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Q&A: Should I buy or rent a breast pump?

Should I rent a breast pump or buy my own?

Re: Should I rent a breast pump or buy my own?

The Bump Expert

The breast pump decision can be tricky, so it's great that you're weighing your options. First, ask yourself how long, why, where and how often you plan to pump. Each of these answers can make a big difference in whether a purchase or rental makes most sense for you, your pocketbook and baby. Once you've got a pumping plan in mind, look over the facts below to figure out which option best suits you.

Pump Rental
Cost: About $50 per month or $1 to $3 per day, plus $50 to purchase a kit with breast shields, tubing and bottles.
Where to rent: Your hospital 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 Ameda or Medela's website.
What you'll get: A hospital-grae 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. It can cost more than $1,000 to purchase one of these machines now.
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.

Pump Purchase
Cost: About $50 for a simple hand pump, $100 to over $300 for a personal pump, and $1,000 or more for a hospital grade pump.
Where to buy: You can purchase pumps 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 tons of options, ranging from hand-held 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 might 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 FDA for multiple users.) Also, check your insurance policy -- it may cover some of the pump rental or purchase cost, especially if you or baby has a condition that makes breastfeeding difficult.


Erin Walters

Q&A: Should I buy or rent a breast pump?

Rent a pump! So many women quit pumping after the first week or two because it is so difficult. A purchased pump ends up being a waste of money.

titania9 |

Q&A: Should I buy or rent a breast pump?

You should check with your health insurance company. Mine covers breast pumps under Durable Medical Equipment (DME) after the deductible is met. I only had to pay $25 for a brand new Ameda Purely Yours Ultra Breast Pump including extra bottles and the new flanges. Good luck!!

Kttykat7 |

Q&A: Should I buy or rent a breast pump?

As posted above, check your health insurance. A breast pump could be considered Durable Medical Equipment and may be covered. You may not even need a written prescription from your doctor. You can purchase one from a medical supply store. It's definitely worth checking out rather than going to a baby superstore and paying full price if you don't have to!

MeghanTG636 |

Q&A: Should I buy or rent a breast pump?

SOOO grateful that you posted this MeghanTG636!!! I'm due May 1st and have been making a list of things that I figured we'd still have to buy after the baby shower and a breast pump is one of them. Just called my insurance and yes, breast pumps are covered!! Talk about saving some money. This just made my day and I would never have known about it if I hadn't read your post!!

Wideyedbubbles |

Q&A: Should I buy or rent a breast pump?

How would you feel about silicone breast forms? Do you think that such products could help you with your dilemma? Hope you find my advice useful.

DanielJack |

Q&A: Should I buy or rent a breast pump?

This is a hard decision and you must think it through, it's not like deciding to go to a store and purchase a couple of fantasy perfumes that suit you. I'd go for the renting, because you won't need it for a lot of time and most of all, you don't know how your reaction to it will be; you might not like it and decide to try something else instead.

Lisha Savannah |