Express yourself with a breast pump that suits your lifestyle! We’ve been talking to mums for the lowdown on the best mummy milking machines they tried and tested, and looking at the factors to consider before plumping for a pump...
As a team of seasoned breastfeeding and pumping mums, we know that there’s not a ‘one size fits all’ option when it comes to the best breast pumps in Singapore. But tried, tested and recommended is always a step in the right direction. We’ve been talking to mums about what they loved (and what they didn’t) about the pumps that really helped them with their breastfeeding journey.
Hot tip: If you can, do see if you can borrow or rent your breast pump before making your final decision. Try before you buy!
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PICKING YOUR BREAST PUMP
Friends, Facebook forums and a midwife’s advice are definitely worth taking into consideration when picking the best breast pump for you. But what works for one mummy-baby team, might not work for yours. Here’s a few things to ponder before making your final decision.
Cost: The price tags on breast pumps wildly differ. You can expect to shell out from around $30 for a manual pump, to an eye watering $800 for a double electric number. Try renting, or borrowing from a friend if you can!
Portability: For mums returning to work after maternity leave, or mums who are on the move frequently, a portable pump is a must! No one wants to be lugging a weighty pump with a complicated set up around town. However, a heavy duty pump is great for mums who are mostly expressing milk at home. The best part? Now there are pumps that you can just slip into your bra that allows you to express milk wherever, whenever!
Frequency and volume: If pumping is going to be your sole or preferred way of getting the good stuff to bubba, then you’re going to need a gadget that can cope with heavy usage. Likewise, if you just need to pump as-and-when the need arises, a pump suited to casual use could be the way forward. Having an idea about how often you are likely to use your pump is a useful factor when deciding between manual or electric.
One breast or two? We’re not going to lie, pumping mummy milk can prove time consuming and a little tricky to begin with. If speed is the name of your game, and you want to pump as quickly as possible, then it could be worth plumping for a pump that expresses both breasts at once. Some mums prefer to pump one breast while ‘lil one forages on the other, in which case a double pump is not needed.
Power supply: The last thing you want when you are really getting into the flow is for your batteries to run out on your pump. #irritating. If changing batteries is not your forte (it certainly isn’t ours), then an electric or manual pump may suit best. If you’re a mum pumping in the office and a ready power supply is only available right next to your boss’ desk, then batteries or manual are probably the way to go.
TRIED AND TESTED BREAST PUMPS
When you’re looking for a breast pump, you want one that pumps more milk in less time. Because who really wants to be pumping all day long? The new Cimilre S6+ ($299, pictured up top), made in Korea, is a powerful hospital-grade double electric closed-system breast pump. It mimics the suckling of a baby to stimulate and promote milk production. It’s also uber-quiet and won’t wake the baby up with a LED night light that has three-adaptable settings. The best part? It has intuitive UI with memory function that stores the latest settings automatically. And it comes with newly developed hands-free breast shields for better comfort during pumping too. It’s also slim enough to fit into your regular wireless/nursing bra, and its breast shield comes in two sizes: 24mm and 28mm. And if you’re unsure of which size to get, here’s a handy dandy guide to help you out.
The verdict? Mums report that it’s perfect for busy modern-day mums who need to multitask during the day.
Medela Pump In Style Advanced
An award-winning double electric breast pump designed for mums pumping several times a day. Battery or mains operated, this Medela Pump has been engineered to work as closely as possible to how a baby breastfeeds.
“I used the Medela Pump in Style ($329) – excellent naming right there – which did the job wonderfully. It had a covert built-in case which fit in a bag easily, making it easy to pump in the office and then bring the chilled goods home. I used batteries (I bought it in the USA so using it as an electric pump proved difficult) and I found, overall, it was a pretty efficient pump. Except for when it was time for new batteries.” Mum-of-three, Kate.
Spectra S1+ Double Breast Pump
This hospital-grade pump hails from South Korea and is already proving a hit thanks to it not sounding like an airplane landing during use. It also features a massage let-down mode to really get that milk production flowing.
“I use the Spectra S1 ($398). While it’s not the most discreet pump in the world – it looks like a kettlebell and it’s heavy – it works amazingly well. Best of all, it’s super quiet, so I can pump at my desk without disturbing everybody! It has a rechargeable battery which lasts for days too. So I don’t have to worry about running out of juice, or face the hassle of looking for a power outlet. I previously used the Spectra S9 ($318), but the S1 is definitely better, and worth the hype. It’s really helped me pump lots of milk for my bub, so we’re both very happy with it!” Mum-of-two, Jana.
Medela Mini Electric
This is smallest of the Medela breast pumps (the name is a bit of a giveaway). The Medela Mini Electric is a discreet and compact pick that is especially good for mums who only express occasionally. It’s easily operated with one hand, and with only five parts making up the whole thing, it’s easy to clean too.
“My first pump was the single-side Medela Mini Electric ($251). I bought it when I had my first baby as I wasn’t sure whether I would get on with breastfeeding. No judgement please – I just wanted to keep my options open! The downside for me was how LOUD it was. But I loved that I could tweak the suction strength via an easy-to-use dial. I also liked that it could be used with batteries, or as an electric pump. I did upgrade when breastfeeding did work out after all. But I kept this in my drawer at work for emergency pump sessions!” Mum-of-two, Yvonne.
This innovative pump fits in the palm of your hand but still packs a punch when it comes to performance. It’s a double pump that can be used either with rechargeable batteries or mains. It promises more milk in less time thanks to its two-phase expression tech and double pumping action.
“Six weeks postpartum, I decided single-sided pumping was taking way too long. So I handed over my credit card (with eyes closed tight) for the Medela Freestyle ($539). It halved the time it had been taking for me to express my milk. It also lasted through my breastfeeding journey with both of my kids. The only downside? My goodness, the initial outlay and those rechargeable batteries are expensive!” Mum-of-three, Yvonne.
This is the lightest of the two-phase pumps available from Medela. The Medela Swing is so portable and user-friendly, you can even attach it to your pocket or belt! It has a small motor, with a big kick, and has been designed to mimic a baby’s natural suck action.
“I had to pump from the get-go with both kids as they both spent time in NICU. After a bit of a baptism of fire with the super intense hospital pumps, we got the Medela Swing ($199). It was recommended by my mum friends. The gentler action of the Swing was a godsend and I loved how compact and efficient it was. Any downsides? It had an unmistakable sound that I still can’t get out of my head! Definitely one of the best investments we made though!” Mum-of-two, Selina.
“Poor milk supply and a host of other woes struck me on my breastfeeding journey with number two. But the very little milk I was able to express was thanks to the Medela Swing. Fortunately my experience with number three was an easy peasy one. And the Medela was still in full swing throughout the year of pumping with him. It was easy to use, easy to clean and did a great job. But, boy, was it noisy! Definitely not one to use if you are nursing bubba on the other breast!” Mum-of-three, Tracy.
Avent Single Electric Breast Pump
Designed to be as comfortable as possible, you won’t have to constantly fidget to find a good position. Instead, this electric breast pump has a massage cushion which helps stimulate milk flow. It can also be used with batteries.
“I used the Avent Single Electric Breast Pump ($162), and because it is battery operated, it was easy to carry around. I loved that the bottles fixed into the base that comes with it. I’d have preferred a double pump with hindsight, but overall I was happy with its performance. I have always been a fan of Avent, so I plumped for this pump based on previous great experiences”. Mum-of-three, Madeline
OTHER POPULAR BREAST PUMPS
Haakaa Silicone 100ml Breast Pump
Before shelling out big bucks for a breast pump that you may never even end up using, start your expressing days with an easy and affordable manual pump like the Haakaa Silicone 100ml Breast Pump ($29.90). Made from 100% food grade silicone, this compact pump is great for discreet use wherever you go.
Philips Avent Natural Manual Breast Pump
An easy-to-use manual pump, the Philips Avent Natural Manual Breast Pump ($79) has been designed with a velvet-type texture that feels warm on the skin to help with gentle stimulation of milk flow.
Freemie Liberty Mobile Breast Pump
For working mums or mums constantly on the go, the Freemie Liberty Mobile Hands Free Breast Pump ($199) is your best bet. Quiet and discreet enough so you can pump anywhere and everywhere with ease, it also has the suction power of a hospital grade pump. The best part? You don’t need a special bra to keep these babies hooked on. You simply slip them into your regular bras and pump away!