Taking care of twins is quite different from dealing with a single baby. They are double the joy and naturally double the effort. But to be honest, the cheers far exceed anything else!
Nursing twins can be a much simpler process if you can express your milk to assist with their regular feedings. This would also give you a bit of a reprieve, as their dad or grandma can give them a bottle. Grab that rare opportunity and rest for a bit, or go out!
In this article you’ll find a full review and comparison of the best breast pumps twins, plus a full guide on how to choose the best breast pump for twins.
Top 10 The Best Breast Pumps for Twins 2021: Quick List
- Spectra S1 Plus Electric Breast Pump
- Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump
- Bellababy Breast Feeding Pump
- Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump
- Haakaa Manual Breast Pump
- Ardo Calypso Double Plus Breast Pump
- BelleMe Effective Pro Double Breast Pump
- Elvie Pump Double Silent Wearable Breast Pump
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Which is the best breast pump for twins?
Breastfeeding and pumping for twins comes with a special set of needs. You will likely not have much time to pump, and never have spare hands, so you want the most efficient and useful breast pump possible. You’ll be needing to express both breasts at the same time, not only to save your previous time, but because it is more effective. Studies have shown that double pumping increases milk expressed by a whopping 18%!
The best breast pump for twins is easy to clean, has a reliable motor, has flexible adjustable pumping speeds and let down function, a rechargeable battery and a double pump. For this reason the Spectra S1 is the best breast pump for twins moms. Spectra S1 is a hospital grade portable device with multiple settings and let down mode. It also has features quiet operation, a night light, and digital settings that make nursing at night a breeze.
If the Spectra S1 is out of your price range, you might like to check out the Spectra S2, which has all the same great features, except it doesn’t have a battery and needs to be plugged in to work. We have a full review of the Spectra S2 here that you might like to check out.
There are many features that are important in a breast pump for twins, so read on to learn more.
Do You Need a Breast Pump?
Breast pumps are practical for all breastfeeding and expressing moms, but when you have twins they get a whole new level of importance. Here are seven reasons why.
- Milk flow after delivery could be a bit slow, especially if you need a C-section.
- A pump can help to increase your supply between feeds.
- Twins are often placed in an incubator for a few days, it’s important to express milk in this time to increase your supply.
- Saving extra bottles of breast milk is a good idea. You may like someone else to give a bottle down the track, or may not be able to breastfeed for some rason.
- Expressing sufficient milk for twins requires may require extra pumping sessions.
- Milk sometimes lets down more than your babies will need, expressing and saving it is a great idea for a day when you are unwell.
- Breastmilk bottles are practical if you want to feed your babies when you are out of the house, if you are uncomfortable breastfeeding in public.
- Moms need breaks too, dad or another caregiver can give the babies a ready made bottle of breastmilk.
How to Choose the Best Breast Pump for Twins
Breast pumps can be rather expensive devices, but for good reason. They have a really important job to do, and price reflects quality.
For breastfeeding twins, there are some particular features that you will want to consider on top of the normal features for a breast pump. Let’s have a look at some of these key features that are important for moms of twins.
Here are a few key features you will want to check out as you make a decision.
Sometimes it’s easy to skip directly into which features are most important. But as a mom, sometimes you need to put your needs first. Before you buy a pump, consider your lifestyle and the lifestyle you expect to have with your babies.
If you’re planning to be at home with your babies in the first few weeks or months while you settle in to breastfeeding and your new life, a larger, more effective pump might be a great plan for you. Portability probably isn’t a high priority.
Likewise, if you are planning to return to work sooner, a pump that offers portable features, like a rechargeable battery or ultra quiet operation, might be a better option for you.
Similarly, if you need to express your milk several times per day, a breast pump that is not designed for frequent use will simply not be strong enough and will take longer to express your milk. And time seriously comes in short supply for a mother of twins.
One of the most important considerations that is often overlooked is comfort. This can mean many things to different users, but a key feature to look for in a breast pump is that it has multiple flange sizes (either included or available), and has adjustable pump speeds. I found when expressing that some days I needed stronger suction, and other days I used it on the lowest setting.
Unfortunately, this is something that we often figure out after buying a pump. A let-down or massage setting is also really helpful, and can even be just as effective as the full pump setting. So choosing a breast pump with these adjustable features is a key ingredient for ensuring successful pumping.
We moms pretty much always have our handsful. Even more so for twins mommys. If you can make your life a little bit easier by using a breast pump that is able to slide into your bra, leaving you hands free, it will be a huge bonus. Most pumps don’t have this feature, but you can team them up with a pumping bra like this one. The best wearable breast pump we have found is the Elvie.
The term ‘hospital grade’ can be a bit deceiving, it implies that the pump is designed to be used in hospital, but that’s not always the case. It is not a regulated term. However, a couple of companies, such as Spectra and Medela, use it to describe their pumps that have the capacity to shared by multiple users safely thanks to the closed system, has a strong and durable motor which can be used by moms expressing frequently, and have a long motor life.
These stronger pumps will usually be able to help you pump more milk faster than a pump with a smaller or less efficient motor. Every minute counts with twins, so if you only have 5 minutes to pump, you will definitely need to choose the breast pump that is more effective for expressive milk quickly.
These features may not seem very important at the beginning, but as your breastfeeding journey changes, you may pump more or less frequently. As a mom of twins though, it is foreseeable that you may need to pump many times a day, so a hospital grade pump will be important for you.
The ability to change users may seem strange, but it means that you are able to safely sell your pump on the second hand market when you are finished with it.
A double pump is a breast pump that comes equipped with 2 flanges that can be used at the same time, with the same motor.
There are many benefits to using a double breast pump. The logic stands that if you pump two breasts instead of one, you will get more milk, right? But it’s actually more detailed that that. When you pump both breasts at the same time, it is more effective at removing milk, as the body stimulates additional milk ejection. This results in 18% more milk being expressed.
Likewise, you may find that while pumping one breast you have a let down on the other, causing milk to be wasted. If you find this happening, a double pump would be your best choice, or you can catch extra milk with a silicone pump like the Haakaa.
It’s a wise choice to choose a double that can be easily converted to a single even when you are feeding twins. Sometimes you may feed one child and want to catch your let down on the other side, or you may have one breast that is more tender and prefer to only use one flange. Either way, it’s a good idea to pick a breast pump that is a bit more flexible.
There are generally 3 types of pumps. Electric, manual and silicone. There is generally a large price difference between each, but you will need to choose depending on how frequently you need to express, and the time it takes for each type.
For moms of twins, an electric breast pump will be your first choice. Electric pumps come with a host of benefits. They usually offer multiple power settings and some of the best have a let down setting. They also usually have a display to let you know which setting you are on.
Electric breast pumps will generally have a power adapter for 110/240V wall power or a rechargeable battery pack. This means you plug it in, attach the flanges to your breast and let the pump do the rest. A rechargeable battery pack is very useful for twins moms.
Manual pumps on the other hand are much more affordable, but they are hand operated. They are much quieter though, and may be an option for you if your budget doesn’t allow an electric pump. They are a good choice if you are pumping occasionally.
Manual breast pumps are operated by squeezing the handle every few seconds while you pump. This is considerably less time effective than an electric breast pump.
The third option is a silicone pump. These are newer to the market and work as a light suction pump which will catch your let down. These can be very effective for some moms, and might be a handy backup.
Brand names are particularly important when you buy baby products. You’d want to make sure that the product is safe, reliable, and backed up by a trustworthy manufacturer with excellent after sales support and service. The top brands in breast pumps in 2020 are Medela and Spectra.
Size and Weight
This should tell you whether the pump is portable or not. And this is not just for going out purposes. Even at home, we move about from room to room, and taking the breast pump along shouldn’t be a hassle.
Pumps that come with a bag that has all the add-ons neatly stored are impressive. But they’re only a good option if you’re constantly on the go.
Your body wouldn’t always respond to pump suction in the exact same way.
It’s normal to have days where milk overflows and wets our clothes, and other days when it has to be cajoled out. That’s why having adjustable suction settings is an important feature to consider.
From my experience, your breasts will change from day to day. The setting that worked on one day may not work great on another. So being able to customise your settings will be a useful feature for increasing the effectiveness of your pump.
Many electric pumps also come with an adjustable let down or massage feature. This handy feature mimics the initial sucks of your baby and encourages letdown. I found that this setting was often just as effective as the full suction settings, so it’s definitely another feature worthy of consideration.
Not all pumps are designed to be used multiple times a day. Some are designed to be used just a couple of times a day, where others, such as the Spectra S1 Plus, is designed to be used multiple times a day.
With twins, you’d probably be expressing a lot. It’s thus highly recommended to invest in a hospital grade pump that has a more stronger and longer lasting motor.
A closed system pump is designed to prevent the milk from back flowing into the tubes, mechanical parts, and motor. This means that you’ll only have to clean up the collection bottles, attached tubes, and external cushions. The other benefit of a closed system pump is that milk can’t backflow into the motor, meaning you are less likely to damage your pump.
Closed system pumps have a clear advantage over open system ones when it comes to ease of cleaning. With open system pumps, these barriers aren’t included, and you have to monitor the level of expressed milk.
Another benefit of closed system is that you can sell or give away your pump when you are finished using it. They can be completely sanitized for a new owner.
There’s a wide variety of prices for these devices, so I believe there’s a suitable option for every budget.
It’s worth noting that breast pumps are often covered by insurance, but there might be caps on the permissible cost. You might want to check with your insurance provider to see which pumps are covered.
Best Breast Pump for Twins Reviews
These are the best selections for breast pumps that work well for the little ones. They are handpicked with twin requirements in mind. In addition to portability, durability, and price.
The Spectra S1 pump is a highly popular device among new moms as well as in hospital settings. It’s a closed system pump that’s easier to maintain and keep clean. And to make sure that not even a drop of milk reaches the motor, it’s equipped with a backflow protection guard.
Almost every parameter in this pump is adjustable. You can set it to work as a double or a single pump, as you wouldn’t always be up for a dual expression session. In addition, you can match the pumping pace and suction power to your body’s current state.
At the outset, you might want to start with a massaging and mild stimulation to get things flowing. Then, you can work your way up to a more effective pumping speed. You can also set it to let down if you don’t need the strong pumping, but only a mild incentive for the milk to go down and collect in the container.
The Spectra is one of the lightest devices out there, and it comes with a rechargeable battery. Which means that you can take this pump anywhere you like and express at your convenience. Just remember to bring in a cooling kit to preserve the expressed milk.
Night nursing is to be expected, and to make things easier, the pump is equipped with a night light and a timer. The digital display also facilitates this process. And as the Spectra is an extra quiet machine, you wouldn’t disturb your napping baby at all.
- Nice aesthetics
- Single or double pump option
- Closed system for better hygiene
- Backflow protection
- Adjustable speed and pace
- Let-down and expression modes
- Massage mode mimics baby movements
- Lightweight and fully portable
- Contains Rechargeable battery
- Package includes an AC adapter
- Quiet operation
- Has a night light
- Includes a timer
- Digital controls for easy operation
- A bit on the expensive side
- Customer support not too responsive
The Medela pump series is pretty much the benchmark for breast pumps.
It’s perfect for home use as well as while traveling or working. One of the reasons is that the bag is elegant, professional, and very nicely organized. But the main reason is that it has a long running battery pack, plus a cooling kit, and 4 extra milk bottles.
It’s a good option if you need to express on a constant basis, several times a day. Which is the case when you have twins. It’s also designed to stimulate the flow of milk using a graded stimulation then increasing the suction power.
It’s adjustable through a single retro-looking knob, with a separate button for milk letdown. You’d need this option when your breast is overflowing and doesn’t need much pumping to express. That happens quite often when your baby is napping, or if the nursing session wasn’t long enough.
If you’re constantly on the go, then the Medela pump is an option you’d want to consider.
- Two pumping heads
- Made for heavy usage
- One-touch let-down setting
- Two-phase expression technology
- Different shield sizes for convenience
- Totally portable in a neat bag
- Ice packs to preserve expressed milk
- Cooler system fits 4 bottles
- Comes with an elegant bag
- BPA-free materials
- AC adapter and battery pack
- Dual voltage 110-220 V
- Comes with a breastfeeding guide
- It’s a pricey device
- The unit plus the add-ons could be a bit heavy
- The main unit is velcroed to the pouch
The main attraction for the Bellababy pump is its price. This is one of the rare devices that come at an affordable price, and still manage to sustain good quality.
It’s an efficient pump, with a hygienic closed system, and a wide range of settings. This includes a graded phase of breast stimulation and massage to initiate milk expression naturally. It also comes with 9 suction levels, which helps if your milk supply is a bit low, when it’s in its normal flow, and as it becomes ready to let-down with minimal suction.
It’s easy to carry around, fully portable, and its battery is designed to last for several pumping sessions before depleting.
- Hygienic closed system
- 4 nursing modes
- Massage and breast stimulation for expression
- 9 levels of suction power
- Lightweight and portable pump
- Large capacity 2200 mAH battery
- Low noise
- LCD with sensitive touch tech
- Multi Parameters displayed on HD screen
- Power supplied from USB or AC adapter
- Free from BPA and phthalates
- Affordable price
- Needs assembly and set up of milk bag adapters before use
- Not as efficient as a hospital grade pump
While electric pumps are essentials if you’re exclusively pumping for twins, manual pumps can still be quite useful..
The Philips manual pump is unique in its catering to the mother’s comfort while expressing. Most pumps need the moms to lean in a bit for the pump to work properly, and to avoid spills. The philips devices, both the electric and the manual, don’t have that requirement at all.
And to take comfort a step further, the cushion is soft and textured. You wouldn’t need to strain to keep it in place, and it’s designed to provide a smooth massaging action as you use it. This feature minimizes the soreness and tenderness that occasionally happens after using a breast pump.
This pump is easy to place on the breast, has a grip that fits nicely in the hands, and the lever movement is no hassle at all. Finally, it’s made from premium materials, which is no surprise at all considering the brand.
- Designed for comfort
- Easy to use
- Compact and lightweight
- Made from good-quality materials
- Compatible with other Philips Avent products
- It’s a little expensive compared to similar products
- Manual powered
Some moms purchase a manual pump as an option they don’t use too often. Or they look for a budget-friendly alternative to the pricier brands that come with a lever. If that’s the case, look no further than the Haakaa manual pump.
It’s a hugely popular pump among breastfeeding moms, and it’s not difficult to see why. It’s quite easy to use and provides some practical perks that several users were surprised to see. For starters, it can latch to the breast for hand-free milk down.
The best part is that you can get variable pressure and suction power from that super simple pump. The reason is simple. It has variable diameters from top to bottom, so if you squeeze the pump at the middle part, the suction would be high.
Contrary to when you apply the pressure to the narrower upper part, where the suction is lower. You can actually vary the amount of pressure you apply, and that would instantly reflect on how much suction is applied to your breast.
It’s a fact that pumps work best when they fit snugly on the breast, but that’s not always feasible when the pumps have a specific size. However, the Haakaa sorted this out neatly by designing the cushion for all sizes.
The Haakaa pump is easy to clean up and sterilize, which is a big plus for baby products. You can boil it in water for 2-3 minutes, and that keeps it safe to use.
It’s also made from extra soft food-grade silicone, which makes it comfortable to place on the tender breast skin. The material is also free from BPA, lead, phthalates, and PVC. it has a convenient capacity of 100 ml, and is totally portable naturally.
We have a full review on the Haakaa breast pump here.
- Sensitive to applied pressure
- Varied suction power
- Can be used hands-free
- Soft material
- Free from toxins and harmful chemicals
- Easy to set up and usable immediately
- Simple cleaning procedure
- Fits a wide range of breast sizes
- Not as effective as an electric pump
For a manual alternative, the Haakaa Manual Breast Pump is a great option. It’s absolutely simple and easy to use, with some control over suction power. It’s also extra soft, allows for hands-free expressions, and comes at a budget-friendly price. I wrote a full review on the Haakaa which is a great place to start to learn how to use it and where to get one.