There are a few things to look for when choosing a breast pump.
- Open or closed system – pumps with an open system don’t have a physical barrier between the milk and the pump motor, closed systems do have a physical barrier, which is more hygienic. Open system pumps are prone to mould growth!
- Does the pump have a letdown mode – a quick, fast, suction program designed to copy the way a baby starts milk flow.
- Can the pump be used for double pumping, i.e. to pump from both sides. It saves time to do both breasts at once and often produces more milk.
- BPA – it’s important to many parents that components in contact with milk are BPA free.
- Manual or electric – manual pumps are operated by your hand, whereas electric pumps are less work but require a power source (battery or mains).
- Portability – how heavy / large is the pump, and does it need to be plugged in to power.
- Noise – if you need to pump at work, it might be important to you to have a quiet pump.
- Suction strength (measured in mmHg) – the higher the number, the stronger the pump. Note that for most, 300 mmHg is more than enough. Unless you're pumping at the highest setting possible you won't notice a difference in strength between a 300 mmHg and 320 mmHg motor.