What To Look For In A Portable Breast Pump

Do you plan on breast pumping on the go? Then it’s important to find a breast pump that can actually go. Consider your portable breast pump options carefully before making a decision so you don’t get weighed down by a clunker that’s hard to carry around. 

What To Look For In A Portable Breast Pump 

1. Weight

consider size in a portable breast pump

The production description on the breast pump you’re considering should list how much it weighs. You may not think that a few pounds will really make a difference, but it does. Some pumps, like the Motif Duo, weigh under a pound but other pumps weigh 4 pounds or more, and you’ll definitely be able to feel the difference in your bag after carrying it around all day. 

2. Size 

How quickly do you plan to pack your portable pump on the go? If you want to just throw it in your bag and be on your way then consider the size and shapes of different pumps. More compact options will be easier to pack than large, oddly shaped pumps. The Ameda Mya is a good example because it can fit in the palm of your hand, making it easy to slip into any bag. 

3. Double Electric 

A double electric breast pump can extract breast milk from both of your breasts at the same time, effectively doubling the speed at which you can pump. Single electric breast pumps and manual pumps can only extract breast milk from one breast at a time. If you need to pump faster on the go, then consider going double electric. 

4. Hands-Free

What to look for in a portable breast pump

Are you a busy mom? Do you need a portable pump to help out while you multitask? Then gain the ability to do more with a hands-free breast pump. Hands-free pumps like the Elvie and The Willow 2.0 are wearable. They have cups that you place over your breasts as they extract and collect breast milk leaving your hands free to catch up on emails, use your phone, or whatever you need them to do. 

If you already have your breast pump you can still go hands-free by using a nursing bra or tank that holds the flanges to your breasts during pumping sessions. 

5. Strength And Settings 

Do you need assistance bringing milk in? That’s possible with the right pump that has customizable settings to best match your baby’s natural suckling pattern. Look for a pump that has a letdown cycle to stimulate milk flow. A stronger pump like the Motif Luna may help you extract milk or initiate the letdown phase faster. Also, a customizable pump that allows you to adjust the speed and strength settings can provide a more productive and comfortable experience. 

6. Power Options 

A breast pump that only plugs into a wall might not be the best option on the go. What happens if you can’t find an outlet? That’s why it’s crucial to find a battery-powered breast pump. Some pumps are powered by traditional alkaline batteries, while some have internal rechargeable batteries. Personally, we can’t wait to get our hands on the Medela Freestyle Flex that has a built-in rechargeable battery that can be powered by a USB port, meaning any device with a USB slot can be used to charge it! Some pumps can even be charged with a power adapter in your car. 

7. Noise

portable pump for on the go breast pumping

Do you need to let-down on the down-low? Some breast pumps are noisier than others, so consider their decibel ratings before making your decision if you would like to pump discreetly. It should be listed on the box or in the product description. 30 dB is equivalent to a whisper while a normal conversation is about 60 dB. Generally, pumps that operate at 45 dB have a soft hum.  

8. Tech 

You might want to pick a pump with advanced features to help you keep track of your progress. For example, some pumps have Bluetooth connectivity and apps to connect to your smartphone to track your pumping sessions and other pumps automatically save your preferred speed and strength settings, so you don’t have to set them every time. Also, some pumps automatically shut off after a certain time period so you don’t accidentally over pump if you get distracted while multitasking. 

9. Carrying Bag 

Some breast pumps come with additional accessories, like their own carrying bag. This comes in handy and eliminates the need to try and find a bag the right size and shape to fit the pump and its parts securely. 

Got a portable breast pump already? We want to hear about it! Share a few of your favorite features in the comment section below! 


  1. Helen February 26, 2020 at 3:14 am - Reply

    I’m really conflicted between mya and freestyle flex. I have to buy a pump out of pocket. I responded really well to symphony’s fast cycle rates while EPing for my last baby. I can use a spectra adapter to use all my old medela parts with mya. Mya is also almost $200 less than flex. I want something that can be a primary and portable pump. I’ve heard great things about mya, but flex is calling my name (I just can’t get over the difference in cycle rates). Maybe it won’t make a difference at all. I’m now starting to think mya might be the frugal way to go. I really need a pump that I can be mobile with (not interested in spending $400+ on elvie or willow) bc ill also have a 2yo and 4yo when baby’s due. I could technically afford both but unfortunately you can’t return pumps once they’re used. Maybe a deciding factor for me would be noise.

  2. Emma May 22, 2020 at 10:34 am - Reply

    breastfeeding, breast pump??
    do they give you a breast pump at the hospital?? does it hurt to breast feed??

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