Thanks to the signing of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, most health insurance companies cover the cost of a breast pump. The quality of the pumps covered can vary by insurance policy, so do your homework. Not all breast pumps are created equal.
What Does Your Insurance Cover?
Your insurance company may cover a quality electric breast pump + accessories at 100% of the cost. Some "upgrade" options are available as well, but you will need to pay for the additional features and accessories out of pocket.
The folks at Aeroflow Breastpumps do the legwork of determining eligibility and coverage for you. Once you decide on a pump, they can ship straight to your home.
How Frequently Will You Need To Pump?
Not everyone needs (or wants) an electric breast pump. In fact, for some women a manual pump or hand-expression are more effective at expressing milk.
Usually if a parent is expecting to pump several times a day due to full time employment or exclusive pumping, they will opt for a high-quality double-electric breast pump. Some popular examples include the Motif Luna; Medela Symphony, Pump In Style, or Sonata; Spectra S1 or S2; Hygeia Enjoye; and the Ameda Purely Yours or Finesse.
Manual pumps are a great option if you only need to pump part time or on occasion. The Avent Manual and Medela Harmony are great options.
Silicone pumps such as the HaaKaa have become wildly popular in recent years- and for good reason. It can be easily attached to one breast while you are nursing on the other, and uses gentle suction to collect milk that might otherwise be soaked up into a nursing pad.
Ease of Purchasing Extra Attachments
Keep in mind how easy it will be to purchase additional pump attachment pieces if a part is lost or destroyed. Sure, most can be quickly delivered with Prime. But what if you need a spare part late at night and your only option is Target or the closest big chain pharmacy?
Many of the big box retailers carry accessories for Medela pumps and sometimes Spectra. Some hospitals operate lactation boutiques where pumps and supplies can be purchased, especially if the hospital system uses another brand of pumps and lactation tools, such as Ameda.
It's a good idea to keep at least two sets of attachment pieces on hand regardless of what pump you choose!
Don't Forget About Accessories
Additional items that can helpful to have for pumping, particularly if you know you will be pumping often:
Check out our list of Our Favorite Pumping Things!
No longer pumping? Here's What to Do With Your Old Breast Pump After You Wean.
Updated 7.1.2021. Originally published on 2.5.2019.