What Breast Pump Is the Best?

Updated on November 10, 2008
J.B. asks from North Las Vegas, NV
37 answers

Hi! I am looking for advice on what breast pump works the best. I am pregnant with my 2nd child and want a good quality pump. I had the manual Advent Isis hand pump and HATED it so much. I could barely get anything out and by the end I would be in tears. I have heard the Medela Pump in Style are the best. I am just trying to find out if the original is good or worth the money to go to the advanced. Even though I will only be using it every once and a while, I told my husband it would be worth the investment even if I only use it a couple of times a month after my last expirience. Also where you have found the best deals on breast pumps would be great. Has anyone tried using the breast shield for flat niples? Does it work or did you find something else that works? Thanks for the advice.

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So What Happened?

Thanks so much for the great feedback. I am still trying to decide on the Medela Pump In Style Original or Advanced, but it will probably come down to the one I can find the best price new.

Featured Answers

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T.V.

answers from Omaha on

Hi, I am using manual Medela pump, and love it. When it was time to buy a breast pump I just could not afford to spend $200. So I chose a great brand, but a cheapest model. It is very compact, it fits in a little cooler. I always take it anywhere we go. Since it doesn't require electrical outlet, I can pump my milk virtually anytime, no matter where I am.

2 moms found this helpful
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X.S.

answers from Seattle on

I actually found the medela HAND/MANUAL pump worked the best for me. I had rented the $900 Lactina and only got about 2 oz per breast. With the hand pump I was able to to pump about 4 oz from each breast in about 15-20 minutes.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.R.

answers from Dallas on

I had real good luck with the medela brand. They are a little more expensive, but probably one of the best baby investments we ever made. You should go to "milkworks" in Lincoln. There are a couple locations. They are so helpful, I told them what I wanted in a pump and what I didn't want and they helped me pick one that would work best for my needs. It is an investment so all the research you can do certainly helps. Good Luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

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A.M.

answers from Seattle on

I have the Medela Pump in Style, I do not have the newest model though, I have the one that came out a few years ago, but I was told they are pretty much the same. It works great. After I had my son I was using the hospital grade breastpump at the hospital made by Medela, but the rental per month was too expensive so I bought the Pump in Style from a friend whose daughter had just turned one and was no longer breastfeeding. I saw no difference in the results between the Pump in Style and the hospital grade one. I bought mine used so I got a great deal on it. But, if I had to I would have bought it used, it is that good. I use mine all the time as we had breastfeeding issues from the beginning ...
also, I have used the breast shield. I really liked it however, my son was not a fan of breastfeeding in general but would only do it with the shield.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.N.

answers from Lincoln on

J.- I have a 17 month old boy and I nursed until he was a year old. I work full time so I had to pump twice a day for about 9 months at work and I absolutely love the Medela Pump in Style. Even if you are only going to be pumping every once in a while it's worth the investment. You plug it in pump for 15 minutes and you are done. It's super easy to use, clean up, and super handy to take anywhere. I used it a couple of times in the car even. Tell your husband it's worth it - I know my husband did not want to spend the money but while I was nursing he totally thought it was money well spent!
M.

1 mom found this helpful
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T.N.

answers from Portland on

Hi J.,

I like the electric Medella the best. That is what the hospitals, and amny birth centers use. It is the one I recommend to my clients as well. I believe that you can generally rent them from your local Le Leche League.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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W.R.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I bought a Pump in Style when I was expecting my first baby. It was used a couple times a day for a solid year. I used it almost that much with my second child. I only used it a dozen or so times with my third child.

It is now 9 years old and still runs perfectly! What a fantastic investment. I know the newer models have more doohickeys and cool stuff on them, but I would think they're just as durable.

I've heard the Ameda Purely Yours is just as good, but doesn't cost as much.

I found this website that gives a lot of reviews of various pumps if you want to check it out: http://www.consumerdemocracy.com/phelp/cd4/listPosRevs2B....

1 mom found this helpful
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K.D.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi J.,
I've heard the Medela Pump in Style Advanced in one of the best out there. I wished I would've bought one instead of borrowing an Avent Isis hand pump because I didn't think I'd use a automatic pump that much (wrong!). I ended up just using my own hand which worked much better! I found looking on-line this store had the best pricing: www.hackleyHME.com about $100 cheaper than stores, but they CANNOT be returned any place you buy them. Some stores that sell them will allow you to try them (and dump the milk) but there is a fee. I've heard that you should never buy a used one because the breastmilk can get inside the machine and potentially contaminate your milk, even if the tubes and such are sterilized. Why take a chance with your baby?

In regards to nipple shields. Yes, I used them and they did nothing. I was told I had flat nipples and that was why my son would not nurse (we ended up bottle feeding) but my daughter had no problems nursing and I was told I did NOT have flat nipples. I found that using my manual hand pump to draw them out before nursing worked well until my son could latch on (lucikly my daughter had no issues at all latching on).

Anyway, good luck with your search and breastfeeding!

1 mom found this helpful
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J.L.

answers from Salinas on

I used the medela pump in style advanced and loved it. I bought it online from the Navy Exchange for about $300. I would never buy one used but maybe you can find a new one cheaper on ebay? I used it when I went back to work and it was very easy. I had to use a hand pump when my milk first came in to help some of the pressure and it was miserable. I just couldn't work it, the electric one was worth every penny.

As for the breast shields. Once my milk came in, the side she had been favoring became so engorged she couldn't latch on. The lactation nurse that came out after she was home for 2 days ended up giving me a shield to use temporarily. We used it a little less than 2 weeks and it really helped get over the problem.

A warning though. Lots of the research I did about using shields said to only use under supervision of a lactation nurse or your doctor. It may reduce your milk supply so I'd make sure to get some advice from a professional as well on that. It helped us for our short time so I wouldn't say don't use it but just with supervision.

Hope I helped! Congrats on your soon to be born son!

Jen in Hawaii

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C.R.

answers from Honolulu on

Medela Pump in Style.

Breast fed my daughter for one year (no supplements) and worked 60+ hours a week since she was 6 weeks old.

Breast fed my son for one year (no supplementation) and worked 60+ hours a week since he was 2 weeks old.

Needless to say, I pumped A LOT! The Medela never let me down. I got the car jack and used it in my car (I was in school and didn't have an office) for 7 months. Best purchase I ever made.

Good luck.

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B.D.

answers from Eugene on

Hi there J.. I can honestly say I have never had a problem with breast pumps. I would say NEVER use manual pumps they are frustrating. If you can afford it theres one on the market you can even get at target for $200-300. It's spendy but WORTH IT! I was lucky and WIC had some pumps when I had my son. It will get ya going in no time with a freezer filled with milk. :-)

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M.G.

answers from Portland on

Ok, you got a lot of responses and I just don't have time to look through to see if anyone said this yet, but you may want to (hope it's not too late) check with your insurance company and see if you have durable medical coverage and if they would cover a pump. My plan did and I got the Medela Pump in Style sent to my home in less than one week and it only cost me $50 for the copay.

I don't have any other to compare to, but all the other mom's I know that used a pump said this was the best one out there so I felt lucky that it was the one my plan would cover.

My best to you and yours! :)

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M.B.

answers from Omaha on

I had the Isis manual and I agree, it was awful! It had a pretty decent rating on Target's website, but I can't figure out why. I went back and got the Medella electric pump (single). It was great, and I think I spent about $80. I had a lot of problems breastfeeding, and ultimately had to quit because even with pumping and Reglan, I just was not producing anywhere near enough milk. If I was VERY VERY lucky I could get 1.5 ounces per breast at the height of my breastfeeding. Not enough for a kid who was up to 40 oz. by 2 months old! It never got better than that and bean decreasing no matter how often I pumped, so I had to supplement with formula and eventually gave up the BF'ing. But I loved my Medella, great suction, easy to use. I plan on using it for the second baby, whenever that is, hopefully I'll have better success with BF'ing the next time around!

M.

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C.G.

answers from Seattle on

It's funny, I used the Isis for my daughter and I loved it!! Then again, I could nurse her on one side and pump an 8 oz bottle on the other side, so I could probably have used a plastic bag and gotten the same results!!

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J.C.

answers from Portland on

Others have answered the breastpump question.

I have very flat nipples and I had some early medical problems so he couldn't nurse at first. So I ended up using a nipple shield for the entire time I breastfed my son (almost two years). I know it's not recommended, but except when I misplaced it or forgot it, it never seemed worth the pain and screaming of getting him to latch on without it. He was a very patient determined nurser though, and I had the time to let him nurse for an hour at a time which I think might be necessary when using the shield to get enough stimulation to keep producing milk. I also pumped regularly so he could take a bottle and I could get a break sometimes. Even with using the nipple shield at one point he stopped wanting a bottle since we went too long between using it, so we had to reintroduce him to it.

There is also something else...which is maybe the breast shield which you use when you're not nursing, supposedly especially before you give birth. I found the only thing it did was collect milk when I'd leak. Not worth it at all.

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C.M.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I'd have to agree and say that the Medela Pump In Style is the best. I know it's expensive but completely worth it. I too had a couple of hand pumps that did nothing.
I got mine off ebay and then just boiled all the tubes and stuff to be sure that it was clean. Then when I was done with it I put an ad in the paper and sold it for the same amount I bought it for. Pretty swell deal.

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A.J.

answers from Bellingham on

I recommend the Medela too !
If you want one I will sell you mine. You can buy a fresh kit from the mother baby store for the pump.
Good luck!

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M.P.

answers from Portland on

I am using a Medela Double Ease. I got it from Target for $120-$130. My son is ten months old and I have used it at least once a week since his birth and it's still rockin' and rollin'. The doc said my nipples were a little bit flat and it hasn't been an issue with this pump. You can also rent one from the lactaion clinic for $50/mo, maybe less, I'm not sure. And I did use breast shields for a week before delivery and then a few weeks after, just to keep them aired out and keep the lanolin on my nipples, not rubbed into a nursing pad. The only thing about that was I leaked into the shields, but it wasn't that big a deal, it was only a few weeks and the pain relief was worth it!!

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K.

answers from Pocatello on

I had three preemie babies and had to start my milk each time with a breast pump and keep the milk production for up to 3 months with just a breast pump. I used the medela pump. It can be difficult to get a lot of milk until you are completely conformtable but I do not think I could have ever gotten milk with a manual pump - even after my milk had come in.

Congradualtions on the baby and good luck.

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S.M.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I would recommend not purchasing ANY consumer style breast pump. You can contact the lactation consultant at the hospital and they can give you a list of places where you can rent a medical breast pump. These pumps work much faster and can pump both breasts at once. I rented one for 6 months at 45.00 per month. Which is only slightly more than you'd buy one for and when you stop breastfeeding you don't have an extra piece of equipment your no longer using lying around the house.

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G.S.

answers from Anchorage on

Hi there. I had to respond. I use my Medela, advanced pump in style DAILY!!!! I love it, it truly is an awesome investment. I got mine on e-bay. Barely used....easily sanitizable....lady had twins, wasn't going to continue breastfeeding....
I have heard that the shields work, this pump has some serious suction, I would think that it would be helpful.
Good Luck!

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J.A.

answers from Seattle on

You have a ton of responses, but I just had to tell you my story. My last baby (my 3 year old daughter) was born sick and was unable to learn to breastfeed due to tubes in her mouth and nose. I started using the hospital's Medela hospital grade pump while my daughter was in the NICU so they could tube feed her my milk. She had a blood infection and any immunity she could get from me was vital. When she came home, I'd purchased my own Medela Pump In Style Advanced. I love, love, love this pump! I was able to pump 8 ounces of milk from each breast 6 times per day (after much pumping to stimulate my milk supply). My freezer was stacked with milk and she was drinking breast milk 3 months after I'd stopped pumping when she was a year old. I'm currently 38 weeks pregnant with a little boy now and I've already got my trusty Medela ready to go! If your insurance doesn't cover it (I didn't even know to check at the time), the Pump In Style Advanced costs about $330 at Target. It's well worth every penny.

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T.M.

answers from Salt Lake City on

When I had my daughter I rented a pump. It worked great a little more bulky than the Pump in Style so, for conveniance I decided to buy a Pump In Style Advanced. In comparison to the rented one, the Pump In Style Advanced was less powerful, but I was still very satisfied with the proformance. I still have my pump if you are interested in a used one.

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L.P.

answers from Spokane on

I myself never used a breast sheild but my sister has inverted nipples and was not able to breastfeed her first child. When she had her son in June her doctor told her to try it. For her, it worked very well and a few months later when she lost it she was actually able to breastfeed without it.

As for the breast pump I have no advice I just know I hated mine.

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M.

answers from Las Vegas on

I used the Medela Deluxe and it was good (but not great), however I did get it used (from a girlfriend) so it may have not been in perfect condition. This time around I'm going to look into possibly renting a hospital grade pump (I'm pretty sure St. Rose Hospital in Henderson rents them - I'm not sure about the other hospitals in Vegas). If not, I too have heard great things about the Pump in Style and will probably buy that.

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S.B.

answers from Portland on

I agree, medella is the best. If you participate in WIC, you can borrow a pump from them free of charge. They will also help to pay for formula, should you ever need to go that route. I was not able to nurse my newborn due to some medical issues and found that pumping full time to keep up the supply on top of taking care of my newborn (when I was finally able to bring her home from the hospital after 33 days) was just too much. Plus, after a while, it really started to hurt. It is a LOT of work and I just didn't have the time or energy to keep pumping. On the bright side. Formulas now are advanced enough that the only thing they are lacking (compared to breast milk) are the antibodies. They have all the vitamins and nutrients that baby need to be healthy.
~ S.

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K.C.

answers from Seattle on

My little girl is 11-months-old and I am still pumping. She is too tall to comfortably continue to nurse in her rocking chair, but I want to continue to give her the health benefits of breast milk.
When I was pregnant and shopping around, it seemed like Medela was the only major brand, so I bought the Harmony single pump, not realizing I would need a double pump. It was very painful and took forever to get the milk I needed. I have tried other Medela pumps and haven't been happy, because you can't really customize the pressure and suction settings.
My sister-in-law recommended Ameda. I checked it out on consumerreports.com and it is rated as the best electric double pump on the market. I don't believe it is available in stores, but you can order it online at amedababy.com. I have been using mine since my baby was a few weeks old and it has been wonderful. Good luck!

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L.A.

answers from Lincoln on

Madella is probably best. I know it's what alot of lactation consults suggest. Go for a pump-in-style or pump-in-style advanced if you're looking for an electric double pump. If you want a GOOD hand pump to pack away in a purse or diaper bag, the Madella Harmony is awesome. I had to use it for a while at work until I got a battery pack for my electric pump!

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K.K.

answers from Sioux Falls on

J.-
I have and still am, using the Ameda manual pump. When I was pumping with my first son, I had no clue about pumps and just went and picked one out. I was fortunate and found a great one. The unfortunate thing about that brand is that you have to order it on-line because they stopped carrying them in Sioux Falls. You can buy one for around $30, and if something breaks on the pump, they are quick to send free replacement parts. They also don't interrogate you about how it broke and so forth.

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A.F.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Congratulations on your new baby- coming soon. My vote goes for the Medela Pump in Style advanced. It has compartments to store all of the parts in and can be used manually or plugged in. It pumps both breast for saving time. The first lactation consultant I spoke with suggested this one. The Medela brand is what they use in most hospitals, also.

A.
Mom of four Munchkins.

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T.J.

answers from Seattle on

I too hated the isis pump. This time I got the medela single battery/electric pump, it was only $65 compared to the double pumps and works great! I exclusively breastfeed while at home and only work outside the home one day a week, so its perfect for me. Hope that helps!

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L.N.

answers from Portland on

I vote for the Medela also. I used the Pump In Style travel pump for a year with my first child and loved it. I plan to use it again for my 2nd child.

As for the shield question... the nurse at the hospital where I delivered was quick to give me the nipple shield, but after I got out of the hospital I used the Lactation Clinic free services and the nurse there showed me how to work without it. I would highly recommend a lactation consultant!

Good luck!

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R.A.

answers from Omaha on

The Medeal Pump In Style Advanced is great!

My only thought before you buy is really consider buying a new one. I used mine to death, I produced a ton of milk and pumped as much as 12 times daily at one point.

With that said, I loaned the pump to a friend to use and the motor burned out.

The instruction manual even says the motor can burn out. It is a great product and I would definitely buy another for my second child but I would not get a used one for the simple reason you will not know how much it was used prior, and wouldn't want to waste your money.

But if you do go with a used one, don't boil all the parts that are washable, throw them away and buy replacement parts that only you will use. They are sold new and seperately at Babies R Us and Target.

If you want to go a less expensive route, most hospitals rent pumps from their women's center for a fair price. If you are a first time breast feeder/pumper you may consider this before the huge investment of a brand new pump. Some moms try to pump or breastfeed then decide they don't want to do it, can't do it, or may have situations with the birth of their child that prohibits them from doing it.

If you have any questions about other things while breastfeeding feel free to email me through this site. My friends and I all had kids at the same time so it helped to ask each other the 'strange or embarrassing' questions. There is so much info only your friends or mom will tell you straight away. :-)

Good Luck.

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C.M.

answers from Bismarck on

The Medela Pump in Style worked great for me and for several of my friends that borrowed it. They all purchased new tubing and sterlized all of the collection bottles. After sharing it around for six years the motor has finally burned out--but between me and my friends, we produced gallons of breast milk for our happy babies!!

Also, if you're going to store any milk in the milk bags, I loved the Lansinoh storage bags--they were much easier to open after being sealed than other brands I tried that ripped and spilled.

Good Luck!!

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N.B.

answers from Portland on

I used the medela pump in style advanced and bought a bra (it actually fits over your bra) that allows for hands free pumping. Additionally, if you buy the pump from a hospital store you can sometimes get your insurance to pay for part of the cost - mine picked up 50%!!!

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T.

answers from Las Vegas on

J.,

Unfortunately there is no easy answer to the breastpump questions. I've been on a yahoo group called PumpMoms since my son was born 3 years ago (I'm pregnant with my second child now) and from what I've seen, everyone has their preference and different pumps work better for different women. That said, I used a Medela Pump in Style Advanced to pump for my son while I worked full time and I pumped for 16 months. It worked well for me and I liked it very much so I'm about to buy another to use with this baby (my old one still works but it has a million miles on it so I want a new one and will use that for backup). You can get a PISA from various sources on the internet for $250 or less - considerably less than you can get it from BabiesRUs. I plan to get my pump this time from Linda Richards ([email protected]____.com). She's a certified Medela Representative (so you get the 1 year warranty) and she's a lactation consultant, a stay at home mom and just generally great to work with. I didn't buy my pump from her last time but did get various replacement parts (she sells parts on ebay but not actual pumps because that is against Medela's policy and she would lose her "rep" status). From what I understand, a Medela Pump in Style and an Ameda Purely Yours are very equivalent in terms of quality of pump but the Ameda is cheaper because Ameda doesn't have the overhead Medela does (i.e. they don't do nearly as much marketing). Everyone I know who has had an Ameda PY has love it. I think they run around $150, the PIS around $200, the PISA around $250 (not at BRU though, they are quite a bit more expensive there and they don't carry Ameda). I'm not sure the PISA is actually worth the extra money but I'm getting it anyway just because I had such good luck with it last time.

That said, I've heard good things about the Avent Duo but since you hated the Avent Isis, that probably isn't a good choice for you. I've also heard really good things about renting hospital grade pumps (you can get them from hospitals, some pharmacies, some lactation consultants, if you want an Medela, they have a search engine on their website to find somewhere near you that carries their pumps, not sure abou Ameda). The nice thing about renting a pump is that if you don't like it, you can return it. The rest of the pumps I've talked about are all "single user" pumps and non-returnable once opened. The only other pump I have experience with is the "Whisper Wear" and I hated it. It didn't provide enough suction for me and it was a pain in the butt to set up and then I got virtually no milk out using it. Some women like it but I didn't. I do know that with the Medela pumps, you can buy various sized "horns" to get a comfortable fit (some women's nipples are too big to comfortably fit in the regular horns). Not sure about the other pumps.

Two great resources are a yahoo group called PumpMoms and a website www.kellymom.com You can find all sorts of info on pumping, milk storage, etc...

Considering that the average family formula feeding one infant spends $1800 in formula during the first year, I think $200-$300 for a breastpump is an easy to justify expense. And that doesn't even take into consideration the monetary factor that your babe will be healthier and go to the doctor less....

Good luck to you!

T.

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A.D.

answers from Boise on

I just got the pump in style by medela yesterday and I love it! It seems that the stores that sell medical supplies usually sell the pumps for less. THat is where we got mine.

A.

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