How to Choose a Breast Pump


When choosing a breast pump, there are so many options available and it can feel overwhelming. Especially for a first time mother and even for experienced mothers. Take a deep breath! Doulas of Denver is here to help you. Contact one of our postpartum experts for a consultation on breast pumps. Here is a guide to get you started. Remember, we are here to help you if this feels at all overwhelming. First, consider the frequency and way it will be used. Will you need to pump daily? Will you need to transport your pump with you everyday? Will you have a refrigerator or cooler to store your milk if you will be pumping everyday?

1.     If the pump is for very occasional use, a single electric breast pump or a manual may be a good option for you. If you do not want to invest a lot of money into it because you are not sure you will ever use it, this may be a good option. They are small and easy to transport. The bottles usually hook right onto it. The good thing about them is that you do not have to plug it in so you can easily pump in your car or on the go.

2.     If the pump is for daily use or for use all the time, a double electric pump is going to be a wise investment. Having a pump on both breasts at the same time increases your prolactin levels, which will increase your milk supply. And when pumping and not direct feeding, it is very important to keep your milk supply up.

3.     Another factor to consider is if your insurance will either reimburse you for a pump or send you one. Some insurance companies are reimbursing for pump purchases. I would recommend not basing your entire decision on which pump to buy based on what pump insurance will cover. If they will only cover a manual pump and you really will need to use the pump very frequently, I would recommend spending money out of pocket to get the right pump the first time.

4.     The last factor to consider is if you want this pump to be open system or closed system. Open system pumps are considered single user pumps and the pumps motor is able to be exposed to milk. This can lead to transmission of mold, viruses, etc. The FDA says that there is no guaranteed way to keep these pumps sanitized. Closed system pumps are pumps that have a design that is created to only get milk into the bottle, so they are able to be used by another mother and through multiple children.

If you are having trouble choosing a pump to fit your needs, feel free to schedule a consultation with any of our postpartum doulas at An IBCLC that is local to you will be able to help as well. If you are in Denver, I can also refer you to Marianne Kmak, IBCLC. Remember, there are experts to help you through this process and at Doulas of Denver, we support you in all of your feeding choices!