Manual breast pump or electric breast pump?

electric breast pumpAs a new mum, when you have decided to breastfeed your baby, you are very much aware of the benefits of breastfeeding for both yourself and your baby. However, there are many reasons why you may have to be away from your baby. Whether you are away for health, family or work reasons, or just because you would like an evening out, it doesn’t mean that your baby can not continue to benefit from your breast milk. That’s when a well-chosen manual or electric breast pump becomes very useful. Let us look at some of the pros and cons of each.

  • Weight: A manual breast pump is often lighter and more compact than an electric breast pump. If weight and size are an issue, the Meleda mini electric is a good compromise between the two. It is electric and compact.
  • Suction speed: An breast pump – and even more if it’s a double pump – expresses breast milk much quicker than a manual pump. This can make all the difference for working mums or mums trying to increase their milk supply. A manual pump can be reassuring if you are expressing breast milk for the first time, but it can be slow and this can prove to be frustrating. If time is an issue, an electric breast pump might be preferable even if you are not planning to express frequently.
  • Comfort: Both types of pumps can be equally comfortable. With a manual pump, you control the suction and it can often be adjusted in an electric pump. Some pumps come with an extra breast cushion for even more comfort. Manual breast pumps can also be tiring on your hands.
  • Noise: A manual pump is almost silent while an electric breast pump has a motor. This can be a concern for some breastfeeding mums. If you are planning to express at work, your employer is legally bound to provide you with sufficient privacy.
  • Ease of use: manual pumps contain fewer components, which makes them easier to put together and take apart. The Medela and Lansinoh breastpumps are also fairly simple to assemble.

Manual or electric breast pump? Each breastfeeding mum has her favourite. Whatever your choice, take your time and relax.