Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Help a Mom: Advice on breast pumps

Posted May 7, 2013

A mom posted this question on Go Ask Mom's Facebook page the other day:

I am a soon-to-be new mom, and I am looking into buying a breast pump. What's the best when it comes to pumps in function, price, and ease of use?

Back in the day, I used a Medela Pump In Style, which other friends also used when they pumped at work. I know there are a lot of other kinds of pumps out there. Please share your favorites, thoughts, etc.

Breast pumps are available at major chain stores, but some local retailers also sell them and can offer some great information about what might work best for you. If I'm missing one, please share in the comments.

They include:

The Women's Birth and Wellness Boutique in Chapel Hill

The Lactation Station at Rex Healthcare in Raleigh

Green Pea Baby & Child in Apex (soon to be in Cary)

Lactation consultants also can help with information and often have pumps that they rent or sell. Check our breastfeeding resources page for more.

Please share your experience in the comments box below. (If you don't see the comments box below, you'll need to log in or sign up for a WRAL account. You can do that by going to the top of the page and clicking on either "log in" or "register").

Help a Mom features questions from readers every Wednesday. If you have a question that you'd like to ask Go Ask Mom readers, click here to email it to me.


Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • kcastleberry May 8, 2013

    I was a stay at home mom, but I ended up pumping almost exclusively when my baby started refusing to nurse. It also helped when my milk supply started to dwindle. You never expect this to happen and you don't want to have to run out an buy a pump when it does. I personally think every nursing Mom should have a breast pump on hand and most important of all...don't listen to all the advice you get. If I had ignored some of what I was told, I would not have had as many problems. There is a terrific book out there entitled.."So That's What They're For:Breastfeeding Basics" IMO the best book on breastfeeding ever! I can't tell you how much I wish I'd had this book before I ever gave birth. I had 8 other books that I had read cover to cover, over and over, but this one gives you all the ups and downs of it.Let you baby nurse on demand! I stopped doing that on advise of pediatrician and it was the worse decision ever! That's when my problems started. Good luck!

  • kschmidt11 May 8, 2013

    I used the Medela Pump In Syle with my first child. Now that I am expecting baby #2 in a few weeks, I plan on using it again. Like several people have mentioned, check your health insurance plan to see if they cover breast pumps. Many do cover them now but the negatives are the availability and you may not have a choice in brand/type either. One thing different I am doing this time around is I purchased an extra accessories kit and a hands-free pumping bra. Less washing by hand every time and my hands aren't stuck holding the attachments.

  • ebrs929 May 8, 2013

    I have a Medela Freestyle. I really liked the compact size for carrying to work, on trips, etc. Also the battery lasted a very long time. I typically charged it once a week, and even when pumping 3xs a day at work it would last all 5 days.
    I actually found Burlington Coat Factory to be the cheapest retailer for them (2years ago).

  • wspmom May 8, 2013

    I'm a working mom of a 9 month old and I pump 3 times a day with my Ameda Purely Yours pump! It is a great reliable pump- in fact, it is over 10 years old and going strong!
    Since my pump is a little older, the carrying case it came with was really obvious (I see alot of people on my way in and out of work), so I got a simple tote bag that I can carry it in instead of the big bulky thing, and I jsut carry a little bottle cooler inside to carry my milk home.
    Good luck!

  • RunnerMama May 8, 2013

    I used the Medela Freestyle. It is a bit pricey but it is hands free, small, & quiet. It has a great battery life (I could go 2 days without charging it) and it wasn't a hassle hauling it to and from work. I know a lot of my friends who didn't want to spend the extra money on the Freestyle loved their Medela Pump in Style.

  • jrm576 May 8, 2013

    I'm a working mom of a 7-month-old and can also vouch for the Medela In Style Adavanced. I breastfeed/pump exclusively, and the pump has been great.

    My only complaint is that my daughter hates the bottles/n*pples that come with the pump. We tried multiple bottles (Dr. Brown's, Avent, etc) before she finally became comfortable with the Tommie Tippie brand. Once we got that figured out, her transition back and forth between nursing and bottle feeding has been seamless.

  • jen_wood10 May 8, 2013

    I am a working mom, which means I have to pump at work to provide milk for my little boy...he is 6 months old. I work at a hospital so they provide a mother's pumping room equipped with a medela symphony. It is such a great breast pump and I am fortunate to be able to use it at no cost. If you can get your hands on the medela symphony it really is a great pump...very efficient. At home when I pump on occasion I use my medela pump in style. It is also a very good pump. If you need parts you have plenty of retail stores to buy from...Babies R us, Target, and Amazon has everything also. I have never used any other brands, but I love Medela. Working an pumping is very hard work, but so worth it!!

  • PartyOfSix May 8, 2013

    It depends on the siutation really. A lot depends on whether the mother is going to work outside the home, if she wants to pump regularly, or just needs a backup way to make a bottle occasionally. I rented a hospital grade pump when I had twins and it was very effective - I ended up exclusively pumping when the babies were about 8 weeks old and the pump was a great help. I used the pump in style for another baby, although only for occasional bottles, and it was good. For my last baby, I ended up just getting a cheap hand pump and was surprised how easy it was! And wonderful just to throw all the parts in the dishwasher! I only pumped very occasionally so it was a great choice. I was lucky to respond very well to the pumps and had great supply. Some women really struggle with that though, so that will be a factor too. Good luck!

  • shall6 May 7, 2013

    Thanks kellyh ... that is correct, though there have been some supply issues. See this earlier story on WRAL:


  • kelleyh May 7, 2013

    Some health insurance plans now cover breast pumps for new moms as part of the Affordable Care Act. If she has health insurance, she should check with her company on if her pump is covered and how she should order one (some companies will require you to go through certain vendors and/or wait until the baby is born). I believe even Medicaid covers breast pumps for new moms, but I don't have any 'personal' experience with that. I used a Medela Pump in Style and had no problems. One thing I loved with my second baby was a hands free pumping bra.