Which Pump Is Right for You? Take our Quiz...
1. How often do you need to express for your baby?
A) We’ve had difficulty breastfeeding so I express most or all of his milk feeds.
B) I’m combining breast and bottle feeding and giving him a bottle or two each day.
C) Not very often at all – it’s just so I can have the occasional evening out.
2. How much are you happy to spend on a breast pump?
A) As little as possible.
B) I don't have a budget – I just want expressing to be as easy as possible.
C) I don’t have a huge amount to spend, but I’m happy to pay a reasonable price for a decent pump.
3. How would you describe your milk supply?
A) I’m worried that I don’t have an awful lot of milk.
B) I’m not sure but my baby seems content after feeds.
C) I’m overflowing – my breast pads are always soaked through!
4. Where will you mostly be expressing?
A) At home.
B) I might have to express when out and about, but not regularly.
C) I’ll be expressing during my breaks at work.
5. What’s your biggest worry about expressing?
A) I won’t be able to express enough milk for my baby’s needs.
B) I’m worried about it being noisy and indiscreet.
C) I need it to be quick.
6. What do you think is the most important feature of a breast pump?
A) It’s cheap.
B) It's quick and efficient.
C) It’s discreet and portable.
Now tot up your score to see which type of pump is right for you!
6-10 points: manual breast pump
If you only need to express the occasional bottle for your baby, a manual breast pump is your best bet.
These pumps have a lever that you pump by hand to extract the milk from your breast, which then flows into a bottle.
Manual breast pumps tend to be slower to use than electric pumps, and it can take a bit of practice to work out how to get your milk flowing.
But they’re cheap and quiet to operate, and because they’re small and lightweight, they’re easy to fit into your changing bag if you need to express on a day out or on holiday.
There’s no need to make sure you have batteries or access to a mains socket, either, and there are no ongoing running costs once you’ve bought the pump.
11-14 points: single electric breast pump
A single electric or double electric breast pump is a good buy if you’re a regular pumper.
They express milk from one breast at a time, with a choice of speed and suction settings so you can select the one that feels the most comfortable and efficient
Single and double electric breast pumps offer a good balance between speed, price and convenience.
They’re pricier than manual pumps, but less expensive than hospital-grade pumps.
They’re also compact and easy to travel with, so they’re a good choice if you need to express at work.
They can be a bit noisy, and you’ll need to make sure you have batteries or access to a socket but they’re a quick and efficient way to express, and ideal if you’re combining breast and bottle.
15-18 points: Hospital Grade double electric breast pump
These are the Rolls-Royce of breast pumps – because they work on both breasts at once, they express the most milk possible in the shortest time.
Double electric breast pumps are ideal if you’re a heavy duty expresser – for example, if you’re expressing for a premature or sick baby, or if breastfeeding hasn’t worked out but you don’t want to give your baby formula.
Hospital Grade Double electric breast pumps have variable speed and suction settings so you can choose the one that’s most comfortable for you.
They can be bulky and noisy, so they may not be the best choice if you need to carry the breast pump around, or if you’re worried about being indiscreet.