Helping moms learn to balance breast and bottlefeeding
Website companion to Balancing Breast and Bottle: Reaching Your Breastfeeding Goals

Pump flange size
The flange is the part of the pump that touches your breast.
 The size of the nipple, not the breast size, determines flange size. 
 When you pump, your nipple should move freely in the flange.  If it rubs the side, you need a bigger flange.  If your areola is pulled into the flange, you need a smaller size.
 Currently, only two companies carry a wide variety of flange sizes: Ameda and Medela.
Pumping without hands
If you like to multi-task, you might appreciate not having to hold your pump in place.
Some pump designs claim to be "hands free," but they must be attached to a bra with plastic bands.  
 The Easy Expression Bustier, pictured here, works with every brand of pump and bra.
Pumping rarely? 

Mothers who need to express less than once or twice a week may choose manual expression (with your hand) or using a hand-powered pump.  Avoid bicycle-horn styles, where you squeeze the bulb on the end where milk collects.  One hand, "squeeze" styles include: Ameda, Avent, and Medela's Harmony.  Two hand, "piston" style includes: Medela Spring Express.

Pumping a few times a week?
Mothers who will only need to pump a few times a week might be successful with a semi-automatic, lower cycling pump.  These are often found on chain store shelves for $45-$100.  Mid-level pumps cycle (or"suck") more slowly than a baby, so collecting milk may take longer.  If this type of pump were used too often, a mother might notice a decline in her milk production.  Mid-level pumps include: Medela Single Deluxe, Nurture III, First Years miPump, and Evenflo Comfort Select Performance.
Pumping daily?
Mothers who need to pump daily will be most successful with a high-quality, fully automatic pump that cycles (or "sucks") at the same rate of a baby.  Ameda Purely Yours has multiple flange sizes available.  In addition to a typical warranty, Ameda offers a replacement motor for sale at a reduced cost if a mother drops or breaks her pump.  Other companies require re-purchasing the entire pump.  Hygeia has an audio recorder on its pump so you can listen to your baby's sounds while you pump.  It is recognized by the FDA as a multiple user pump, so it can be safely shared if the next user purchases new tubing and bottles.  Medela has multiple flange sizes available.  The Swing breastpump is a single pump (so double your pumping time), and the Pump In Style and Freestyle are double pumps.  Lansinoh also sells a double electric pump.  The cycling time is good, but many mothers complain that the pump is quite noisy--possibly not the best choice for pumping in close quarters at work. 
Rent, borrow, or buy?
 Rental pumps are a safe choice.  Calculate the cost over several months.
 Borrowing is usually not recommended. Only a few pumps can be borrowed with the purchase of new tubing; most are considered single user.  Single user pumps do not control for the transfer of bacteria or germs from the pump motor to your milk. 
 Buying takes careful consideration.  Once the box is opened, it cannot be returned.
Collecting without pumping
 When you are breastfeeding your baby, have you noticed if your other breast leaks?
Often this leaking milk is allowed to soak into a nursing pad rather than collecting it.
The Milk Saver, pictured here, is a handy gadget that collects dripping milk while you breastfeed.   
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