Breast Pump Rental or Purchase

Should I rent a breast pump or buy my own?

The decision to either opt for a breast pump rental or purchase can be tricky, so it’s great that you’re weighing your options. First, ask yourself how long, why, where and how often you intend to express your breast milk. How you answer these questions can make a big difference in deciding if a breast pump rental or purchase makes most sense for you, your pocket and baby. Once you’ve got a plan in mind on how to express breast milk, look over the facts below to figure out which option best suits you.

Breast Pump Rental

Cost: About £50 per month or £1.50 per day, plus £50 to purchase a kit with breast shields, tubing and bottles.

Where to rent: Your hospital, health visitor or local lactation consultant may have rentals, or they can you refer you to the nearest rental facility. You can also search rental locations at Medela’s website.

What you’ll get: A hospital-grade electric machine, probably with “double collection” (nurses both breasts at once) that plugs into the wall and is designed with more powerful motors than most personal pumps. You will need to buy the collection kit (parts that connect your breasts to the pump) separately. Hospital-grade rental pumps are fairly heavy and bulky, but can help you produce the most milk in the shortest amount of time and are made with protective barriers to prevent cross-contamination between multiple users. 

Why to do it: Pump rental may be your best bet if you have needs that require more efficient pumping. If you have low milk supply, a premature baby, a baby that is unable to breastfeed, or if you have twins and need to produce double quantities, the  hospital-grade machine can be a huge help. Renting might also be your best (and most cost-effective) option if you still aren’t sure that pumping will be your thing or if you plan to pump for less than six months.

Breast Pump Purchase

Cost : About £50 for a simple hand pump,  and between £100 to over £300 for a personal pump.

Where to buy: You can purchase a bestselling breast pump here or at most of the same places where you purchase maternity clothes and baby gear, some department stores and even pharmacies.

What you’ll get: There are loads of options, ranging from hand-held breast pumps operated by squeezing a handle with one hand, to small battery-powered units, to single or double-breast electric plug-in machine with multiple settings complete with carrying cases and milk storage.

Why to do it: If you plan to pump longer than six months and have a healthy baby and good milk supply, it’ll probably be more cost effective to purchase a pump. Remember — you’ll be able to use it with future children, too. If you’ll be pumping at the office, personal pumps are much easier to lug around than the bulkier hospital variety. The small hand-held variety is also a cost-effective alternative if you plan to pump only occasionally.

No matter which way you go, there are a few more important factors to consider. First, it’s best not to buy or borrow a used pump due to the risk of cross-contamination. (Hospital-grade rentals are built with protective barriers and approved by the NHS for multiple users.)