The 6 Best Hospital Grade Breast Pumps
6. Ameda Elite Electric
- good for high-volume pumping
- won't lose force over time
- leaves some moms feeling full
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
5. Hygeia Enjoye
- great for working moms
- designed for frequent use
- louder than many other models
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
4. Spectra Baby USA S2
- hygienic closed system
- built-in nightlight
- must be plugged into the wall
|Brand||Spectra Baby USA|
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
3. Medela Freestyle
- two sizes of breast shields
- whole unit weighs less than one lb
- ideal for active moms
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
2. Spectra Baby USA S1
- hygienic backflow protectors
- 2 collection bottles
- capable of single and double pumping
|Brand||Spectra Baby USA|
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
1. Medela Symphony Plus
- operates very quietly
- easy to use single knob control
- convenient hands-free use
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
What Makes It a Hospital Grade Breast Pump?
There is no hard and fast definition of a hospital grade breast pump. The term is not FDA-approved and therefore cannot be clearly defined. However, if you ask most medical professionals, you will likely be told that "hospital grade" generally means that the pump has an accessory kit that can be purchased separately so that the pump can be used by multiple mothers.
Health insurance companies have their own standards for what constitutes a hospital grade, personal grade, or hand pump. You will have to check with your individual company to find out what their specific guidelines are for qualifying for a hospital grade breast pump.
Most breast pump manufacturers today are aware of the widely accepted definitions for hospital grade pumps, but individual features might vary.
The right breast pump for you is going to meet your individual needs. If you plan to exclusively pump and bottle-feed your baby, you will likely need to go for a hospital grade pump. The same applies if you are a working mother who breastfeeds and will need to have milk for your baby when you're not there.
A hospital grade pump is likely going to pump more milk in one session than the average hand pump or single electric personal use pump available in stores. Why is this? This is due to their large motors. In turn, hospital grade pumps work faster.
Consider Your Options
Breast pumps are readily available in a variety of places and types and for people of various economic situations. Some breast pumps can be purchased at the drug store for just a few dollars while others cost thousands and are covered by certain types of insurance.
You can choose between manual pumps, electric pumps, or battery operated pumps. Most hospital grade pumps do not come with a manual options. They must be purchased as battery-operated or electric pumps.
Some pumps are single-sided (meaning you can only pump one side at a time). Others are double-sided and come with the option of pumping one or both breasts at once.
Electric pumps are generally more efficient than battery-operated or manual pumps. They can often produce a more powerful suction and better mimic the sucking motion of an infant to get as much milk as possible.
Battery-operated pumps are quickly becoming more powerful and more popular because of their convenience and portability. Some pumps come with both electrical and battery-powered options.
Handheld manual pumps are generally the least expensive and take longer to use than electric or battery-operated pumps. These are often best for mothers who plan to stay at home and need to build an emergency milk stash. A double-sided hospital grade electric pump is likely to yield the best results.
If you take your time and consider your options in conjunction with your specific situation, you are sure to find the right pump for you and your baby.
History of the Breast Pump
The first breast pump was invented in 1854 when the need for a method of extracting breast milk was recognized.
It was intended to help mothers with inverted nipples or whose babies were very small and refused to latch to the breast.These first pumps were primitive and did not adequately drain the milk from the breast.
It wasn't until the 1920's that a more efficient mechanical pump was created that mimicked a baby's sucking method.
It has only been in the past twenty to thirty years that breast pumps have been marketed as a consumer product to the general public.
In 1991, Medela marketed the first electric breast pump that was created specifically for personal use. Until then, these types of pumps were only available to new mothers in a hospital setting.
Now that a wide variety of personal use and hospital grade pumps are available to every new mother, feeding options are limitless. While pumping isn't exactly an enjoyable experience, new mothers now have options available for their babies that they didn't have even forty or fifty years ago.
It used to be that if your baby struggled to nurse or if you had to go to work, you were forced to rely on formula. Now, availability of breast pumps with numerous types and price options make breast milk available to nearly any mother who chooses it.