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, and looking at the factors to consider before plumping for a pump…
Happy World Breastfeeding Week, folks! Whether you’re exclusively latching or pumping, the world (and us at HoneyKids) are celebrating you this week! When it comes to pumping, new mums are often consumed by questions and pump options on the market, and it’s true that there’s not a ‘one size fits all’. 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 are a few things to ponder before making your final decision.
The price tags on breast pumps differ wildly. 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!
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!
3. 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.
4. 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 searching 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.
5. 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 – THE BEST BREAST PUMPS IN SINGAPORE
1. Cimilre S6+
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+ ($269, 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, with a 50-330mmHg ±20% suction strength. 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 an intuitive UI with a memory function that stores the latest settings automatically. And it comes with newly developed hands-free (Free-T) 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 27mm. 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.
2. Medela Freestyle Flex™ Double Electric Breast Pump
The Medela Freestyle Flex™ Double Electric Breast Pump ($649) is an award-winning compact, light and portable breast pump that fits in your palm. At less than 300gms in weight, it’s super easy to carry! A big plus with this pump is that it has an inbuilt rechargeable battery which makes it easy to pump from anywhere. The pump also comes with a USB port for charging which is super handy when you can’t find a power point nearby. Big relief! Its intuitive interface (featuring an illuminated digital control panel) with touchscreen controls allows you to start/pause pumping, switch expression mode, adjust vacuum levels, and has a special Delay start function useful in double pumping giving you time to put breast shields in place. It can also connect to the free MyMedela app to track your pumping progress. Very convenient indeed! Beyond its digital capabilities, it also ranks high on comfort for mums. You can expect to express more milk in less time, the pump has 2 Phase expression feature that mimics the suckling action of your bubba, overflow protection (embarrassment is the last thing we need!), and breast milk storage facilities.
3. 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. The pump comes with an in-built rechargeable battery which is very convenient for mums-on-the-go. It also has different levels of suction control and suction pressure. The night light LCD display feature makes pumping at night easy near your bubba. You can get on with your routine and forget worrying about the pump with the 30-minute auto power-off safety feature which is super handy.
“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.
4. Medela Mini Electric
This is the 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. 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.
5. Medela Freestyle Double Electric Breast Pump
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 ($599). 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.
6. Medela Swing Single Electric Breast Pump
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 Swiss-designed 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.
7. Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump SCF398/11
The best breast pump doesn’t exi… Wait, but it does (in our humble opinion)! We’re talking about the Philips Avent double breast pump SCF398/11 available at $599. These breast pumps have been designed with babies and mums firmly in mind. First off, their soft and adaptive silicone cushions gently flex to fit your individual size, and the fancy natural motion technology stimulates the breast in the same way as a baby’s mouth does. Meaning, you can express more milk in less time, which is a big win in our book! There are eight stimulation and 16 expression levels, along with a quiet motor, and a memory function that saves your last setting. If you’re still on the fence, Philips is throwing in a money-back guarantee policy, so in case it doesn’t work out, you can send it back. Winning!
“This is a new pump for my second baby, so it hasn’t been fully tested just yet, but I’ve only heard good reviews so far from friends who have used it. They love how quiet it is, and it’s nifty enough so you can get in a comfy position to express (no need for any awkward leaning forward). It also remembers your settings, so all you need to do is sit down, relax, and press start. So, one less thing to worry about in those early days!” Mum-of-two, Kate
OTHER POPULAR BREAST PUMPS
8. Haakaa Silicone Manual Breastpump 100ml
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 Manual Breastpump 100ml ($25.42). The pump is made of 100% food-grade silicone, eco-friendly, soft, comfortable, and dishwasher safe. It is compact, perfect for discreet use wherever you go and fits easily into your handbag/baby bag. With no chords, batteries and motors attached, it makes for a super easy and convenient pump to use on the go.
9. Freemie Liberty Electric Double Breastpump
For working mums or mums constantly on the go, the Freemie Liberty Electric Double Breastpump ($99) 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!
10. Elvie Breast Pump
Elvie breast pumps are surely taking the island state by storm. Proudly being the world’s first silent wearable breast pumps, Elvie pumps are popular among the modern busy mums who want to multitask and pump on the go. You can control the pumps via an app. Once you start, the pumps automatically switch from stimulation to expression mode, and will stop pumping when milk bags are full. Elvie pumps come in single, double, manual, and they even have milk catchers.
11. Baby Express, Be Nude Wearable Breast Pump
Singapore-based baby and mother care company Baby Express has just launched its all-new Be Nude Wearable Breast Pump. The pump caters to working mums to have a fuss-free hands-free experience. Its soft and gentle silicone flange makes it comfortable to wear while on a commute to work, during a busy day at the office, or even during a Zoom call. Simply slip the pump into your bra, choose from three modes- massage, expression and auto, and let it silently work its magic.
For those scouring the market for a good pump and good deal, Baby Express has thrown in a promotional pre-order price of $97.90 (the usual price of $129.90).
Love this list of breast pumps in Singapore? Try these baby weaning essentials too!