How to Choose the Best Breast Pump for your Lifestyle

Every breastfeeding mom has a unique lifestyle and attitude towards breastfeeding. To choose the right breastfeeding pump for you, you must first decide how you want to breastfeed your baby, versus how often you plan to feed your baby breastmilk from a bottle.

It’s important to remember that it can take a couple of weeks for your breastmilk production to ramp up, and it is completely tied to how much breastmilk is drained from your breasts. It really depends on how much milk is available in your breasts when you pump, and how hungry your baby is when you feed them the breastmilk from a bottle.

If you know you will be sharing feeding responsibilities with others more than twice per week, then we recommend you get a breastfeeding pump that allows you to express both breasts at once. This is because you are now relying on the double breast pump to maintain your milk supply. Simultaneous breast pumping helps better maintain your milk supply by more effectively removing breastmilk from the breasts, which triggers more milk production.

Below are four different scenarios to help you identify your breastfeeding situation:

Scenario 1: Full-time breastfeeding mom

I want to breastfeed full-time and my baby will only receive breastmilk from a bottle a couple of times per week. I’m not planning on going back to school or work during the period I’ll be breastfeeding my baby, so there are really no reasons why my baby and I will be separated on a daily basis and unable to feed at my breasts.

Recommendation: Swing (electric) or Harmony (manual) – Single personal use breast pumps for occasional use features 2-Phase Expression Technology, proven to help moms express more milk in less time. The choice is whether you want to do the work manually or let the pump to do the work for you.

Scenario 2: Parents with shared feeding responsibilities

My partner and I want to be equally involved in the feeding experience with our baby. My partner will need bottles of breastmilk available to feed our baby. Once I go back to work, I will also need to pump.

Recommendation: Breast pumps for frequent use Sonata, Freestyle or Pump In Style – These double personal use breast pumps for frequent use also feature 2-Phase Expression Technology...  Sonata is not only our newest double-electric breast pump but our breast pump with the highest level of quiet and high-tech appeal!

Scenario 3: Healthy term infant and mom, but one or both have a challenge with breastfeeding

My baby was born at term, but we are having trouble establishing breastfeeding and/or lactation. We are not in the care of the hospital but are working with a lactation consultant, midwife, or other healthcare professional. I need to use a pump at least for now to establish and protect my milk supply while we work these things out.

Recommendation: Symphony Rental with Symphony Retail Double Pumping Kit – Designed to establish and maintain a mother’s breastmilk supply, the Symphony is available through rental locations across Canada.

Scenario 4: Preterm Birth and/or mother requires hospital care

The establishment of my milk supply was interrupted due to a preterm birth and/or complications at birth that resulted in my baby and I being separated. We are still in the hospital, and I need help to get my milk supply established because I know this is a critical time for my baby’s survival.

Recommendation: Symphony rental breast pump with breastmilk initiation software – it’s available at hospitals and rental locations across Canada. The initiation software (preemie+ program) with Symphony helps to activate the milk production when your baby is not available. The sterile single-use pumping kits protect the valuable expressed breastmilk by minimizing risks of contamination while you and/or your baby are under the hospital’s care.

More information

If you are looking for more detailed information on how to choose the best breastfeeding pump, here are links to specific topics.

How to choose a breast pump

There’s a Medela breast pump for every woman’s lifestyle. If you ever have a question around which Medela breast pump might be best for you, contact Medela Canada’s customer service center online or at 1-800-435-8316 and we’d be happy to help. 

Happy breastfeeding!


Medela offers breastfeeding accessories and breast pumps to mothers in Quebec and around the world. A long-time champion of breastfeeding, Medela is the only company to develop products based on the latest research by leading breastfeeding experts and feedback from breastfeeding mothers. As a result, Medela pumps are the number one choice for healthcare professionals, healthcare facilities and mothers around the world. Only you can provide what’s best for your baby. Medela can help.

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