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Cheap Breast Pumps Buying Guide
As a new mother, or even a second- or third-time mother, breastfeeding demands and enables a special relationship with your newborn. Nothing quite aids this connection as much as a cheap breast pump, particularly if you don't expect to be with your baby 24/7.
There are two types of breast pumps, manual and powered, and the latter is almost always more expensive. There are also two pumping styles -- single (one breast at a time) and double (both breasts simultaneously) -- but double is an option only with a powered breast pump. According to BabyCenter.com, the time it takes to empty both breasts with hospital grade breast pumps that will set you back at least $1,000 is about half what it takes when using a non-hospital grade pump. These super high-end pumps also come closest to mimicking a baby's real sucking, which may enable the mother to produce more milk.
But if a hospital-grade breast pump doesn't fit your budget, not to worry. There are good cheap powered and manual breast pumps for personal use on the market, and choosing one that suits your nursing needs shouldn't be difficult. Cheap powered breast pumps are relatively small, portable, adjustable, comfortable, and efficient -- they don't, however, help a mother produce more milk. Pumps of this type run on batteries or must be plugged in, and double powered breast pumps are pricier than single powered breast pumps. If electric pumping isn't your style, you can opt for a low-cost self-operated breast pump that's always single and obviously requires more effort than the powered models.
According to experts at Breast Pump Comparisons, the three main brands are Medela, Phillips AVENT, and Ameda. Take the time to do your homework before you buy because many vendors do not allow returns. Factors to consider when choosing a cheap breast pump include the power source, the style, the breast shield, the pump cycle, and accessories. The breast shield is important because this is the part that goes over your nipple, so fit is critical; choose a breast pump that offers shields of different sizes or shields that can be adjusted. The pump cycle describes how the pump works, and a cycle is defined by the number of sucks completed each minute and by the suction level. Power source indicates how the breast pump is operated -- some come with battery packs, others need an electric outlet, others can be used either way, and some, of course, draw on mother power. Extras include items like bottles, lids, carrying bags, nursing pads, and ice packs.
Of the low-cost breast pumps we researched, our favorites are the Medela Harmony (starting at $28), a single manual breast pump that's efficient and mother-friendly, and the Ameda Purely Yours (starting at $158), a double powered breast pump that features adjustable cycles and suction. Following close behind are the Simplisse Manual Breastfeeding Companion (starting at $30), a single manual breast pump with an unusual breast cup design that enhances comfort, and the Medela Swing (starting at $110), a single powered pump that imitates a baby's nursing rhythm. One cheap breast pump we aren't crazy about is the single powered Evenflo Comfort Select Performance Single (starting at $50) due to performance issues and sparse product information.
Note that breast pumps are considered medical devices and are regulated by the FDA.
Best Cheap Breast Pumps
For a cheap manual breast pump, the Medela Harmony is pretty mighty -- some users prefer it to their double electric breast pumps. This model is small, portable, and efficient. Breast shields of different sizes can be purchased separately and the pump can be upgraded to an electric version with a conversion kit.Read Full Review and Compare Prices »
Ameda Purely Yours
Users are thrilled with the comfort of the Ameda Purely Yours breast pump, which partly reflects its adjustable speed and suction. This cheap double powered breast pump is easy to clean, features 32 different combinations of speed and suction settings, and helps produce milk at a level near to what you get with a hospital-grade breast pump. It comes with a car adapter, power cord, and battery pack; different size breast shields can be bought separately.Read Full Review and Compare Prices »
Good Cheap Breast Pumps
Simplisse Manual Breastfeeding Companion
Excelling in comfort, milk letdown, and fast milk expression, the Simplisse Manual Breastfeeding Companion is a hit with most users. This is a single manual breast pump and about as basic as you can get: the user controls the speed and there are no extra accessories. Instead of breast shields, the Simplisse Manual Breastfeeding Companion uses a soft breast cup that conforms to any breast size and moves with the breast as the baby nurses.Read Full Review and Compare Prices »
Milk production with this single powered breast pumpimpresses users, no doubt due to the stimulation phase and expression mode that mimic a baby's natural nursing rhythm. Users also say the breast shield is soft and comfortable and the parts are easy to disassemble and clean. The Medela Swing comes with a power cord, battery pack, carrying bag, and shoulder strap; different size breast shields are also available.Read Full Review and Compare Prices »
Philips AVENT Electric Breast Pump Uno Review
Evenflo Comfort Select Performance Single Review
Simplisse Manual Breastfeeding Companion Review
Medela Swing Review
Medela Harmony Review
Ameda Purely Yours Review
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