If you’re pregnant and looking to breastfeed, you probably already have a long list of things to feed you, but one thing we think every mom should add to it. Make sure to add a hands-free pump to your registry! They are quiet and discreet and make pumping a breeze anywhere. Also, expressing breast milk is a great way to increase milk production and allow busy mothers to multitask. If you’re in the market, check out our list of the best pumps for hands-free pumping below!
Types of breast pumps
There are three types of breast pumps: manual, battery operated, or electric. Manual is good with little equipment, but it can be very tiring for your hands to keep pressing a handle or lever. Electrical provides constant power but requires the mothers to be connected to a power cord.
Cordless breast pumps are the latest trend for breastfeeding mothers or mothers who are expressing their milk. Quiet, portable pumps that fit into special bras such as nursing bras and undershirts allow mothers to discreetly express milk bags without being tied to a cord. Hands are free for childcare, work or whatever.
What to look for in hands-free breast pumps
When looking for hands-free breast pumps, you should consider the features you want. The different brands all have different qualities. Preferences range from physical characteristics to cost.
Wireless vs. hands-free breast pumps for expressing
Just because the device says handsfree doesn’t mean it’s wireless. Some devices allow you to walk around your house or office, while others allow you to plug in a power source and have your hands free to check emails or play with an older child.
It goes without saying that breasts come in all shapes and sizes. When buying a breast pump, the size of the protective shield is important for the fit, comfort of the nipples and absorbency. Since pumps and accessories are non-returnable, consult the size charts many companies provide to ensure proper shielding for the user.
Servicing a hands-free pump
A common complaint about hands-free pumps is that they are too difficult to clean. Some have many parts that make the parts difficult to clean and disinfect. While I still find a hands-free pump worth the effort, it’s something to consider!
Storage can consist of two parts: equipment and milk storage. How big or heavy is the pump? Can you carry it with you or do you have to use a bag? Some pumps have reusable bottles or cups that attach to the sign, while others sell milk bags for easy storage.
Electric pumps deliver constant power so you can control the pump settings. Battery operated breast pumps can last a few cycles or all day. Determine how often the battery needs to be charged and how long it will last throughout the day when you need to have your hands free.
Cost of the best hands-free pumps
A breast pump can be an investment for a child or later for all siblings. The price includes a pump. So if you want a double pump, you’ll want to buy two. In many cases a breast pump is insured, but there are always conditions. If a pump is insured, this can only be chosen by the insurance company. Pump rental can be an option over buying. Check whether the insurance allows an upgrade for an additional charge. Another option is to pay for the pump with FSA or HSA.
You also have to pay attention to the equipment, as milk bags cause additional costs that reflect your consumption. Storage bottles can be washed and reused, but the bag must be purchased out of the bag.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusively breastfeeding babies for the first six months. Many companies cover the pump for at least a year while some parts cover for a shorter period of time. This will take care of your investment for the first child.
Do you need customer support? Customer service numbers are always on the box or in the papers. You can direct any questions to the toll free number, email address or even 1: 1 coaching.
Customer service can be contacted online, but some of the wireless or high tech devices have your hands free to review your process through their app. Once you’ve connected your pump to the app, it will track your milk yield.
Best pumps for hands-free pumping
There are many hands-free breast pumps on the market, and all of them have their qualities and functions. The top rated brands include:
- NUK Simply natural Freemia
The cost of these hands-free breast pumps can be high, so watch out for the sale! Also check with your insurance company and see if they cover breast pumps.
1. Elvie– Our top recommendation for cordless, hands-free pumping
Elvie is one of the best hands-free breast pumps out there. The breast shields supplied with the pump are 24mm and 28mm, but the smaller 21mm size can be ordered separately if required. It also comes with 5 ounce bottles that can be reused after washing. The pump’s battery can last all day when fully charged. The pump parts are dishwasher safe on the top shelf.
One really cool feature of the Elvie pump is that you can check your milk yield in real time using the app on your phone. Customer support is also available via email. In addition, Elvie’s warranty is two years!
2. Medela– A trustworthy, reliable, hands-free pump
Medela is known in the breast pump world. The Freestyle breast pump was developed for mothers who want to express several times a day. The digital display tracks the pumping processes. The double pump set comes with 24 mm breast shields, but has shields from 21 mm to 30 mm. The battery life is 3 hours when fully charged. The kit comes with 4-5oz bottles and a cooling system to keep milk cold when expressing is finished and the mothers are away. The MyMedela app connects mothers with customer service and breastfeeding support for the first 30 days free of charge. All parts that come into contact with milk can be cleaned with warm soapy water. Medela also sells a bustier that supports hands-free double pumping.
Medela has a one year warranty on the pump motor from the date of purchase and a 90 day warranty on parts and accessories.
3. Willow– Rookie Mom Squad Rated Hands Free Pump!
Willow is another popular cordless breast pump. It comes with the 24mm breast shield, although the 27mm size can be ordered separately. It uses its own milk bags for easy storage, but there is an extra charge, especially if you are exclusively expressing. With the Willow, there’s less to clean: the shield and hose that connects to the pump. These are also dishwasher safe. Users report that the battery lasts all day when fully charged, which can take around two hours.
Here’s what rookie mom Sarah had to say: “Pumping is a challenge. Also, if you are somehow satisfied with the amount of milk you are producing and you have overcome the incredible pain that can be associated with expressing, the fact is that you are tied to a wall with strings and cannot move … well … more than annoying. That’s why I was so excited when I heard about the Willow Pump that I almost peed in my pants (thanks to the postpartum symptoms).
I have a toddler and while I was using my old pump (while it was attached to the wall) my lovely 2.5 year old decided that his new favorite thing to do was turn on my tub water and throw my clothes in. All I could do was watch the disaster because there was no way I could get off my pump and delay the end of my session. I knew there had to be a better way … and thank goodness there is the Willow Pump.
Now I can chase after my son and pump at the same time. Talk about feeling like a super mom! Women should all win an award for multitasking … just so to speak. Other things I like about this pump is that it’s easy to use when you check out the super helpful videos, and you can just toss the milk bags straight into the fridge or freezer when you’re done. I’m also really excited to use this when I go back to work and not have to be pinned to the damn wall. “
Customer service includes 1: 1 coaching and the app for tracking milk delivery. The guarantee is one year from the first use.
4. NUK Simple Natural Freemie– Hands-free pump with easy cleaning
Freemie Liberty is a lightweight, hands-free breast pump known for its subtle design and quiet function. It comes with 25mm and 28mm funnels, other sizes are available to order. It allows the user to program the shutdown time or the intervals of the pumping periods when considering a power pump. Milk is stored in 8-ounce reusable cups. On the go, the battery can be charged from a computer or car charger using a USB cable. The pump is so small that it can be carried with the detachable belt clip. Cleaning is easy as it can be washed with warm soapy water. Rubbing alcohol can also be used with the hose.
Customer service can be reached by email. The pump collection system is guaranteed against defects in material and workmanship for 60 days from the date of purchase.
Breastfeeding is a full-time job, so every expressing mother deserves the freedom that a hands-free pump offers. We hope this list has helped you find a pump that suits your lifestyle and makes things a little easier!
Buy our most popular Hands Free Breast Pumps
- NUK Simple Natural Freemie
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