Electric Breast Pumps: Compact Options for Busy Mums

Busy mums returning to work can use these electric pumps to maintain their babies’ supply of breast milk. Image caption: Jordan Whitt
Continuing from our review of the best manual breast pumps, here are our thoughts on their electric versions from renowned and local brands. 

Following our round up of manual breast pumps, this article features the best electric breast pumps, which are wonderfully portable and lightweight, so you can pump anywhere, even without an electrical outlet nearby. Paired with a hands-free pumping bra, you can regain the freedom to get more work done – or unwind during this downtime. 

Hegen PCTO™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Aside from pumping out your breast milk, this portable pump can also work as a massager to relieve your aches and pains. Image credit: Hegen

Hegen PCTO™ Double Electric Breast Pump ($450) can be used as a single or double pump, and has been designed with a kneading massage feature to relieve body aches and sore muscles. While it may be pricier than a few other electric breast pumps on the list, it also comes with a range of accessories. These include a kneading ring, two E Caps, E-Diaphragms and silicone tubings each, and a power adapter. Even better, it also comes with two Hegen PCTO™ Breast Milk Storage Containers PPSU and their lids and seals. 

Weight, Capacity and Convenience

The Electric Breast Pump weighs just 230g, and has a USB charging port so you can bring it around without needing a power socket. Additionally, the world’s first relaxation pump has 12 easily adjustable suction levels and three expressions rhythms that you can set to mimic your baby’s latching. As with the Hegen Manual Pump, these two are one of three breast pumps that store milk directly into the milk storage containers, so there definitely won’t be any spills or milk wasted.

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Cleaning and Care

For the electric breast pump, remove all the components and sterilise in the UV steriliser. Ensure all the components are separated as it may cause deformation if they’re all together. Do replace your silicone parts like the diaphragm once you see little tears. For the tubing, wipe down with wet wipes. 

Pro Tips

Even dads can use it on trouble areas like their shoulders or neck for a gentle cupping and kneading sensation. This also works to stimulate your milk supply, and relieve any soreness or breast engorgement. 

Related Products: Hegen Bottles, and Storage Containers

Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump

This breast pump comes with a lithium-ion rechargeable battery and syncs to the MyMedela app so you can track your pumping progress. Image credit: Medela Singapore

Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump ($649) has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 across 143 global customer ratings. This breast pump features a closed system so breast milk can’t get into the motor or the tubing. With a hands-free pumping bra, you could effectively clean, cook, do some work or watch Netflix instead of being chained to a power socket. 

Weight, Capacity and Convenience

Weighing 270g, this may be slightly heavier than the rest of the electric breast pumps, but it also contains a built-in lithium ion rechargeable battery. Hence you don’t have to cart around extra batteries. Recording your feeds and pumping progress is super easy, just connect to the MyMedela app to note these down. The electric breast pump also comes with a backlight, great for your night pumping, so you don’t have to turn on a light. Compared to the other Medela electric breast pumps, this one is pretty quiet. Finally, the pump also comes with a timer, so you know exactly how long you’ve been pumping for. 

Cleaning and Care

Ensure all the parts of your breast pump that come into contact with your breasts or breast milk are completely clean and dry. Before you start, do wash your hands thoroughly with soap for at least 20 seconds, then rinse and dry with a clean towel. When you’ve finished a feed, rinse off the equipment with drinking-quality water (see the Swing Maxi for the approximate temperatures), then wash all parts with warmer water and detergent. 

Next, rinse the parts with drinking-quality water, for 15 to 20 seconds. Otherwise, place the pump parts in the top rack of your dishwasher, with the smaller parts in the cutlery section. Do also face all breast milk bottles, breast shields and teats downwards. Of course, dry off the equipment with a clean cloth, or leave them to air-dry. 

Once a day, or before you use the pump parts for the first time, boil the parts in a large pan for at least five minutes. Other alternatives include microwaving, using an electric steam steriliser, or a sterilising fluid or tablets. Also, remove the pump parts, shake off excess water and dry with a clean cloth and place on a sanitised surface or storage container. 

Promising Review

Brooke Hobbs says, “This is just what I needed. I’m an exclusive pumper and had to go back to work after 6 weeks. Freedom and a perfect pump for on the go mothers. It’s easy to clean and it’s my go to pump. It’s quieter than the other Medela Breast Pumps and just a life changer!”

Pro Tips

Hook the lanyard onto your wrist so you can pump hands-free. Additionally, try the delayed start option, which gives you 10 seconds head start – useful for placing the breast shields before pumping. You can also pause the session to grab essentials like your phone, a cup of coffee, or water and then continue where you left off. 

Medela Swing Maxi Flex Electric Breast Pump

The lightest electric pump on the list, the Medela Swing Maxi Flex now uses silicone flanges for greater comfort, and the new system is much easier to clean. Image credit: Medela Singapore

Medela Swing Maxi Flex Electric Breast Pump ($449) has been rated 4.2 out of 5, across 72 customer ratings on Amazon UK. Designed to mimic your baby’s natural latching rhythm, pumping will start off fast and light then gradually change to being slower and deeper. With its double pumping and 2-Phase expression technology, you should be able to express 18 per cent more milk on average. This may save you up to two hours a day when exclusively pumping. 

Weight, Capacity and Convenience

The pump weighs about 50g, the lightest of all the electric breast pumps on this list. Additionally, it features an easy-to-use interface that features four buttons, customisable for letdowns and expression. Use it with the adapter or with 6AAA batteries for more convenience, and you can pump even if there’s no electrical outlet nearby. 

Cleaning and Care

Only use drinking-quality water for cleaning. Additionally, do take apart and wash all parts that come into contact with your breast and breast milk immediately after use. This prevents the milk residue from drying up and bacteria from growing. Once you’ve disassembled the parts, rinse with cold clear water at about 20°C, then clean all parts with warm soapy water (30°C) before rinsing again for 10 – 15 seconds. After this, dry off with a clean cloth. Alternatively, you can also put the parts into the top rack or the cutlery section of the dishwasher. 

Once a day, take all the individual parts, and boil for five minutes. The water level should be high enough to cover all the parts. Otherwise, you can also use QuickClean bags in the microwave. Then, dry with a clean cloth. Do also wipe down the motor unit with a clean, damp cloth. 

While the pump set requires no maintenance, take care not to damage parts of the pump set. Cleaning the individual components may cause them to be discoloured by food pigments, but without impacting the function. 

Promising Review

New mummy says, “Not even sure what else to say. This product is literally perfect. Not a single dislike. It’s worth every single penny. I had bought another pump initially but later switched to this and thank goodness I did. It felt surreal- pain free and extremely comfortable pumping, quiet, expresses out more milk than the pump I previously used and in much less time. I could literally sleep off pumping. That’s how good it is. 5 stars and I very, very highly recommend it.”

Pro Tips

Get a dedicated carrier for this while travelling – you can use a packing cube to organise everything into your bag – so you don’t miss any of the individual parts. You’ll also need to find a discreet corner like a nursing room to express your milk – the pump can be quite loud and distinct. Definitely get a pumping bra for hands-free experience. Additionally, do measure your breast to get the best fit – the PersonalFit Breast Shields come in a variety of sizes from 21mm to 36mm. If you currently have a Medela Swing Maxi, you can easily upgrade to the Flexi by purchasing the parts such as the silicone flange, and the membrane. This newer model is much  easier to clean and more comfortable to pump with. 

Related Products: Medela Bottles

Pigeon GoMini Double Electric Breast Pump

While pumping with this affordable and sleek breast pump, do keep yourself hydrated as well. Image credit: Pigeon Singapore

Pigeon GoMini Double Electric Breast Pump ($189) is a compact and lightweight electric breast pump that has stimulation and five expression modes. These are compatible with PIGEON wide and slim-neck bottles. This breast pump has also won three prestigious awards for its form and function. The box contains the pump body, funnels, bottle stands, tube connectors, wide-neck adapters, lids, hoods, milk valves and tubes, among others like the power adapter and the USB cable.  

Weight, Capacity and Convenience

The Pigeon GoMini weighs just 145g. You can use this with the power bank and DC adapter, making it easy to pump while on-the-go, whether at work, or travelling. The electric pump can also be operated single-handedly, great if you’re holding your little one in the other hand. 

Cleaning and Care

You can sterilise the parts, except the AC adapter, motor and silicone tube, via boiling, steam, microwave and chemical sterilisation.

Promising Review

A customer on Lazada says, “The Pigeon GoMini double electric breast pump is really compact and lightweight. The motor fits right into my hand so I can see how small it is! It is really suitable for working mums like me, as it’s not bulky to carry around when I need to pump, and the suction of the pump is good also. It is easy for me to adjust the modes according to my preference as there are 5 expression modes. As a first time mum, this pump helps me a lot. Would recommend it to those who need a compact and portable pump. I can even switch it to be a single pump, but most of the time I am using it as a double pump. Saves time especially when I am in the office. Thank you, Pigeon!”

Pro Tips
Add a lanyard to the lanyard loop to secure it while using, while the textured surfaces accommodate your grip. With a portable charger, you can also pump discreetly without needing an electrical outlet. 
Essentials You’ll Need: Breast milk storage bags, nursing covers, and nursing pillows
Relevant Reads: Essentials You’ll Need, Breastfeeding: What You Need to Know

This article was originally published on Motherswork.

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