How to Buy a Breast Pump

Breast pumps range from $30 to over $1,000 and come with many different operating features and benefits. Choose the one that best fits your needs.


  • Step 1: Choose a pump that is simple and quick to assemble, use, clean, and disassemble.
  • Step 2: Do your research before the baby is born. Most stores do not allow you to return a pump that has been opened for sanitary reasons. Look for recommendations online, from friends, and from your doctor or pediatrician.
  • FACT: Girls grow to about half of their adult height by the age of 18 months; for boys it's 24 months.
  • Step 3: Look for optional features such as multiple speeds and suction control. Some pumps also have a double collection kit, meaning you can pump both breasts at one time.
  • TIP: For moms returning to work after maternity leave, the personal-use electric models are best. They are lightweight, pumping time is efficient, and some plug into the cigarette lighter outlet in your car.
  • TIP: Hospital-grade pumps can easily cost over $1,000. Renting one may be a more economical option.
  • Step 4: Determine how long you have to pump. Manual pumps take considerably longer than electric models and allow you to only pump one breast at a time.
  • Step 5: Consider the transportation -- hospital-grade pumps are not a convenient option if you need to be able to take the pump to work. Personal-use electric and manual models travel much more easily for moms on the go.
  • Step 6: Consider the frequency of use. If you need to pump for every feeding, use a hospital-grade pump; they are the most efficient.

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