Loading ...


Manual v/s Electric Breast Pump | Which One Should You Buy?

Breast Pumps are a boon for lactating mothers. Be it a working mother or a mother who is looking for planned feeding of breast milk, this is an invaluable tool. If you are considering to buy a breast pump, this article will help you decide whether you want to go for a manual pump or an electric one.

A breast pump is a device that helps a mother express her milk in a bottle ,for later use. The breast pump is often considered to be a tool for the working mother. For a mother who is away from the little one and yet wants the nutrition of the breast milk to enrich her baby. It’s all possible because of the breast pump. However, it not restricted to that. A breast pump provides the opportunity to measure and plan a baby’s feed, often running a feed in advance. It lets one’s spouse or caregiver take care of a few feeds, while the mother can rest. This is universal, for both a stay at home mom or a working mom. That said, most parents wonder which breast pump to choose- manual or electric.

Like always, I prefer to not be merely factual about parenting. My writings germinate from my personal learnings as a mother. Hence, for this as well, I will take you through my experience with both the manual and the electric breast pump.

I first chose to use the Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump. The decision was taken to ease my stress of immediate lactation, when the baby demands for a feed. There are certain times in the day that I would lactate more. These were usually the time when my body was well rested. At approximately 1am,5am and 10 am, I would express far more than throughout the day. I would express and store it, so that when my son ,Kabir, needed a feed I didn’t have to worry about my current supply of milk. The pressure of not having to express on the spot gave me a huge sense of relief. And the Medela Manual Breast Pump worked well to meet my demands. However, I decided to also purchase a Medela Mini Electric Breast Pump. Using the two devices often gave me a first hand understanding of the pros and cons of each.

Manual Breast-Pump

A Manual Pump came with – Personal Fit breast shield,component connector,valve membrane, bottle,bottle stand,multi-lid,handle (to pump),diaphragm/stem with O-ring and a valve head. It was far cheaper than an electric pump. Since I was pumping manually, the pace of the pump depended on me. Also in case of no electricity or travel, I was not worried about finding a power source. However, the time taken to express milk could be between 10-40mins, as my hands would get tired pumping manually. Especially late at night, manual pumping became a task. Hence, I decided to keep the manual pump as a back-up or to be used during travel, and simultaneously invested in an electric pump. Most Manual breast pumps have a similar design however I have personally tried Madela, Philips, Trumom & have found them quite effective.

Electric Breast-Pump

The Medela Mini Electric Pump arrived soon after. The pack had the following components-bottle stand, Instructions for Use, PersonalFit connector, valve membranes , main adapter, disc, lid, motor unit, PersonalFit Breast shield M (24 mm), bottle 150ml, protective cap. And almost immediately it became my best friend. Yes, there was a significant difference in the price as compared to the manual pump. However, it was far more efficient. The time taken to express the same amount of milk was 10-15mins. My hands were free and I could easily engage my baby ,while the electric pump collected the milk in the given bottle. Of course the dependence to a power source remained. Though this model of breast pump could also operate with batteries but it’s most effective when connected to a power source.

Storing expressed breast-milk

Both the Manual & Electric Breast pump came with a storage bottle which can be used to express and store milk. For storage of breast milk, I usually kept it deep inside my fridge. The lid of the storing bottle was tightly closed. And the cleanliness in the fridge was constantly ensured. The breast milk I expressed , was used up in a span of 24hrs. However, should you want to store it for longer, do use the freezer.

Warming the breast-milk

Before feeding the stored breast milk to your baby, the milk has to return to room temperature. If one notices, the breast milk in its natural state is neither hot nor cold. I used a bottle warmer for the same. I would set the temperature and the breast milk would be ready in a jiffy. However, if you don’t have a bottle warmer, one can fill a pan with hot water. The cold bottle of breast milk, still tightly shut, can be dipped into it, till it returns to room temperature.

Cleaning the breast-pump

The cleaning procedure for both is fairly simple. It’s as easy as cleaning and sterilising the feeding bottles. I used to clean my pump after every feed to maintain the hygiene standards at its peak.

As mentioned before the breast pump gave me a lot of freedom to plan the feeds. However, I also witnessed the beautiful bonding that my husband enjoyed while feeding Kabir. With a breast pump, he too played an active part in the process of feeding our baby. That to me is priceless.

I understand that you may have more queries. To hear from you, whether as comments, questions or feedbacks, brings me happiness . I strongly recommend that you watch the video format of the article, to see how I assemble the breast pumps. The link is here.

Do share the article with more parents to ease their parenting journey. Together, let’s enjoy simplified parenting.



Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Would you like to discover more beautiful things?
Order your individual newsletter now.