Best Manual Breast Pump Buying Guide

Best Manual Breast Pump Buying Guide

Which manual breast pump is best for me?


Every mum has her own reasons for wanting to express milk. The biggest advantage is that your baby can benefit from your milk when you're not around.

A simple manual breast pump may be the best option if you only want to express milk for one feed a day or for an occasional break. Bear in mind that it's best to wait until your baby is about six weeks old and you've established breastfeeding before you offer him a bottle.

Some mums find they’re successful with one type of pump and not with others. If you buy one and it doesn’t work for you, don’t assume you can’t express, you may get on much better with a different model of breast pump. You may also be able to get a refund on the one that hasn’t worked for you, especially if you return it within a month of buying it because it’s not fit for purpose or it’s faulty.

Why use a manual breast pump?


A big advantage of manual pumps is their simplicity and convenient size. If you're going to pump regularly, you may prefer an electric pump. But many mums say manual pumps feel natural and more closely mimic your baby's sucking.

Comfort is a top priority for expressing mums. Using a breast pump shouldn't hurt you, but some women can find the suction uncomfortable. With a manual pump, you're generally better able to control the suction rate yourself.

Once you've placed the suction cup over your breast, squeeze the handle to create a rhythmic vacuum that stimulates milk flow. At first, you may need both hands to work the pump, although you'll probably soon get used to one-handed pumping.

Hand pumps are generally more affordable, smaller, lighter and quieter than electric pumps. And they get quicker the more you get used to them. Once you've become skilled at pumping, you may like to pump one breast while your baby is feeding at the other. With a manual pump, there won't be any motor noise to disturb him.

Choosing a manual breast pump is a good low-cost option if you're only expressing milk every now and then or when you're away from home as they’re so portable. If, however, you want to feed your baby solely with expressed milk, spending more on a powerful, electric pump could make expressing quicker and easier.

Effective Methods to Increase Milk Supply When Pumping


  • Using the Right Breast Pump: It's essential to use a quality electric breast pump, with a preference for hospital-grade double electric pumps that can pump both breasts simultaneously, for efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Proper Pump Fit and Suction Levels: Ensure the breast pump flange fits comfortably and the suction setting is appropriate. Avoid setting the suction too high, as this can damage the nipple and adversely affect milk supply.
  • Frequent Pumping: Regularly pumping every 3 hours and incorporating power pumping (pumping for 10 minutes on and off for an hour daily for several days) can significantly stimulate milk production.
  • Diet and Hydration: A well-balanced diet rich in protein and specific galactagogues (foods that promote milk production) like oatmeal, brewer's yeast, and almonds, coupled with staying hydrated, is beneficial for milk supply.
  • Avoiding Certain Substances: Steering clear of smoking, excessive caffeine, and certain medications can prevent a decrease in milk supply.
  • Skin-to-Skin Contact: Also known as kangaroo care, skin-to-skin contact with your baby can boost milk production, along with providing other benefits for both mother and child.
  • Comfortable Pumping Environment: Creating a relaxed environment for pumping, with all necessary supplies at hand, can facilitate easier and more effective milk expression.

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