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  • Writer's pictureKitty

Choosing a Pump

Different styles and specific pump models to help with selecting pumps

Manual Pumps

Manual pumps can be useful for on-the-go situations, or to have as a back-up pump when you've forgotten your electric pump. They're generally not made to use for longterm milk removal, but a nice tool to have around.

  • Medela Harmony: The Medela Harmony ( provides more stimulation than the Haakaa, but a bit less than a double electric pump. It can also be quite tiring on hands and wrists when using it frequently. Many people that do not respond to a double electric pump well have found that a manual pump often works much better for them though.

  • Haakaa: The Haakaa ( is an inexpensive one piece silicone hand pump that you can use as a manual pump, or to "catch" milk on the non-nursing side while nursing your baby. The pump can be applied in any position, so she positions it horizontally to avoid baby grabbing or kicking it while nursing on the other side. You get better suction if you squeeze the bottom of the bulb, and some people like to roll the flange down, center on the nipple, squeeze bottom of the bulb and then flip flange up. It can also be more gently set onto the breast to collect leaking milk without giving as much stimulation.

Double Electric Pumps

Many Lactation Consultants would consider a double electric pump to be a feeding person's main pump. This is the pump that would be generally relied on to increase milk supply, and is often covered by insurance.

The most popular brands are:

  • Luna Motif: The Luna Motif ( is a pump that, like Spectra, has a battery pack option and one that has to be plugged in. They are both a bit less expensive than the Spectra options.

  • Medela Pump in Style: The Medela Pump in Style ( was recently revamped and is now a closed system pump like the Spectra. The Medela brand has been popular for a long time, and their parts and pieces are generally easy to find. It's settings are not as customizable as the Luna Motif and the Spectra options.

  • Spectra S1 & S2: The Spectra ( is a very popular double electric home-grade pump. The difference between the Spectra S1 (blue) and S2 (pink) is that the Spectra S1 has an internal battery, which allows the pump to be charged and run off internal power. The S2 must be plugged into a power source to operate.

Wearable breast/chest Pumps

A wearable pump is one that is one piece and can be put inside clothing to pump more discreetly. They have battery packs that do not need to be plugged in while using, but tend to look a bit bulky under clothing, so some people may prefer a more traditional pump. They may not be covered by insurance, and can be fairly expensive with a high learning curve.

The most popular brands are:

  • Willow: The Willow pump ( is a cool concept and seems to work well for a lot of lactating persons. Willow has great customer service and even a virtual option if parents need support. Our lactation team has noticed the Willow causes some parents nipple injuries if the pump is incorrectly placed, so be careful if you decide to use it. The Willow also has spill proof bags and a reusable container. The pump includes the spill proof bags that have 4 oz capacity, but the reusable containers have to be purchased separately.

  • Elvie: The Elvie pump ( is quiet, and so far, great reviews. The Elvie has lighted buttons in the front, so although it’s wearable, the lights on the front aren’t ideal as they can show through your shirt. The capacity is 5oz/150ml and the pump usually turns off before actually getting to 5oz. You can restart it, though. Some people finds they have to stay very vertical and slightly still when pumping. If they tip forward, the milk can shift and touch the sensors and turn the pump off because it thinks the cups are full. Overall, great for portability and for pumping on the go. We have heard the learning curve for using the Elvie is less steep than that of Willow.

  • Momcozy: The Momcozy ( is bulkier than the other 2 wearable pumps, but is considerably less expensive. It has a 6 oz capacity, but they do not offer collection bags like the Willow. It also does not have an associated phone app to track pumping sessions and output like the other 2 wearable pumps.

This instagram post has some photos and illustrates the differences between the Willow and Elvie pumps:

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