Updated April 23, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

The 6 Best Hospital Grade Breast Pumps

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We all know that the best food a newborn baby can get is his or her own mother's milk. But feeding time does not always come at a convenient moment or location. These hospital grade breast pumps are all high-end models that will allow new parents to always have a bottle of the good stuff on hand. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best hospital grade breast pump on Amazon.

6. Ameda Elite Electric

5. Hygeia Enjoye

4. Spectra Baby USA S2

3. Medela Freestyle

2. Spectra Baby USA S1

1. Medela Symphony Plus

What Makes It a Hospital Grade Breast 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.

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.

Others are double-sided and come with the option of pumping one or both breasts at once.

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 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.

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.

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Brett Dvoretz
Last updated on April 23, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.

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