Electric Breast Pumps
Electric breast pumps offer efficiency almost unequal to many manual breast pumps.
These pumps may be ideal for women who pump frequently to provide breast milk exclusively after returning to work or when feeding twins. Most electric breast pumps will pump both breasts simultaneously, cutting your pumping time down to 15 minutes or less.
Electric pumps are either electric or battery-powered. High-end electric breast pumps are fully automatic, have quick cycling times with an average of 60 sucks per minute, adjustable suction levels, and pump both breasts at one time.
Many high-end electric pumps weigh about 8 pounds and come with carrying cases, breast milk storage bags, labels, clips, baby bottles, and lanolin cream. Many can run on your car lighter using an adapter, making them great for traveling. High-end electric breast pumps are quite expensive, but can be worth it if you want an efficient and portable pump. Many hospitals and pharmacies offer high-end breast pump rentals at varying rates.
Mid-range electric pumps typically take a little longer to pump the same amount of milk as their high-end counterparts. These pumps are more affordable and usually weigh 2 lbs or less, making them an attractive option. They are also automatic, have average cycling times, and adjustable suction. Not all mid-range electric pumps pump both breasts at one time. This may increase your pumping time, but they are still quite efficient and easy to use.
Most low-end electric or battery-operated breast pumps are semi-automatic, have long cycling times closer to 12 sucks per minute, with an uneven suction level. Many use a cycle button that you must depress to keep the pump cycling. Battery-operated pumps use batteries quickly, so you will need a healthy supply in your closet. Most low-end electric breast pumps pump one breast at a time. There are some double-pumping low-end electric pumps but the motors may not last as long as the more expensive versions.
There are many models and styles of electric breast pumps, some are very efficient and others barely produce any milk. But each pump works differently for different women. You may find a manual breast pump works better than some of the mid-range electric breast pumps, spurring the manual vs. electric breast pumps debate. The cost of many electric breast pumps is prohibitive. If you decide to go electric, stick to the mid to high range models and avoid disappointment or frustration.
- After personally polling breastfeeders and reading many beaming reviews, I have to say the best electric breast pump on the open market is the Medela Pump In Style Electric Breast Pump. This is the electric breast pump kit supreme complete with a shoulder bag; removeable battery pack; manual pump attachment; a double pumping kit with four collection bottles and lids; all the apre parts you could ever need; CSF collection bag starter pack; Purelan 100 sample; and a set of breastfeeding information sheets. You can set up the pump to single or double pump, and you can adjust the speed and suction. You can even pump your breastmilk without removing the breast pump from its bag. It is costly, but you won't find a more effective pump this side of rentals.