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Best Breast Pumps

Learning how to feed your baby can be one of the more difficult parts of being a new mother, especially if you’re struggling to breastfeed - in these cases, a breast pump can be a godsend.

Figuring out the difference between a manual breast pump and an electric breast pump may be unfamiliar territory, but knowing what to look for can pave the way for easy, comfortable expressing. Continue Reading...

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62 listings

Philips Avent Comfort Single Electric

Electric Breast PumpsPhilips Avent Comfort Single Electric · includes 2 listings

3.9 from 101 reviews

Featured review: It’s comfortable to use. Does it fairly quickly. Draws milk sufficiently. I used the pump about 3 times a week. Of all the pumps on the market I found the availability of parts the easiest to find, you can get them from Coles, baby shops and chemists.

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  • Build Quality
    4.1 (18)
  • Value for Money
    3.5 (19)
  • Ease of Use
    4.2 (19)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    4.3 (18)
  • Portability
    3.7 (15)
  • Noise Level
    3.8 (18)
  • Suction
    3.9 (17)
  • Comfort
    3.8 (17)
No values yet
Spectra S2 Hospital Grade Double Electric
  • Award Winner 2021
  • 2020

Electric Breast PumpsSpectra S2 Hospital Grade Double Electric

4.7 from 527 reviews

The highly customisable settings on the Spectra S2 Hospital Grade Double Electric Breast Pump make it the optimal device for creating a feeding experience that suits you.

  • Efficient at expressing milk

  • Makes minimal noise

  • Has a night light

  • Not very portable

  • Build Quality
    4.6 (59)
  • Value for Money
    4.4 (60)
  • Ease of Use
    4.6 (58)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    4.5 (59)
  • Portability
    3.8 (53)
  • Noise Level
    4.3 (58)
  • Suction
    4.6 (55)
  • Comfort
    4.5 (55)
No values yet
Spectra S1 Hospital Grade Double Electric
  • Award Winner 2020

Electric Breast PumpsSpectra S1 Hospital Grade Double Electric

4.7 from 201 reviews

Having a powerful suction, adjustable cycle length, and inbuilt battery make the Spectra S1 Hospital Grade Double Electric Breast Pump the perfect companion for easy expressing on the go.

  • Excellent suction

  • Can help boost milk supply

  • Comfortable breast shields

  • Device is rather bulky

  • Build Quality
    4.3 (36)
  • Value for Money
    4.1 (37)
  • Ease of Use
    4.6 (38)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    4.3 (38)
  • Portability
    4.0 (37)
  • Noise Level
    4.3 (37)
  • Suction
    4.5 (37)
  • Comfort
    4.5 (37)
No values yet
Unimom Forte Hospital Grade Double Electric

Electric Breast PumpsUnimom Forte Hospital Grade Double Electric

4.8 from 112 reviews

If you’re a mother wanting to express regularly or establish or increase your milk supply, the Unimom Forte Hospital Grade Double Electric Breast Pump - complete with customisable suction, a hygienic closed system, and a quiet motor - may never leave your side.

  • Simple to adjust to comfortable, effective suction

  • Fairly quiet

  • Effortless to clean

  • Build Quality
    4.3 (3)
  • Value for Money
    4.7 (3)
  • Ease of Use
    5.0 (3)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    5.0 (3)
  • Portability
    4.0 (3)
  • Noise Level
    3.7 (3)
  • Suction
    4.7 (3)
  • Comfort
    4.3 (3)
No values yet
Spectra Dew 350 Hospital Grade Double Electric

Electric Breast PumpsSpectra Dew 350 Hospital Grade Double Electric

4.7 from 136 reviews

With a wide range of features including a powerful pump, low noise level, and backflow filter, the Spectra Dew 350 Hospital Grade Double Electric Breast Pump makes easy work of expressing.

  • Customisable suction to suit different needs

  • Helps boost milk supply

  • Easy to clean and maintain

No values yet
Spectra 9 Plus Portable Double Electric
  • Award Winner 2020

Electric Breast PumpsSpectra 9 Plus Portable Double Electric

4.6 from 94 reviews

The Spectra 9 Plus Portable Double Electric is for mums who are after efficient pumping wherever, whenever, however.

  • Expresses large quantity of milk quickly

  • Comfortable and painless to use

  • Long battery life

  • Build Quality
    4.4 (18)
  • Value for Money
    3.8 (18)
  • Ease of Use
    4.5 (18)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    4.2 (18)
  • Portability
    4.5 (18)
  • Noise Level
    3.9 (18)
  • Suction
    4.1 (17)
  • Comfort
    4.1 (17)
No values yet
Philips Avent Comfort Single Electric

Electric Breast PumpsPhilips Avent Comfort Single Electric · includes 2 listings

3.9 from 101 reviews

Featured review: It’s comfortable to use. Does it fairly quickly. Draws milk sufficiently. I used the pump about 3 times a week. Of all the pumps on the market I found the availability of parts the easiest to find, you can get them from Coles, baby shops and chemists.

Ad
  • Build Quality
    4.1 (18)
  • Value for Money
    3.5 (19)
  • Ease of Use
    4.2 (19)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    4.3 (18)
  • Portability
    3.7 (15)
  • Noise Level
    3.8 (18)
  • Suction
    3.9 (17)
  • Comfort
    3.8 (17)
No values yet
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When should I get a breast pump?

Woman holding a double electric breast pump to both breasts in foreground and a sleeping baby in the background

Breast pumps are devices that use suction to draw milk from a woman’s breasts. The milk is then used to feed a baby straight away or stored for later use. The main parts of a breast pump include a breast shield (or “flange”), a pumping apparatus, and a container for breast milk collection.

They work by either pumping them with your hands for a manual breast pump, or with an automatic pumping mechanism for electric breast pumps.

Some of the reasons you may benefit from using a breast pump include:

  • Your baby is struggling to breastfeed or breast refusal is occurring.
  • Your breasts are engorged or feel painful.
  • You’re struggling to produce enough milk.
  • You are returning to work and breastfeeding on demand isn’t always viable.
  • You share feeding duties with another parent or family member.
  • You want an emergency supply.
  • You need a break - breastfeeding can wear you out, especially if you need to do it every couple of hours.
  • Your baby was born premature or is spending time in hospital and you can’t nurse them straight away.
  • You’re trying to induce lactation for an adopted baby.

There’s still a lot of stigma surrounding breastfeeding and breast pumping, particularly in workplaces and in public. Whatever your reason for choosing to use a breast pump, know that you’re well within your right to use one, and you shouldn’t be judged for doing anything that makes life easier for you and your baby.

Manual breast pumps · See All

A manual breast pump is generally more suited to women who only need to express from time to time, and who don’t use expressed milk as their baby’s main milk supply. They’re also handy for women who just need a device to relieve engorged breasts or sore nipples now and then.

Pros

  • Portable. Because they’re compact and lightweight, they’re easy to fit in your bag and carry around.
  • Quiet. They don't make a mechanical noise.
  • Can use them anywhere. They’re not mains-powered like many electric pumps, and so you don’t need to use it near a power outlet.
  • Easier to clean. There are fewer components in a hand breast pump than in an electric one, making them easier to wash and sterilise.
  • More control over pump. Some mothers may prefer having more control over the pumping, in which case a manual breast pump would be better for them.

Cons

  • Can be tiring. It can be hard work for your hands when used more frequently, as you have to provide the womanpower to keep pumping to create suction.
  • Only single pumps available. You can’t do a double side pump as you would with an electric pump, as you need two hands for a single breast - one for keeping the shield in place and the other for holding the bottle.
  • Can be less rhythmic. Unless you’re very skilled at hand pumping, the pumps you do won’t be as regular as the ones achieved by an electric pump - this lack of rhythm may not be very conducive to a steady flow.

How do I choose a manual breast pump?

Here are some factors to consider before buying a manual breast pump:

  • Ease of use: To use a manual pump, you attach the suction cup to your nipples and use the handle to actively pump breast milk out. Try and get a feel for yourself about how easy these handles are to pump - some people struggle with these hand movements.
  • Comfort: How comfortable you feel will usually depend on whether you have the right sized breast shield, so ensure you’re fitted well according to manufacturer’s size guides.
  • Portability: Manual pumps don’t need a power outlet or battery to function, and can be used anywhere. They do however come in different sizes, so it’s worth measuring up and seeing whether they’ll fit in your nappy bag or handbag - you can also buy a dedicated breast pump bag if one doesn’t already come with your pump.
  • Suction: Manual pumps don’t have as much suction as electric ones, but how easy a pump is to use will usually affect how much suction is generated.
  • Noise level: Manual devices are silent.
  • Cleaning and maintenance: You should expect to have to wash each part of the pump after every session and sanitise them by boiling them once a day, however you should refer to the manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines. Silicone breast pumps (such as the Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump and the Tommee Tippee Made For Me Silicone Manual Breast Pump) are often easy to clean, and won’t leach off nasty chemicals or grow mould.

A manual breast pump
A manual breast pump

An electric breast pump
An electric breast pump

Electric breast pumps · See All

Electric breast pumps are generally preferred by women who want or need to express regularly or need to express larger amounts of milk.

Pros

  • Can express more milk. Because it’s more powerful and can provide extra stimulation, many women find it easier to express a larger amount of milk with an electric pump. This makes it a good option for when you need to pump a large portion of your baby’s milk supply, such as for storage.
  • Easier to use. You don’t really need to exert much energy to use an electric breast pump - you can just put on the flanges and then start.
  • Can express milk from both breasts simultaneously. Because electric breast pumps can be found as both single or double pumps, you’re able to save time by expressing both breasts at the same time if you prefer.
  • Fast. Electric pumps generally make for quicker breast milk pumping than their manual counterparts.
  • Versatile. Because you can get a single or double breast pump, or a personal-use or hospital-grade pump, you can customise your expressing experience more than you’d be able to with a manual pump.

Cons

  • More expensive. Electric pumps are generally more expensive than manual pumps, and may not be worth forking out for if you don’t actually need to express regularly.
  • Not as portable. Electric breast pumps are generally bulkier and heavier than manual pumps, and so may be more difficult to take around.
  • Noisier. They often make a whirring sound and are noisier than manual pumps.
  • Can be more difficult to clean. Because electric pumps have more components, they can be more fiddly to clean than electric breast milk pumps.
  • May not be able to use them everywhere. If you’re considering a mains-powered rather than a battery-operated electric pump, then you can only use the device near a wall socket.

Should I get a single or double breast pump?

Single electric breast pumps are great for when you need to pump now and then. A double electric breast pump draws milk from both breasts at the same time, making it a more convenient option for mothers who express often.

Double breast pumps can also produce up to 18% more milk than taking turns pumping each breast, making it a more preferable breast pump for low milk supply or for busy mums.

Hospital-grade electric breast pumps

Hospital-grade electric breast pumps are designed to be safely and hygienically used by multiple women, as they’re usually used in maternity wards. They’re usually more effective in initiating and building a milk supply, meaning they can be useful for women who are having trouble producing an adequate supply for their baby, or if they have multiple babies to feed.

They’re generally heavier, bulkier and more durable than personal-use devices, and so may be impractical to take around. Some Spectra breast pumps and Medela breast pumps are hospital-grade.

How do I choose an electric breast pump?

There’s a variety of factors to consider when buying an electric breast pump - here are the important ones.

  • Ease of use: Electric pumps are fairly easy to use, and you can also get a breast pump bra that can be worn with a range of breast pumps for hands-free expressing. Some also have night lights and LCD displays for you to easily see your speed, suction, and session duration, even in the middle of the night.
  • Comfort: A well-fitting breast shield is your friend when it comes to comfortable expressing, but looking for a pump which has adjustable settings for speed and suction strength can give you control over your comfort.
  • Portability: Electric breast pumps need a power outlet or battery power, so you can’t use them if you don’t have access or run out of battery. Battery-powered rather than mains-powered devices make for more portable breast pumps.
  • Suction: The suction of a breast pump is usually measured in mmHg. You may find a breast pump with a wide vacuum range is more flexible for your needs, particularly if you haven’t used a breast pump before and aren’t sure about the suction level that suits you.
  • Noise level: The quietest electric pumps will be around 43 decibels (a noise comparable to bird calls) and the loudest will usually be around 60 decibels (which can be compared to the noises produced in a business office). If a product doesn’t list its noise level and this is important to you, see if you can get an in-person or video demonstration of the machine running to see for yourself whether or not it’s quiet enough for your use.
  • Cleaning and maintenance: Electric breast pumps can be a bit fiddly to clean as they have more components than manual pumps and you have to keep the motor dry. Because cleaning instructions vary across models, ensure you check the manual of the breast pump you’re considering buying so you can know whether the cleaning routine is feasible for you to maintain.

Commonly asked questions

A manual breast pump will set you back between $25 to $120. A single electric breast pump will cost you between $130 and $350, while double electric breast pumps can cost anywhere between $130 and $600.

If you’re using the right sized breast shield, then no, breast pumps are not bad for your breasts. If your breast or nipple is painful on all suction levels while expressing, then you may be using the wrong size breast shield. Doing this can pull too much breast tissue into the funnel of the breast shield and can damage the very delicate skin around your breast, areola, and nipples, which can possibly end up reducing your milk supply.

Different manufacturers have different sizing guides, so be sure to follow their specifications when choosing a breast pump and shield to ensure you’re keeping your breasts healthy and pain-free.

Yes, they can be hired, usually from certain hospitals, pharmacies, or local Australian Breastfeeding Association groups - these will be hospital-grade electric pumps, as you should not use any other breast pump second hand. Breast pump hire often ranges from between $20 to 40 per week. You’ll need to buy a breast shield, collection bottles, and some attachments to go with your hired breast pump.

Wrapping up

The main questions you should be asking yourself when choosing a breast pump are:

  • Where will I be pumping?
  • How often and how much am I going to pump? Is expressed milk the main milk my baby will be having?
  • Do I need something light and portable?

Thinking through your answers to these questions should give you some kind of idea as to what type of breast pump (if any) could suit you. Every mother is different, and a mother’s needs constantly change, particularly as their baby grows. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mum or are always on the go, using the right pump can alleviate some of the stress of nourishing your baby.