Please Note: This post may contain sponsor, affiliate, and/or referral links. Read my full disclosure statement. 

Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

How To Choose the Best Breast Feeding Pump for Occasional Pumping

When my second child was born, I was determined to breastfeed.

I ended up purchasing a Lansinoh Affinity double electric breast pump to be able to pump occasionally so she could have a bottle if I wasn’t going to be around. Once she was born, I struggled with finding time to pump because I was feeding her all the time. When I did pump and try to have my husband feed her in the evenings, she refused the bottle.

I gave up pumping and just breastfed her. It was a wonderful experience, but it made going to appointments for myself difficult during her first year. With my next two children, I didn’t even try to pump. That backfired when my milk dried up during my fifth pregnancy and my fourth baby desperately needed to learn how to drink from a bottle.

Now that my fifth baby is here, I have decided to make occasional pumping work for me so she will be used to a bottle. I did a little research to try to choose the best breast feeding pump for occasional use for myself.

How to choose the best breast feeding pump

Types of Breastfeeding Pumps (and How to Choose the Best Breast Feeding Pump for You)


Manual Breastfeeding Pump

Manual pumps are the least expensive option and they are good if you need to pump and then immediately use that milk. They work very simply. You just fit the breast shield onto your breast and use one hand to pump. You can control how fast or slow you pump. The major issue with the manual pump is that your hand can easily get tired and I wouldn’t recommend it if you are planning to pump at least once a day to build up milk storage.

Single Electric Breastfeeding Pump

A single electric breastfeeding pump works similarly to a double electric pump. The only difference is the single pump only pumps one breast at a time. I am currently using the Medela Swing Electric Breast Pump to build up a small freezer stash. This single electric pump was about half the price of the double electric pump. I currently only pump once a day, usually in the mornings after my daughter’s first feed. This is to build up a small stash so she will have milk when I need to go to appointments, or if I need to leave her with a sitter so I can take my older children somewhere.

I feel the Medela Swing is a great breast pump because it is super portable. The motor is small enough it can be clipped to a belt loop, and I think the suction on this pump is better than the suction on my Lansinoh Affinity. It can be run off of batteries, or I can plug it into the wall. There are still quite a few parts to clean, but you will have that with any pump.

For occasional or even once-daily use, it works perfectly, but if I were needing to pump multiple times per day, I would definitely go with a double electric breast pump.

Double Electric Breast Pump

There are lots of double electric breast pumps on the market. I’ve mentioned my Lansinoh Affinity. There is also the Medela Pump In Style, as well as the Ameda Purely Yours. I am sure there are others I am less familiar with. There are also hospital grade double electric breast pumps, such as the Medela Symphony, which I have used and it is an awesome breast pump.

The hospital grade breast pumps are very expensive and probably best used by moms who cannot actually feed their babies for whatever reason. Depending on what brand of pump you want, the double electric breast pumps can be a bit pricier than the single electric breast pumps. I know Lansinoh is fairly inexpensive compared to Medela, but I do prefer Medela because I think the suction is better and it doesn’t hurt my nipples quite like the Lansinoh did.


If I were working outside the home or going to be away from my baby for extended periods of time, I would definitely choose a double electric breast pump. Since I am a stay-at-home mom and prefer to feed my baby from my breast directly, the single electric breast pump serves my purpose just fine. I could even get by with a manual pump, but the single electric is just easier to use and I get more milk with it.

Most insurance companies cover breast pumps now to some extent. They all have different specifications, so check with your insurance company before purchasing a breast pump.

Joanie Boeckman is an Army Reserve wife and homeschooling mama to three (soon to be four!) beautiful children. She is passionate about living a simpler life, attachment parenting, homemaking, and homeschooling. You can find her blogging at Simple Living Mama where her mission is to empower women in their roles as homemakers, mothers, and homeschool teachers.


  1. I like your point that if you can breast feed regularly you may not need a double pump to. My wife is planning on staying home so this will help us narrow down which pump to get. I’ll have to show her this so she can know more too!

  2. With the birth of my first child coming soon, I am getting everything I need so that I am prepared. I am currently looking for a breast pump, but need help determining what kind will work best for me. It’s good to know that the manual breastfeeding pumps is the least expensive option, and I’ll be control the speed of the pump. This would be a great option for me, since it will be nice not having to worry about it breaking down on me.

  3. Thanks for sharing your tips about choosing a breast pump. I like that you enumerated each type of pump and provided a description. Electric pumps appealed to me the most because of how you talked about its efficiency in expressing breast milk. I’m scheduled to go back to work by the end of the month, and I’m looking for ways to build a milk stash as early as now. For me, an efficient breast pump will be more convenient because it will save you a lot of time. I will make sure to consider all your tips when I shop for a breast pump.

Speak Your Mind