Since their introduction to the market, wearable breast pumps have skyrocketed in popularity thanks to their discreet design and ease of use. After all, the promise of low-profile, hands-free pumping and the ability to go about daily tasks while collecting liquid gold is sure to appeal to many multitasking mums.
But are wearable breast pumps really better than traditional electric breast pumps? Here’s a breakdown of its pros and cons.
What is a wearable breast pump?
Wearable breast pumps fit inside your bra so you can move freely while pumping. They are usually wireless, quiet, and do not require a power source, making them convenient when on the go. These features are meant to make it easier for breastfeeding mums to produce and collect milk wherever they are without having to worry about finding a private space where they can pump.
How different is it from a traditional electric breast pump?
Suction is an important part of breast pumps as it stimulates milk production. Most traditional electric breast pumps have flanges that create a seal around your nipple, while a motor provides suction. The milk then flows from the flanges through tubes and down to the collection cups or bottles. Wearable pumps have the same parts as a traditional breast pump – flanges, collection cups, motor, and all – but feature a compact design.
Advantages and disadvantages of wearable breast pumps
The primary advantage of a wearable pump is portability. Because they are meant to fit inside your bra, most are small and weigh less than traditional breast pumps. They also offer comfort to mums and make them feel more at ease when pumping milk in public.
However, while wearable technology offers an improved breast pumping experience, many mums still experience drawbacks when using one.
Suction is not as powerful as traditional electric breast pumps.
The promise of portability can also be a disadvantage for wearable pumps. Because it’s meant to be lightweight and compact, the motor might not be as powerful as your traditional electric pump.
For example, hospital-grade and traditional electric breast pumps like the Eonian Care Smart Double Electric Breast Pump offer up to -300 mmHg of suction power, compared to most wearables that might only offer up to -245 mmHg. While this is not a major drawback, mums who plan to pump milk exclusively or have babies who are “milk monsters” might require a breast pump that offers stronger suction than wearables.
Small collection bottles mean constant cleaning.
Again, because of the discreet design, wearable pumps also have smaller collection bottles. If you’re blessed with an abundant milk supply, you’ll fill up those bottles in no time and need to constantly clean and sanitise them between uses to prevent the growth of bacteria and protect your baby from germs. This can be more time-consuming than you might think.
More expensive than traditional electric breast pumps.
Wearable breast pumps come with a hefty price tag compared to traditional electric pumps, with popular brands costing around $447 to $800. They are also not recommended to be the sole breast pump to be used by exclusive pumpers.
Are wearable breast pumps better than traditional breast pumps?
If you’re going for the convenience of being able to pump discreetly, then wearable breast pumps might appeal to you. However, if you are trying to increase milk production or have a newborn and are trying to get your milk to come in, then a traditional, hospital-grade breast pump still offers better suction power.
If you’re looking for a breast pump that allows you to multitask, remember that almost any pump can be “hands-free” if you use a pumping and nursing bra. There are also a variety of wireless electric breast pumps that allow you to pump on the go. The Eonian Care Smart Double Electric Breast Pump is lightweight and has a rechargeable battery and neckstrap, offering maximum mobility and portability. At less than 45 decibels when pumping, this pump is super quiet, so you can comfortably express milk without worrying about disturbing anyone. Best of all, it allows simultaneous pumping to save time and may even boost your milk yield!