It’s hard enough as it is being a working mom without having to worry about sifting through all of the different breast pumps available. That’s why I created this guide on the best pumps for working moms, to help ease your return to work and ensure that you can focus on what truly matters: your career and your precious time with your little one.
If you want a sneak peek into the best pumps for your working mom life based on customer reviews, expert recommendations, my own experience, and pump features, here you go:
*This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
When I was early in my breastfeeding journey and still exclusively breastfeeding my first baby, I remember feeling a bit panicked about having to return to work and pump milk. I was renting a hospital-grade Medela pump at the time, but there was no way I could carry that heavy pump with me on my 1.5 bus commute to work!
I did lots of research to find breast pumps that would commute easily with me, help me maintain my milk production, and was quiet enough for the office. I happily settled on a Spectra S1 portable breast pump that was decently portable and had strong enough suction to keep my breast milk supply up.
Since I know the struggle of finding a good breast pump for work, I did the research for you! I’m providing you with a super detailed list of the most popular pumps on the market for working moms. Keep scrolling for a full breakdown of pros and cons, and what features to look out for to find the perfect pump.
So let’s get started!
11 Best Pumps for Working Moms
Here is a list of the top breast pumps on the market that are popular with working mothers based on user reviews, expert recommendations, and product features.
1. Best Portable Breast Pump: Baby Buddha Pump
Moms love the Baby Buddha breast pump for its compact size and lightweight design, which makes it really portable and convenient for pumping on the go.
Pros of the Baby Buddha pump:
- Very portable and hands-free: small enough to slip into your pocket and includes a lanyard that you can wear around the neck, freeing up both hands for other tasks.
- Rechargeable: can be used without a power outlet, which further enhances its portability.
- Strong suction: despite its tiny size, this pump has plenty of power and some users report being able to extract more milk from the Baby Buddha pump than their Medela and Spectra pumps.
Cons of the Baby Buddha pump:
- Price: pricey compared to some other portable breast pumps on the market.
- Battery life: some moms have had issues with the battery life being too short. This could be problematic if you need to pump for longer periods of time without access to an outlet.
- Noise: Customers note that the pump can be quite loud, which could be a problem if you need to pump discreetly in public.
2. Best Wearable Breast Pump: Elvie Pump
Wearable breast pumps like the Elvie pump are so convenient and efficient for working moms! They are revolutionary due to their ability to wear them discreetly in your bra, totally hands-free!
Pros of the Elvie breast pump:
- Very portable: hands-free, wireless, and wearable, allowing moms to pump while doing other activities such as working or commuting.
- Quiet and discreet: designed to be really quiet, perfect for use in your office or other public setting.
- Mobile app: comes with a mobile app that allows moms to track their pumping sessions, adjust the pump’s settings, and monitor their milk production.
- Small and lightweight: each pump is very light, weighing only 7.9 oz, and comes with a carrying bag which makes it easy to take with you anywhere.
Cons of the Elvie breast pump:
- Cost: relatively expensive compared to other breast pumps on the market, making it less accessible to some moms who are looking for a more budget-friendly option.
- Battery life: the Elvie’s battery life is short- about 2-3 hours. That’s less than other wearable pumps and can be a hassle when you have to pump multiple times a day.
- Output: reports from moms have shown that the Elvie may not be as effective at removing milk as other pumps.
- Parts replacement: can be more difficult to find Elvie replacement parts compared to other brands, which could be inconvenient for moms who need to replace damaged or lost parts.
- Learning curve: there’s definitely a learning curve when it comes to getting the hang of using a wearable pump for the first time. Make sure to read the instructions closely before using!
>>Recommended post: Elvie vs Willow: Best Wearable Breast Pump
3. Best Manual Breast Pump: Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump
The Medela Harmony Breast Pump ($28.72) is a manual pump that is designed to be portable, easy to use, and efficient. It’s true you’ll get more power from an electric pump, but when you’re traveling or electricity is scarce, you’ll be thankful to have a manual pump on hand!
Pros of the Medela Harmony Breast Pump:
- Portability: so small and lightweight, it’s easy to carry in a purse or diaper bag.
- Quiet operation: operates quietly, making it a good option for working moms who need to pump in a shared office.
- Customizable suction: you can adjust the suction level to your comfort level and milk flow so that pumping is more efficient and comfortable.
- Easy to clean: cleans easily and is dishwasher safe, which is a huge time saver for working moms who need to pump frequently.
- Affordable: an affordable option compared to many electric breast pumps. This can be helpful for working moms who are on a budget or who only need to pump occasionally.
Cons of the Medela Harmony Breast Pump:
- Manual pumping: you will need to manually pump the handle to express milk, which can be tiring for some mothers, especially if they need to pump frequently or for long periods of time.
- Lower suction power: may not be as powerful as an electric pump, so it’s less effective for mothers with high milk supply or the need to pump quickly.
- Limited features: for example, it does not offer double pumping, adjustable speed settings, or a rechargeable battery.
- Longer pumping sessions: takes longer to express the same amount of milk with an electric pump, which can be a huge disadvantage for working moms that have limited time for pumping during their workday.
- Not hands-free: requires the use of both hands, which can make it difficult to multitask while pumping.
4. Best Electric Breast Pump: Spectra S1 Plus
The Spectra S1 Plus Breast Pump ($216) is a high-quality, hospital-grade breast pump that is designed for moms who need to express breast milk regularly, particularly working moms. It has several features to help make pumping as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
Pros of the Spectra S1 Plus:
- Portable: rechargeable breast pump that can be used without being plugged in, making it convenient for pumping on-the-go or at work.
- Customizable settings: offers customizable suction and cycling settings to mimic a baby’s natural nursing pattern, which can help improve milk flow and reduce discomfort.
- 2 Pumping options: offers flexibility to use as a single or double pump.
- Night-light: comes with a night-light, allowing you to pump in the dark.
- Closed system: milk flows directly into the bottle without coming into contact with any other part of the pump, ensuring that the milk is safe for baby.
- Quiet operation: it’s a very quiet pump, which makes it less noticeable and less disruptive for moms who need to pump in public or in the workplace.
Cons of the Spectra S1 Plus:
- Price: generally more expensive than some other breast pump options, so it may not be the best choice for those on a tight budget.
- Size and weight: while portable, it’s also larger and heavier than some other breast pumps, which may make it less convenient for travel or frequent use outside the home.
- Learning curve: might take some time to get used to the pump’s customizable settings and find the right suction and cycling patterns for your needs.
- Cleaning: has more parts than some other breast pumps, which can make cleaning and assembly slightly more time-consuming.
5. Best Hospital Grade Breast Pump: Medela Symphony Pump
If you’re looking for a reliable and efficient pump that can handle frequent use and maintain milk supply, the Medela Symphony Breast Pump ($2101) might be the perfect pump for you. While not the most portable, this hospital-grade pump offers several features that make it an ideal breast pump to leave at work.
Pros of Medela Symphony:
- Efficient and powerful: designed for high-frequency pumping and has a two-phase expression technology that mimics the sucking patterns of a baby, making it efficient at extracting milk quickly and comfortably.
- Customizable settings: has adjustable suction levels and cycling speeds, allowing moms to personalize their pumping experience and find the setting that works best for them.
- Hygienic and safe: has a closed system that prevents milk from entering the tubing and motor, reducing the risk of contamination and making it safe for multiple users.
- Compatible with other Medela products: compatible with a range of Medela breast shields and bottles, making it easy to integrate into a larger pumping and feeding system.
Cons of Medela Symphony:
- Price: one of the most expensive breast pumps on the market, which may be a barrier for some users.
- Size and weight: larger and heavier than some other breast pump options, making it less portable and convenient for frequent travel or use outside the home.
- Noise: noisier than other breast pump options, which can make it less discreet and more noticeable in public.
- Lack of mobility: requires a power source, either a wall outlet or a rechargeable battery, limiting mobility and making it less convenient for use in certain situations.
- Assembly and cleaning: has several parts that require regular cleaning and maintenance, which can be time-consuming and cumbersome.
6. Best Breast Pump for Large Breasts: Momcozy S12 Pro Wearable Breast Pump
Breast pump flange fit is crucial to ensure comfort and effective milk expression. Women with large breasts may benefit from trying different flange sizes to find the most comfortable and efficient fit. The Momcozy S12 Pro breast pump is a great option for big chested women due to the different options they offer for flange sizes and inserts.
Pros of the Momcozy S12 Pro pump:
- Adjustable flanges: comes with two sizes of flanges (24mm and 27mm) that can be adjusted with inserts to fit different nipple sizes, particularly helpful for women with larger breasts.
- Soft silicone material: flanges are made of soft silicone, which helps provide a more comfortable fit and reduce discomfort or irritation while pumping.
- Strong suction power: has a strong suction power that can be adjusted to different levels to ensure effective milk expression, even for women with large breasts who may have a greater volume of milk to express.
- Portable and easy to use: like other wearable pumps, they are small and easy to transport. The Momcozy pumps are also designed to be easy to clean and assemble.
- Affordable price: relatively affordable compared to other wearable breast pumps out there (like the Elvie).
Cons of the Momcozy S12 Pro Pump:
- Too strong suction: some moms report that the pump’s suction is too strong, which can lead to sore nipples and a painful pumping experience.
- Battery life: is about 2 hours, which may not be enough if you need to pump in longer chunks of time.
- Lower output: moms have stated that this pump doesn’t do as good a job extracting milk as other pumps.
7. Best Budget Friendly Breast Pump: haakaa Pump
While technically not a breast pump, the haakaa pump ($12.94) is used to collect milk from the non-nursing breast while you’re breastfeeding, which can save time and eliminate the need for a separate pumping session. My friends who hated pumping saw this cheap and efficient little pump as a great alternative and called it a “game changer.”
Pros of the haakaa breast pump:
- Affordable: priced less than $20, it’s very affordable compared to electric breast pumps.
- Gentle and comfortable: made of soft and flexible silicone material, which can be more comfortable than hard plastic breast shields.
- Simple and easy to use: has a one-piece design that makes assembling a breeze! And since there is no power or cords required, using the haakaa is a no-brainer.
- Efficient: can be very efficient for some moms when used in conjunction with breastfeeding, as it uses natural suction to catch let-down that might otherwise go to waste.
Cons of the haakaa breast pump:
- Limited suction power: may not be as powerful as electric pumps, which could make it more difficult to express milk quickly or efficiently.
- Requires a letdown: requires a letdown to work effectively, which means that some women may need to use it with other pumping methods if they have difficulty triggering a letdown.
- May not be hands-free: some women may find that they need to hold the pump in place to ensure a good suction. This can make it less convenient than electric pumps that allow for hands-free pumping.
8. Best Breast Pump for Low Milk Supply: Bellababy Double Electric Breast Pump
The Bellababy breast pump is designed to help women with low milk supply because it has features that can aid in stimulating milk production. The Bellababy pump’s features include customizable suction and speed settings, massage mode, and multiple breast shield sizes, making it a good option for women who need extra support to increase milk flow.
Pros of the Bellababy pump:
- Customizable suction and speed settings: has 4 different modes and 1-9 levels of suctions which can be adjusted to match a mother’s comfort level and milk flow. This is particularly beneficial for women with low milk supply who may require gentler or slower suction to help stimulate milk production.
- Massage mode: has a massage mode that uses a pulsating suction pattern to mimic a baby’s natural suckling rhythm, which can help to stimulate milk production.
- Different size breast shields: more sizing options helps ensure a proper fit for a variety of breast sizes and shapes. A good fit alone can improve milk flow and reduce discomfort while pumping.
- Portability: good for traveling to and from work, due to the pump’s light, compact size. The Bellababy also comes with a rechargeable battery, reducing the need to be near an electrical outlet.
Cons of the Bellababy pump:
- Durability: some users have reported that the Bellababy pump is prone to wear and tear over time, more so than other breast pumps on the market.
- Lack of customer support: customers have reported difficulty reaching customer support for the Bellababy pump, which can be frustrating if you experience any issues or have questions about how to use the pump.
- Noise level: may produce more noise than some users would like, particularly when used on higher suction levels.
9. Best Breast Pump for Small Breasts: Philips Avent Double Electric Breast Pump
The Philips Avent Double Electric Breast Pump has great features that can benefit women with small breasts, including a one size fits all flange, a comfortable pumping experience, customizable suction settings, and double pumping capabilities.
Pros of the Philips Avent pump:
- One size fits all flange: made of soft silicone cushion that adapts and molds to any size shape and breast, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit for women with smaller breasts.
- Customizable suction settings: The Philips Avent pump has 8 stimulation and 16 expression levels, which is especially important for women with small breasts who may need lower suction levels to avoid discomfort.
- Small size: small size makes it easy to transport and take with you on the go to work and travel.
- Closed system: no milk in the tubing means easy clean up and no worries about contamination.
Cons of the Philips Avent pump:
- Cost: more expensive than some other breast pumps on the market, which can be a burden if you end up not liking it.
- Replacement parts: users report that finding replacement parts for this pump is difficult.
- Compatibility with other bottles: designed to be used with Avent bottles, which may not be compatible with other standard bottles on the market. This can be limiting if you prefer to use a different brand or style of bottle.
10. Best Breast Pump through Insurance: Medela Pump in Style with MaxFlow
Medela Pump in Style MaxFlow is available through several insurance providers. It’s considered one of the best breast pumps available through insurance because it has several features that make it efficient and convenient, especially for new working mothers.
Pros of the Medela Pump in Style:
- Hospital grade performance: designed to mimic a baby’s natural nursing pattern with MaxFlow technology, which can help increase milk production and ensure efficient milk expression.
- Portable: comes with a convenient carrying case, and is compact enough to travel with.
- Ease of use: simple to assemble, and has an intuitive control panel that makes adjusting settings and monitoring progress a breeze.
- Affordable: because many insurance plans cover the cost of the Pump in Style MaxFlow, it’s an affordable and accessible option for new mothers who may be facing the financial challenges of caring for a newborn.
Cons of the Medela Pump in Style Maxflow:
- Loud motor: customers have complained that the motor on the Pump in Style MaxFlow is louder than other breast pumps, which can be distracting or disruptive.
- Heavy: although portable, it is not as lightweight as some other options on the market. This may make it less convenient for some users who need to transport the pump frequently.
- Parts can be difficult to clean: parts of the Pump in Style MaxFlow can be challenging to clean thoroughly, which can be problematic for maintaining hygiene and preventing infections.
- Expensive if not covered by insurance: can be quite expensive if purchased out of pocket, which may be a disadvantage for some users.
11. Best Breast Pump for First Time Moms: Motif Luna Breast Pump
The Motif Luna breast pump is a popular breast pump with first time moms due to its ease of use, strong suction, and efficiency.
Pros of the Motif Luna breast pump:
- Efficiency: moms love how fast the pump empties them, likely due to the pump’s strong two-phase expression technology, which mimics the natural sucking pattern of a nursing baby.
- Easy to use: users rave about how simple it is to use the pump from the very first time.
- Quietness: operates quietly, making it a discreet option for pumping in public or at work.
Cons of the Motif Luna breast pump:
- Availability: while the Motif Luna is becoming increasingly popular, the pump and its replacement parts may not be as widely available as some other breast pumps in certain areas or through certain insurance plans.
- Quality control: moms have complained about receiving defective Motif Luna pumps or parts and needing replacements.
Different Types of Breast Pumps
There’s a lot to think about when you’re shopping for a pump, including different breast pump types and styles. Each type has its own pros and cons:
- Open System Breast Pump: This is a type of breast pump that does not have a barrier between the breast milk collection kit and the motor. This means that breast milk can come into contact with the pump’s motor or other internal parts. While open system breast pumps can be less pricey than closed system breast pumps, they may not be as hygienic. Most breast pumps in the market today are closed system, although there are some older models (like the original Medela Freestyle) that are open system.
- Closed System Breast Pump: These pumps do have a barrier between the collection kit and motor, which helps prevent contamination of breast milk and ensures that the milk is collected directly into the storage container. A closed system pump is considered to be a more hygienic and efficient option for expressing breast milk. They also tend to last longer than open system breast pumps, since they’re less likely to develop mold or bacteria.
- Electric Breast Pumps: Electric pumps are the most efficient and convenient type of breast pump. They are powered by electricity and have a motor that mimics the suction and rhythm of a baby’s natural nursing. Most are easy to use, and have adjustable suction levels and a built-in timer. Some popular electric pumps include the Medela Pump in Style and the Spectra S1.
- Manual Breast Pumps: Manual pumps are a great option for working moms on a budget. They’re light and easy to carry, and don’t require electricity. They work by squeezing a lever or handle that creates suction on the breast. Some popular manual pumps include the Medela Harmony and the Lansinoh Manual.
- Battery-Operated Breast Pumps: Battery-operated pumps are a decent option for working moms who are always on the go. They’re portable, simple to use, and don’t require you to be plugged in. The type of batteries vary by pump, as some contain rechargeable batteries and other require regular AA batteries. Some popular battery-operated pumps include the BabyBuddha and the Ameda MYA Joy.
- Hands-Free Breast Pumps: These pumps are the best option for working moms who need to multitask while pumping. They’re designed to be worn inside your nursing bra, which allows you to pump milk while doing other things, like working on a computer or making a phone call. Some popular hands-free pumps include the Momcozy S12, the Elvie Stride, the Willow 3.0,
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Features of a Good Breast Pump for Work
In addition to the type of breast pump, you also have to consider the pump’s features. A good breast pump for work should be effective, fast AND convenient. Here are some important features to look for:
- Portability: A breast pump that is easy to carry and travel with is so important if you commute to work. Look for a pump that is compact and light, and comes with a carrying case or backpack.
- Double pumping: This is more efficient than single pumping because it allows you to pump milk from both breasts at the same time. Find one that has a double pumping feature so you can maximize your pumping sessions.
- Adjustable suction and speed settings: A breast pump with adjustable suction and speed settings allows you to customize the pumping experience to your comfort level and milk flow. This can make pumping more efficient and comfortable.
- Battery or electric power options: Depending on where you work, you might need a pump that can either run on batteries or be plugged in. Look for a pump that offers both options.
- Quiet operation: A breast pump that operates quietly can be helpful if you need to pump in a shared office or other public setting. Keep an eye out for pumps that operate at a low noise level.
- Easy to clean: Get a breast pump that is simple to clean so you can save time and hassle. Try getting a pump that has few parts and is dishwasher safe.
- Compatibility with hands-free pumping accessories: Hands-free pumping accessories can make it easier to pump while working or multitasking. Purchase a pump that is compatible with hands-free pumping bras or other accessories.
By considering these features, you can choose a breast pump that meets your needs as a working mother and helps you pump milk effectively and efficiently while on the job.
Recommended post: Cleaning Breast Pump Parts at Work- 3 Easy Ways!
I know it’s a lot to think about, but with SO many breast pump options out there, it can be hard to know which one you should buy. Think through all the factors in this post, such as cost, portability, and ease of use, when choosing a pump. It’s also a good idea to talk to a lactation consultant or your healthcare provider before buying.
I hope that this guide helps you in your search, and that you find the perfect pump for your busy working mom life!
Frequently Asked Questions
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