Well, there are market forces at play here, but there are also legitmate differences and functions of pumps. To put it simply, there are:
- Handheld pumps or single battery-pumps: Good for the occasional use once your milk supply is well established. It’s helpful as a back-up pump on-the-go. Or, it can be used in the early weeks to help relieve engorgement if your baby isn’t doing the trick or help to stimulate a flat or inverted nipple.
- Personal grade double-electric pumps (Like Medela Pump N Style or Ameda Purely Yours): These are an excellent choice for moms with a well-established milk supply who are going to be separated from their baby for more than a few hours, such as going back to work.
- Hospital-grade double-electric pumps: These are the big kahuna of breast pumps and if a pump is needed in the first month for breastfeeding difficulties, or for induced lactation, or to make milk over several months for premature infants, this is the pump for you.
The best advice we have is for you to consider the reason why you need to pump and how frequently, then buy/ rent the best type of pump you can afford. (Speaking of affordability, that calculation may need to consider the cost of formula, too, since that may be your the alternative to not pumping).
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