The Difference Between Portable and Hospital-Grade Breast Pumps

As you begin your investigation, you will find references to ‘hospital-grade’ and ‘portable’ breast pumps. It might be difficult to determine which is best for your case.

So, should you choose hospital grade or portable? It all depends. How significant is portability? Where should the pump be used? Will you be dependent on your pump to deliver milk?

Hospital-grade breast pumps are larger.

Under the hood of a hospital-grade breast pump is a much larger, more powerful motor capable of delivering higher suction and faster speeds. Although hospital-grade breast pumps were once large and heavy, technological developments have resulted in considerably smaller hospital-grade pumps in 2020. On the other hand, a hospital-grade breast pump must be larger to accommodate its larger motor and higher vibration.

Consider the difference between carrying a laptop and a smartphone.

Hospital-grade breast pumps have many more adjustable speeds and choices.

Due to its powerful motor, a hospital-grade breast pump may produce high suction and quick cycle rates. Smaller motors in portable breast pumps can only provide strong suction at low cycle rates.

Cycle speeds are how frequently the pump will ‘suck and release’ every minute, much like a baby does during nursing. The cycle speed normally decreases when you increase the suction on your portable breast pump.

Cycle speed and suction intensity may be changed individually on hospital-grade breast pumps. Because most women respond best to faster cycle speeds, this is critical. Pumping is a very subjective experience; thus customising how your pump stimulates your breast is essential. Every lady is unique!

Consider carrying a smartphone vs a laptop: the smartphone is wonderful and a true game changer for ‘on the go,’ but no one wants their smartphone to be their sole device if they need to get work done.

Portable is sufficient if you do not rely on your breast pump for milk production.

A portable pump is acceptable if you’ll only be pumping up to twice daily and utilising a hospital-grade pump or nursing directly the rest of the time. Although some women find that utilising a portable pump for most of their expressing is sufficient, it will not maintain/grow milk production the same way that a hospital-grade breast pump would.

If you need to use a pump more than twice a day, your milk production will be dependent on it, and the safest option is a hospital-grade breast pump.

Hospital grade used to signify “safe for multiple users”; however, this is no longer true.

Back in the day, a ‘hospital grade breast pump’ meant that, in addition to having a bigger motor, several users had also designed the pump to be used hygienically.

Hospital-grade breast pumps were quite pricey about ten years ago and were mostly utilised in hospital/rental settings. Portable breast pumps were ‘personal’ and frequently unsanitary to use between users.

Nowadays, all modern breast pumps feature a ‘closed system,’ in which a backflow protector creates a barrier between milk and the pump to guarantee cleanliness, thus this difference is no longer necessary.


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