Which hands free breast pumps are best?
For the breastfeeding parent, pumping can take up a great deal of time. Throughout the day, it can be tedious to take the time to sit down and pump enough milk to feed your baby. Luckily, innovation in breast pump technology has made the process easier than ever: the hands free breast pump.
If you’re ready to go hands free with your breast pumping, a great place to start is with the Elvie Wearable Double Electric Breast Pump. Not only is it hands-free and discreet, but it’s also quiet so you can pump anywhere you need to without drawing too much attention.
What to know before you buy a hands free breast pump
Breastfeeding can be a time-consuming, exhausting process. Because of that, many parents choose to pump instead. In the last few years, discreet, wearable, hands-free breast pumps have emerged on the market, making it easier than ever for parents to pump without having to slow down, even at the office or at school.
Hands free breast pumps give you great freedom. If you use a traditional breast pump, that means hooking up the breast pump and sitting still for 20-30 minutes. That equates to up to about 5 hours per day that you have to set aside from your professional life, housework, family obligations and personal time.
These wearable breast pumps are also meant to be portable. They are less bulky and have less equipment. Typically, they connect to an app or have a built-in operation panel. All you need to do is slide them into position and press Start.
Ease of use
The goal of a hands free breast pump is to make your life easier. You should be able to pump easily on the go. Something to look at is how much setup is required. Is it something you will need to do privately or could you discreetly slip the unit into your bra? The ease of use and setup will make a huge difference in the long run.
All breasts are different, and the size of your hands-free breast pump in relation to the size of your breast will be a huge factor in how effectively it pumps. If your hands-free breast pump has a shield that doesn’t fit well, it will impact the comfort of your pump, as well as the functionality. Before you go shopping, know your measurements.
Traditional breast pumps have a handful of tubes and connectors that all need to be cleaned and sanitized after each use. A benefit of hands free breast pumps is you should have less to clean and sanitize. That being said, there will be some maintenance required. Be sure you understand how involved the cleaning and maintenance process is for your hands-free breast pump before you buy.
With a traditional breast pump, you often need an entirely separate bag to hold all the accessories and parts. A hands-free breast pump should be stored easily and compactly. This will make it the perfect option for parents on the go.
What to look for in a quality hands free breast pump
Fast charging time
All hands free breast pumps should hold a charge for at least the length of your expression. However, most don’t hold a long charge. The best ones charge quickly. This fast charging time will ensure you can pump whenever you need to, rather than having to wait around for your unit to charge.
Most women who choose a hands free breast pump do so because it’s a discreet option for pumping. If your hands free breast pump operates loudly, you lose an element of privacy. The highest-quality hands free breast pumps feature quiet operation. This is great for when you have to pump in public, but also great for parents who don’t want to disturb the baby.
Different stages of your milk let down require different levels and types of suction to get the most milk. The best hands free breast pumps will have variable suction, featuring multiple levels of suction so you have the most efficient expression possible.
The best hands free breast pumps are undeniably more expensive than a traditional breast pump, and because of the investment you’re making, you should be sure of the warranty on the product. You will use these units eight to ten times per day, so make sure you understand how you’re covered.
Hands free breast pumps are particularly innovative because many of the best ones use an app to control the unit, oversee your milk production and pumping schedule, perform easier maintenance and register your product. While this isn’t a feature necessary for the functionality of a hands free breast pump, it’s definitely a convenient perk.
How much you can expect to spend on a hands free breast pump
For the name-brand hands free breast pumps and the most reputable ones on the market, expect to pay around $500. You can find more basic generic models for around $100. If you have insurance, you could have some help paying for your hands free breast pump.
Hands free breast pump FAQ
Does insurance pay for hands free breast pumps?
A. The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to cover at least a portion of your breastfeeding equipment. The amount depends on the coverage you have and which company your plan is with. You can apply the amount your insurance covers towards upgraded breastfeeding equipment, like a hands free breast pump. Check with your insurance company to learn the specifics about their coverage.
Can you pump while walking?
A. With a wearable hands free breast pump, you can definitely walk around. There are no tubes and no machine you’re attached to. Depending on the brand and model you get, there are certain things you can’t do, though some of the best brands say you can even do yoga while pumping.
What are the best hands free breast pumps to buy?
Top hands free breast pump
What you need to know: A leader in the wearable hands free breast pump world, Elvie is a great option that is praised for its convenience and quiet operation.
What you’ll love: This is the lightweight, easy-to-use, quiet hands free breast pump that you’ve been looking for. It has a very simple assembly so you can get pumping faster, and it connects to a free app that will monitor your milk production and control your pumping units.
What you should consider: Some users have reported the app has a tendency to be a little glitchy.
Top hands free breast pump for the money
What you need to know: If you’re curious about wearable breast pumps but don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars committing, this is a great budget option to try.
What you’ll love: With this wearable breast pump, you get all the benefits of a wearable breast pump at a fraction of the price. It doesn’t connect to an app, rather it has a display attached where you can make adjustments during your session.
What you should consider: To avoid leakage, you have to stay seated while using this pump.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: As one of the big names in the wearable breast pump space, the Willow Gen. 3 is a favorite of pumping moms who want more freedom.
What you’ll love: The standout feature with this pump is you can be in any position and still securely pump. The suction is comparable to hospital-grade pumps, so you will know you’re getting the most milk during your pumping session.
What you should consider: You can only pump 4-ounces of milk per breast at a time before it automatically shuts off.
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Kasey Van Dyke writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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