The Best of the Breast (pumps)

Many models come housed in a black microfiber tote bag or backpack, which is ideal if you’re working outside your home. They’re often equipped with an adapter for your car’s cigarette lighter or a battery pack for times when you’re not near an electrical outlet. Most come with all necessary attachments, including removable cooler carrier and cooling element, battery pack, AC adapter, and collection containers, lids, and stands.

Pros: This is a quick and portable way to double-pump and fill up a bottle in minutes.

Cons: It’s probably more than you need if you plan to pump only occasionally.

Price: $195 to $350 to buy.

Choose this option if: You’ll be returning to work full- or part-time and you need to pump throughout the day to maintain your milk supply and express milk for missed feedings.

Top brands/models to consider: Ameda Purely Yours Electric breast pump; Avent Isis IQ Duo or Uno; Evenflo’s Elan Feeding System; Medela Pump in Style Advanced or Original; Playtex Embrace Electric Double Breast Pump, Whittlestone Breast Expresser (the personal-use version).

Small electric or battery-operated units
Using widely available AA or C batteries or household current, these lightweight, compact devices can fit discreetly in your purse or briefcase. They’re relatively quiet, but the suction can be sluggish, although the vacuum on some models can be regulated for maximum comfort. Others, though, have a constant vacuum that can cause nipple discomfort.

Pros: They are relatively inexpensive and portable. With the battery pack, you can pump anywhere, anytime.

Cons: If you use this pump more than occasionally, you may find that pumping takes too long. Consider one of these for occasional use only.

Price: $65 (single pump) to $130 (double pump) to buy.

Choose this option if: You need to pump only occasionally because you’ll be away from your baby now and then, for a night out or a couple of hours during the day.

Top brands/models to consider: Medela Single or Double Deluxe breast pump.