Disclosure: this article contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own.
Why I wanted a single electric breast pump
A single electric pump is the last type of pump I invested in. I had manual pumps and double electric pumps, but didn’t see the need for a single electric. Eventually, though, I got tired of squeezing the manual pump at home when I needed to express, so I invested in a single electric pump and was thrilled to be able to pump and do other stuff at the same time since I wasn’t stuck there squeezing away at a manual pump like a madwoman.
What are single electric breast pumps and how do they work?
A single electric breast pump consists of a motor unit to create suction and a milk collection bottle with a flange that is worn on the breast and connected to the motor with tubing. The motor creates suction so breast milk can be expressed. A single electric pump allows a lactating women to express milk from one breast at a time.
So, how does a single electric breast pump work? It is quite straightforward but there is a bit of a learning curve for each mom as she determines which settings work best for her. The pump will have various settings for suction strength and suction speed, so you can approximate how your baby nurses in order to express your milk.
At the start of a pumping session, the pump will be used to stimulate letdown with a fast suction speed and low suction strength. Once letdown is stimulated, the pump can be adjusted (or some will automatically change) to stronger suction strength and slower suction speed, just as a nursing child would do.
Single electric breast pumps are not a necessity. They are perfect for the mom who will express occasionally. Of course, they are less expensive than double pumps, but if a double pump is within your budget, I recommend purchasing a double pump instead.
Double pumps can all be used as single pumps, anyway, simply by blocking off the suction for one flange (a feature that is built in to each pump). A double pump can really come in handy when you want to express enough milk for one feed quickly.
Single electric pumps are of course wonderful for women who will feed using only one breast. The also make a great backup for women who already have a double electric pump and want a spare to pump with. I fell into this category and ultimately kept my double electric pump in the office and my single electric pump at home.
Philips Avent Single Electric Comfort Breast Pump – Silicone flange makes it very comfortable. However, the pump is bulky and less portable than other options.
Medela Swing Single Electric Breast Pump – Compatible with other Medela parts, lightweight and easy to pump on the go. However, open system means it is less hygienic.
Bellema Mango Single Electric Breast Pump – Affordable, portable, and comfortable! It is also a closed system so it is hygienic and easy to clean. However, suction feels slightly weaker than other pumps.
There are quite a few private label single electric breast pumps available online. These are priced very well (some are well below $50, even as low as $20). These pumps are good for very occasional use and often have good suction. The downside is that they have a tendency to wear out quickly and replacement parts can be difficult or impossible to come by. You can see my favorites here and here.
Have additional questions about single electric breast pumps? Contact me and I’ll be sure to reply.