How to choose a breast pump

Every breastfeeding mom has a unique lifestyle and attitude towards breastfeeding. This is exactly why Medela makes a wide range of breast pumps, each one designed to suit a certain lifestyle or situation.

Double or single? Manual or electric pump?

Choosing a breast pump starts with the decision about how often you plan to feed your baby breast milk from a bottle. If you know you will be sharing feeding responsibilities with others more than twice a week, we recommend a breast pump that allows you to express both breasts at once, because simultaneous breast pumping helps to better maintain your milk supply.

If you are feeding breast milk from a bottle twice a week or less, then you can get by with a single electric breast pump.  A manual pump is great for travelling or as a backup to your electric pump. Find out which pump fits your needs best according to your lifestyle:

Scenario 1

Scenario 1: full-time breastfeeding mum

Situation

You want to breastfeed full-time and your baby will only receive breast milk from a bottle a couple of times a week. You are not planning on going back to work or study during the breastfeeding period, so there is no reason why your baby would be separated from you on a daily basis.

Scenario 1

Recommendation

Electric or manual single breast pump with 2-Phase Expression

Swing is ideal for moms who only need to pump occassionally (up to three bottles per week) while nursing most of the time. 

Harmony is great for travel or as a backup to your double or single electric pump

Scenario 2

Scenario 2: parents with shared feeding responsibilities

Situation

You and your partner want to be equally involved in the bonding and feeding experience. While you are breastfeeding, your partner will need you to express your breast milk so they can feed your baby with a bottle. When you go back to work, you will be breast pumping whenever your baby would breastfeed. This milk will be given to your little one by bottle while you are absent.

Useful products

Recommendation

Double breast pump, 2-Phase Expression, electric
and battery
powered

Freestyle and Pump In Style are designed for frequent, daily use:

  • To supplement breastfeeding
  • To share feedings
  • When breastfeeding isn't an option
  • When pumping more than three bottles per week
Scenario 3

Scenario 3: healthy term baby and mum, but breastfeeding is a challenge for one or both of them

Situation

Your baby was born at term, but you are having trouble establishing breastfeeding and/or lactation. You really want to breastfeed your baby, but you are worried you will not be able to. You are not receiving hospital care, but you are receiving support from a lactation consultant, midwife or other healthcare professional.

In this situation you need to use a breast pump to establish and maintain your milk supply.

Once you and your baby have overcome your breastfeeding and lactation challenges, go back to scenarios 1 and 2 to determine whether it makes sense for you to switch to another pump.

Scenario 1

Recommendation

Symphony Rental with Symphony Retail Double Pumping Kit – designed to establish and maintain a mother’s breast milk supply.

Useful products
Scenario 4

Scenario 4: pump-dependent mum

Situation

You cannot breastfeed or you are separated from your baby, maybe because your baby was born too early or is ill. You are both still in the hospital and you need help to establish your milk supply.

This is a critical time and your breast milk could make all the difference to your baby's well-being.

Once you and your baby have both been discharged from the hospital and neither of you is experiencing any breastfeeding challenges, go back to scenarios 1 and 2 to determine whether it makes sense for you to switch to another breast pump.

Scenario 1

Recommendation

Symphony breast pump with initiation software and sterile single-use pumping kits – a hospital grade breast pump.

The Symphony PLUS Initiation Program Card's technology helps to activate milk production when you are separated from your baby. The sterile single-use pumping kits protect the valuable expressed breast milk by minimising the risk of contamination.

There is a Medela breast pump for every woman’s situation or lifestyle. Regardless of what you choose, remember that all Medela breast pumps feature 2-Phase Expression, which mimics the baby’s natural sucking rhythm.

 

Useful products
More information

Breast pumping instructions

Read more

Reasons to use a breast pump

Read more