What Brands Are Recommended?
Ameda and Medela are the current leaders in the breast pump industry, using bottles that are Bisphenol-A (BPA) free and made from polyproylene plastic. Before you buy a breast pump, make sure it looks comfortable to use, easy to clean, and simple to take apart. Keep in mind that, for health reasons, that most stores will not allow breast pumps to be returned.
Manual Breast Pumps
For occasional pumping, my favorite manual pumps are the Avent Isis and Medela Harmony styles, which cost about $35 to $35 each. These pumps can be used discreetly in places that don’t have much privacy because of their small size. They are also very quiet and easy to use.
Battery Powered Pumps
A good budget choice is the Medela Single Deluxe. This occasional-use, single breast pump costs about $65.
If you are a working mom and pumping takes up a large part of your day, then a fully automatic, double electric pump is your best bet. This is not a place to be penny wise and pound-foolish. The best professional pumps for working moms are the Medela Pump In Style ($250 and up) and the Ameda Purely Yours (about $200).
Hospital Grade Pumps
If your doctor or lactation consultant recommends a hospital grade pump, renting is the best option. These pumps are very costly, starting at approximately $1,000 or more. Pump rentals are anywhere from $75 to $100 per month (some health insurance companies cover part of the expense). These pumps are big, heavy, and not portable at all.
Carole Arsenault is a certified childbirth educator and lactation consultant who is the founder of Newborn Nurses. She writes about pregnancy and postpartum issues for BostonMamas.com.