Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Baby

Font Size

Finding the Best Breast Pump

WebMD Health News

June 14, 2001 -- Nursing moms who rely on commercial breast pumps to help them feed their babies may feel overwhelmed by a confounding array of choices. Is electric better than manual? Does bigger and more expensive necessarily mean better?

Lactation experts contacted by WebMD agree that lifestyle and personal preference are the most important factors to be considered when choosing a breast pump. They add that researching the options is the key to avoiding costly and possibly painful mistakes.

"Whether you chose manual or electric, some pumps are absolutely fabulous and others are worthless," lactation consultant Sally Page-Goertz tells WebMD. "The frustrating thing is that a woman in the market for a pump has little way of knowing which one she is getting." Page-Goertz is acting president of the 4,000-plus-member International Lactation Consultant Association.

In a study published in the June issue of the journal Pediatrics, researchers from the U.K. report that a relatively new and inexpensive type of manual device, called the ISIS pump, was preferred over an electric pump by a test group of mothers expressing milk for their pre-term infants. The pump is unique because it has a silicone stimulator cushion that attaches to the areola and simulates the baby's sucking motion.

It took longer to express the same amount of milk with the manual ISIS pump, because the electric pump expressed from both breasts simultaneously. But researcher Mary S. Fewtrell, MD, says most of the women in the study did not mind spending an extra 10-15 minutes a day using the pump.

A separate study involving mothers of full-term infants found the manual ISIS pump to be comparable to a widely used electric pump. The studies were funded by ISIS pump manufacturer, Canon Avent of the U.K. In the U.S., the manufacturer is known simply as Avent, and their products are sold at most baby-supply stores and online.

"The thing is that different women are going to like different things and a manual pump isn't right for everyone," says Fewtrell, who is the mother of a 4-year-old and an 8-month-old and has used the ISIS pump with both. "There are always some who are going to want to use an electric double pump."

Baby's First Year Newsletter

Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

Today on WebMD

mother on phone holding baby
When you should call 911.
parents and baby
Unexpected ways your life will change.
baby acne
What’s normal – and what’s not.
baby asleep on moms shoulder
Help your baby get the sleep he needs.

mother holding baby at night
mother with sick child
Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
Track Your Babys Vaccines
Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
Woman holding feet up to camera
Father kissing newborn baby
baby gear slideshow