Infants need nutrition, but when they’re still so young, they have trouble digesting most foods and liquids. The main source of their nutrients come from their mother’s breast milk. Studies show that infants receiving their mother’s breast milk are 73% less at risk of SIDS, have higher intelligence levels, show a decreased propensity for inner ear infections, childhood leukemia, obesity, psychological disorders, diabetes, asthma, and eczema. But the baby isn’t the only one benefitting; this relationship is symbiotic. Breastfeeding helps reduce a mother’s uterus back to its pre-pregnancy size, assists her in returning to pre-pregnancy weight, decreases the chances of post-partum bleeding, and lowers her risk for breast cancer. The process can be tedious and demanding, especially when you’re a woman with a schedule to maintain. It isn’t always convenient to stop what you’re doing and feed baby straight from the source at any hour of the day. Luckily, breast pump systems allow you to pump at the time most conducive to your schedule and store the milk to feed baby later. Choose between electric and manual pumps, both stationary and easily portable. These systems have been mom-tested already, so you know you’ll be getting the best there is.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Vakey Electric Breast Pump
- 9 Suction Modes
- Beleef Breast Pump
- Massage Cushion Included
- Spectra Baby USA S2
- Customizable settings
Criteria Used in Evaluation of The Top Breast Milk Pumps
We had to factor in the busy lifestyle of a modern-day mom, too, when it came to our selection! Most women these days have opted to balance work and family life, so a breast pump is actually a vital accessory for a family in 2018! Even stay-at-home moms have a tendency to be more on the go than women were 40 or 50 years ago! So, our pumps had to have all the attributes of a product that speaks to timeliness and convenience! This is why some of the pumps come with timers, to gauge the amount of milk needed per session and what is an adequate amount. This is why some might have an automatic shut-off. As earlier stated, we want no milk to be wasted, since it is a precious nutrient for your baby’s health! When your infant is nursing on one breast and you’re using the pump on the other, you don’t want the noise disturbing — but you also don’t want the suction to be relentless, either!
The inclusion of discreet carrying cases and small on-the-go sizes that can be tossed in a tote was also on our minds! We know women still need to upon as more than just moms hanging out in sweats and forgetting completely what life was like before kids! We know that you’re proud of your Little Ones! But there doesn’t always have to be the “Hey, look at me, I’m a Mom and I want you to know it!” type of vibe always hanging around like a cloud wherever you go!
With the technology we know have on hand, the options are endless! When weighing in all of the research it all boiled down to comfort and convenience. Luckily, this is what we’re all about! When it comes to the issue of sore nipples from too much suction, to the opposite effect of not expressing enough from very little pressure, the research became far ranging! Ultimately — ideally — we want to mimic the same effects as a baby nursing. The healthy benefits that result from this range from avoiding a subsequent pregnancy to lowering the risk of breast or reproductive cancers.
Then, there’s been the debate between manual vs. electric pumping! There are too many out there to give an exhaustive study; and, most moms have neither the time nor the energy to do a lot trial and error when it comes to these issues! We did the best we could based on reviews and company credibility in this area. This is why there is so much variety, especially since every woman’s body is different and has different responses! It can be from multiple suction settings, to having the right sized pad that conforms to the breast properly.
What Determined the Top Breast Milk Pumps in Our List
It’s never easy to choose a product that you know will make a very big difference in the lives of very young children. Nevertheless, we did try to be as objective as possible in our effort to bring to you the top 10 breast pumps for mums.
First, we had to make sure that the design of the pump is one continuous system. Human breastmilk is a very sterile fluid that contains all the right nutrients including maternal antibodies that kids will need to help them ward off infections in the crucial first 6 months of life while they are still in the process of building their immune system. It is very important that the sterility of the breastmilk is maintained from the time it leaves the mammary glands until they reach your baby. This is very important because breast milk contamination is a very serious issue. As such, we had to look for nursing devices that are designed to be a closed system. If there are additional ports, we had to make sure that these do not introduce unnecessary microorganisms or even unwanted substances into the milk. What we want is a breastmilk that is as fresh and as sterile as if the baby will be suckling directly from mum’s breasts.
Secondly, we had to look at the different features of the device. Many moms experience the milk letdown reflex while babies are nursing on one breast. This means that one breast is being suckled on by baby while the other breast is dripping with milk. That is why devices have to be ultra-quiet so they don’t disturb baby while he or she is nursing. This helps ensure that no breast milk is ever wasted.
Third, some companies really do provide excellent products. Their reputation is largely at stake. So, we had to make sure that only manufacturers with unparalleled credibility will be included in our list. To help us determine whether a manufacturer is worthy of inclusion, we had to consider the feedback, reports, or reviews of countless customers especially moms who have already tried and used the product. If the company has been recognized for its design, then we’d factor this as well.
We never thought that we’d be able to come up with the 10 best breast pumps for mums. But, with the dedication of our research team, we were able to create a very definitive list of the world’s top 10 breast milk pumps for today’s modern moms.
The Many Benefits of Breast Milk
If you are still wondering why a lot of modern women are preferring to give their babies breast milk even if they don’t breastfeed them themselves, then you just have to take a look at the following benefits of breast milk.
- It provides the most complete nutrition for babies. Breast milk contains all the right and important nutrients in the correct composition and in the right amounts. In the first 6 months of your baby’s life, he or she will never need anything else other than breastmilk.
- It contains a lot of healthy and highly beneficial fatty acids that will help in your infant’s brain development. This provides the foundation for your baby’s cognitive development and helps define how well he or she will think, learn, and solve problems as well as other cognitive processes.
- The nutrient molecules found in breast milk are already in their simplest forms. This means that these are easily digested so your baby will not have any issues about food intolerances or even malabsorption syndromes that can produce stomach upsets and other physiologic complaints.
- Breast milk has an abundant supply of antibodies which help protect your little one from infections especially those that develop in the respiratory passages, the gastrointestinal tract, and the ears. These antibodies, as well as other protective substances, can also guard your child against the development of type 1 diabetes mellitus. This is especially true for the first breast milk known as colostrum.
Breast milk is very beneficial in our babies’ overall health and development. That is why even if we are too busy with our careers, we can still provide them with breast milk by expressing these into bottles which they can feed on at a later time. Of course, if we can breastfeed them ourselves, then it will be a lot better.
The Bottom Line
Breast pumps are very important tools in helping our babies obtain the best nutrition without sacrificing our careers and our modern lifestyle. With our list of 10 of the best breast pumps for mums, you can now be assured of a healthier baby regardless of how busy you may be.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it better to buy a manual or an electric pump?
A: That all depends on your needs and comfort level! A manual pump might be best for on the go! When you just wanna run out the door quickly and you know that you will need to express later because you will become engorged in a public setting! Manual is also good if you don’t want too much pressure that can come with an electric pump. On the downside, a manual may not give you enough pressure to express adequately! An electric pump is probably better to be used for expressing larger quantities of milk that will be stored and used later, hence all of the concern over keeping the milk pure and avoiding contamination. Our advice is to mix and match trying both, depending on the situation!
Q: Is pumping better than breastfeeding?
A: Short answer is, No! That being said, life can get complicated as we all know! There are many factors as to why it’s not convenient to breastfeed. Some women don’t lactate as heavily or as often, and need some help in that regard. Some babies refuse the breast. Some women don’t have the time due to work. And some women have had subsequent pregnancies that don’t allow the time or directed attention that a session requires. Of course, directly nursing strengthens the bond between mother and baby. Also, there is less risk of contaminated milk. If possible, it’s best to tag team between EBM bottle feedings and direct nursing for convenience.
Q: What should I do if my breasts don’t fit the standard cups?
A: We believe that a few of these companies offer a smaller sized pad for women who are smaller! A company like Avent — and, I believe a few others — have developed an angled neck that allows for most breast sizes to express properly. Often times, it is the angle more than the size of the device. Also, the position you can sit in, which also addressed through this. We’re sure that through Lactation Consultants, there is an option for customizable pads that will conform specifically to your breast, as well. Be sure to maintain adequate pressure on the pump when it is attached to avoid slippage or leaking.
Q: Are nine setting really necessary for a breast pump and are they all accurate?
A: Unfortunately, the jury is out on this one! There are so many mixed reviews, it is often best to be safe than sorry when it comes to the design of a product like this! All women’s bodies are different — some might need more or less pressure than others to express! Of course, no one is going to be satisfied with all nine settings. One mom might only need one or two. Others may need to try many to get it right, or to express more milk when engorged. Over time, quite a few companies have finessed there settings to give the pressure a more naturalistic feel of real nursing; or, with 2-phase technology that differentiates between let-down and expression.
Q: How does the closed system work on electric pumps?
A: Closed system is the best for avoiding contamination! It literally shoots the milk through a pressurized tube! The force is so great that it leaves behind no liquid or residue. It goes directly from breast to bottle with no in between! Also, it has a backflow filter that prevents jamming or the milk stagnating in a “holding area”. This is important because breastmilk is a very sterile substance that is purely nutrient rich. It’s made to build a healthy immune system. Any bacteria getting into it can lead to any variety of infections.
Q. Can any of these pump carrying cases ever double as accessory bags?
A: For the most part, there isn’t too much room in them for anything else, other than the pump and accessories they come with. Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get creative! The Medela go tote comes with a cooler bag. If you want, that bag can be used to for other things. For instance, if you know that you will be going someplace where refrigeration is available and you know that you won’t need to bring along your ice pack. The same bag has a handy little side pocket that can be used for storage. You can mix and match with accessories. Or, ultimately, write to the company itself asking for a roomier, more stylish, option!