For new moms, which breast pump to get can be one of the hardest purchase decisions they will make before the baby.
For moms doing this for the second, third, fourth, seventh time, things are ever-changing and new products are constantly hitting the market making you wonder ‘do I really need that one, too?’
Hopefully this post helps both sets of mamas!
I’m not an expert, but I breastfed Miller for 6 months and would pump after almost every feed for a long time. With Callen, I exclusively pumped for three months (more on that on a different blog post that I haven’t yet written.)
Here are my findings and my opinions! If you agree with me, awesome- I love you! Leave a comment as to why! If you don’t agree with me- I love you too and would love to know why as well!
How to Choose Which Breast Pump to Get
Unfortunately, many moms don’t know if they will be exclusively breastfeeding, breastfeeding and pumping, or exclusively pumping until they have had the baby for a few weeks and figure out which one works best for you and the baby.
With Miller, I had to pump after every feed because it just never seemed like she got enough. I was also traveling quite frequently so pumping after each feed allowed me to get more reserves for our freezer.
With Callen, I had way too much milk. The letdown was just too much for him and he became very colic-y. When we switched from the breast to the bottle he was a brand new baby. That is why we exclusively pumped with him.
I say this all because different methods may determine the different type of pump you need.
Spectra S1 vs Spectra S2:
They are basically the same. The only difference is that the S1 can be used cordless (on the go)! The S2 can also be used cordless, but only with an adapter you can buy on Amazon. The S1 is $199 and the S2 is $159, but when you add the adapter in it is basically the same price!
There are other pumps on the market as well (like Medela), but I cannot speak to those because I have never used them. All I can say is I have been SUPER happy with my Spectra!
Both are typically offered free with insurance. I recommend using Aeroflow. It was so incredibly easy to use. You just put in your insurance info and they do all the work (free of charge.) I paid $0 for the service and $0 for my Spectra S2. From then on, you will get emails from them saying when you are allowed to get even more pump parts FREE OF CHARGE! That is why my closet is full of pump parts now. I just kept ordering more for free. #notsponsoredjustamazing
Since you can get these hospital grade breast pumps free from insurance, I recommend everyone grabbing one!
Pros: free, best output, easy to use, doesn’t hurt, S1 is cordless, S2 is cordless with an adapter
Cons: super bulky, loud, stationary (you can’t walk around while pumping), would be visible in public
Spectra 9 Plus Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump
This pump saved me with Miller while I was traveling a lot. I wouldn’t have to plug up in the bathroom at the airport and I could hang out by the pool and pump. I usually love taking this one on trips because of that reason and because it doesn’t take up a lot of room in the suitcase. I can just throw it in the diaper bag with the rest of the kid’s stuff.
At $179, it is a good option to consider if the Elvie is way too much out of your budget.
Pros: reasonably priced, small, cordless, good output,easy to use, you can put it in your pocket & walk around while pumping (if wearing a hands free pumping bra)
Cons: loud, would be visible in public, hurts a little more than the S1 or S2
The Elvie is AMAZING, but it is not without it’s own flaws. It definitely saved me after Callen. He was exclusively breastfed so instead of having to pump and then feed, I could pump and feed at the same time while still holding him close, cutting my time in half. We also had tons of guests over and family staying with us so I LOVED that I could pump without anyone even knowing about it. I remember having some friends over for a play date and pulled out my pump after 10 min and they were sitting right next to me and had no idea I had been pumping. I think the Elvie still gives great output, too!
Buttttttt, sometimes I would put the Elvie on and it wouldn’t pump at all. It would look like it was pumping and make the sound but it wasn’t actually doing anything. But I would try a few hours later or the next day and it would work just fine. I also had it leak on my a couple of times. Just the slight bend can cause it to leak. You have to make sure it is on there good! I also hated how often you would need to charge it. Sometimes It would last me about 6 hours and then it would need to be plugged in again. The instructions say to not leave it plugged in after it was charged too so you couldn’t just leave it plugged in overnight. Lastly, it holds 4oz on each side but it would sometimes say it was full after 3oz and stop. So you would have to pour them out, re-attach, and start them again to keep pumping.
The Willow pump is the same concept as an Elvie but I have never tried this pump so I cannot speak to it. It doesn’t have as good of reviews online as the Elvie.
Pros: practically silent, can fit into your bra, not visible in public, cordless, can walk around the house easily, good output, doesn’t hurt
Cons: expensive, has to be charged very often, leaks every now and then, hard to use, have to refill often
If you are a stay at home mom with a toddler, I would highly recommend this pump. You can still watch and play with the toddler while pumping. I would also highly recommend if you plan on exclusively breastfeeding. It is just so freeing to not be tied down plus it saves you tons of time. If you work in an office it can also help keep you at your desk during busy office hours instead of having to get up and pump in a mother’s room every few hours.
If this is your first baby and you plan on staying at home, definitely just start with the free S1 or S2. You don’t need to spend the money on any of the other options.
I hope this helps! Figuring out how to choose which breast pump to get is no easy task! I would love to know if you guys have similar experiences with these or if you know of any other great pump pros and cons that I should add on there! let me know in a comment below!
If you want to see more BABY posts like this one, head HERE.