When I became a mom for the very first time, I didn’t know what to do with all the milk that was flowing out of me! The second time around, the opposite happened, and I was always searching for ways to increase my milk supply.
That was when I discovered the world of expressing milk. It’s a practical and quite helpful way to get your milk flowing. You could also store a few bottles of readily available breastmilk for hwn the need arises.
Here, I rounded up the best breast pumps for low milk supply. Along with some tried and true tips to increase your nursing milk, and how to select the right pump.
Which is the best breast pump for low milk supply?
While I’ve included the breast pumps for low milk supply down below, I’m going to give you the top breast pump first.
The best breast pump for low milk supply is the Spectra S1 Plus double electric breast pump. It is a closed system, hospital grade, double electric breast pump featuring multiple modes, timer, lights, and a rechargeable battery.
Most breast pumps have mixed reviews. I know when I was looking at struggling with low milk supply and looking for the best breast pump I wanted the one with the most 5 star reviews and the least negative reviews. That was the Spectra S1. It’s almost universally adored and has so many helpful features that make it unbeatable for moms with low milk supply.
Read on for a more detailed review of the Spectra S1 and reviews of the top breast pumps for low milk supply.
5 Best Breast Pumps for Low Milk Supply
- Spectra S1 Plus Breast Pump
- Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump
- Bumblebee Manual Breast Pump
- Lansinoh Signature Pro Portable Breast Pump
- Philips Avent Breast Pump
Best Breast Pump for Low Milk Supply Reviews and Comparison
This is a variety of pumps that should suit every mom’s needs. They also come with different price points to fit most budgets.
The Spectra S1 is one of the most popular double electric breast pumps for low milk supply available on the market and for good reason, it is an excellent pump – particularly for lactating mothers who are experiencing low milk supply.
Along with it’s sister, the Spectra S2, the Spectra S1 delivers superior performance. It is a hospital grade, closed system pump, which means that it has a powerful motor which is perfect for the demands of low supply. When pumping to increase low milk supply you may need to express more often than other mums (sometimes more than 8x per day) and the S1 has a powerful enough motor to handle these frequent pumping sessions. Hospital grade pumps are more effective, efficient and perfect for exclusively pumping.
The Spectra S1 is easy to clean, with all parts being BPA free and dishwasher safe. However, the dishwasher will cause parts to deteriorate if used often, it is better to hand wash using normal detergent and allow them to dry naturally.
It is also a closed system, which prevents milk overflowing and leaking into the pump, keeping the whole system hygenic and healthy for your child, and also meaning you won’t ruin the motor by accidentally getting milk into the motor.
This breast pump has an automatic let down massage setting, which simulates your babies initial sucking action. This promotes milk flow and helps you to produce more milk.
Another excellent benefit of the Spectra S1 and the Spectra S2 breast pumps is that they have timers which not only measure the time spent on any one pumping sessions (and you can program them to stop after a certain period), they also store the total minutes spent pumping for the device’s lifetime.
But one of the best features of the Spectra S1 is the built in rechargeable battery which can last for up to 2 weeks.
- Closed system
- Rechargeable battery
- Very quiet
- Effective double or single breast pump option
- Massage mode
- Adjustable speed and suction
- Night light
- LCD display
- Lightweight and portable
- Plenty of accessories available
- BPA free and DEHP-free construction
- Comes with 1 flange set
- May be a little bulky
- Only available in one color (blue for S1, pink for S2)
A breast pump for low milk supply should be responsive to the mom’s body, efficient in milk expression, durable, fully portable. It should also come at an affordable price, and preferably look good. I have some news for you; the Medela pump in style double electric pump checks all these boxes, and then some.
The most important feature is the two-phase stimulation and suction, which helps to increase milk supply by producing more milk in less time. This gives your body the necessary preparation before actually applying any pressure to express breast milk. I know from experience that starting while you’re not ready leaves you a bit sore, so I’m glad to see this tech employed here.
The whole unit, tubes, bottles, battery pack, and cooling accessories fit inside a black bag, that looks quite similar to a work or leisure tote. Elegance is nice, even when you’re carrying baby stuff. The Medela is fully adjustable, and only one knob is needed to set it to a comfortable power.
Another nice feature of this hospital strength breast pump is the adjustable suction level, which gives you control over the suction and rate of milk flow.
This pump is perfect if you’re constantly on the move, and express your milk on a daily basis to help increase your milk supply.
- Stimulates milk expression
- Fully portable
- Effective and efficient double pumping
- Customizable settings
- Easy setting selection with a single knob
- Equipped with milk cooling accessories
- Comes with an elegant tote bag
- Includes a portable battery pack
- Has some performance awards
- A bit on the expensive side
- The main unit is velcroed inside the bag, which takes some space.
Manual breast pumps are great for increasing milk supply and have been around for much longer than electric breast pumps. That’s why they had enough time to be improved and optimized for best results. There are two main types of manual pumps: one that works with a lever action, and another which employs direct pressure on the container.
We consider the Bumblebee pump to be one of the best manual breast pumps, because it employs the second method to express milk. The Bumblebee sticks onto the breast skin just by applying a little suction, and you can use it to collect dripping milk at leisure.
It can also stimulate the breasts and express milk by applying variable pressure on the container. Where you apply that pressure also matters since the diameters vary from top to bottom. If you squeeze the bottom where it’s widest, the suction power would be higher. And you get the opposite outcome if you squeeze at the top where it’s narrow.
- Simple operation
- Easy to clean
- Hands-free operation
- Soft on the breasts’ sensitive skin
- Three modes of functioning
- Comes with a heart-shaped stopper
- Made from premium-quality food-grade materials
- Would strain the hands a little if used for a while
- Might not be suitable if milk supply is too weak
- Won’t help to increase your suppl
Lansinoh is a company that’s “mom founded and parent led”. They produce a multitude of mother and child products, and actively encourage breastfeeding.
This pump is among the versatile and effective models in the market, and it’s quite popular among users. That’s expected, as it’s quite responsive to mother’s nursing needs. It’s also hygienic, portable, and comes at a nice price.
The Lansinoh double electric pump can also work as a free hand pump, but you’d need to purchase a pumping bra along with it.
- 3 pumping modes
- 8 levels of suction power
- Easy to use
- Closed system for better hygiene
- Lightweight and portable
- Double pumping for more efficiency
- Direct pumping into enclosed baby bottles
- Backlit LCD display
- Expression set is dishwasher safe
- Comes with a bunch of accessories
- Comes with a tote bag
- Moderately priced
- Moms need to lean-in a bit for best results
- It might leak if not used in a certain position
The best feature by far in this pump is the three step massaging, stimulation, and expression sequence. This gradual preparation gives the body ample time for the milk to flow naturally.
There are also several different combinations of nursing modes and suction powers to match mom’s requirements.
Despite the number of nice features, it comes at a highly competitive price.
- Double pumping option
- Closed system for better hygiene
- 9 levels of suction power
- 4 modes of pumping
- Portable unit
- BPA and phthalate-free
- Large capacity 2200 mAH battery
- Sensitive-touch HD screen
- USB or adapter charging
- Low noise
- Fair and affordable price
- Doesn’t come with a battery charger
- Occasional shut-off despite being fully charged
Avent has been in the market for a long time with a stellar record of success and popularity. And the 2006 acquisition by Philips only strengthened that market presence. It’s a trustworthy reliable brand, and this pump demonstrates that so well.
The is geared towards helping moms to enhance their milk expression through a thoughtful process.
It starts with the soft warm cushions that mimic the baby’s movements on the mom’s breast. And from that smooth preparation the pump then goes through successive levels of milk expression. This enhances milk production over time, and doesn’t leave the breast tender or sore.
This premium quality device comes at a high price tag, but totally worth the extra cash considering its merits.
- Gentle stimulation mode
- Soft warm textured cushions
- 3 expression settings
- Quiet operation
- Compact and lightweight
- No-lean forward design
- BPA-free materials
- It’s an expensive device
What Makes Your Milk Supply Less Than Baby’s Needs?
A decreased milk supply can be a result of really simple causes, like not drinking an extra glass of water.
It’s beneficial to know some of the more common reasons why the milk supply of a nursing mom could be dwindling at times.
- Being a new mom.
- The diet is missing some essential nutrients.
- Insufficient hydration with water or healthy beverages.
- Not getting enough sleep.
- Nursing is too painful as a result of nipple inflammation.
- Being extra stressed for a prolonged amount of time.
- Taking certain medications.
- Hormonal changes.
- The baby is nursing infrequently.
- The baby doesn’t nurse actively in each feeding.
- Going through surgery or other medical interventions.
- Changing the routine when going back to work.
- Traveling or moving to a new place.
Some Tips for Increasing Milk Supply Using a Breast Pump
There are of course the usual tips on increasing your milk supply through good nutrition, hydration, rest, and relaxation.
But besides that, there are also some simple practices that you can do while using the breast pump. They could also help with stimulating your yield of breastmilk. Think about it as doing physical exercise, more training increases overall fitness.
It helps to use a breast pump with various modes, speeds and suction levels. There’s also the type that mimics your baby’s nursing movements. Both features will provide the necessary gradation towards a higher breast milk supply.
Here are some tried and true tips:
- Pump your breasts when your baby is taking long naps. This should keep your milk flowing.
- If you’ve returned to work recently, try to express during your breaks.
- Don’t pump when you’re exhausted, this is not a good time for expressing. Rest!
- Don’t pump while you’re stressed. Your breast would probably express little milk, and that would stress you even more.
- Watch something funny or romantic as you pump. Your milk is prompted by emotional factors, so feed your heart as much as you feed your body.
- Pump one breast only before feeding your baby, to make sure the other one has enough for nursing.
- Pump both breasts alternately. Don’t focus on one and not the other. This should give you an even supply from both breasts.
- Apply a mild lotion or moisturizer for your nipples. If you’re feeling well, your milk would flow easily. The opposite is also true.
- Make sure the pump you’re using has a powerful motor.
- An old pump would probably be too weak to express your milk. It’s not you, it’s the aging machine! You might want to replace it.
- Try to use a pump that fits your breast size, and the position that’s most relaxing to you.
Buyers Guide: How to choose the Right Breast Pump for Low Milk Supply
To make sure that you select the right pump, here are the essential points that should make the decision process easier.
What’s Your General Usage?
Are you a stay at home parent or a working mom? Do you pump anywhere around the house, or keep that activity inside your room? Do you intend on assisting your baby’s normal nursing feeds or replacing them with expressed milk bottles? Would you be using the pump all the time, or just every now and then?
Occasional usage could be done using a manual pump, as it’s easy to use and budget-friendly. A portable pump is great if you’re a working mom or move around a lot. And if you pump extensively, by all means, invest in a good quality electric pump.
Not all moms are the same in how they respond to the breast pump’s suction power. Applying a more powerful pressure while the breasts are already expressing milk is unnecessary.
Some electric pumps come with 10 levels or more. Moreover, the good quality ones also provide a simulation of a baby’s nursing movements to stimulate the flow of milk.
Pick a Quiet Pump
Several moms use the breast pump while the baby is napping. That’s definitely a very good reason to keep things quiet.
This feature is also important if you’re in the office, and wouldn’t want to attract too much attention. There are several hands-free inside the bra pumps, which come with an integrated milk pouch. They don’t have any external tubes or an operating unit. The only thing that really makes such devices perfect is that they don’t hiss and buzz as they express milk.
It’s worth noting that breast pumps are often included in medical insurance plans. However, there could be a limit to how much they can cost.
Also, some moms need two units, as they have to leave one at work, or they might want to upgrade along the way. These options might not be covered, so you’d need to check the conditions of your plan.
Size and Weight
There are currently compact devices that literally fit inside the bra and portable units that can be carried in a tote. Then there are the slightly larger breast pumps that need some space to work with them.
Also, some of the portable units are lightweight, but the attachments that need to be carried along with them add significantly to the weight.
These units are among the new tech that was recently introduced into the markets. Using a hand-free pump helps a lot if you need to express your milk frequently, and at the same time need to multitask with work and chores. The Elvie Pump is a popular choice.
A Closed System or an Open System?
The difference between the two systems is where the extra milk goes when it overflows the filling container? In open systems, it could flow back inside the tubes and pumping mechanism. Contrary to that, in closed systems, it’s blocked from proceeding to these paths.
Hospital-grade devices are necessarily closed systems. That’s because they need to be 100% safe and sterile at all times, and getting that backflow could compromise their cleanliness.
This requirement is less stringent for home use, where only the mom is using the breast pump. But still, you need to make sure that the pump and its tubes are thoroughly cleaned after each session. This is a bit more complicated in open systems.
Manual or Electric?
This depends largely on two factors: Do you need to use the pump frequently? And do you need a higher suction power to get your milk flowing? If the answer to both of these questions is affirmative, then an electric pump is the best option.
Double or Single Pumping?
Breast pumps come in both configurations, and it’s up to you to decide what works best. Double pumps are better in terms of efficiency since you express both breasts at the same time.
This might not be suitable for moms who have to try a bit harder to get their milk flowing. They’d need to focus on each breast fully while expressing. That’s why a single pump would work better. It also comes at a lower price, so that’s a plus here.
It’s hard to select a single top recommendation since all the pumps on this list are exceptional. However, the Spectra S1 Breast Pump is the best breast pump to increase milk supply in both home and at work.
If you’re considering a manual pump, then the Bumblebee Manual Breast Pump is a good option. It’s simple, efficient, and comes at a great price.