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Breastfeeding is the most typical way to feed your newborn. However, with this fast-paced generation it's not always possible!
But that doesn’t mean you should deprive your child off the nutritious breast milk. Investing in the best manual breast pump for everyday use will delete those worries that you're on the go, yet your baby is supposed to breastfeed.
This manual breast pump manually draws milk from the breast. The milk is then emptied into milk bottles for your baby's intake. This milk can also be preserved and stored for later use.
The milk bottles come with nipples that imitate the texture of a breast making it easy for your baby to transition from breastfeeding to milk bottles.
The best thing about handheld breast pumps is that you do not require electricity for them to function. Here's a rundown of top manual breast pumps you should choose from.
- 1 Quick Comparison Table
- 2 Best Manual Breast Pump for Everyday Use (Top 6 Reviews in 2020)
- 3 What to Consider Before Buying Manual Breast Pump
- 4 Types of Manual Breast Pumps
- 5 Benefits of Manual Breast Pump Over Electric Pumps
- 6 How to Use a Breast Pump
- 7 How to Use a Manual Breast Pump
- 8 Conclusion
- 9 Frequently asked questions
Quick Comparison Table
Best Manual Breast Pump
Soft and comfy. Ergonomic handle. 2-Size breast shields. Portable
Soft-5 petals for comfort. Small & lightweight. Ergonomic handle
Comfortable. Dual rings for easy customization. Milk stopper. Portable
Soft & gentle. Flanges for comfort. Lightweight. Handy base. Side marks
Swivel grip handle. Ergonomic design. Lightweight. Fast
Ergonomic handle. Rings to cushion breast. Portable
Best Manual Breast Pump for Everyday Use (Top 6 Reviews in 2020)
1. Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump
Best for Working Moms
Lansinoh is light in weight and compact allowing you to pump the milk on the move. The silicon rims are soft and comfy when in contact with the mom’s breast stimulating fast flow of milk. This pump comes with Lansinoh bottles together with nipples for easy pumping and storage of the pumped milk.
The ergonomic handle is for easy and stable positioning, so you won't get tired to hold the pump while suctioning. This handle is designed to swiftly switch between the 2 suctioning modes: expression and stimulation modes. The stimulation mode is fast, then switch to low expression mode once the milk starts to flow.
Lansinoh features 2 size breast shields: large and standard. That means a mom is granted the opportunity to find the right suction with their preference of shield size.
Moms will love the wide neck bottle that connects to the pump. The wide neck makes it easy to empty the milk into a storage container. This bottle can also be separated from the pump for washing. Connecting the bottle after air dry is super-fast in a moment’s notice.
What We liked
What We Didn't Like
2. Philips Avent Manual Breast Pump
Manual for Small Breasts or Small Nipples
Philip's Avent is constructed from a soft cushion and five soft petals that are comfortable to your skin to stimulate letdown. The pump is easy to put up and with only a few parts making assembly a breeze. The ergonomic handle make handling the pump hassle free.
The neck of the pump is designed to let milk out when you're resting in your comfortable position. You don't have to lean. The milk will seamlessly express regardless of your sitting position.
The pump comes with storage bottles that connect with the pump for milk collection. The bottles feature nipples that mimic the breast texture making it easy for your baby to transition from breast to milk bottles.
It's compatible with all feeding bottles, sterilizer bottles and storage bottles manufactured by Philips avent.
If you are looking for the smallest breast pump, them this manual pump is the best deal. Plus, it is lightweight making the pump best for small breasts and usable on the go.
What We liked
What We Didn't Like
3. NatureBond Silicone Manual Pump
Best Travel Breast Pump
NatureBond Silicone Manual Breast is constructed from silicon food grade that is of exemplary quality. It is designed with light in weight material, making it simple for use on the go.
The construction is soft and comfortable to your nipples to stimulate letdown. The breast stopper contains the milk, preventing milk leaks and spillage.
The dual rings are designed with varying thickness, so you can customize your suction levels.
This breast pump is put together on arrival. It’s very easy to use with the user manual and does not contain wires. This pump is also easy to clean, while sterilizing is super simple. Its small to fit well in a diaper bag or hand bag, making it best for travelling.
The hard box comes with the silicon pump, pouch, dust cover lid, a packaging that's air tight vacuum and a user instruction manual.
What We liked
What We Didn't Like
4. Hakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump
Best for Letdown
Hakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump is constructed from silicon that makes it soft and gentle when in touch with the mom’s breast. The construction does not include lead, BPA or phthalate.
As a mom, you'll love how your breasts are softly, but firmly held by the flanges. To do this, fold the flanger, place your breast, then release it back into position.
Unlike other breast pumps, Hakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump is best as a milk catcher. Fit the pump in one breast, while you breastfeed your cute baby with the other breast to capitalize on letdown that would disappear in the breast pad. Hakaa works by squeezing the base of the reservoir to create suction.
You'll love how light and cleanable the pump is. Plus, it's very straightforward to use with a guide from the user manual.
What We liked
What We Didn't Like
5. Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump
Best for Low Milk Supply
Madela Harmony is comprised of a breast pump, a 5-ounce bottle (1 peace) featuring a lid, 24 mm breast shield plus other pump parts.
This pump is light in weight, so you can use the pump with discretion wherever you are. The hand breast pump features a soft ergonomic design and a swivel grip handle that makes it comfortable and easy to pump.
We love the 2 technology phases: the expression and stimulation modes. The stimulation mode suction at a rapid rate just as a baby suck when they first go to the breast to stimulate fast flow of milk.
The expression mode comes into play once the milk starts to flow. This mode expresses at slower rate without intense since the milk has already started to flow into the pump.
With this pump, expressing the milk is real fast within a short span of time. Medela Manual Breast Pump is also the best manual pump for airplane travel, formal job or in office meetings.
What We liked
What We Didn't Like
6. NUK Expressive Manual Breast Pump
Best Pump for Large Breasts or Large Nipples
This breast pump features an ergonomic handle so you won't get tired while pumping the milk. Like other breast pumps, it's very small and light making it convenient to use when you're travelling.
Before you pump, consider if the shield and valve are correctly connected with the milk container. When the milk starts to flow, you can customize the suction and speed to suit your comfort levels. Press the handle fast, then switch to slow press once the letdown is over and the milk has started flowing.
NUK Expressive Manual Breast Pump comes with rings that massage and cushion your breast. The cushion is comfortable and imitates your breast's shape. This shape enhances the flow of milk while promoting let down.
This pump is easy to wash, simple to use and affordable. The package comes in a box with the seal disk, cap, extra silicon valve, container stand and a collar.
What We liked
What We Didn't Like
What to Consider Before Buying Manual Breast Pump
There are varieties of manual breast pumps, but looking for the best hand pump for breastfeeding can be quite a task. Here's what to look for in your lookout for one.
1. Is it Comfortable?
The breast pump may feel uncomfortable at the beginning, but you should be able to adapt with time. A comfy pump should be soft to your nipples. Such a pump is made from silicon that is gentle to breast stimulating the flow of milk. Some pumps come with textured petals as a cushioning feature.
Furthermore, the best hand pump should allow steady flow of milk while you're sited in your comfortable position. In short, you should not lean or stay in a particular angle for the pump to suction. A comfortable pump should not dictate your siting style.
2. Simple to Use
You should not be figuring out how to use the breast pump every time you want to suction. The simplicity of usage is crucial. You should be able to use the pump in your work place, on journey- anywhere and with ease.
3. Flange Size
Manual breast pump features flanges that are different sizes in certain models. This is the best for rookie moms.
A pump can have a single flange or two. Pumps with a single flange may be uncomfortable if your breast is either too small or too big for the flange, that's why it's important your go a pump with two flanges.
4. Ergonomic Design Handle
Ergonomic handles are soft. The curved handle allows you to pump for a long time without fatigue.
Generally, most manual breast pumps are easy to carry. However, if you'll be travelling a lot, consider the lightest pump for use away from home. Such a pump should come with a storage bag and light in weight milk bottles for carrying convenience.
6. Easy Assembly
A manual pump with few parts to assemble is the best. It will save you lots of time if you're on a journey. Basic parts that are put together include; diaphragm, bottle, valve, stem, cushion and more. However, some models have less parts than this.
When looking for a breastfeeding hand pump, ask yourself if the pump will suction enough milk for your little one. Again, you don't want a pump that will spend lots of minutes while there are other chores under your belt. The best hand breast pump should be fast while producing enough milk quantity depending on typical milk quantity your breast produce.
Types of Manual Breast Pumps
They're divided into two types:
1. Silicon Breast Pumps
Silicon breast pumps are passive milk catchers that precisely fits on the breast. It operates in 2 ways:
Press the base of the pump to create suction and pump the milk. Alternatively, you could place the pump on your breast to catch milk leaks while breastfeeding your baby on the other breast.
2. Lever Breast Pumps
A levered breast pump is comprised of a nipple shield that is connected to a valve that leads into the bottle. To create a suction with this model, a mom is supposed to pump the featured lever.
Benefits of Manual Breast Pump Over Electric Pumps
1. Does Not Require Electricity
This breast pump does not require electricity to operate, making them convenient when you're on the go. With an electric pump, it may not be possible if you have power outrage. The batteries may also get damaged so you need to replace them, prompting you to opt for a manual breast pump.
2. Light in Weight and Portable
Electric pump tends to be bulky. Unlike the electric pump, manual breast pump is light in weight and easy to carry. You can use the pump anywhere with discretion. However, if you won't be travelling a lot, an electric pump may be utter convenient.
3. Not Costly
A non electric breast pump is utter affordable than its electric counterpart. That means you should be ready to part away with more dollars if you decide to go for an electric pump.
4. Whisper Quiet
Sometimes you may experience a squeaking sound from a manual breast pump, but they're generally quiet. You can even use it with a sleeping newborn without interfering with their sleep. Electric items can be a nuisance and would wake up a sleeping baby.
5. Simple to Use
Electric pump can be very intimidating to use especially if you have electricity phobia. Using a manual breast pump is simple and straight forward.
6. Cleaning is Easy
Unlike electric breast pumps, manual pumps can be dismantled into few parts, stash them in a dish washer for washing, then air dry. It should take you few minutes to wash the parts.
Downsides of Manual Breast Pumps
Manual pumping can make you feel tired, especially when you want to express more milk, since you're preparing to go back to your formal job after leave. And you want to leave your little one with steady supply of breast milk.
It can even be more tiring if the pump you're using is not ergonomically designed. Sometimes you'll be prompted to pose or reposition yourself when pumping because of fatigue.
Manual activities are oftenly slowly accomplished. Since you're using your physical energy, you're likely to take more time than when you're using an electric pump.
3. Not That Efficient
Manual breast pumps will not often suction all milk from your breast. That's why it recommended you feed your baby with the other breast while suctioning the other, so your baby can suck the letdown milk.
How to Use a Breast Pump
Every breast pump comes with a user manual illustrating how the pump is used. However, all of them require a standard universal procedure to operate, as below.
1. Clean and sterilize the pump
2. Place the shield over the nipple. The nipple should be centrally placed and not in contact with the shield's sides. Pump by pressing the handle. This makes the pump to express milk. Massaging the breast with a warm clothing in circles will also stimulate the flow of milk.
Make sure the pump is stable, although you'll need to reposition yourself quite often before you suction your desired milk quantity or until the milk bottles are full.
3. Sometimes you'll find that the flow of milk is inconsistent. If you experience this, try positioning the pump close to your breast, then move the pump around your breast until you find the level where expression will work. Once the milk starts to flow, adjust to a rate, resemblance to a baby sucking.
Your baby should be feeding from the other breast to intake all milk that would disappear in the breast pad.
4. Suction until the flow of milk is slow, or you've attained your desired milk quantity. You should spend around five minutes on each breast. However, you should be patient because it can take up to 15 minutes before the milk can express.
5. Once you're done, transfer the milk into milk bottles and cap. Sterilize parts that were in contact with your breast and air dry.6. Refrigerate your milk with a date for three days. If you don't have a fridge or a cooling system, your milk can only be fresh for up to six hours.
Other Items to Buy With a Manual Breast Pump
Breast Milk Bottles
Breast milk bottles usually come along with manual breast pumps. They do not contain BPA, a chemical product that makes babies hearts susceptible to heart disease.
Check the price
Breast Pump Bag
Sometimes a breast pump does not come together with a storage bag. If this happens, acquire one from an online store. This bag is large enough for a breast pump to fit with all the required accessories. The number of accessories will depend on the model of the pump. Make sure you get a bag that will fit your accessories
How to Use a Manual Breast Pump
In our opinion, Medela Harmony is the best Manual Pump for breastfeeding moms. We loved that the breast pump is light to be used on the go. Our favorite part is the 2 technology phases: the expression and stimulation modes. Plus, the pump is comfortable to touch despite the great suction.
Primarily, a manual breastfeeding pump is a crucial item to any mom even if you plan to be with your baby every single minute.
Sometimes you may be required to attend some random meetings and with a manual breast pump, you'll only need a few minutes to express milk then leave the milk with your care giver to feed your little one.
Get the best manual breast pump for everyday use and be assured of constant supply of milk to your baby when you're at work, on a trip, or simply far away from them.
Frequently asked questions
Manual vs electric breast pumps - Which one is best?
First forward, a manual breast pump is lightweight portable, compact and can be used anywhere with discretion. Whether you're in the plane, on a journey, a manual pump does not require electricity or cables and can fit in a pouch for convenience. In addition, they're affordable with low maintenance issues.
Electric breast pumps are bulky and are powered by electric power to operate. However, if you intend to have minimal movements, or you'll frequently have your baby with you, then an electric breast pump would be your choice. This pump can express both breasts simultaneously, saving you lots of time interchanging to the alternate breast.
Does manual breast pump hurt?
No. A good manual breast pump should not be painful unless it's improperly used. As a rookie mom, you're likely to feel uncomfortable at the beginning. However, you should be able to feel better with time.
If the pain persists, remove and attach the pump again. Nonetheless, some moms will always feel uncomfortable with specific types. So, they have to stick with specified models.
How do I clean a manual breast pump?
For parts that come into contact with breast milk, sterilize with bottle sterilizer once you're done. For other parts, wash with household soap, rinse and airdry.
How long do you pump with a manual pump?
After delivery, before milk comes into your breast, use hand to massage your breast to stimulate milk flow. You should spend around 5 minutes on each breast. However, you should be patient because it can take up to 15 minutes before the milk can express.