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!
Medela Swing Maxi Double Breast Pump
WHAT Small and portable, this double electric pump comes with 2-Phase Expression Technology that resembles a baby's nursing rhythm, for optimal milk flow.
PROS Comfortable 360° rotatable breast shield and is able to pump milk quickly and efficiently. Portability is also a huge advantage. It also has a simple user-friendly interface with only four buttons.
CONS Not as quiet as other breast pumps. There is no timer and no LED light for pumping in low-light conditions.
Philips Avent Premium Breastfeeding Kit (Double Pump)
WHAT The Philips Avent Double Electric Breastpump offers personalisation, with a comfortable silicon cushion that adapts to your nipple size and shape.
PROS There is a memory function so your preferred settings can be stored and a play and pause button if you need a break. It also comes with only a few parts to assemble and has a handy display to keep track of time.
CONS When using the pump, movement can be restricted as it has to be held in place.
Tommee Tippee Made for Me Wearable Double Breast Pump
WHAT A convenient and portable electric double pump that mimics a baby’s suction. It is completely hands-free and can fit easily inside your bra.
PROS Quiet and gentle. Pair it with Tommee Tippee's Closer to Nature breast-like nipples to convert your pumps into baby bottles. Comes with an app to help you keep track of your breast milk output.
CONS It comes with small parts but this makes them easy to misplace.
Imani ibox 2-In-1 Electric Breast Pump
WHAT The i2 Plus Electrical Breast Pump is a hospital-grade breast pump that offers convenience for modern moms. It comes with three motor power settings to cater to your needs and preferences.
PROS A hands-free pump that empties the breast effectively on the go. When you are not using the pump, it charges automatically in the box.
CONS Leakage can occur if not assembled properly and motor is not as quiet as some other pumps.
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.
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: Hegen, Lazada, Mothercare, Pupsik Studio and ThomsonBaby
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