Criteria For Evaluation
Breast pumps are not a one-size-fits-all commodity. There are many differences from product to product that may or may not suit your unique needs. As the result of BabyGearLab's thorough research and product selection, we narrowed down the myriad of pumping products on the market today, to just 10. We then put each of the chosen pumps into daily use, being careful to consider their individual performance compared to the other pumps in our line-up. By testing these pumps side-by-side, we were able to get a clear and concise understanding of the differences between the pumps, as well as the pros and cons we found that we hope will help you in your search for the perfect breast pump. While testing these products, we found several key factors that we felt were the most important attributes to a breast pump. These categories included: Efficiency, Comfort, Ease of Use, Portability, Hygiene and Acoustics. Read on to find out more about or testing process.
Efficiency is the bottom line for a breast pump. How much milk does it render and how fast? We were able to test each pump multiple times to determine which pumps were really efficient. Although each mom will produce a varying amount of milk, there were some pumps that were more consistent with the amount of milk rendered time after time. Some also rendered the milk faster than others, which is important as most moms are busy and don't have time to spend pumping any more than they have to!
Comfort was our second most important attribute when comparing pumps. Let's face it, breastfeeding can be rather uncomfortable (especially at first) and pumping isn't exactly pleasant either. We were looking to see which breast pumps were tolerable for multiple pumping sessions, over a long period of time. This was very easy to see when comparing the pumps side by side and we hope our observations will lead you to a pain free experience!
Ease of Use
How easy is it to use each pump? By assembling, using, cleaning and transporting each breast pump we were able to determine how easy they were to actually incorporate into daily life. For a busy mom, we believe "the simpler, the better." We found several pumps that fit the bill, but a few others definitely fell short.
Portability was next on the docket and is extremely important for the working and traveling mom. Our testers were working and traveling both on the ground and in the air. Using the pumps in all these different locations made it very clear as to which pumps were truly portable and which were a little more work, including shoving or puzzle piecing them into a tote bag or having to carry extra bags, none of which are ideal. Our top scorers here were easy to tote around with all the components necessary for a complete pumping session.
How loud is the pump? Naturally, we found that due to the lack of a motor, the manual pumps we tested were the quietest. This was not so with the electric pumps. It turns out that some of them have very loud motors so it was great to hear them side-by-side and determine which were actually the quietest overall. In some cases we didn't mind the extra noise as people were careful not to interrupt pumping sessions at work because they could hear the tell-tale sound all the way down the hall. However, when pumping bedside with your partner and/or baby sleeping next to you, the noisiness could be a problem.