For nursing mothers, every drop of breastmilk is liquid gold, and, yes, there’s definitely crying over spilled milk. That’s why a manual breast pump is a must. Over the past decade, there’s been a quiet revolution in breastfeeding, with some 85 percent of mothers now pumping at least some of the time. In 2010, the Affordable Care Act required insurers to cover breast pumps, and the following year, the IRS declared them tax deductible. All of which means there are more and better breast pump options out there than ever.
Breastfeeding becomes a priority when feeding an infant, but one’s life still needs to be lived. No one wants to be tied down at home, unable to meet friends for dinner or to work late when necessary. The answer is a portable breast pump: Instead of lugging around an unwieldy electric pump, you can grab your hand breast pump and be on your way, ready for whatever comes up. They’re not meant for everyday use, but they are incredibly convenient when you’re on the go and need to express — think of being on a long flight or in the park with your kids or stuck at the office. The best breast pumps are small in size, but large in output.
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You want a manual breast pump that’s easy to put together, comfortable to use, simple to clean, and of course, that holds on to your milk without wasting a drop. Here are the top picks out there.
The Freemie Equality manual breast pump lets you pump your milk with your clothes on.
Pros: You don’t have to take your top off to pump, courtesy of this manual breast pump. It’s an easy pull-on compact pump that comes with its own collection cups.
Cons: It doesn’t have super-strong suction, and isn’t as discreet as some moms hoped.
This is one of Amazon's top sellers, and for good reason. It's easy to use, it's lightweight and portable, and it's foolproof.
Pros: This manual breast pump does all the work for you. You simply suction it to your breast, and the milk flows. It’s incredibly soft and made from high quality food-grade silicone. It’s especially ideal for plane rides, road trips, and other outings. Oh, and it’s dishwasher-safe.
Cons: Some users say that it doesn’t provide enough suction.
With the NUK manual breast pump, you can control the suction and speed with easy, one-handed pumping.
Pros: This manual breast pump is easy to use, and it lets you control both suction and speed, so you can adjust to find the most comfortable and efficient milk flow.
Cons: The suction is dubious, as is the quality, some say.
It's lightweight enough that you can attach it to one breast, while nursing from the other, to catch every drop of milk without wasting any liquid gold.
Pros: You get the full manual breast pump kit here, which includes the silicone breast pump stopper, dust cover lid, and velvet pouch sealed in air-tight vacuum packaging. And moms love the circular flap design with a soft, smooth, and very even surface. As an added bonus, it’s super-easy to clean.
Cons: Some moms say it falls off, and the suction isn’t as strong as promised.
This breast pump features a manually-controlled vacuum that allows you to adjust the suction for your ideal comfort level and efficient flow of breastmilk.
Pros: It features a soft-touch, ergonomic swivel handle for extra comfort and mimics a baby’s natural nursing rhythm so you get more milk in less time. And it includes a PersonalFit breast shield for comfortable and efficient breast pumping.
Cons: This pump is designed for occasional use, meaning those times you’re away and unable to breastfeed.
You can suction these to your breasts and cook dinner or finish your expense report while the pump does its thing. Moms say it works as fast as an electric pump while being way more comfortable.
Pros: It’s small enough that you can easily tuck it into your purse and use it while you’re out at dinner. The packaging is downright adorable. And it’s dishwasher-safe.
Cons: As with other pumps on this list, the suction isn’t foolproof, so be careful that you don’t knock the pump off.
This pump is great because of its handle, which toggles between the stimulation and expression phases. The stimulation phase allows for more rapid suction, while the expression phase is a slower cycle.
Pros: You can pump directly into Lansinoh milk storage bags, which saves time and prevents any spilled milk mishaps. But be advised that the Lansinoh milk collection bottles are designed to fit the brand’s full range.
Cons: The milk storage bags aren’t a seamless fit, and the pump takes a long time to work.
You know how you were always told to sit up straight? With this pump, it’s easy, because your milk will flow straight into the bottle.
Pros: Moms love the fact that you can sit however you want, and still express major amounts of milk. Meaning, no more being hunched over or tilted forward. And it’s easy to operate one-handed.
Cons: This is one of the noisier models on the market.
This manual breast pump is pricey, but the brand claims that it imitates baby's suckling pattern for a faster let-down system.
Pros: This breast pump features adjustable pumping to mimic a baby’s sucking pattern for faster let-down and has a sealing air cushion that fits to the breast, so pumping is simple.
Cons: The price.
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