What are manual pumps?
Once you’ve got breastfeeding sorted, you can try expressing milk using manual or electric pumps.
Having bottles of your breast milk ready to go will enable you to go out for the evening or return to work. It can be prove helpful when feeding twins and invaluable if your baby needs to be in a special care unit for a while.
You can choose from two types of pumps – manual and electric (battery or mains powered), which offer various pros and cons.
A manual pump offers a few great benefits:
- great value for money
- small so it’s easy to store and transport
- quiet and discreet
- fewer parts to go wrong, so it’s pretty reliable
On the downside, it can be tiring to keep pumping and it takes quite a while.
Which manual pump is right for you?
It’s worth looking out for a few great features:
- easy, clear instructions
- easy assembly and dismantling fro cleaning
- a cushioned, comfortable funnel
- safe to use in a steriliser
Top tips for buying a manual pump?
It’s worth looking out for a few great features:
- if you have friends with pumps, ask for their advice, or ask to try theirs before you buy, not all feel or work the same
- manual breast pumps are often quieter than electric, so if you want to (or need to) pump discretely – at work for example – they might be your preferred choice
- electric breast pumps are (usually) faster at expressing your milk, particularly useful if you have more than one baby in the house.
How much will it cost?
Prices start around £12.
Ready to buy?
Take a look at some of the popular manual breast pumps below.
Ameda One-Hand Manual Breast Pump
RRP: £24.99 - Buy now
The ergonomically shaped One-Hand Manual Breast Pump gives
mums a great alternative to continue expressing breastmilk whilst on-the-go. It is also perfect for mums who would like to express breastmilk using Ameda technology at an affordable price.
- Easy-to-use, one-hand operation.
- Single pump while breastfeeding or double pump with two One-Hand Breast pumps
- Innovative technology in the pump means you can get multi-phase pumping by alternating frequency and degree of handle squeezes.
- ‘Squeeze and hold’ technique reduces effort while milk is flowing
- Affordable and great value that utilises over 60 years
of Ameda research and technology.
Why our mums love the Ameda One-Hand Manual Breast Pump ....
- It’s super-easy to use with just one hand – comfy and easy to grip and hold.
- The special ‘squeeze and hold’ function is brilliant, as it removes the constant pumping required with some other pumps.
- It’s light and compact which is perfect for taking with you if you want to pump away from home.
- It fits almost all brands of bottle (and freezer bag) fittings.
- A clever feature is the additional fittings for different nipple sizes, if the standard size doesn’t suit you.
Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Manual Breast Pump
RRP: £29.95 - Buy now
Simple, good-value manual pump that’s easy to assemble and clean.
- Only 3 parts so it’s easy to put together and clean
- Includes 150ml bottle, storage pot, 6 disposable breast pads and microwave steriliser box
- Flexible silicone cup with massage ripples encourages fast and comfortable milk let-down
Dimensions: H23cm x W14cm x D12.5cm
Why we love the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Manual Breast Pump ....
- Because it’s so simple it’s quick and easy to assemble, making pumping as hassle-free as possible. It’s not too hard on the hand, compared to other manual pumps, although some mums report it can be hard on the nipples until you get used to it.
- Mums like the flexible soft-touch cup which ensures a proper fit. You may need to sit quite upright or even lean forwards a bit to prevent leakage – you’ll find the best position for you after a bit of experimentation.
- It’s compatible with other Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottles and products (though not other brands)
- The steriliser box included in the package is properly useful.
Philips Avent Comfort Manual Breast Pump
RRP: £46 - Buy now
Gentle and easy-to-use manual pump from trusted feeding experts Philips Avent.
- Comes with 4oz (118ml) bottle and teat plus sealing disc, cushion, travel cover and 4 breast pads
- Compatible with full range of Philips Avent bottles
- Soft massage cushion gently stimulates milk flow
- Ergonomically shaped handle
Dimensions: H22cm x W9cm x D20cm
Why we love the Philips Avent Comfort Manual Breast Pump ....
- The company promises that this pump mimics a baby’s suckling action, so it’s easier to use and maintain a good flow. Most mums comment how gentle on the breasts this product is compared to some others on the market, which justifies its slightly higher price.
- The cushion provided works for most mums, but you can buy a larger one if you need it.
- It doesn’t have the loud noise of an electric pump, although some mums have noted that it does make a strange squeaking noise which takes a bit of getting used to! Apparently you can lessen this if you assemble it while still damp.
- You can sit in a slightly more relaxed position than with some other pumps, although you still need to be fairly upright to prevent leakage.
MAM Manual Breast Pump
RRP: £38 - Buy now
Carefully designed manual pump where you choose the strength setting and it’s easy to find a comfortable position.
- Selector dial so you can choose expression strength
- Has 4 parts so easy to assemble and clean
- Includes anti-colic bottle and 2 sealing discs and teats
- Funnel can be rotated 360 degrees for comfortable position
- 4 soft cushions for secure hold
Dimensions: H14.5cm x W13cm x D7cm
Why we love the MAM Manual Breast Pump ....
- The fact that you can choose your ‘suction’ level is a great feature, especially for mums who are new to expressing and not sure what to expect.
- If you find it tricky to settle on a comfortable expressing position, you’ll like the way the funnel rotates all the way round.
- Mums love the caring customer service at MAM if you ever need to contact them.
- Funky, colourful design is more stylish than other pumps, although some mums say the handle is stiff and makes your hand ache until you’re used to it – and it makes a squeaking noise.