1. How Long/Often Will You Need One? Most breast pumps are on the expensive end, so the first question you might want to ask is how much use you’ll actually get out of it? Do you plan on having more than one child? If yes, you might think about investing in a better pump that will last through all your babies. Another thing to think about is how often you will use your pump. Remember, many pumps discourage multiple users, so don’t invest without reading up on your model thinking you’ll be able to sell it later. 2. Manual or Electric? I know several people with manual pumps who find them efficient in the sporadic case that they need to use it. Consider the effort of hand-pumping. I know one model offers a pedal for weak forearms like mine. Are you a working mom who plans to pump regularly? You will most likely want to buy an electric pump -to keep things fast, efficient and most importantly, you back to work.
3. Single or Double? Obviously, double pumps will make the whole process go faster. They can be trickier to use at the same time, but you’ll get the hang of it. If you don’t, many manufacturers make hands-free bras that will keep the pumps snug.
4. Does Size, Noise and Accessories Matter? Yes. Yes. Yes. For me, it’s important to have a (somewhat) quiet pack that is small enough to travel in my diaper bag. The option of battery-operated packs with accessories for travel lighter adapters are helpful for the traveling and/or working mom. Bags and storage are important too -though there are many generic ones that fit all brands.
5. What Do Your Friends Recommend? Feedback from real nursing moms is key. Also, read reviews. I made my decision on which pump to buy based on feedback I’d asked my twitter followers. The majority recommended Medela for comfort and speed and since I needed a double electric pump for my work schedule, I ended up with the Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced. (Don’t worry about the bag it comes in.. just buy the cheaper one.)