What factors should a mother consider when choosing a breast pump?
There’s never been a better time to pump breast milk. While infant formula manufacturers have dropped the ball on several counts in the last two years, respectable breast pump brands like Elvie, Motif, and Willow have given moms an even wider range of pumps than ever before that meet different price points, comfort levels, and even travel requirements. In fact, our customers frequently experience option overwhelm. How do you pick one breast pump from among so many? Choosing a breast pump is a highly personal decision, and many factors will influence your choice. This guide offers some suggestions to start with based on our own customers’ feedback.
While the comfort level of a breast pump is subjective, many of our moms have given rave reviews to the Elvie Stride, the Motif Luna, and the BabyBuddha. These pumps are designed with comfort in mind and offer features like soft flanges, adjustable suction, and hands-free pumping. One of the key features of the BabyBuddha is its ability to mimic a baby’s natural suction pattern, which feels more comfortable to many moms and also helps to stimulate milk production.
Ease of use
The Elvie Stride, the Willow Go, and the Willow 3.0 are all considered easier to assemble, use, and clean than competitors. Those features are especially important for new moms and those who already feel overwhelmed with clean up duty. These popular breast pumps offer features like intuitive controls and a small number of easy-to-clean components. The Willow 3.0 also equips moms to pump into spill-proof, self-sealing milk bags, making clean up even easier. All of these pumps connect to user-friendly smartphone interfaces that make them more accessible for young mothers who are new to pumping.
For mothers who need to pump in public, the design and noise level of the pump may dealbreakers. The Elvie Stride, the Willow Go, and the Willow 3.0 are stand out pumps in this category, too, for their compact size, hands-free design, and silent motors. These pumps are designed to fit discreetly under clothing, and the Willow 3.0 even offers 360° mobility so you can pump in any position without leaks.
If you’re a mom on the go, you may want to consider the amount of travel or time away from home you’ll be spending with your pump. The most popular portable breast pumps, like the Willow Go, the Elvie Stride, and the Spectra S1, are compact, lightweight, and easy to carry. The Spectra S1 Plus is a rechargeable double electric breast pump that offers the efficiency, power, and performance of a hospital-strength pump while maintaining a lightweight design for portability.
Breast milk production is stimulated through regular and effective stimulation of the nipples and breast tissue. Most breast pumps use suction and massage to stimulate milk flow. However, the degree of stimulation can vary depending on the pump’s design, settings, and user technique. Some pumps, such as the BabyBuddha, the Spectra S1, and the Motif Luna, offer customizable suction and cycle settings that can be adjusted to increase stimulation and maximize milk production.
Price and Insurance Coverage
Breast pumps can vary in price and coverage eligibility, so one of the first things you’ll want to do when choosing a breast pump is to find out what your insurance covers. Most insurance companies, including Tricare, Aetna, and Geisinger, provide coverage for breast pumps as part of the Affordable Care Act. This means that you’ll be able to choose a pump and have it covered by your insurance. When shopping for a breast pump, be sure to check your insurance plan to see what pumps are covered, and what your out-of-pocket costs will be. Here are a few of the health insurance providers we work with:
Need more information about breast pumps and insurance coverage?
At Milk N Mamas Baby, we listen to the moms who call us with questions, concerns, and compliments. If you’re still not sure which breast pump would work best for your situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We can even confirm your insurance coverage and request a prescription from your doctor so you don’t have to.