Deciding on which type of breast pump to choose can be daunting as you'll see references to 'hospital grade' and 'portable' breast pumps. It can feel confusing trying to figure out which one is right for your situation and we do get asked this a lot of times.
When moms ask us whether they should buy portable or hospital grade, our answer is a simple 'it depends'. It can be confusing understanding the options available and the specifications you need to be looking at. One of the most important things to consider when choosing your breast pump is: 1.) How often you’re intending to use it ; 2.) For what purpose 3.) How important is portability?
This guide will help you decide to get the right one for you!
How do I choose the right breastpump?
Are you going back to work and needing a breast pump every day, something easy to transport and quiet for use at work?
Do you have a premature baby or a milk supply issue and need a breast pump to help you build milk production?
Or are you going to be a stay at home mom and just want a breast pump to have on hand for occasional use?
The frequency and intended purpose of your breast pump will definitely affect which model we’d advise you to buy.
For the working mom
Portable breast pumps have smaller motors that can only achieve high suction on low cycle speeds.
(Cycle speeds are how often the pump will 'suck and release' every minute, the way a baby sucks and releases during breastfeeding).
When you turn up the suction on your portable breast pump, the cycle speed will generally slow down.
- If you are using a hospital grade breast pump, you can combine different settings, for example you can combine Suction Strength level of 9 with Cycle Speed of 9, or any other combination without compromising Cycle Speed. You can adjust the Suction Strength and Cycle Speeds at the same time.
- On the other hand, if you are using a portable breast pump, at Suction Strength level 9, Cycle Speed is not as fast as compared with hospital grade breastpump, cycle speed is lower at high suction strength due to smaller motor. You can only adjust the suction strength but no option to adjust cycle speeds, so cycle speed goes slower as you increase suction (inverse relationship beshie), BUT you will rarely be using your pump at the fullest/maximum highest setting. What we are only trying to illustrate is that, you can have different combinations or variations of both suction and cycle speeds.
Pumping is really, really individual thing, so being able to vary the way that your pump stimulates your breast is important. Every woman is different!
If you are not relying on your breastpump for your milk supply, portable is totally fine,
If you'll just be pumping up to 2-6 x a day and breastfeeding your baby when you get home from work, a portable pump is totally fine. There are lots of moms do fine using a portable pump for most of their expressing while working or away from their little ones.
If you just want a breast pump for occasional use,
If you’re using a breast pump for medical reasons,
Are you still confused about the difference between the Minuet and the Opera pumps? The suction strength of the Minuet is as efficient as the Opera. The main difference is the Minuet is not a hospital grade pump, it is only designed for part time use - up to 6 times per day - it is not designed for exclusive pumping. Whereas the Opera is hospital grade, and is designed for heavy use for all breastfeeds, such as more than 8 times per day.
The Minuet is more compact than the Opera, it fits in the palm of your hand. Convenient with bonus features such as the informative LCD screen and the USB port for charging. It has a newly, more durable designed milk back flow protector unit.