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The Guide To Buying A Breast Pump

A breast pump is not an item required by all parents. Some parents choose to solely breastfeed without needing to express and some mums choose to bottle feed. However if you are going to express then choosing the right breast pump for your needs is essential.

First consider will you be needing the pump long term, or is it a short term measure. For short term use a hired breast pump could be the best option. Reasons for short term use could be nipple damage, tongue or lip tie, engorgement etc. Longer term use may be considered due to returning to work, exclusive express feeding.

Other reasons for expressing milk include:

  • an evening out, note if you drink alcohol you need to consider if the milk is safe for baby or if it should be discarded

For short term or occasional use a manual breast pump could be the best option. This will be low cost, however is more labour intensive and slower to express the milk. For those exclusively expressing a more heavy duty option like a hospital grade pump would be a worthwhile investment for durability, efficiency and ease of use.

Manual Breast Pumps

  • hand action pumps the milk

  • Ideal for infrequent use

  • more portable

Electric Breast Pumps

  • plugged in or on battery power

  • choice of suction strength and rhythm

  • more comfortable for regular use due to the multiple speed options

  • more efficient

  • if needing to use when out and about check it has battery back up

Double Breast Pumps

  • pump from both breasts at the same time

  • saves time

  • more expensive

  • less portable


Hospital Grade Breast Pump

  • most expensive

  • heavy duty motor

  • may be available for hire

Breast pump size.

The breast shields come in varying sizes. If the flanges when attached are causing any pain or discomfort you may need a larger size shield.

Breast pump hire

Breast pumps can be hired from local pharmacies, some hospitals and the Australian Breast Feeding Association. You will normally just need to purchase the attachments. This can be an affordable option to use a hospital grade machine for short term use.

Things to consider when buying a pump

  • How often will I use it

  • Do I need to use it when out and about

  • Is it for short term use

  • Will I need it for future children

  • Which bottles is the pump compatible with (if incompatible you may need to transfer milk – not impossible, just another step)

  • Will a noisy pump be an issue

  • How easy is the pump to disassemble and clean

  • What is your budget for the pump