Difference Between Electric Breast Pump and Manual Breast Pump

Mumpa

Being a first-time parent can be an overwhelming experience. And even more overwhelming, for a new mother it can be the process of breastfeeding. WHO and UNICEF recommend that children initiate breastfeeding within the first hour of birth and be exclusively breastfed for the first six months. Breast Milk is the considered ideal food for babies. It is safe, clean and contains antibodies which help protect against many common childhood illnesses. Breast Milk provides all the energy and nutrients that babies need for the first months of life, and provides up to half or more of a child’s nutritional needs till the second year of life.

For many mothers breastfeeding is an effortless journey but for many more, it is laden with challenges. There can be physical challenges, health issues of mother and child, mother returning to work. To make this journey a little less anxious a device often comes in handy – a breast pump. This simple device has emerged successful in relieving the stress of more and more mothers the world over. For a new parent, keeping the breast pump on their list of essentials is of utmost priority.

There are many advantages of using a breast pump, however not all women need a breast pump. If you plan to use one, it’s important to understand the differences in the types of pumps.

The market today offers a wide range of products to choose from and being not informed, at the time of need can often leave us flustered. Struggling with our anxieties we might land up buying the breast pump which doesn’t meet our requirements.

Types of Breast Pumps

  1. Electric Breast Pump - uses a motor for breast milk extraction
  2. Manual Breast Pump - has to be operated using hand or foot motion.

Features of Electric Breast Pumps vs Manual Breast Pumps

  • Size and Weight

    Manual Breast Pumps: have a simple structure and use vacuum for suction, their size is hence smaller. The suction cup is made of Silicone which makes them light weight.

    Electric breast pumps: These come along with a number of attachments/ parts like breast shields, tubes, batteries, storage containers. However, most manufacturers nowadays make lightweight electric breast pumps.

    • Portability

      Manual Breast Pump: Due to their smaller size and weight, manual breast pumps are easier to carry

      Electric Breast Pump: Despite its many attachments these are compact and are not cumbersome to carry at all.

    • Single / Double pumping

      Manual breast pump: Most manual breast pumps are single pump, some

      Electric breast pumps: These are also available in two pumping types: single and double. Single Pumps extract milk from one breast at a time and double pumps extract milk from both breasts at a time.

Ease of Use

  • Suction Level

    Manual breast pump: In this pump, the breast-shield is placed over the nipple and areola, a handle or lever is squeezed to create suction and express milk from the breast. They are not available with adjustable suction levels. So, it can be uncomfortable and difficult especially for mothers who have physical limitations for manual pumping.

    Electric breast pump: These can be adjusted to different patterns and levels of suction. Some closely mimic a nursing baby which provides gentle stimulation just as during natural breastfeeding. They also include features for let-down; hence helpful for mothers with strong let down reflex.

  • Speed of Expression

    Manual breast pump: The speed of expression is adjusted to a predefined speed and mostly depends on the manual pressure applied by the hands.

    Electric Breast Pump: There are different modes to control the level and pattern of suction in Electric Breast Pumps which makes it faster than manual Breast pump in expressing. They can be available with different levels of intensity adjustments. In comparison manual pumping is slower and often tedious.

    If you enquire which is more comfortable to use, the answer varies from one mother to another.

    Most manufacturers have worked on the comfort of using the electric breast pump as when mothers are more comfortable and relaxed, milk flows easily. It is natural for many mothers to find electric breast pumps to be more comfortable than manual pumps, as they can be adjusted to different suction and speed settings and are easy to operate and clean. Some also come with advanced comfort features like massage cushions.

Cost

Cost wise, electric breast pumps tend to be more expensive than the manual pumps, although there is a complete range of some affordable options available to choose from.

Parameters

Manual Breast Pump

Electric Breast Pump

Size 

Compact in size

Compact sizes available but has attachments

Weight

Light weight

Heavier than Manual Breast Pump

Option of double Pumping

NA

Available in some

Different Suction levels 

NA

Available

Speed of Expression of Breast Milk

Slow

Fast

Cost

Low 

High but affordable options present

 

Feature Comparison of top 15 popular breast pumps on www.mumpa.in

 

Product 

Mode

Size/

Weight

With Rechargeable Battery

BPA free

With Massage mode/cushion

Adjustable suction level

Dishwasher Safe

1

Luvlap Adore Double Electric Breast Pump

Electric

600gms

2

Mama Bear Electric Breast Pump

Electric

compact

3

Mee Mee Advanced Electric Breast Pump

Electric

700gms

4

SYGA manual Breast pump with feeding nipple

Manual

202 gms

5

NatureBond Silicone Breastfeeding Manual breast pump

Manual

200gms

Pigeon Manual Breast pump essential

Manual

Compact 

Not mentioned

Not mentioned

7

Trumom advance rechargeable battery electric

Electric

600gms

8

Luvlap Adore Electric Breast Pump (Single)

Electric

700gms

9

Luvlap Royal Electric Breast Pump

Electric

NA

10

Luvlap Silicone Food grade Breast Milk Catcher

Manual

compact

11

Luvlap Electric Breast Pump with 3 phase pumping

Electric can also be used manually

960gms

12

Medela Freestyle Breast Pump

Electric

2.3 Kg

13

Philips Advent Comfort Manual Breast Pump

Manual

166gms

14

Luvlap Blossom Manual Breast Pump

Manual

290 gms

15

Medela pump in style advanced

Electric

3.06Kg

Not mentioned

Not mentioned

Not mentioned

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