Breastfeeding pumps

Did you know that breastfeeding pumps were invented in the mid 19th century as a medical device to treat inverted nipples and to help infants who have difficulties in direct latching? The first electric power breast feeding pump was introduced by Medela, also the first that was not intended for in hospital use.

For most of the mothers who are breastfeeding their child, breastfeeding pumps are one of the most useful devices they ever invested. There are two types of breastfeeding pumps – electric operated breast pump and manual breast pump.

Of course, there are other way to express breast milk too besides having baby around and use of breast pumps. Use hand expressing method and this traditional method is still very useful to collect more breast milk and able to empty breast better.

I will share with you overview about breastfeeding pumps in this article. It is not about the review of individual breast pumps but a general information you should know before purchasing a breast pump.

Please read on.

Breastfeeding pumps

Breastfeeding pumps

Why you need a breastfeeding pumps?

Do you need to invest in good breastfeeding pumps? There are few reasons behind it:

  • These mothers are working mothers, they can express breast milk at workplace anytime convenient.
  • The baby is away from the mother due to some reason, mother can still express her breast milk to her little one.
  • The baby is having latching problem (i.e tongue tie or incorrect positioning). Baby is not able to get the breast milk easily. Usually it can be resolved in the first few days with the help of latching consultant.
  • To reduce the breast engorgement if baby is not fed frequently especially when baby starts solid foods.  

Constant pumping her breast milk can help her maintain her milk supply if direct latching is not possible. Pumping and storing her breast milk also allows other to help to feed the child when the mother is not around.

Type of breastfeeding pumps

There are basically two types of breast feeding pumps. Electric operated breast pumps and manual breast pumps. You can use breast pump as double pumps if you wish to pump both breasts at the same time or single pump, if you prefer to pump one breast at the time and direct latching on the other breast.

Before you purchase any pump, you need to consider a few important points:

  1. time saving ( double pump can save you more time than just single pump)
  2. breast feeding period (6 months / 1 year / 2 years etc)
  3. frequency of pumping ( if pump occasionally, manual pump will be just sufficient)
  4. budget (some hospital-grade pumps are efficient and powerful and can be rented from hospitals. Manual pumps are cheaper compared to electric breast pump)

You can wait a bit when it comes to choosing a right pump for you. Some people purchase the pump during their late pregnancy and regret about it after use it for a while. This is a general guideline to help you make decision to ensure you understand and aware of the importance of these pumps and suit your needs.

Electric operated breast pumps

Nowadays, there are variety of modern electric pumps you can find in the market. These type of pumps are powerful and have different suction level to suits user’s needs. Some pumps in the market are designed to have suction sensation that mimic a nursing baby, with attractive designs, low noise level and other additional features.

Some breast pump also include accessories such as a case, cooling carrier, storage bottles/bags, tubing and flanges. Some models are bulky, some are smaller suitable for on-the-go.

Hospital grade pumps are very powerful and efficient. Sometimes they can be rented out. If you are not sure about what type of electric breast pump to buy, you can rent it and try it for few weeks before you invest in one of your own. But you may need to use your own flanges, tubing and collection bags/bottles.

If you are using an electric breast pump, you will have to do more cleaning as there are quite a number of the breast pump parts you need to clean as well. You also need a bigger storage bag for you to carry around include all the accessories and parts.

Spectra S1 electric double/single breast pump reviews, please click in the link to read more.

Manual breast pumps

Sometimes need time and practices when working on these kinds of pumps. They are basically hand pumps so they are usually smaller, less noise, lighter and cheaper in price. It is usually taking more time to express milk and you will feel a bit tiring when using this kind of pump. But once you have mastered it, it can be useful when you manually express milk from one breast and nursing your child on the other breast.

If you do not do frequent pumping but more on direct latching, you can consider a manual breast pump. Some people find that manual breast pump is able to express more milk than electric breast pump but it is different from individual. Less cleaning for you and they can be easily fit in a hand bag (small).

Tips to pump easily

Once you are ready for pumping session, you need to trigger your let-down reflex for your milk to kick in. Every woman has their own way of doing it but here are some tips for your reference:

  • Find a comfortable spot, private and quiet
  • See your baby face from the phone
  • Listen to your recording of your baby crying
  • Pump at the same time everyday
  • Use a warm towel and pressing onto your breast
  • Lightly massage your breast to let the milk flow (some electric breast pump has this massage feature)

In the end of this article, i just share some general knowledge about hand express method. It is the alternative method of expressing milk without your baby or breast pumps in the case of emergency. It is a skill to learn when you face a situation whereby your breast is engorged with full milk and baby and breast pump are not available.

Hand express method

It is a skill to learn and practice make hand expressing easier. Consult your midwife on the hand expressing method after childbirth. Here are a few steps you can follow:

  • Wash your hand thoroughly
  • Get a clean bowl to catch your milk
  • Gently massage your breast in circles towards the areola
  • Position the pads of your thumb and forefinger at the edge of areola
  • Pressing in against the breast and compressing them together
  • Relax and repeat, getting the same rhythm going
  • Move fingers to a different position, massage and stroke the breast and compress thumb and fingers together again
  • Repeat until you have moved right around the breast
  • This is to release your breast milk from the milk ducts
  • Freshly express milk will start to flow out and collected on the clean bowl
  • It shall be stored in a clean container or storage bag after finish hand expressing

This is a useful technique to learn as it is always available and it does not cost you anything. By hand expressing method, sometimes you may collect even more breast milk after pumping.


If you are a mother-to-be and looking for breastfeeding pumps, this article is written just for you. I hope you find it insightful and share it with your friends.

Happy reading.

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