Taking care of a baby of any age, from newborn on up, is difficult enough as it is. Add in breastfeeding, and you’ve got an all-encompassing new job. Beyond the diaper changes, poop charts (yes, poop charts), the feedings, and just keeping the baby alive, now you’ve got to worry about pumping, too?!
Luckily, modern technology is making the pumping part easier. Now, you can pump on the go, wherever.
Working from home? Pump. Making dinner? Pump. Watching your favorite show on Netflix? Pump. The options are limitless.
But how do you pick the best wearable breast pump for your needs? And what do you need to know about this new-fangled, new-mom Godsend if it’s your first time doing the whole baby thing?
Here’s everything you’ll want to know.
What is a Wearable Breast Pump?
A wearable breast pump is exactly what it sounds like—rather than requiring you to sit in one place or manually hold onto the pump while in use, a wearable breast pump is hands-free and wireless. You can wear it inside your bra for easy pumping without it requiring all your time and attention.
A wearable breast pump is more portable than a portable breast pump, despite the name. Portable breast pumps do usually still require some tubing and holding, and they’re just not as convenient as a wearable breast pump.
The Benefits of Using a Wearable Breast Pump
The benefits of using a wearable breast pump are myriad. You save valuable time that you don’t have to spend sitting in one place, holding a pump. The pump is smaller and, for some parents, more comfortable than a traditional breast pump. The pump is hands-free and usually cordless, allowing you to do other things without your attention needing to be fully focused on pumping your breast milk. Your milk flow is directly deposited into milk bags or other storage for easier later use.
Related: The 13 Best Nursing Bras For Breastfeeding [Shopper’s Guide]
The Downsides of Using a Wearable Breast Pump
The one downside of using a wearable breast pump is that it’s not as efficient as a traditional pump, which means it won’t remove as much milk from your body. While this might not automatically seem like a problem, keep in mind that when your body thinks that it no longer needs to produce as much milk, it simply stops producing that much milk. So, if you were to use a wearable breast pump long-term, you could see a reduction in your milk supply.
For that reason, experts suggest using a traditional pump most of the time and using the wearable breast pump when absolutely necessary (like during the work day, when you can’t take multiple breaks for pumping).
Additionally, wearable breast pumps are typically on the pricey side.
Our 10 Favorite Wearable Breast Pumps
Think the benefits of a wearable breast pump will definitely outweigh any of the downsides? Then check out our 10 favorite pumps.
1. Momcozy M1 All-in-One Wearable Breast Pump
Easily one of the most affordable wearable breast pumps on our list, at under $100, this option from Momcozy may not be as quiet as others and may not offer as great a range of motion. However, at less than 20% of the cost of some of the other top wearable pumps, it’s worth your consideration.
The efficient pump offers three different modes and nine suction strengths, so you can mix and match the settings to fit your needs. Easy to use, the pump weighs less than a pound, so it’s not going to feel overly heavy in your bra. Each pump will hold up to five ounces of milk, and each will work for over two hours before needing to be recharged.
2. Freemie Liberty II Deluxe Hands-Free Wearable Breast Pump System for Discreet Pumping
This lightweight, silent, (relatively) affordable pumping system is a good choice if you want the best range of motion possible. It works with just about any nursing bra, but do note that while the cups fit over your breasts, the pump itself must be placed elsewhere. Luckily, the pump motor can be clipped to your pocket or waistband.
You can set the pump to work on a range of different settings for your preferred suction strength. Each cup collects up to eight ounces of milk. Once the cups are full, just pour the milk directly into your preferred storage option.
3. Elvie Breast Pump
The Elvie pump is likewise lightweight and quiet, and the comfortable pump deposits your milk directly into reusable bottles. The pump offers 16 different setting options, so you can pick your preferred use and strength. An associated app allows you to track things like pumping habits and how much milk you’re producing.
While many parents like that the pump is quiet and small, as well as the fact that it allows you to pump directly into a bottle versus a bag that you then have to dump, it is noted that this pump can be difficult and annoying to keep clean.
4. Willow 3.0 Breast Pump
Another tech-savvy breast pump with a high price tag that some say is very much so worth it, the Willow 3.0 also comes with an app that measures things like milk volume, daily output, suction strength, pumping session lengths and more. Plus, the app will even link up with your smartwatch for more tech-friendly data and info right at your fingertips.
The pump does dump your milk into bags, but you can also use reusable containers. The pump can also be worn while lying down — something that a lot of pumps can’t say, as many require you to remain upright in order for there to not be any leakage.
This pump holds four ounces of milk per pump.
5. The Spectra 9 Plus
With multiple modes and a hygienic seal that protects your breast milk from outside contaminants, this hospital-grade pump is extra-portable and conveniently available on Amazon. While this option does weigh a little bit more than some of the other hands-free breast pumps on our list, it’s still compact, and you can tuck the pump base into your pocket or purse.
6. Legendary Milk Imani i2 Wearable Breast Pump
Another super-affordable option at under $100, this breast pump isn’t as small or discreet as some of the others above, but it does hold seven ounces of milk, which is more than you’ll get with some of the smaller options.
The rechargeable wireless pump still fits in-bra and comes with one pump insert per purchase (rather than with two pumps for dual pumping). The motor rests on top of the pump body, so you don’t need to worry about clipping it to your belt loop or waistband while you go about your business.
7. Medela Freestyle Flex
This lightweight Medela pump features collection cups that weigh under 3 ounces each, and each cup can hold up to 5 ounces of breastmilk. The cups sit within your bra, and then the compact motor can be slipped into your pocket.
Connect the pump to the Medela Family app to track your feedings and pumping, as well as glean information about your milk output.
The battery will last for about two hours of continuous pumping, or about long enough for eight pumps. When the battery needs to be recharged, just plug the charger into a USB port or outlet.
Related: The 14 Best Lactation Massagers To Help Your Milk Flow
8. Pumpables Genie Advanced Portable Breast Pump
This FDA-approved, portable, double electric breast pump comes with dual pumps and a lightweight motor that can be worn either on your belt loop or on a lanyard around your neck. The motor features a large, easy-to-read screen and a simple-to-use interface, with just a few buttons to help you quickly control the suction level and the multiple suction modes.
Many users report this breast pump is very comfortable.
9. Baby Buddha Single or Double Portable Breast Pump
This double portable breast pump can also be used hands-free, with the motor hanging on a lanyard around your neck. Use one button to flip through the five pumping levels and nine modes to find the fit that feels the best to you.
Users say the battery lasts a long time, and the extra-strong suction makes for shorter pumping sessions.
10. The Haakaa Manual Silicone Breast Pump
This hands-free breast pump is unique and only a few dollars, but it’s worth trying if you want the easiest and cheapest introduction to breast pumping possible.
The non-electric, non-motorized BPA-free pump uses simple suction alone to draw milk from your breast. Just place it around your breast, squeeze, and then let the pump do its work. The safe and silicone body will directly catch all of the milk, and when you’re ready to clean the pump, there’s no taking anything apart or trying to clean tiny little pieces before struggling to put them back together again.
Users say this is a must-have, invaluable and effective, quieter and easier to use than motorized pumps and perfect for when you need to pump on the go, at work or whenever.
Things to Consider When Shopping for a Wearable Breast Pump
One of the above wearable breast pump options caught your eye? Before you pick what you feel is your perfect pump, make sure that you take a few factors into consideration.
When choosing a pump, you’ll want to think about…
Why are you shopping for a wearable breast pump? Do you want to be able to sit in your office chair and pump hands-free as you type? Or do you need to chase the other kiddos around the house while you pump?
Depending on your level of activity and how much/often you pump, pick a pump that will meet those needs. Just because a pump is “wearable,” it doesn’t mean that it can stand up to all/any movement.
Wearable breast pumps can be on the more expensive side, so keep budget in mind as you shop, too.
Some wearable breast pumps are larger than others. If you specifically envision yourself using the pump beneath your shirt and bra, go for a pump that’s on the smaller side, and that can be worn as easily and discreetly as possible.
Single pump or double pump
Some breast pumps come with double pumps, so you can pump from both breasts at one time. If this is a feature that you’d prefer, look for one of these options. Otherwise, you’ll find that your overall pumping time is longer if you’re pumping one breast at a time.
Wearable Breast Pump FAQs
Have more questions? We’ve got answers.
Does using a wearable breast pump hurt?
If you’re using the breast pump correctly, then you shouldn’t experience any pain. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, check your breast pump’s user manual for more information about proper pump fitting.
Can any breast size use a wearable breast pump?
Yes! It doesn’t matter how large or small your breasts are. You should still be able to find a wearable breast pump for your needs.
How much are wearable breast pumps?
You can expect to pay at least several hundred dollars for a wearable breast pump.
Does using a wearable breast pump cause mastitis?
While studies have indicated that using any breast pump — portable, wearable or traditional — increases the risk of mastitis, that increase is not severe enough to be of concern to most mothers.
Raising a Baby is Hard — Make Feeding Your Baby Easier
If you’ve decided to breastfeed your baby until you wean them off breastmilk and introduce solid foods, make the process as easy as possible for yourself, your baby and your co-parent. When you use a breast pump, you make sure your infant has the food they need when they need it, and you empower your co-parent to help with the feedings. However, when you upgrade your breast pump to a wearable breast pump, you help yourself retain your mobility with added convenience and no more wasted time.
You might also be interested in: 13 Postnatal Vitamins To Support Your Postpartum Journey
The Best Wearable Breast Pumps:
- Momcozy M1 All-in-One Wearable Breast Pump
- Freemie Liberty II Deluxe Hands-Free Wearable Breast Pump System for Discreet Pumping
- Elvie Breast Pump
- Willow 3.0 Breast Pump
- The Spectra 9 Plus
- Legendary Milk Imani i2 Wearable Breast Pump
- Medela Freestyle Flex
- Pumpables Genie Advanced Portable Breast Pump
- Baby Buddha Single or Double Portable Breast Pump
- The Haakaa Manual Silicone Breast Pump