Breast Pumps: Reviews, How To Shop Second-Hand and Reselling

Just about every mom needs a breast pump in her life, be that for months, days or multiple pregnancies. Often we get one thrust on us sight- and review-unseen from our insurance company, but that doesn't mean it's the best on the market, nor that it works for your lifestyle. We enlisted Kristin Hood, a baby gear expert and mom currently nursing her daughter to try out these three devices and give us her honest review. 

But wait, when you're done with nursing what can you do with the gently used machine? How should you clean it so it can be ready for the next mom? And, if you're looking to purchase a second-hand breast pump, what should you be looking for? As Kristin, Good Buy Gear's marketing and partnership maven, discusses her top three breast pumps, we also dive into how to best shop for, sell and maintain your breast pump so it can go the distance and service you, your baby and other families down the line. 

Reviews

The Elvie

Retails for $499
Pros: I love this pump. Its made my pumping life so much easier and truly possible. I would never have been able to continue nursing as long as I have without it. It is a great pump for moms on the go, when having your second child, or basically once you don't have time to be attached to a wall or giant pump anymore. Its quiet, cordless and fits right into your bra. I can pump while working, driving, walking the dog, doing dishes or giving the kids a bath. I've even dropped my son at school with it in! Just wore a big jacket over top and no one knew. Plus it's FSA and HSA eligible and has great resale value.


Cons: It does take some time to get the hang of placing it correctly and getting the right amount of suction for your needs. Once you get the hang of it it's easy-peasy. However, this is not a pump for moms who pump over five-ounces easily at each pumping session. You would need to pay close attention to make sure it doesn't overflow or use the app to keep tracking of how full it's getting. Keep in mind it only holds a charge for about three, 20-to-30-minute pumping sessions, so you must re-charge each night.

Tips: This is not a pump you can come home from the hospital with and start using. I would recommend using it once your supply is established and you are on a solid pumping schedule. You pump into reusable bottles so you then need to transfer the milk to a freezer bag if you are storing milk. 

Purchase new: link

Purchase gently used: link

Spectra S1 Plus

Retails for $200

Pros: When you first start pumping and come home from the hospital this is the pump you want by your side. It has strong suction and is rechargeable so you aren't tied to a wall. The charge lasts a long time. It has a timer on it, night-light and lots of other functions to help with getting the most out of your pumping. You can modify your settings and save them to fit your needs. I used this for the first three to four months home with my new baby. 

Cons: There actually aren't any big cons. This is an amazing pump and if you can only afford one pump, I'd get this one. 

Tips: I got this pump through my insurance but still had to pay $80 out of pocket to get the S1 upgrade. Only S2 is usually fully covered, but I think it's worth the upgrade to get the S1. You do need to use an actual pumping bra when using this pump. Also, Spectra offers free pumping support from a lactation specialist, they will talk you through how to pump, how long and different cycles to try to promote more milk at each session. It was incredibly helpful for me and it's free. 

Pumping bra: link

Support: link

Purchase new: link

Purchase gently used: link


Medela Harmony Manual Hand Pump

Retails for $29

Pros: This is a great pump to just have for when you need to do a quick pump in the bathroom at a wedding or work event. It gets the job done but you have to manually pump yourself. It's also inexpensive, another plus.

Cons: I would not recommend using this if you need to fully empty your breast. It also takes time since it's manual and you can only do one breast at a time.

Tips: I like to keep one on hand to throw in my purse if I'm headed out to a late dinner, wedding or event and need some relief. Or use in the middle of the night when baby starts sleeping longer and you need relief as time between feeds lengthen.

Purchase new: link

Purchase gently used: link

How To Buy a Gently Used Breast Pump

We get it, a breast pump is a personal thing that not only attaches to your body, but helps extract the milk that keeps your baby strong. It can get messy, but that doesn't mean these devices can't be cleaned and sanitized. For starters, Good Buy Gear only takes second-hand pumps that look mostly new. That means there aren't stains, wear or large marks on any of the pumps, parts or bottles. Sometimes there might be a water spot from washing, and even though we sell them to you clean it's always a good idea to run bottles through the dishwasher with your own, preferred soap. Good Buy Gear also checks the pumps for suction to make sure you will be getting the most out of both the products and your breasts. 

Check out the line up including Medela, Spectra, Bellababy, Evenflo and more.

How To Keep Your Pump In Good Order

Whether you want to sell a breast pump after you're done nursing or want to keep it for the next baby, there are ways to make sure it can last. The first and best thing you can do to maintain the life of this device is to wipe it down after each use. Grab a baby wipe, damp cloth or even a tissue to make sure there's not milk spillage hardening on the surface. You will also want to clean the parts as soon as you are done, using warm to hot water and soap. Let them air dry. These methods not only will keep the pump and accessories clean, but sanitizes the baby gear for your own child. 

As for the machine itself, try not to over run it. Keep your pumps to 30 minutes or less, which should be more than enough time to empty out the breast. This way you won't be overheating the device and it will maintain proper function. If you notice the suction not working as well as before, look into replacing valves and tubes. There could be a pinprick hole or loss of elasticity in the silicone. Pumps that have motors that have slowed down should be recycled since unfortunately they can't be easily fixed. 

Photo credit: Mukhina1

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