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Tips for finding the right breast pumps for your needs

HOUSTON – Finding the right breast pump can seem daunting, but KPRC2 health reporter Haley Hernandez did some digging and found some options. 

Here are some of the different types of breast pumps to help you determine which one is right for you:

HOSPITAL GRADE PUMPS

Who uses them: Moms of NICU babies, moms struggling to feed
Price: about $2,000

If you know before birth your baby will be in the NICU, your insurance may cover the cost. These pumps are also available to rent.
This is made to most closely mimic the baby’s sucking motion and helps mothers produce when they cannot physically nurse the baby (like during hospital stays). 

Find the right breast pump for your needs.

ELECTRIC PUMPS

Who uses them: Working moms, moms exclusively pumping
Price: about $150-$300

Some of the popular brands include Medela and Spectra. Moms claim Medela is a little heavier but they like that there’s a car adaptor feature. The Spectra is lighter weight and includes a night light feature. Both have backup batteries.

Find the right breast pump for your needs.

HANDS-FREE WEARABLES

Who uses them: Moms on the go
Price: up to $500

Some brands have a hands-free feature where you can slip the pump inside your bra and continue doing chores throughout the house.

One popular brand, Willow, claims to be the best option for moms with other kids who need undivided attention or need to pump in public because there are no wires. This provides a hands-free and quiet option but only gathers four ounces at a time. Some mothers say this takes some practice but can be a major time-saver!

Here are some additional features the company Willow sent KPRC:

Willow is the only pump that lets you pump in any position without milk leaking, thanks to our patented technology. You can lay down, bend over or do yoga while pumping with Willow - all without leaking. Willow's spill-proof Milk Bags have an innovative one-way valve, so milk goes in but doesn't come out. Plus, you pump and store in the same bag, so no need to transfer your milk. Simply toss the Milk Bag in your purse, refrigerator or freezer until you're ready to use it. With just a few parts to assemble and only two parts to clean, Willow is easy to use and simple to clean (they're also dishwasher safe!). You don't have to sacrifice suction for spill-proof mobility and a wearable breast pump! Willow's suction is comparable to traditional breast pumps on the market, with seven levels you control. Willow's battery life lasts for about five pumping sessions, which for most women is more than enough to get them through the workday without having to pause to charge the pumps.

Find the right breast pump for your needs.

WIRE-FREE AND BATTERY OPERATED

Who uses them: Moms that need a backup pump or produce more than baby’s needs
Price: $12-30

Battery operated pumps are available but might not be the best option for moms who want to exclusively pump since they could lose power. However, these are recommended if there’s a chance you may lose power like in a hurricane or natural disaster. The battery also makes these options feel more portable than electric pumps.

Silicone pumps, like the ones made by the brand HaaKaa, or manual pumps may be best if you produce more than what your baby needs and need to pump out a few extra ounces after your baby is done eating. These are also recommended as a backup.

HOW CAN INSURANCE HELP?

Under the Affordable Care Act, your insurance company is required to fully cover at least one kind of breast pump. If they don't fully cover the kind you want, they may partially cover it, so make sure to ask.

Most Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) cover the cost of the accessories or a second pump if you need it.

Aetna insurance recommends using the website Aeroflow to find the right products for your need and determine what the company will cover. https://aeroflowbreastpumps.com/