For a breastfeeding parent, a breast pump is a great tool! Whether you’ll be pumping while you’re away from your baby at work, exclusively pumping, or just pumping for a date night or some mom-only time, you’ll want to figure out the best breast pump for you. But with so many on the market, how do you know which one to choose? What features should you look for and what do you really need? We have those answers for you!
Open vs. Closed System
What does that mean? An open system breast pump means there is no barrier preventing your milk from getting into the tubing during a pump session. This can sometimes mean there is additional moisture left, and if not dried correctly, may cause a build-up of mold or damage the motor. How do you prevent that? Running the motor for a few minutes after each pump session can help clear out the tubing. It is also important to clean and dry the tubing thoroughly after pumping.
A closed system breast pump indicates that there is a barrier preventing the milk from getting into the tubing. Most pumps on the market today have a closed system. While the closed system does prevent the milk from coming in contact with the tubing, it is still very important to clean and dry the tubing regularly.
Other features to consider
Let-down or Massage mode – These modes offer an automatic or easy change between the suction during expression and massage modes. You can do this yourself, in the settings, but some breastfeeding parents find the ease of a button to be convenient.
Portability – Will you be traveling frequently or transporting your pump to and from work? There are pumps that are small, and lightweight and even battery operated.
Separate controls for suction and speed – The ability to customize the settings to your specific needs can be very important for getting the most optimized milk expression.
Bottle and storage bag compatibility – Many pumps are compatible with other bottles, or if you are using the Twist system, breastmilk storage bags.
Sizing options – Having a properly fitting flange can make all the difference in the expression you have with your pump. Choosing a pump with multiple flange size options may make the customization easier.
How do you choose?
Talk to your lactation provider! While a closed system may save you some time cleaning, an open system pump may be the best option for you because of additional features. Talking with a professional will help you make the most informed decision. You can always reach out to our lactation team at [email protected] for help!