Mothers who need to express less than once or twice a week may choose manual expression (with your hand) or using a hand-powered pump. Avoid bicycle-horn styles, where you squeeze the bulb on the end where milk collects. One hand, "squeeze" styles include: Ameda, Avent, and Medela's Harmony. Two hand, "piston" style includes: Medela Spring Express.
Pumping a few times a week?
Mothers who will only need to pump a few times a week might be successful with a semi-automatic, lower cycling pump. These are often found on chain store shelves for $45-$100. Mid-level pumps cycle (or"suck") more slowly than a baby, so collecting milk may take longer. If this type of pump were used too often, a mother might notice a decline in her milk production. Mid-level pumps include: Medela Single Deluxe, Nurture III, First Years miPump, and Evenflo Comfort Select Performance.
Mothers who need to pump daily will be most successful with a high-quality, fully automatic pump that cycles (or "sucks") at the same rate of a baby. Ameda Purely Yours has multiple flange sizes available. In addition to a typical warranty, Ameda offers a replacement motor for sale at a reduced cost if a mother drops or breaks her pump. Other companies require re-purchasing the entire pump. Hygeia has an audio recorder on its pump so you can listen to your baby's sounds while you pump. It is recognized by the FDA as a multiple user pump, so it can be safely shared if the next user purchases new tubing and bottles. Medela has multiple flange sizes available. The Swing breastpump is a single pump (so double your pumping time), and the Pump In Style and Freestyle are double pumps. Lansinoh also sells a double electric pump. The cycling time is good, but many mothers complain that the pump is quite noisy--possibly not the best choice for pumping in close quarters at work.
Pump flange size