Best Manual Breast Pumps

on

|

best manual breast pumpsBreast milk is the optimum food for babies, doctors and nutritionists agree. Many mothers want to provide this perfect nourishment for their child, but some must go back to work or meet other obligations that keep them from being always available for feeding. In these circumstances, a breast pump can be a lifesaver.

Breast pumps come in more than one variety, but lots of mothers start with a manual breast pump. They may not want to commit to an expensive breast pump before they know that breast feeding will work for them.

Even if they decide to get an electric breast pump, the manual pump is a compact, portable alternative that they may use in certain circumstances.

Here are some top breast pumps to consider.

*All product links in this article will take you to the latest prices on Amazon.com, scroll down for our in-depth reviews below.

Benefits of Breast Feeding

Here’s a brief recap of the benefits of breast feeding for your child:

  • Breast milk has all the right nutrients in the proper proportions for baby’s needs.
  • Breast milk contains antibodies that protect baby from viral and bacterial infections.
  • Breastfed babies have fewer allergies and less likelihood of having asthma.
  • Babies who are exclusively breastfed have less diarrhea, fewer ear infections and overall fewer doctor visits and hospitalizations.
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to be overweight in childhood.
  • Both types of diabetes occur less often in people who were breastfed as children.
  • Breastfeeding is associated with lower risk of lymphoma, leukemia and Hodgkin disease.

In addition, breastfeeding has major benefits for moms. It helps the uterus regain its pre-pregnancy shape and helps women return to their pre-pregnancy weight.

It reduces blood loss both after birth and in the form of menstrual blood, which can prevent anemia. It decreases a woman’s risk of certain cancers, including breast cancer and ovarian cancer. That’s an impressive list!

You can learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding from the Healthy Children website sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Challenges of Breastfeeding

Of course, along with the benefits of breastfeeding come a few challenges. None of these is insurmountable, but it is good to know about them going in.

When you breastfeed, your baby is going to want to eat more often. That’s a good thing, though, because it means your milk is easy to digest.

It does, however, mean that you won’t have large blocks of time when you can be away from your baby. Of course, pumping and saving your milk gets around that difficulty.

When you breastfeed, your baby poops a lot! During the first few weeks, it is common for babies to have a bowel movement after every feeding.

As baby grows, the frequency will slow down a bit, but it will continue to be multiple times a day, for the most part. Also, breastfed babies typically have runny stool that is hard to contain in a diaper, and often that means multiple clothing changes in a day.

In addition, your breasts will be achy when your milk lets down, and you may leak milk on your clothes, which can be embarrassing in public.

Also, your nipples may get sore. These difficulties will occur less often as you continue to nurse your baby and your breasts adjust.

All About Pumping

Most doctors recommend that you use a pump only after breastfeeding is well-established, usually after your baby has been nursing for a month or so.

That works well for most families as it gives working moms time to try out pumping before returning to work. It also gives them time to adjust to the differences between feeding baby from the breast and feeding milk that has been pumped.

When your baby is fed from your breast, your milk is already in a container, at the perfect temperature and ready to use. When you decide to pump, you have to get a breast pump and learn how to use it.

After that, your feeding procedure becomes a bit more like bottle feeding. You will have to store the milk, decide what bottle to use and warm the bottle to the correct temperature. Your baby will still be getting the benefit of perfect nutrition, but your job is a little more complicated.

On a more positive note, having breast milk available in a bottle means that fathers, partners, siblings, grandparents and others can easily feed the baby.

Not only does this ease the mother’s job, but it helps in bonding with other family members. Also, it gives a mother the flexibility to do whatever else she needs to do. And we all know that moms have a million jobs!

Paying for Your Breast Pump

Since the benefits of breastfeeding are so well established, you may not have to pay for a breast pump. According to HealthCare.gov, insurance plans must cover the cost of breastfeeding support, including the cost of needed equipment such as a breast pump.

Unfortunately, your insurance company does not have to make it easy or automatic for you to get your breast pump covered. Some plans will pay for breast pump rental but not purchase. Learn more from Parents about how to get your breast pump paid for.

Also, Babies “R†Us, in connection with McKesson Patient Care Solutions, has a program called Breast Pump Solutions to assist you in getting a breast pump and getting it paid for.

Manual breast pumps are relatively inexpensive, so most women use their insurance benefit for a more expensive electric pump, if it is covered.

Some plans, however, only cover manual pumps. Even if your plan pays for an electric pump, you still may want or need a manual pump for certain situations.

Supply and Demand

The breast is a miraculous device. Under most circumstances it automatically produces the amount of milk that your baby needs.

Occasionally, your baby may have a growth spurt, but your body doesn’t immediately get the signal to produce more milk. In this case, just put the baby to the breast more often, and your supply should increase.

If you aren’t near your baby, you can do the same thing by pumping more often.

Generally speaking, it is a good idea to nurse your baby or pump every three hours. If you stretch out the time, your milk supply may be reduced.

It’s easy to store milk if you pump extra. You can keep it at room temperature for a few hours if you are going to be using it right away. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, but put it in the back where it won’t be subject to changes in temperature.

If you’re not going to use it within 5 days, or if you don’t want to bother with counting days, simply put it in the freezer, where it can be safely stored for months. Learn more about breast milk supply and demand from KidsHealth.com.

Pros and Cons of Manual Breast Pumps

Manual breast pumps are recommended for occasional use. They are best for moms who don’t need to pump regularly or for moms who have electric pumps but want manual ones for travel or other occasional use. A manual breast bump basically consists of three parts.

One is the shield, sometimes called a flange, that goes over the breast to create the suction. One is the pump, which can come in the form of a bulb or a handle that you squeeze.

The third component is the reservoir for catching the milk. In the simplest kind of breast pump, the bulb you squeeze also catches the milk.

Although electric breast pumps are faster and easier, manual breast pumps have these qualities:

  • Quiet: They can be used in settings where noise could be a problem.
  • Small/Light: They can easily be carried in a purse or diaper bag.
  • Simple: They are simple to assemble and easy to clean.
  • Portable: They don’t require a power source and thus can be used almost anywhere.
  • Discreet: You can use one without calling attention to yourself.
  • Affordable: Manual pumps cost much less than electric models.

Will It Hurt?

Whether you are breastfeeding naturally or using a pump, you will suffer a few twinges in the process. When your milk lets down, you may feel a few brief pangs. After the milk has let down, your breasts may be so engorged that they hurt a little.

When you use a pump, you may have the same sensations, but they should be brief. If using your pump is painful, you may need to switch to a different pump or try a different size breast shield.

In case of serious pain, call your doctor or consult a lactation specialist. Your insurance may cover this type of lactation support. You may also find answers at La Leche League International.

When shopping for breast pumps, you should be aware that manufacturers frequently change their products and switch out the auxiliary products that come in the package.

For example, it may be stated that a breast pump comes with two bottles, but when you buy it, it has only one. Read product information carefully before you order.

A common complaint is that the pumps aren’t compatible with commonly used baby bottles, but there are so many different models of bottles on the market that you can’t realistically expect your pump to be compatible with all other brands.

There are two basic models of breast pumps. One has a handle and involves active pumping. It is used when you are away from baby and need to pump, or any time the breasts get painfully engorged.

In the second type, suction is achieved by squeezing a bulb, and most users simply let the breast milk flow naturally into the reservoir.

Many moms use this type to catch milk from one breast when baby is feeding at the other. Although you may get a little more milk by actively squeezing the bulb, it’s not an efficient way of expressing milk.

We’ll start by looking at the first type and then move to the second type.

Best Manual Breast Pumps

Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump

In almost any conversation about breast pumps, you will hear the name Medela. It’s a very popular brand name for both electric and manual pumps. It’s also one of the more expensive manual breast pumps.

The Medela pump is distinguished by an ergonomic handle and two-phase pumping action. One end of the handle is pressed to start the flow of milk (stimulation phase) and another way to create maximum flow of milk (expression phase). This mimics the way the breast reacts when your baby is nursing.

Medela is a Swiss company founded in 1961. Its U.S. operations are centered in Illinois. Medela is committed to supporting nursing moms and and educating lawmakers about the public health benefits of breastfeeding.

The Medela website has many resources for moms, including a free app, MyMedela, available through iTunes, that helps you track feedings. Virtual lactation consultations are available on a subscription basis.

PROS & CONS
Pros of the Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump:

  • The handle is soft and ergonomically designed for less stress on hands.
  • The two-phase pumping method mimics nature.
  • Breast shields in five PersonalFit sizes are available for use.
  • The pump comes with two bottles so you can store directly in the bottles you will use.
  • All parts are compatible with Medela electric pumps for those who own both.
  • All parts that come in contact with milk are BPA free.
  • There’s a stand that holds the pump upright when you need to pause or stop pumping, so that the cleanliness of the apparatus won’t be compromised.
  • The pump can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher.

 

Cons of the Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump:

  • The model comes with medium-sized (24 mm) breast shields. If you need a different size, you must buy them.
  • Some users had problems with the pump losing suction, possible due to issues with an O-ring.
  • The Medela is a higher-priced pump.

NUK Expressive Manual Breast Pump

It looks a little like a funny bike horn, but the NUK Expressive Manual Breast Pump is a serious contender in the field. Moms like its soft breast shield with rings for a gentle massage.

The pump is designed for one-handed pumping, with ergonomic handle and featherweight construction (5.5 ounces). They also like its reasonable price.

NUK has been producing baby products since the 1940s, when a pair of German dental experts came up with the unique nipple design first used on the NUK pacifier. Today NUK is part of the Gerber family of baby products. Many NUK products are made in the U.S.

PROS & CONS
Pros of the NUK Expressive Manual Breast Pump:

  • One-handed pumping means that you can pump one breast while the baby feeds on the other.
  • The ergonomic handle reduces hand fatigue.
  • The silicone breast shield is more comfortable than the hard plastic models.
  • The pump is easy to assemble and disassemble.
  • All parts that will contact the breast milk are BPA free.
  • A stand holds the pump upright when you need to put it down.
  • The pump is dishwasher safe or can be washed by hand.
  • The NUK pump is registered with the FDA and comes with a one-year warranty.
  • This is one of the least expensive handled breast pumps.

 

Cons of the NUK Expressive Manual Breast Pump:

  • The breast shield comes in only one size, 24 mm.
  • Some users did not get good expression of milk with this pump.
  • The pump sometimes makes a loud squeaking noise.
  • Some users prefer a pump that they can disassemble more completely to be sure of cleanliness.
  • Only one bottle is included.

Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump

Many moms love Lansinoh baby bottles. The Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump doesn’t have such a large fan group, but it does sport many features that moms like.

The pump has a silicone shield that comes in two sizes. It features a two-phase pumping system and an ergonomic design. It is comparable to the Medela in that it is a name brand pump and is one of the higher priced pumps.

Lansinoh was founded by a mom and breast-feeding advocate around 30 years ago. The Lansinoh website offers many helpful articles about breastfeeding. Like Medela, it offers a free app and a fee-based lactation consulting service.

PROS & CONS
Pros of the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump:

  • You can pump in two modes, Stimulation and Expression, for efficiency.
  • The ergonomic design of the pump reduces hand fatigue.
  • The soft silicone breast flanges come in two sizes, 25 mm for average breasts and 30.5 mm for large.
  • The pump is easy to assemble and disassemble, with a minimum of parts.
  • All parts that will contact the breast milk are BPA and BPS free.
  • The pump is compatible with other items in the Lansinoh Pump-Store-Feed Solution.
  • The pump comes with a stand, two bottles and samples of milk storage bags.
  • The pump is dishwasher safe or can be washed by hand.

 

Cons of the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump:

  • Some moms reported that their pumps had very poor suction, resulting in almost no milk being expressed.
  • A few moms said that neither of the breast shields fit their breasts.
  • Some users said that their pumps developed an annoying squeak.
  • The Lansinoh is a higher-priced pump.

Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump

Comfort is important to breast-feeding moms. The Philips Avent manual pump gets extra points for its cushy shield, which features textured petals to mimic baby’s sucking action.

The pump comes in two models, one with a standard-sized comfort shield (19.5 mm)and one with a larger size (25 mm). This pump comes with one bottle. It does not come with a stand, but its squatty shape means that it is unlikely to tip over.

Also, many moms lean forward while pumping so that gravity assists the milk flow. Philips Avent says that its pump is designed so that you can sit more comfortably upright and still get a good flow.

Philips Avent has been in the baby bottle business for around 30 years. Its pumps, which are on the high end pricewise, are manufactured in England.

PROS & CONS
Pros of the Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump:

  • You can express milk nicely without leaning forward.
  • The ergonomic design of the handle reduces hand fatigue.
  • The pump is compatible with other Philips Avent nursing products.
  • There’s a soft silicone liner for the breast shield that gives breasts a bit of a massage.
  • The pump is easy to assemble and disassemble, with only five separate parts.
  • All parts that will contact the breast milk are BPA free.
  • The pump is dishwasher safe or can be sterilized or washed by hand.
  • The pump is higher in price than most others.

 

Cons of the Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump:

  • Some users said that their pumps made a quacking sound when used.
  • This pump comes with a single bottle and nipple.

Bambeego Manual Breastmilk Pump

All moms are not the same. That’s why this Bambeego Manual Breastmilk Pump by Bundle Tumble scores! It lets you set the pump for the suction that feels most comfortable and natural. Another plus is the soft silicone shield that cushions the breast.

The Bambeego pump comes with several handy accessories. It comes with one complete baby bottle, but there’s an adapter in case you want to use a different size bottle.

There’s a stand to hold the device when you need to put it down and a cap to keep the shield clean. This is a budget friendly choice that has most of the features of the more expensive brands.

PROS & CONS
Pros of the  Bambeego Manual Breastmilk Pump:

  • This pump allows you to set the suction you need.
  • The silicone breast shield is more comfortable than the hard plastic models.
  • The manufacturer says that the pump can be operated with one hand.
  • It is easy to put together and take apart.
  • All parts that will contact the breast milk are BPA and PVC free.
  • A stand holds the pump upright when you need to put it down.
  • It comes with a bottle but also with an adapter so you can use other bottles.
  • The pump is dishwasher safe, can be boiled or can be washed by hand.
  • The pump comes with a money-back guarantee.
  • The pump is available at a reasonable price.

 

Pros of the  Bambeego Manual Breastmilk Pump:

  • The breast shield comes in only one unspecified size.
  • Some users reported that this pump leaks.
  • Only one bottle is included.

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Breast Pump

Lots of moms swear by the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature baby bottles for the way they mimic the look and feel of a lactating breast.

Fans of the bottles may turn to the Tommee Tippee breast pump, too. But even if you aren’t familiar with the bottles, you should consider this breast pump for its solid design and reliable performance. It is, however, a higher-priced option.

The soft-touch cup of the breast shield is comfy for mom. The manufacturer states that it fits all breast sizes, but some moms disagree. The manufacturer also states that the pump has only three parts, so it is easy to clean.

Moms say that they have to disassemble it completely in order to get it clean, and then it is hard to put back together.

Still, many moms say that the Tommee Tippee is worth a little bit of extra trouble.

PROS & CONS
Pros of the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Breast Pump:

  • The pump mimics natural nursing action.
  • Moms agree that the Tommee Tippee silicone breast shield is super comfortable.
  • The breast pump is BPA free, like all Tommee Tippee feeding products.
  • The pump is dishwasher safe, can be boiled or can be washed by hand.

 

Cons of the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Breast Pump:

  • The breast shield comes in only one unspecified size and does not fit all breasts.
  • Some users reported poor suction, resulting in almost no milk production.
  • Only one bottle is included.
  • The price for this pump is a little high.

Ameda One-Handed Breast Pump

Moms never have enough hands to do everything they need to do, and that’s why this Ameda One-Handed Breast Pump is such a great idea.

You can hold baby and pump the other side, or you can buy two and pump two breasts at once! This pump uses a squeezing motion rather than an up-and-down motion. It’s a design that has won prizes for innovation. It is usually one of the higher-priced breast pumps.

This pump comes with a single shield or flange (25 mm), but if it isn’t the right size, you can order a different one. Ameda has one of the widest ranges of flange sizes.

There are seven different sizes, ranging from 21mm to 36 mm. Ameda is a private company, well-known for its electric breast pumps.

PROS & CONS
Pros of the Ameda One-Handed Breast Pump:

  • Some moms prefer the squeezing action, saying that it is more natural than up-and-down pumping.
  • The pump is easy to clean and simple to assemble and disassemble.
  • The pump is free of BPA and phthalates.
  • The pump is dishwasher safe or can be sterilized or washed by hand.
  • The pump comes with an extra valve.

 

Cons of the Ameda One-Handed Breast Pump:

  • Some users said the pump assembly is flimsy and breaks easily.
  • Many women reported that their hands fatigued easily when using this pump.
  • The pump is top-heavy and falls over easily when empty or when it contains only a little milk.
  • The pump comes with only one bottle.
  • The pump can be expensive.

Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump

Instead of being a handled pump, the Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump is the type that uses a squeezable bulb. You simply attach the shield to your breast and squeeze the bulb until you get a good suction on the breast.

At that point, milk should flow into the bulb. You don’t have to continue to squeeze the bulb. The pump should hang from the breast. You shouldn’t even have to hold it.

When the collection is over and you have disengaged from the pump, you can pinch the shield into a spout and pour the milk into a bottle or other collection vessel.

It’s a simple design that is available in many versions on the web, but the one made by Haakaa is preferred by many moms. This type of pump is generally cheaper than the handled type due to its simplicity.

Most moms who use this type of breast pump apply it to one side while they are nursing on the other, simply to catch the milk that might otherwise leak onto clothes or into a breast pad.

It can be used to relieve mild engorgement, too. This style of pump may not meet the needs of someone who has to pump multiple times in one day. Also, some moms said that it takes a few tries to get the hang of this type of pump.

Many find that they get the best results with the first feed of the day.

Caps are sold separately that will keep the pump sterile. The caps are not leak-proof, however, and should not be used to seal the milk in the pump. You will need to pour the milk up in a separate container.

PROS & CONS
Pros of the Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump:

  • The Haakaa breast pump is made of food grade silicone.
  • It is free of BPA, PVC and phthalates.
  • The design is super simple and easy to clean.
  • The pump is dishwasher safe or can be sterilized with boiling water or washed by hand.
  • This is a budget-priced pump.

 

Cons of the Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump:

  • Some moms had difficulty getting this to work as it should.
  • If pump falls off, or if baby dislodges it, milk goes everywhere.
  • Some users feel that they shouldn’t have to buy the cap separately.
  • Several users noted that the measurements on the bulb of the pump are not accurate.

NatureBond Silicone Manual Breast Pump

The manual pump made by NatureBond has the same basic design as the Haakaa, but with a few differences. NatureBond’s model comes with the cap so you don’t have to order it separately. Also, the pump comes in a nice carry bag.

NatureBond also has special certifications and has received a number of awards.

PROS & CONS
Pros of the NatureBond Silicone Manual Breast Pump:

  • The NatureBond breast pump is made of food grade silicone.
  • It is certified free of BPA by the Bureau Veritas independent testing lab.
  • The simple design means the pump will be easy to use and easy to clean.
  • The pump is dishwasher safe or can be sterilized with boiling water or washed by hand.
  • This is a budget-priced pump.

 

Cons of the NatureBond Silicone Manual Breast Pump:

  • Some moms had difficulty getting milk when using this pump.
  • Some moms had difficulty getting the pump to stay attached to their breasts.

Twin Pack Silicone Manual Breastmilk Pumps by Lullababy

If one breast pump is a winner, why not buy two? Actually, buying a twin pack is a great idea because you will always have one ready to use, even if one is in the dishwasher.

Also, working moms can leave one at work or in the car and keep the other one at home. Maybe you actually need more than two!

These silicone pumps by Lullaby follow the same basic blueprint as the Haakaa and the NatureBond. The big attraction here is two for a price that is still very affordable.

The pumps come with a travel bag, and each pump has its own lid to keep the pump clean. Lullababy is a UK-based company that specializes in feeding babies.

PROS & CONS
Pros of the Twin Pack Silicone Manual Breastmilk Pumps by Lullababy:

  • The Lullaby breast pump is made of food grade silicone.
  • It comes vacuum sealed for purity.
  • It is certified free of BPA, PVC and phthalates.
  • The pump is easy to use and easy to clean.
  • The pump is dishwasher safe, can be sterilized with boiling water or can be washed by hand.
  • The price is super-reasonable.

 

Cons of the Twin Pack Silicone Manual Breastmilk Pumps by Lullababy:

  • Some moms had difficulty getting milk when using this pump.
  • The caps don’t seal the pumps but simply keep them clean, so you shouldn’t store milk in the pumps.

Momma Bear Manual Breast Pump

There are tons of silicone breast pumps on the market that follow the same basic blueprint. This one by Momma Bear is similar in design, but it offers some pluses that the others lack.

Momma Bear Essentials is an environmentally friendly company that takes part in the Exclusive Transparency Program, which allows customers to track their purchases back to the manufacturer by scanning the bar code.

Momma Bear Essentials also offers a unconditional money back guarantee.

The Momma Bear breast pump comes with a travel bag, cap and a bonus of a baby finger toothbrush. This item fits on a parent’s finger and lets you massage your baby’s gums and also clean your baby’s teeth when they appear.

PROS & CONS
Pros of the Momma Bear Manual Breast Pump:

  • The Momma Bear Essentials breast pump is made of FDA-approved food grade silicone.
  • It is BPA free.
  • The pump is easy to use and easy to clean.
  • The pump is dishwasher safe but can also be sterilized with boiling water or simply washed by hand.
  • This pump is a budget-friendly choice.

 

Cons of the Momma Bear Manual Breast Pump:

  • Some moms had difficulty getting milk when using this pump.
  • This pump may not be suitable for mom with very large breasts.

And the Winner Is!

For moms who want a workhorse of a manual breast pump, along with the security of buying from a name brand, the Philips Avent Comfort Breast Pump is the best choice.

It gets high points for comfort and for function, and the Philips Avent is a name that consumers can trust. Being able to pump without leaning forward is a big advantage for tired moms who deserve a chance to relax.

The Bambeego Manual Breast Pump is our runner-up. It’s a pump that offers most of the features of the more expensive brands at a lower price. It even has a setting where you can control suction strength.

If you’d like to try the other type of pump, the silicone pump with squeezable bulb, most of those have the same general design. Just find the one that comes with the extras that strike your fancy.

Overall, you are unlikely to find a better pump than the Philips Avent. But no matter which pump you choose, you’ll know that you are providing your baby with first-class care and nutrition.

Peter
Peter
Father of two wonderful kids, love parenthood and feel blessed to have an amazing family.
Share this

Must-read

Cute Girls’ Middle Names: Short, Meaningful, or Easy to Combine

If you’re expecting a girl and you’re looking for inspiration for her name, we’ve got you covered. Here are some cute girls’ middle names...

21 Cute Halloween Dog Costumes Found on Instagram

Everyone loves Halloween, when adults, kids and even pets can get creative and dress up as their favorite theme or character. And every year...

Canada’s Most Popular Halloween Costumes Right Now According to Google Trends

There are two weeks left until Halloween and that means that millions of Canadians will turn to Google for inspiration for their favorite Halloween...

Recent articles

More like this

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here