Are you expecting twins or multiples? How exciting! You get to have double (or triple) the fun, but double the work. If you plan to breastfeed you may already be concerned about the challenges of breastfeeding multiples. You’re right, it is a challenge to start, but being prepared for breastfeeding multiples is one of the most important aspects helping you to succeed.
Learning about expressing you milk is important with a twin pregnancy. Part of your preparation should include finding the best tools to help you. A breast pump can literally be a life saver for moms of multiples.
As twins are commonly born before term, there is a greater risk you may be separated from one or both babies after birth. Premature babies often have a poor suck reflex and need to be drip fed for the first few weeks of life. NICU’s will help you to express your breast milk to give you baby’s the best start to life. They will have high performing, hospital grade breast pumps available for you to use. If you want to continue pumping when you bring your babies home, its important you find a breast pump to fit your needs.
Features to consider when buying a breast pump for twins or multiples:
- Electric – Let the power source do all the work for you and keep a good pump rhythm without hand fatigue.
- Double – Express from both breasts at once to mimic you babies nursing
- High quality – Ensure the motor can handle high usage without breaking down
- Quick – Have more time to spend with your family rather than the pump
- Effective – If it can’t keep the pace of your twins needs, you may find you milk supply dwindling. A cycle rate of around 60 cycles per minute is considered very effective, less than 30 is low efficiency.
- Convenient – Is it easy to carry around or can you use with a hands free bra to get extra tasks done whilst pumping?
With the huge range of breast pump on the market, we’ve done all the research for you. Check out our guide to the best breast pump for twins (or multiples).
Best Breast Pump for Twins – Top 5
Medela Pump in Style
This best-selling Medela Pump in Style (PIS) breast pump is proof of why Medela are market leaders when it comes to quality breastfeeding products. This pump is the most recommended pump from moms who have twins and lactation consultants. The reason it’s so highly rated? It keeps your milk supply high. Most twin moms found that after using hospital grade breast pumps the Pump in Style was able to keep up.
- Stimulation Phase 50-200 mmHg and 120 cycles/minute mimics baby stimulation the let-down reflex.
- Expression Phase 100-250 mmHg and 54-78 cycles/minute, mimic baby extracting the milk.
- Express an average of 5-8oz in 10-20 minutes
- Very portable as carry bag included
- Compatible with all standard size baby bottles
- Comfortable with adjustable speeds and custom fit breast shields
The main concern from moms was that this pump can be loud. Most pumps will have a mechanical churn to them, so keep this in mind if you want to be discreet when pumping. Condensation in the tubing was also a common occurrence. It was suggested to leave to hand and air dry after each feed and it will dry quickly and won’t affect the performance.
Spectra are a fairly new US brand which create affordable hospital grade pumps for personal use. They have a huge range but the cream of the crop is the S1 model. Twin moms love this pump, especially if their baby’s are in NICU. Most preemie twins will be exclusively breastfed and with a great pump like this you can avoid supplements. If you want the hospital grade performance but with portability then get this pump.
- Closed system makes it really hygienic for you and baby to use as no trapped milk in the motor
- Very quiet with a nightlight, makes it super discreet to pump even at night
- Adjustable suction 0-300 mmHg and 30-46 cycles/minute
- Lightweight and portable – weighs only 1.57 lb
- Inbuilt battery can work on full charge for 1hr
- Very easy to clean and assemble
- Back flow prevention system
The biggest downfall with the pump seemed to be the low quality of the collection kit. You may be able to adapt some standard size bottles to fit, or decant into feeding bottles after a session. Another tip is to make sure you don’t lose the instruction manual as it is not available to download online.
The Medela Symphony is known as ‘The breast pump that moms deserve’, and we agree. This pump certainly is the Queen of breast pumps, perhaps only superseded by its sister model the Lactina. You may have already used this pump in hospital as it is a favorite of NICU’s. It’s a true hospital grade pump and built to withstand a lot of expressing.
- Suited for long term daily use – if you are exclusively pump or both babies are in NICU this is the pump for you
- Very quiet to use
- Highly effective cycle rate range from 40-120 cycles per minute at a strength of 50-250mmHg
- Closed system with back-flow prevention
- Adjustable suction strength for comfortable pumping
- Suitable for moms with sensitive breasts
- Express around 5-10 oz with double pumping over 10-20 minutes
Unfortunately not everyone can afford this luxury breast pump with a price tag just short of $1600. However if you still want to use this at home consider renting one on a monthly basis. You can also check if your health insurance will cover the costs on the ground that you need to maintain a milk supply for twin (or more).
Also note this pump is not very portable so we would recommend it stays were you will use it most and purchase an additional electric pump to travel or use at work.
The First Years Breastflow Memory
You may not need a high performing pump if you just want to express on the odd occasion. If you are looking for a great performing double pump at a great price then check out the First Years Breastflow Memory. It has a fantastic memory feature which stores information about your last 10 pumping sessions. It’s great for those days ‘baby brain’ days when you can barely remember you own name.
It also has a really handle design which allows you to double pump with one hand. It’s a great alternative to using a hands free pumping bra.
- Works with any wide neck baby bottles
- Touch screen operation with back light, memory saves up to 10 sessions
- Rechargeable battery to us pump on the go
- Storage pack including carry tote, bottles and ice pack to cool expressed milk
- Cycle rate of 36 cycles per minute suitable for occasional pumping (few times a month), but not frequently (more than twice a week).
- Very affordable price
One flaw with the First Years Memory pump is that it is an open breast pump system. This means that its single user use only, so don’t lend to other moms or sell on second hand.
Hygeia Enjoye Cordless
The Hygeia Enjoye Cordless is an extremely portable hospital grade model. With the lithium ion battery at full charge you can get 4 hours of use, perfect if are a working mom of twins or travel a lot. It’s a high performing pump designed for frequent pumping up to exclusive pumping moms. The motor is very durable and won’t break down with frequent use.
- Closed pump system for optimum hygiene
- Suction Speed and strength controls to allow for optimum comfort when pumping
- Endorsed by La Leche League and WHO compliant
- Bacteriostatic filter to keep breast milk from reaching the motor
- Compatible with Medela flanges and bottles
- Highly effective cycle rate of 60 cycles/minute
- Duck bill valves are superior design to Ameda and Medela membranes and valve system
One annoyance moms have noted about this pump is that spare parts for the pump are hard to buy online. Keep this in mind if you want to pump for a long time and with find a local supplier or buy in bulk online when parts are in stock.