For the working mum who wants to continue breastfeeding, a good breast pump is essential to provide for baby’s daily needs. Even if you’re not working, a breast pump would help relieve you of engorgement, or simply pump that occasional bottle of milk for when you need to leave baby with another caregiver.
As for when is the right time to start pumping, there’s no hard and fast rule. Some new mums may choose to start right after baby is born, to help initiate breastfeeding or boost milk supply. If you’re unable to nurse your little one from birth, it’s good to get a head start on pumping too.
Other mums may choose to hold off pumping for a few weeks. Some lactation experts also advise waiting until a breastfeeding routine is well-established – usually when baby is around 4 to 6 weeks of age. By then, you’ll have enough time between feedings to pump extra milk that can be stored for later.
And if you choose to pump at work, try to pump on the same schedule as your baby's feedings back at home (typically every three to four hours). This way, you keep your milk supply strong and in tune with your baby’s demands.
Besides sourcing for a pump that effectively removes milk from your breast, other factors like size, portability and price are important as well. Plus, you’ll have to navigate the myriad of manual, single electric or double electric pumps out there.
Find your perfect pump from this list we’ve rounded up!
Hegen Double Electric Breast Pump
WHAT This portable breast pump with hospital grade suction strength is perfect for mothers beginning their breastfeeding journey. It can be used as both a single or double pump to express and store breast milk directly into Hegen storage containers, minimising the transfer of milk. There’s also a kneading massage function that helps release tension from breast engorgement and stimulate milk supply.
PROS Mums can effortlessly switch from electric to manual pumping in seconds, and apply the amount of pressure that is most comfortable for them. Pumping sessions are also personalised with 36 expression variations to mimic your baby’s suckling rhythm. Flanges are uniquely designed such that they are gentle on the nipples, making it a comfortable pump.
CONS A tad expensive compared to other brands, but definitely worth it when you consider how efficient and hassle-free this product is, with its many functions.
Unimom Forte Double Breast Pump
WHAT A convenient, hospital-grade electric double pump that mimics a baby’s suction. It can be used as a double pump, a single pump or even a manual pump if you use it with the optional switch kit.
PROS Extremely quiet but the suction is strong. The knob control for suction means that you can make minute adjustments to the suction to suit your needs. The pump parts are also easily available and inexpensive to replace.
CONS It’s heavy and not as portable as some of the other pumps.
Philips Avent Easy Comfort Single Electric Breast Pump
WHAT This battery and electricity operated pump lets you choose between 4 stimulation modes and 4 pumping settings. It also features special Rhythmic Wave Technology that's designed to mimic a baby's sucking and swallowing pattern, as well as pace and ratio (1:1) to quickly and efficiently generate milk flow.
PROS Your preferred settings can be stored, so at the press of a button, you're ready to go. There’s also a play and pause button if you need a break. The lightweight, compact design means expressing on-the-go is a breeze.
CONS A mummy reviewer found the suction pressure not strong enough, and needed to stimulate about 5 minutes before expressing.
Medela Freestyle Breast Pump
FROM Pupsik Studio
WHAT This double electric pump is designed to be portable — it weighs less than 500g and fits in the palm of your hand. It uses a rechargeable battery pump and has a one-touch let-down button that enables you to empty your breasts easily. It has two phases: stimulation and expression.
PROS Comfortable and pumps milk quickly and efficiently. Portability is also a huge advantage. We like the digital backlit display that enables you to pump with ease, even in the middle of the night.
CONS Expensive and the motor is quite loud. The parts are also pricey to replace.
ARDO Calypso-To-Go Double Electric Breast Pump
WHAT This breast pump set includes a double electric breast pump that has both a stimulation mode and an expression mode cycle. It also comes with a cooler bag and conversion handle so you can convert it into a manual pump. Three different breast shell sizes are included and you can use the pump with a battery or from an electrical outlet.
PROS A quiet, comfortable and discreet pump that empties the breast effectively. It’s also versatile and can be used as a single, double or manual pump.
CONS Mums have reviewed how there is no let-down setting, which is something to get used to. It can also be a bit noisy at times.
Ameda Dual Lactaline
WHAT With a dual suction and speed adjust feature that allows you to choose from 32 combinations, this breast pump allows you to pick the best mode for your comfort and milk flow. The Proven Airlock Protection system keeps the air from the breast pump from coming in contact with milk.
PROS Removes milk from the breast effectively and it’s easy to control the level of suction and speed.
CONS The parts are quite pricey to replace and not easy to find. Can be a bit loud.
Spectra S9 + Breast Pump
FROM Pupsik Studio
WHAT This pump from South Korea can be used as a single or a double pump. It has a five-level massage mode and 10-level suction and speed adjustment. An LCD-screen with a timer helps you to monitor how long you’ve pumped with ease. The local version also comes with a SPRING Singapore safety mark that ensures its power adaptor is safe for using in Singapore, as well as a 2-year warranty by Spectra Singapore.
PROS For its price, it’s very efficient in emptying the breast. It has a built-in rechargeable battery so you don’t have to lug around AA batteries, or look for an adapter when you’re out. Very light and portable. The massage mode helps to promote let-down.
CONS One mum reported that the pump takes a while to drain.
Freemie Liberty Electric Double Breastpump
WHAT With this pump, milk collects in the Freemie cups in your bra underneath your clothing, safely and hygienically separated from the electronic pump motor. Each cup is large enough to hold 8 ounces of milk, and deep enough for the included standard 25mm and 28mm breast funnels.
PROS Includes a programmable auto-shutoff timer, and programmable memory buttons where you can find and save your favourite speed and suction settings for stimulation, let-down, power pumping or a relaxed pumping mode. The pump's tubing lengths can also be customised to fit your style.
CONS Over time, the built-in battery drains relatively fast, as one mum has reviewed. As such, be prepared to charge your Freemie pump in between every few pumping sessions.
Photos: Bove, FairPrice, Hegen, Lazada, Mothercare, Philips and Pupsik Studio
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