Breast pumps are so expensive; midweight, personal-use automatic pumps—the kind you’ll need if you’re planning to head back to work—can retail for as much as $380. To save money, you might consider borrowing a pump or snagging a used model from Craig’s list. Don’t do it. Remember, breast pumps are personal-use items like a tooth brush and aren’t meant to be shared unless they’re a hospital-grade rental. To find a good deal on a new automatic pump, try these tactics.
1. Consider renting. A rental pump will typically run you around $55 per month, plus, in some cases, a security deposit. If you plan to breast-feed longer than three or four months, however, buying is the way to go. But if you’re not how long you’ll need to use a pump, renting is certainly an option. Check with your rental vendor. Many offer a price break the longer you rent. For referrals to lactation consultants who can advise you on the type of pump you need and where to rent it, contact the International Lactation Consultant Association (www.ilca.org). The hospital where you delivered your baby may have a lactation consultant on staff. Medela, a leading breast pump manufacturer, also allows you to search by ZIP code or city and state on its Web site (medela.findlocation.com) for retailers that rent breast pumps in your area and local breastfeeding specialists.
2. Shop around. You can find deals on new breast pumps online, and at hospital birthing centers. You also can consult a La Leche League leader (www.llli.org) or International Lactation Consultant Association certified lactation consultant in your area. A little research reveals that there are deals to be had in the online breast pump marketplace once you know what kind of pump you want. (Not sure where to start? Simply type in “breast pump” on a search engine like Google.) A good site for breast pump deals is www.breastpumpsdirect.com. The site allows you to compare prices, warranties, suction settings, cycle speeds, and other features of competing-brand breast pumps. The site also has a price-match guarantee. If you find the same product on another website at a lower price, they’ll match that price.
3. Browse at the hospital. Many hospitals and birthing centers are now in the breast-pump business, offering competitive prices on a variety of pumps, plus advice that can help ensure success. You can also get a recommendation from your hospital’s lactation consultant for the right type of pump for you.
Get more great tips on baby products in Consumer Reports Best Baby Products guide.