids, bottles, and storage bags are other accessories to consider.
Batteries/Adapter – whereas you’ll need the adapters for use with double electric pumps, battery packs support use on-the-go.
Warranty – opt for a breast pump with a warranty to protect you from manufacturing faults.
Weight – a good breast pump is compact, lightweight, and properly sized for portable use.
Memory Indicator - this feature records your preferred pumping pattern.
LCD Screen – these are displays where you can view pump settings.
Bottle Holders – consider breast pumps with built-in bottle holders to secure your milk bottles in place.
Tubing and Motor – these two features support hygiene through anti-bacterial properties and high performance, respectively.
Valves for Backflow Protection – consider bags with backflow protectors to prevent spillages.
Performance and Ease of Use
Double breast pumps are designed for performance, ease of use, and easy installation. Look out for features to support your intended use, whether you’ll be pumping heavily or not. Consider power outlets or battery packs to power your breast pump. Choose a pump that matches your lifestyle, baby needs, milk production, and working budget.
Your choice of a breast pump should be easy to use, comfortable, and portable. Look out for product warranties for protection from manufacturing faults and any accessories the pump comes with.
Choose the best double breast pump to help you lose pre-baby weight and reduce chances of developing ovarian or breast cancer while increasing milk supply. Select a double breast pump you can afford and consider whether you want to have more kids or not. Find out if one of our recommended double breast pumps is what you need.
Whether you’re returning to work after your maternity leave, need to stimulate milk flow for large volumes, or simply need to relieve your swollen breasts of the load, there’s a double electric or manual breast pump out there to consider. We hope that with our review of five of the top double breast pumps, you’ll be in a position to pick the right pump. In case you need something different, check out our other breast pump review.