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7 Things To Look For In A Breast Pump, Because They Come In All Shapes And Sizes

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As if you didn't already have enough on your plate after having a baby, breastfeeding moms have the added struggle of buying a breast pump. And it's not always as simple as just buying the first one you see. Depending on what kind of "pumper" you intend to be, there are several things to look for in a breast pump, because, like most things, they're not one size fits all products.

Whether you plan to pump only as needed, pump while at work and breastfeed at home, pump exclusively, or some other combination, it's imperative that the pump you purchase fits your lifestyle, needs, and budget. Though some pumps can be very pricey there are other more affordable options, especially for moms who won't need theirs on a daily basis.

The thought of having yet another thing to shop for may stress you out, but after determining exactly what kind of pump best fits your needs, choosing the right one will be a breeze. So before you pick up the first pump you stumble across on the aisles of your local Target, peruse your options a bit more and choose the pump that best meets your and your baby's needs. It will pay off in the long run.  

1. Something That's Quick & Easy

Medala Harmony Manual Breast Pump, $26, Amazon

The first question to ask yourself when breast pump shopping is how often you anticipate using your breast pump. If you know you'll be primarily breastfeeding but would like the option to pump from time to time, a manual pump, like the Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump, may be a great option for you. They're tiny, portable, and very affordable, although they're not as effective at expressing milk as electric pumps, so they're not recommended for frequent use.

2. Something That You Can Use Often

Medela Pump In Style Advance Double Electric Pump, $275, Amazon

If you plan to pump more than just occasionally, you'll probably want to invest in an electric hospital-grade pump, like the Medela Pump In Style Advance Double Electric Pump. If you can't afford a hospital grade pump, look into whether or not your insurance will cover it, or even renting it from the hospital.

3. Something That Leaves Your Hands Free

Dao Health Freemie Freedom Breast Pump, $150, Amazon

If you won't be able to sit for all of your pumping sessions, a hands free breast pump like the Dao Health Freemie Freedom Breast Pump is a must-have. Another more affordable option is investing in a hands-free pumping bra, like this Medela hands free pumping bra.

Medela Hands Free Pumping Bra, $19, Amazon

4. Something That Lets You Pump Both Sides At Once

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Although most pumps have the option to pump both sides at once, some only come with one suction feature. Determine how quickly you'll need to pump each time and then decide which one is best for you.

5. Something You Can Take On The Go

First Years Portable Pump, $66, Amazon

If you plan to travel with your pump, a portable option is a must. Most pumps come with a carrying case, like the First Years portable pump.

6. Something With Correctly Sized Breast Shields

Standard Sized Breast Shields, $8, Amazon

Although your pump will probably already come with standard sized breast shields, if they're not the proper size for you, pumping will be painful and ineffective. Use this guide from Medela to determine the best size for your breast type.

7. Something With A Battery Powered Option

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Duracell Procell AA (24 Pack), $11, Amazon

In case of a power outage, it's best to have a pump that has a battery powered option as well, so you're not left without any options.