Pumping is a difficult task. Neither is buying a breast pump. Many more alternatives are available to today’s pumping mother, which may be both a gift and a curse when you find yourself looking at dozens of goods and wondering which one to choose. We’ve put up some tips to help you discover the best one for you.

Breast Pump Types

Most common breast pumps these days are either portable (the motor and battery are housed in a base along with the controls) or wearable (the entire device fits into a bra). In further depth, here’s what they do:

Portable breast pumps are often less expensive since they do not require pairing with an app. Look for the rubber tubing connecting the pump’s motor to the flanges. This method necessitates using a pumping bra and involves pouring milk into connected bottles or bags that protrude from the bra. Some portable pumps feature wearing cups—the controls are still on the outside of the bra, but the milk is kept within. It’s still a portable pump, but no pumping bra is required (more on that below).

Wearable pumps eliminate the need for cords and tubes. To begin pumping, you individually attach each side of the pump and slip them into a bra. Most feature pump-side controls but no screen. Some wearable pumps, such as the Willow and Elvie, link to an app on your phone to show you how long you’ve been pumping, whilst others feature only a few buttons and require you to track your pumping time on your own.

Electric pumps must be hooked to a wall to function. Wearable and portable pumps are also electric, but if you don’t see phrases like “battery” or “rechargeable” in the name or description, you may assume it will require you to plug it into the wall the whole time you use it.

Hand-operated pumps that employ natural suction to express milk are known as manual pumps. They are far less expensive than other types of pumps but are also much more difficult to use and may not give the necessary strength. They’re useful in an emergency or for infrequent pumpers.

Are Wearable Pumps Worth the Money?

Most wearable breast pumps are significantly more expensive than portable alternatives. They’re an excellent choice if you’ll be pumping on a regular basis and want to be able to move around comfortably while pumping, whether to perform chores or work at a computer. They’re also a little more private, as the pumps are completely hidden within a bra. If you are likely to interact with others while pumping, you may prefer not to have any bottles protruding from your bra.

You don’t need a wearable pump if you don’t pump frequently and don’t mind being immobile. If you have trouble remembering to charge your gear, a portable pump is a better option than a wearable one, especially since portable pumps may be charged while in use. There’s no need to cope with a drained pump.

What’s Your Size?

The size of the flange, which is tailored to your nipple, is important for breast pumps. Purchasing and wearing the proper-size flange when pumping results in a better, quicker flow of breast milk, as well as being more comfortable. Some pumps come with numerous flange sizes, while others need you to select one when you place your purchase. Those needing to select a size before purchasing should include a sizing guide that you may print out for reference. Don’t estimate your size; instead, take the time to print off a sheet of paper and get it right the first time.