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You are not exclusively pumping.
You also don’t need to leave your baby regularly like a typical working mom.
Yet, you still need a breast pump.
A simple one that does not need bazillion tips to use.
The one that can help you relieve engorged breast fast, and small enough so that it won’t occupy your night table.
Or perhaps, you simply need a simple breast pump that you can use occasionally when you miss your baby’s feeding?
Is this you? In this case, a manual breast pump could be your perfect solution. Portable and compact, less parts to wash, and easy to use. If you use it correctly, it’s even possible to empty your breast faster using a manual breast pump.
Not convinced yet? Here is some of the benefits of owning a manual breast pump.
5 REASONS WHY YOU NEED A MANUAL BREAST PUMP
- A quick way to relieve engorgement. Rather than setting up an electric breast pump with all the bells and whistles, grabbing a manual breast pump is much faster way to get rid of your engorgement. It is super easy to use. You can even position the flange easily to target the engorged part.
- As a back up pump in emergency. You may have a good-quality electric breast pump, but hey, who can guarantee it will perform all the time without fail. Sometimes, things just happen. Perhaps one of the part broke or even the machine suddenly exhibits problem. In this case, it is always a good idea to have a manual pump as a back up, wherever you go.
- To thoroughly empty your breast. You know that the best way to pump is by doing hand expression after double pumping. But hey, not many moms master hand expression! Let the manual breast pump do the job for you. Yes, I do it all the time instead of hand expression, lol, and it certainly helps to ensure my breast is fully drained.
- You don’t respond well to an electric breast pump. Well, some moms simply get nothing or only drops when pumping with a machine. But once they switch to a manual pump, they get a lot. If you are among this group, then yes, you need to invest on a manual breast pump.
- Budget constrain. Not all people have insurance coverage, and not all of them can afford an expensive dual electric breast pump. A manual breast pump can be a great alternative for you. It is definitely more affordable and you can use it in combo with a single electric breast pump for double pumping.
Now that you are pretty sure that you need a manual breast pump, comes the next question. Which manual breast pump should you choose?
In this article, I will discuss the 5 best manual breast pumps to accompany your breastfeeding journey.
5 BEST MANUAL BREAST PUMPS FOR BREASTFEEDING MOMS
1. Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump
Medela Harmony manual breast pump is the most popular manual breast pump in the market. With two-phase expression technology, it helps mom adjust the pumping mode from let-down to expression easily. The best thing about this pump is there are various breast shield sizes available.
- Various breast shield size available, compatible with Pumpin Pals flanges, Lackteck, Maymom. This is great as flange fitting affects pumping comfort and output.
- Two-phase expression technology allows easy switching between let-down and expression mode by using different sections of the pump handle. Having said so, I personally do not use this feature often. Manually control how far the handle goes is good enough for achieving let-down.
- Good-quality collection bottle, compatible with most of narrow-neck bottles
- Contains a lot of parts.
- The pump handle is a bit heavy to navigate, especially for longer pump session.
Note: The new version of Medela Harmony manual breast pump comes with Flex breast shield (which is softer and has wider angle). I personally prefer the classic hard-flange, but some moms do appreciate a better comfort with flex version.
2. Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump
Lansinoh manual breast pump is another option for good manual breast pump. It also allows easy switching between letdown and expression mode by adjusting position of the pump handle. This is a great feature, which I personally think, smarter than Medela Harmony. Compact and contains very few parts, it is quick to clean so moms can spend more time doing this she love.
- two-mode technology allows easy switching between let-down and expression mode
- only seven parts (including bottle)
- affordable price
- only two breast shield sizes available: 25 or 30 mm
- limited choice of collection bottles: Lansinoh or NUK for secure threading
3. Avent Comfort Manual Breast Pump
Avent Comfort manual breast pump was one of the most popular manual breast pumps when I breastfed my first born. It comes with a massage cushion to promote better pumping comfort. I personally used Avent manual breast pump solely when pumping for my son.
- comes with soft massage cushion for comfort and flange cover
- no-lean-forward design helps you to pump comfortably without hunching forward
- ergonomic handle, less pain while pumping
- good-quality collection bottles, compatible with most wide-neck bottles
- less parts to wash
- massage cushion is only available in three sizes: 25 mm (standard), 27 mm (large), and 19.5 mm (small)
- the suction may not be very strong for those preferring high vacuum strength
4. Spectra Manual Switch Kit
If you have Spectra electric breast pump and want to be able to reuse your Spectra pumping parts, you may be interested to get Spectra manual switch kit. All you need to do is attaching the kit to the Spectra flange. You can see how to do it in the following video.
- Great option for moms owning Spectra electric breast pump
- Able to use various Spectra breast shield sizes
- Won’t fit other breast pump model
5. Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump
Haakaa is actually a milk collector as opposed to a manual breast lump. It won’t empty breast thoroughly. However, it is great for catching leaks and stockpiling breast milk for your freezer stash. That’s why it is super popular among breastfeeding mothers.
Its one piece design makes it easy to use and clean and a lot of moms are having success using Haakaa in building up milk stash. Some even use it in combo with other breast pump for faster pumping.
Haakaa has been evolving a lot since it was initially released. The newer version can even be screwed to a baby teat for easy feeding. It even comes in various sizes. Thus, do pay attention which Haakaa version you are getting.
I have written more detailed review about Haakaa silicone breast pump in these posts:
- one piece design to promote ease of use and clean up
- easy operation, simply latch to your boob as you latch your baby on the other side.
- great for building breast milk stash
- won’t empty breast thoroughly
- single size flange
- easily tumble down (get the one with flower stopper and suction base)
PS: If you think Haakaa is too pricey for you, there is a cheaper brand with gathers more than 10k reviews in Amazon.
Another alternative to Haakaa would be KindestCup breastfeeding cup. It works similar to Haakaa, with slightly less pressure. Other than catching leak, KindestCup can also be used for hand expression and cup feeeding. Click here to read more about KindestCup.
So, these are the 5 best manual breast pumps that I have hand-picked for you. While most of them are very similar, I tried my best to explain the unique features of each of them and listed out the pros and cons.
I have personally tried most of the breast pumps listed here and my current favorite is Haakaa and Medela Harmony.
What about you?
Have you tried any of these manual breast pumps? Or perhaps you have tried other brand? Feel free to share your experience in the comment.