Consumer Reports has researched and reviewed everything from sports cars to dishwashers. They are the authority on all the things we like to purchase. They recently completed a report on Breast Pumps. They test and review everything from Hospital Grade Breast Pumps to small hand held manual pumps. Not sure what you will need? Here is what they had to say:
“Consider renting a hospital-grade breast pump if you’re not sure how long you’ll need to use a pump or if you know you’ll need to pump for only a short time and you plan to be home with your baby. If you expect to use a breast pump regularly, especially if you plan to return to work, buy a top-quality midweight, personal-use, automatic model at the best price you can find. This caliber of pump will help you to get a significant volume of milk in a given time and will be your best bet for maintaining your milk supply. If you plan to use a breast pump only occasionally, a manual pump or a small electric or battery-operated one will probably be all you need.”
They even go into the pro’s and con’s of each type of pump:
These electric powerhouses are about the size of a car battery and can weigh 5 to 11 pounds. Manufactured for users in hospitals and for those who choose to rent, they have sensitive controls that allow you to regulate suction rhythm, intensity, and pressure. Some have a pumping action that’s almost identical to a baby’s natural sucking, which can help to build and maintain your milk supply. A hospital-grade pump can cut pumping sessions in half–to just 15 minutes with a dual pump, which empties both breasts at once. These are expensive to buy, but you can rent them from hospitals, medical-supply stores, lactation consultants, drugstores, and specialty retail stores. Choose this option if nursing is difficult because your baby has trouble latching on, if you’re not sure how much you’ll need a breast pump but you want one on hand just in case, if you plan to pump for three months or less from home, or if you must dramatically increase your milk supply and need the power of a hospital-grade pump.
Pros: They’re fast and efficient. Many are also light, comparable to a midweight, personal-use automatic pump.
Cons: Even though some come with a rechargeable battery and an adapter for use in a vehicle, many don’t come with a discreet carrying case. You wouldn’t want to lug one to and from work every day because it can be awkward and heavy.