Motherhood

All You Need to Know About the Hands-Free Breast Pump

Team Peanut
Team Peanut15 days ago7 min read

A mama’s guide to the hands-free breast pump — how to use them, get the most milk and the best wearable breast pumps currently available.

Hands-Free Breast Pump

For any mama, multitasking is a daily necessity.

No one doubts, looking after a newborn is hard work.

Whether it’s juggling childcare, jobs, breastfeeding, pumping, family, relationships, and your baby… it’s a lot to deal with.

Well, this is where the hands-free breast pump comes in.

It’s perfect for the multitasking parent, letting you get on with whatever it is you need to do — all whilst pumping.

If you’re researching options, here are our picks of the best hands-free breast pumps and everything you need to know about using them.

Let’s go mamas. We’ve got this.

In this article: 📝

  • Should a breast pump be hands-free?
  • How do you hands-free when pumping?
  • Do you get more milk with hand pump?
  • Can you get a hands-free pump through insurance?
  • What is the best hands-free breast pump?

Should a breast pump be hands-free?

As with most things pregnancy and parenthood, there really isn’t a “should” or “shouldn’t” answer to breast pumping.

It’s all about what works best for you, your baby’s feeding, and your lifestyle.

So let’s take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of using a hands-free breast pump.

Hands-free breast pump: the benefits

  • Greater flexibility: you have your hands free for reading, eating, working, napping, or playing with your children. Whatever you need to do!
  • Ease of use: with both hands-free, you can operate the breast pump controls and deal with bottles or bags of milk.
  • Speed: some designs are strap-free, so you can pop it on quickly and remove without fuss.
  • Saving time: this is a big one (especially if you’re pumping to store milk in advance), allowing busy mamas to get on with other things whilst pumping.

Hands-free breast pump: the drawbacks

  • Cost: some high-end breast pumps aren’t covered by insurance, which can leave you out of pocket.
  • Latching: some mamas find it harder to get the right latch with a hands-free breast pump.
  • Leaking: there can be problems with leaking — especially when doing energetic activities at the same time.
  • Output: this is different for everyone, but many moms find “hand expression” more effective for increasing output than either manual or hands-free breast pumps.

How do you hands-free when pumping?

If you’ve used any form of electric breast pump before, the hands-free process should feel familiar. If not though, don’t worry, it’s quite simple.

All breast pumps come with instructions, but here are a few tips to bear in mind:

  • Step 1: Wash your hands before assembling your pump.
  • Step 2: Put on your wearable breast pump. It’s a good idea to buy this after baby comes, as your breasts are much bigger once milk is there.
  • Step 3: Secure the flange (the bit in contact with your body when placed on the breast and nipple), taking time to ensure a comfy fit.
  • Step 4: Start the pump. You shouldn’t feel any leaking milk, and there should be a good seal. Whilst you should feel suction, there shouldn’t be any pain.
  • Step 5: This can be tricky when getting started, but try to relax. Thinking loving thoughts about your little one will help your “letdown” reflex. Adjust the suction as you go, and massage your breasts occasionally to encourage milk flow.
  • Step 6: Once you’ve finished pumping, take the pump apart to clean it and properly store any milk as soon as you can. Congratulations, you’ve done it!

Do you get more milk with hand pump?

Hands-on pumping generally involves massaging your breast whilst manually pumping, to increase the amount of milk you can pump each session.

This technique helps many mamas drain the breast more fully, and increase milk supply.

In fact, combining breast massage with hand pumping can increase milk volume by 48%.

It’s not all about volume though, and hand pumping might not work for your routine or childcare needs — so always go with what feels right for you.

Can you get a hands-free pump through insurance?

In short, yes. You can usually get hands-free breast pumps through insurance.

After the Affordable Care Act passed (March 2010), most insurance plans have to cover breast pumps.

They qualify as essential medical equipment and the only exceptions are some “grandfathered” plans (i.e. those bought before 2010).

A word of caution though, some top-of-the-range hands-free breast pumps aren’t covered by insurance policies.

There could be rules on what types of pumps you can get (such as manual or electric, or only certain brands) or a cap on budget.

If you’re unsure, check with your doctors and insurers.

What is the best hands-free breast pump?

If you’re searching for the best hands-free breast pump, look no further.

We’ve considered budget, ease of use, noise, user-friendly apps, weight, and suction to give you our top picks of the six best wearable breast pumps for busy mamas.

All prices are listed on Amazon, correct at the time of publishing.

Six of the best hands-free breast pumps

Willow Gen 3: Wearable Double Electric Breast Pump

1. Willow Gen 3: Wearable Double Electric Breast Pump

Great for: It’s pretty pricey, but mamas love the mobility alongside large comfortable cups that easily fit into your nursing bra.

Cost: $499.99

Freemie Liberty Hands-Free Breast Pump

2. Freemie Liberty Hands-Free Breast Pump

Great for: Mamas hoping to catch some zzz’s. It features an amazing programmable sleep timer as well as plenty of great reviews.

Cost: $176.38

Elvie Double Electric Wearable Breast Pump

3. Elvie Double Electric Wearable Breast Pump

Great for: Mom’s looking for an ultra-quiet, high-tech pump that you can control and monitor with your phone.

Cost: $549

Momcozy Double Wearable Breast Pump

4. Momcozy Double Wearable Breast Pump

Great for: A super value option that offers simple, efficient, and comfortable pumping.

Cost: $119.99

Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump

5. Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump

Great for: One of the most stylish pumps available, with loads of handy extras for moms on the go.

Cost: $324.98

Bellababy Double Wearable Breast Pump

6. Bellababy Double Wearable Breast Pump

Great for: A cheaper option with great battery life (perfect for busy traveling mamas) that’s easy to clean and put together.

Cost: $119.00

We hope you find the best hands-free breast pump for you and your little one!

🍼 More on pumping and breastfeeding from The 411:
Pumping at Work: Tips & Advice
How Often Should I Pump?
When to Start Pumping
A Guide to Exclusive Pumping
All You Need to Know About Nipple Pumping
Caffeine and Breastfeeding: What to Know
Breastfeeding in Public: Tips & Advice
Your Breasts After Breastfeeding: What’s Normal?
World Breastfeeding Week: When It is & How to Celebrate
What is the Best Breastfeeding Diet?
Best Nipple Shields for Breastfeeding Mamas
How to Warm Up Breast Milk Safely
66 Best Nursing Clothes & Clothing for Breastfeeding Moms

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