How to choose the perfect breast pump: Electric
Give your baby the best start in life...
It can be hard to juggle breastfeeding in daily life and being able to share feeding duties can be a life line. There can be so many minefields when you have a busy household, a new born and your milk flow is erratic throughout the day. A good breastpump can be a godsend and piece of mind, knowing you have a supply for your little one in the fridge or freezer.
If you're a breastpump novice, or looking to swap to a different pump, stepping into the arena can be intimidating. It is important that you choose a pump that will suit you, fit seamlessly into your daily routine, be comfortable to use - and prove a hit with your little one!
That's where we come in. We asked five new mums to trial one of the top models on the market for one month. Here's what they thought.
Philips Avent Comfort Single Electric Breast Pump
I wanted to express to give myself and my son some independence. The ability to express and give a bottle on the go is so handy, especially when he was a new born as I wasn’t 100% comfortable feeding in public. When I first started, I expressed every four hours, now I express three times a day. I express when he would need feeding when I am working, after the morning feed and once at night. I found the Philips Avent Comfort Single Electric Breast Pump really easy to assemble; just a quick overview of the instructions was needed to make sure it is put together correctly and you’re away! The massage cushion was a great fit and makes for easy pumping with excellent suction.
It makes a difference, you’re not just putting your breast into a cold tube, the cushion makes it comfortable and welcoming.
When I first started expressing, I had a bit of trouble and it took a few minutes for the milk to flow. Now that my body knows what’s going on, I have a full flow in one minute. I didn’t explore different expression positions to allow more work flow, generally I express on the side of the bed, sitting upright. When expressing was underway, I was able to get 120ml from one breast in approximately 20 minutes. I never set expectations on desired quantities, I allowed my body to express what it was capable of.
The speed options on the electric pump are awesome and it’s nice to have the stimulation for as long as you need and then select the desired speed. My ‘go to’ was always the middle speed.
Philips Avent Breastmilk Storage cups
We used both the storage cups and natural bottles to express into. The storage cups and adapter connection to the pump was great and really easy to use with no problems or leakage. I stored the milk in the fridge whilst at work and then in the freezer.
Philips Avent Breastmilk Natural bottles
I combine breastfeeding and expressed breastmilk feeds via a bottle and do formula when absolutely necessary. I try and exclusively breast feed my son, however, when he is at day-care he is given two bottles of 220ml in size. Though he was a bit funny about taking the bottle at first, it didn’t take him long to adapt.
I thought that the breastfeeding kit was such a great pack and I loved using it. A complete kit is ideal for first time mums to purchase and I have already recommended it to mums and mums-to-be. You can’t go wrong!
This was my first time using a Philips Avent Comfort Electric breast pump, I’ve only ever used other brands. I express to allow other family members to lend me a hand with feeding and to also be able to feed in public places. I express throughout the day and find it easier when I am in a more relaxed environment. The pump was very easy to assemble, with a very comfortable and easy to apply massage cushion.
The suction was also great, I was surprised how well it worked and so efficiently, with great stimulation, the bottle was almost instantly filled up for me. The relaxed expression position was a comfortable position to express in and very simple.
I managed to express around 120mls on one breast during my first time using the device.
I found the cups very convenient to use and store, and they were simple and easy to connect into the pump. Often, I fed from them straight away, but I also froze them too.
I’m combining breastfeeding and expressed feeds using a bottle. I’m not feeding everyday currently but will be using it as and when it’s needed. My baby didn’t take to the bottle the first time, it’s taken some time to get her to suck at the bottle, but once she got it she managed it very easily.
I’m giving this product a 9/10. It’s a good product, easy to clean and use effectively and it’s a product I will definitely recommend to other mums.
I had never used an electric breast pump before, so I was excited to try this out especially as I’m due to return to work. My daughter is 11 months old and has been exclusively breast fed until now. I have been expressing once a day getting her into a new feeding routine ready for day care. I was worried about pulling the pump apart for cleaning but was surprised at how easy it was to re-assemble and clean. I really like the design of the pump itself, whilst being super comfortable with the massage cushion it provided excellent suction. It made it very easy to express my milk.
Using the pumps gentle stimulation mode, it only took a minute to get the milk flowing, from there I only ever needed to use level one of the three different modes of suction. On my first pumping attempt, I was able to get 50ml in 10 minutes out of one side, which eventually increased up to 100ml each side.
I love that the pump takes batteries as well as mains power, this and its compact size means that it is extremely portable and convenient.
I decided to express straight into the storage cups and large bottles as the small bottle that comes with the pump only holds 125mls. The Storage Cups come with a pump adaptor and the Philips Avent Natural bottles connect to the pump with ease. I kept the filled storage cups in the fridge until needed. My daughter drank from the cups with an adaptor or from the larger bottles. It is so handy that the pump, storage cups and bottles are all interchangeable.
Having never used a bottle previously, my baby took to these ones straight away, she is only having one a day but has had no problems going from breast to bottle.
- Very Comfortable – Massaging cushions are soft and the three modes of suction allows you to find the perfect strength
- It takes batteries so I can use it on the go
- Easy to clean and reassemble
- Compact size
- Easy to use
- A little noisy – having been the first pump I’ve ever used I can’t really compare and I’m sure all pump make a fair bit of noise.
- A carry bag would be handy - I’ve seen a few other brands include them
I found this pump great and it will work perfectly when I return to work. I would happily recommend to other parents.
This was my first time using a Philips Avent electric breast pump and I absolutely love it, it’s so easy to use, quick to assemble and is so comfortable. I currently own a manual Philips Breast pump which I never really use because it takes too long and need both hands to express. Also, I have used other electric breast pumps while my son was in Nicu and they are nowhere near as good as the Philips Avent electric breast pump.
I express twice a day - immediately after the first breastfeed of the day and just before I go to bed at night. My milk supply seems to be low later in the day so it has been great as I can now feed my baby a bottle of expressed milk for his last feed of the day. This means he doesn’t wake in the night hungry anymore.
When I first started expressing, I was only getting 40ml. Now that I have been using the Philips Avent electric breast pump for a month, I can get anywhere between 80ml to 110ml which is great.
Initially I was expressing into the bottle and transferring it into the storage cups, but now I express straight into the storage cups and keep these in the fridge ready to feed to my baby.
Otherwise I will store in the freezer. He loves having his night time bottle and even wants to hold it himself. I have tried other bottles but my son prefers the Philips Avent ones and the teat on these bottles. Since I have been using this, my son will finally take a bottle from me - my partner would normally have to do it as he would refuse from me so it’s great that I can now feed him my freshly expressed milk.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to trial this product. I would highly recommend to everyone as I have used so many other electric pumps and nothing can compare.
I’m Olivia Tan Billena, my child Selah Rose is now seven months old and is breastfed with formula top up. We struggled with breastfeeding from her birth. I exclusively breastfed her for five days but she lost 12% of her birth weight in those days so was sent to hospital for monitoring. I wanted to give her the best start in life so I really persevered with breastfeeding. The first time I expressed milk was in the hospital (five days from Selah’s birth). I used the single electric pump provided by the hospital and got only four mL after more than 20 mins of expressing. My milk supply did not establish quickly so I breastfed her every feeding and used formula for top ups.
Seven months in, my daughter and I have accepted and established our feeding routine. We breastfeed as much as we can and formula top ups when she needs them. She has also started sleeping through which can give me time to express milk. I am eager to try expressing milk using an electric pump to see if I can top up with breastmilk instead of formula milk exclusively.
I am very familiar with the brand and so I am not surprised to find extra things inside the box apart from the pump itself. I love how everything is simple and elegantly packaged. I also love that it provided sealing disc, breast pads and new-born teat pack.
I noticed that the part that touches your breast (breast pump) is very similar to the manual breast pump that I have. So, I took my manual breast pump out and it is indeed the same. I can actually use the one from the manual breast pump in exchange for the electric pump. There is a big advantage to this as I can make use of both and sterilise together. It will save me time if I need to express more than once per day.
The breast pump assembly is very intuitive that I don’t need to read the manual to be able to assemble the parts and start using it. Though I have used the manual pump, there are no complicated components that require an engineer to figure things out. It is pretty much straight forward.
After sterilising, I chose the most comfortable seat at home and gave the baby to my hubby. My breast was full but not engorged. I was excited and had high hopes. I used the storage cups/adapter instead of the bottle provided. The pump sits comfortably against my breast. I made sure that no loose fabric from my blouse or bra is caught in between. When you turn the power on, the gentle stimulation mode will kick in and you can start expressing using the three expressing settings. As I have been breastfeeding for seven months, I jumped to the strongest setting. I tried the two weaker settings and it was too gentle.
My breast was engorged and I was standing up and leaning forward while pumping. I managed to get comfortable after days of use and was able to constantly pump at least 20mL of breast milk from 10 to 15 minutes at a time. The breast pump against the breast is very comfortable. The massage cushion is also comfortable and I didn’t feel any pain at all.
Hands free, however, did not give me tight suction and the comfortable sitting position only worked for me for the first few minutes. After some time, to get more milk I will need to lean forward. I also noticed that if I press the pump to my breast, more milk flows. Unfortunately, I cannot just sit back and relax and let the pump do its thing. After a few days of use, I average around four ml per minute of expressing, which usually takes 10 to 20 minutes, obtaining 70ml from one breast. For now, I only express milk to give to my daughter as top up and it is working well for both of us.
My most favourite part of the system is that the reservoir that collects the milk in the breast pump can be used to feed the baby. It can use both the baby bottle and storage cup as reservoir. The bottle needs to be unscrewed from the pump and attached to the teat pack and it’s ready. Same can be said for the storage cup, you just need to attach the adaptor to the teat pack. I love this feature as after I express, I will normally give it straight away to my baby and she loves expressed milk over formula milk. I like giving it to her straight when it’s fresher and the perfect temperature.
- It will be better if the screw cap of the storage cups can be closed by touch alone
- I feel the breast pump would be better if it was less rigid to the breast and instead could follow the shape of the breast and give good suction
- I also leak on the other breast whenever I express so it would be beneficial to address this also.
Bottle starter kit
I would love the starter kit to be available in glass bottles. The quantity of bottles is just right plus the accessories are great. The small bottles can be used even if the baby is bigger. Seven months and I still use the four oz. bottle with my baby.
I am so used to seeing bottle brushes with bristles that go around the handle. This brush is the first one I have seen for babies that is not so. The brush is all I will ever need; it cleans perfectly and follows the contour of the bottles - every nook and cranny is cleaned.
I love the clean design of the pacifier included. My daughter is not a pacifier baby, but I give one to her once in a while when she needs comforting. She recognises it and eagerly reaches for it while I take photos.
Oh my goodness, the storage cups are beautiful. I love the frosted flower design, the colour of the cap, the combination of the frosted and clear design of the plastic. I love that the plastic is clear unlike the bottles. I also use these cups to store food. I have yet to see if the cups will stain with food like carrots and pumpkin. I have some stored in the freezer. My only reservation is the cap, it would be great if the lid could be tightened by feel alone – no one likes spilt breast milk.
I had a pleasant experience using the breast pump system. It’s versatile in that I can choose to use the storage cups as reservoir and to feed the baby straight away, or choose to store the milk. I also love that any of the Avent bottles can be used in the pump. Additionally, I love the simplistic and elegant design.