Breast pumps are just the thing for mothers who aren’t able to feed their babies directly, either for health reasons or because they’re out for part of the day. The challenge lies in getting the right kind of breast pump to address your specific needs. For those requiring a fast and super efficient pumping job, the hospital grade variety is probably the right choice. Nevertheless, putting your finger on the best hospital grade breast pump can be a real tough proposition unless you know what you’re looking for.
Top 2 hospital grade breast pumps
Medela Symphony Breast Pump
The daily-use hospital grade Medela Symphony Breast Pump carries the stamp of the unique 2-Phase Expression technology, which is found only in Medela breast pumps. Speed, efficiency and comfort are ingrained in this breast pump, which can be used conveniently for both single and double pumping action. You’ll probably love the ease with which it can be cleaned and the virtually noiseless operation of this pump. Its bulk notwithstanding, this pump is quite easy to use and unlikely to cause any discomfort. With features upgraded from the original classic version, you could find this quite a useful thing to have around if you’re having problems keeping your baby well-nourished.
- Maximum Comfort Vacuum pumping option for faster ejection and flow of milk
- Has unique in-built overflow protection feature, thanks to specially designed membrane
- Crafted to mimic the natural nursing rhythm and suction action of a baby
- Easy stimulation facility in the form of let-down button
- Simple switching between single and double pumping
- Exchangeable flanges for different sizes
- Double-pumping kit needs to be bought separately
- Can’t be used while traveling as it’s extremely heavy
- Condensation tends to build up in the tubes
Medela Lactina Select Hospital Grade Breast Pump – BPA Free #016SC01
If you love the Medela quality and would like to have a hospital grade breast pump from the manufacturers but are only holding back because of the size, then you may like to try out the Medela Lactina Select Hospital Grade Breast Pump. This BPA-free pump is a lightweight and portable hospital grade pumping product from the company and is designed for long-term, daily use by mothers on the go.
- Designed for both single and double pumping
- Epitomizes efficiency and ease of use, thanks to automatic suck and release feature
- Provides protection from prolonged/excessive suction with built-in vacuum release mechanism
- Built for both electric and battery use
- High on safety across all functions – collection, storage and feeding
- Pump has variable speed setting to align with variable vacuum setting of pistol/cylinder
- Pistons and tubes need to be purchased separately
- Pump tends to squeak in the initial minute or so of use
While both the products reviewed here can be termed among the best hospital grade breast pumps, the Medela Lactina Select Hospital Grade Breast Pump – BPA Free #016SC01 does offer some distinct advantages, especially for moms on the move. One of the best features of this model is its portability. Unlike the heavy and bulky Medela Symphony Breast Pump, this one is quite lightweight and easier to carry around. And also, remarkably, this feature doesn’t come at the cost of efficiency. In fact, it’s even more efficient in some ways, particularly due to its automatic suction and release mechanism, as well as its prolonged suction protection feature.
When to go for hospital grade breast pump
Given the large variety of breast pumps available in the market, it becomes somewhat difficult to figure out which is the one best suited for your needs. There are the lightweight and compact small battery-operated pumps that can be fitted into a purse or a briefcase, for use at any time, as needed. The manual breast pumps are also similarly portable, but need no batteries for pumping and are ideal for places where electricity may not be available, say while traveling. For those who’re too busy to take time out for pumping and prefer doing a dozen other things at the same time, the hands-free pump is probably the right choice. This is the kind you can use while reading, typing, working in an office or around the house, etc. But if you’re in search of a frequent-use pump that’s electrically powered to deliver high speed and efficiency, then the hospital grade breast pump may be better.
How to choose the best hospital grade breast pump
The problem here again is with the variety of options. With so many models of hospital grade breast pumps doing the rounds, you need to be quite careful about choosing a good one. The best breast pumps of this kind are designed to provide a pumping action that’s more or less identical to the natural sucking action of a baby. The pump you decide to go for should also have high-end controls to enable you to regulate and control the intensity, the pressure as well as the rhythm of the suction action. Mind you, the two features that are common to all the good breast pumps in this category are the speed and efficiency of the suction, which is superior to all other breast pump varieties.
Since these pumps are usually on the large and expensive side, it may be a good idea to rent one rather than buy. That’s not to say that you won’t come across a lightweight one, but you’ll find those to be even more expensive than the ordinary hospital grade variety. And in any case, it’s not difficult to rent one as they’re quite easily available at hospitals, drug stores, specialty retail stores, medical supply stores etc.
Whether you rent or purchase a hospital grade breast pump, do remember that lugging it around is probably going to be a major task. Most such pumps are heavy and large, and hence awkward to carry.