Many mamas will need to express milk at some point throughout the breastfeeding journey. Perhaps it’s to relieve engorgement in those early days, or maybe it’s to allow partners to be able to enjoy feeding bub as well. Whatever your reason for expressing, a breast pump will help get the job done fast and effectively.
But with so many breast pumps out there, where do you start? We’ve taken a deep dive into all things breast pumps to help clarify common queries and point you in the direction of the very best pumps in town.
What you should know before buying a breast pump
A breast pump can be a big purchase. Before you buy, consider your individual needs carefully and the type of breast pump that will work best for you and your bubba. Take a look at our answers to some of the most common questions about breast pumps to help with your decision making.
Is it essential? Not necessarily. Some new mamas and their bubs will have success with breastfeeding and never need to pump. But other mums may have to use a pump if breastfeeding issues arise (such as latching problems) or they perhaps return to work earlier than planned.
How much will a breast pump cost? This depends on whether you go for a manual or electric pump, and whether it is a single or double model. On average, breast pumps range from around $25 to $400, with double electric models typically the most expensive.
Should you purchase a breast pump before baby is born? No. Different pumps are suitable for different purposes, so to avoid buying the wrong type, it’s best to wait until bubba has arrived and you have established how often you’ll need to pump.
Should you buy a manual or electric breast pump? This comes down to a combination of personal preference and how often you’ll be expressing.
A manual pump is more suited to occasional expressing and for a relatively short period, because it can get tiring. But a big advantage of manual pumps is that they’re quieter and therefore more discreet, which is handy if you need to pump when you are work – or if it’s the middle of the night!
Electric breast pumps do all the work for you and come with various speeds, including let down. Given how much quicker they can be compared with manual pumps, they are definitely the best choice for frequent use.
Should I buy a single or double breast pump? Again, this depends on your usage and how quickly you need the job done. If you need to pump several times each day or are exclusively expressing (pumping for every feed), a double electric pump is going to halve your pumping time.
What accessories come with it? Each brand varies when it comes to accessories. All include catchment bottles along with the pump attachments, and some also provide seals and even milk storage bags.
Can I use a pumping bra with any pump? By freeing up both of your hands, pumping bras are a total game-changer when it comes to convenient expressing. Some brands, such as Medela and Haakaa, make custom bras to suit their pumps, but many nursing bras on the market are compatible with most pumps.
14 best breast pumps for new mums
We’ve filtered through the options on the milk market to find 14 of the best electric and manual breast pumps for mums. In no particular order, here they are:
If you want your pumping sessions to be comfy, quick and effective, this is the pump for the job. It comes with two large flanges, bottle stands and has adjustable vacuum levels to suit your needs.
This revolutionary and quiet hospital-grade pump is going to be your new best friend if you’re pumping frequently. It has adjustable suction settings, a massage mode for let down and it comes equipped with a nightlight and timer.
This hands-free pump allows the breast shield to be worn inside your bra and out of sight, so it’s a fab option for discreet electric pumping. It has eight suction levels including let down mode and works with the Difrax S-Baby Bottle.
Backflow begone. The hygienic closed system of this pump ensures no milk flows back into the tubes of the pump, and that every drop lands in the bottle. USB-chargeable and with a 60-minute running time, it offers massage and express modes.
Compact, clean and convenient. If you’re after an on-the-go pump with multiple suction styles and a closed system to ensure no backflow, this one ticks all the boxes. BPA-free, it features a touch-screen digital display to track your session.
It’s the neat little pump creating a big buzz all over the world. Made of food-grade silicone and completely hands-free, it fits all breast types and gently extracts milk with no power needed. It comes with a suction base and a silicone lid.
If you’re intending to express frequently or need to increase your milk supply, make this beauty your ‘breast’ friend. This hospital-grade pump can handle heavy use and comes with double shields and back-flow protection.
We’re giving this lightweight and portable pump top marks for value. The set contains all the essentials you need for pumping on the go, including a super-soft silicone pump, a pump strap and a silicone stopper.
This USB-powered pump is compact enough to take anywhere and requires only one hand to operate – so you can keep the other hand on your delicious bubba. It includes stimulation and expression modes and fits Pigeon wide and slim bottles.
Heading away? This beauty is perfect for travelling because it’s cord-free, silent and compact enough to fit in your bag. The set features two silicone pumps/catchment bottles, lids, stoppers and a carry bag.
This fuss-free gem is compact enough to fit in your handbag and as quiet as a mouse. It features an ergonomic, easy-express handle, two-phase technology to maximise the flow of milk and a Comfort-Fit Breast Cushion for a secure seal.
With 16 individual modes for suction and rhythm and a memory function, this rechargeable pump caters to the needs of all new mums. It comes with an ergonomic breast shield, LED display and a very handy shoulder strap.
The quiet motor on this double electric pump makes it one of the most discreet electric pumps around. It uses natural motion technology that mimics the way babies feed to encourage speedier milk flow. It comes with two 125ml bottles.
This favourite manual pump comes equipped with an extra-soft cup for a comfy expression session. It features two-phase technology, an ergonomic handle and it’s compatible with the Chicco Well-Being Bottle.
This article is curated by our Editors and includes affiliates and/or paid inclusions. See our Disclosure Policy.
Know a brand of breast pump we should add to our list? Contact us and let us know.
Read next …
Looking for more expressing tips, advice and top buys? From handy pumping bras to clever milk catchers, here are a few articles that you might like to read through next:
- How to clean your breast pump
- 11 breast milk savers for pumping mums
- 7 pumping bras for easy, hands-free expressing
Continue your search for the best breast pump
Looking for a breast pump and still not sure if any of these are right for you? Search online by jumping into one of our closed Baby groups and ask thousands of other Australian mums what they recommend – ‘What to buy’ is the most talked-about topic.
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