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Breast Pump Questionnaire

Published 4th May 2021


When it comes to breast pumps, questions abound. From the best model to choose, to Manual versus electric pumps and even why we need a pump in the first place. We decided to go to the source, our Milkbar mums, to find out their thoughts on all things breast pumps. We surveyed 318 mums who responded to our various call outs for participants on our social media accounts and in our weekly newsletter.

We asked our mums a range of questions from what their favourite breast pump was, to why they decided to purchase a pump in the first place and the advice they’d give other mums new to pumping. In total, our participants answered 23 questions about all things pumping. This gave us a whole bunch of great insights that we can use when explaining our products, supporting the mamas who purchase through us and creating helpful, relatable content that mums actually want to read.

What advice would you give to first time mothers new to breast pumps?

The world of breast pumps can be a daunting one, especially for a first time mum! We asked our mums what advice they'd give to new breast pump users. While responses varied, we noticed two recurrent themes throughout with many of the answers echoing each other. Those themes were 'support' and 'education/research', with responses like the below being repeated throughout.

" Take your time to research pumps and buy one to suit your needs."

"Do your research, and sometimes the most expensive isn’t best."

"Consider what purpose you are using a pump for and purchase specifically for that reason. Read reviews, speak to other mums and do your research."

"Take your time, don’t put too much pressure on how much you’re expressing to begin with."

"Talk to other mums."

"Don’t be afraid to all for help when first using them, because before you know it, you’ll be a pro at using them!"

What type/s of Breast Pump do you own?


One of the first questions we asked our mums was the type of breast pump they owned. Breast pumps come in a variety of types, models and brands and we wanted to see what was the most popular.

We asked our mums whether they owned a manual, electric, hospital grade electric, silicone or none of the above types of pump.

Almost 200 of the mums surveyed owned a silicone breast pump with slightly less owning an electric. The least popular category was the manual pump, with under 100 mums reporting owning one. (Figure below)

When it came to the most popular brand of breast pump, Haakaa came out on top with 62% of participants (200 out of 318) owning one.

Why did you decide to purchase a breast pump?

We wanted to know what motivated our mums to purchase a breast pump. The most common response?

“To use a few times a week. I am breastfeeding most of the time.”

We have spoken with many mums who are in the same boat; exclusively breastfeeding but keen to build a milk stash for occasional use. Other common answers to the question included:

  • “I am experiencing breastfeeding difficulties/am unable to breastfeed at the moment,”
  • “I am returning to work shortly
  • “To build a milk stash/for the occasional bottle of EBM.”

**Complete list of responses below

This told us that a breast pump is usually the first point of call for mums when their breastfeeding experience and/or expectation changes and reaffirmed that many mums are keen to have a milk stash on hand to use when needed.

Other responses

1. I am experiencing breastfeeding difficulties or can't breastfeed at the moment

2. I am returning to work or study

3. My baby is unable to breastfeed directly at the moment

4. As a shared option for other breast to have no wastage

5. Baby doesn't know he is full and keeps drinking. I express to bottle feed to monitor his intake as advised by the paediatrician and lactation specialist

6. Baby needed top ups

7. Because I'm not sure how I will initially go with breastfeeding, so wanted to have a backup!

8. Boost supply

9. Boost supply and build milk stash so partner could give ebm bottle every night with first baby, and milk stash and breast care to drain and massage for second baby.

10. Both B and C - i had a lot of difficulty with initiating breastfeeding with my first baby but was going to return to work as well

11. Breastfeeding twins

12. Build a freezer stash

13. Considering buying one

14. Because my baby just sucking 10 min and in evening just sleeping 1 our that's why I start pupm and give bottle

15. Engorgement and mastitis. It was recommended to me by the hospital

16. Exclusively expressing for twins. Tandem breastfeeding didn’t work for us

17. Expecting first bub next month and have been highly recommended this model.

18. Express so husband can do a few bottle feeds when needed

19. First time mother and wanted to try first the silicone pump to see if it will help with breastfeeding.

20. For returning to work later. For now, so I can help increase my son's weight.

21. Gift for friend

22. Haaka to catch the excess milk and relieve full breast and electric pump because my baby wouldn’t attach to my left breast

23. Had a premature baby

24. Had lots of difficulty breast feeding with first baby

25. I am exclusively breastfeeding and formula doesn’t agree with my baby so I need to store milk for when I’m not with her or for ease when we’re out at certain events.

26. I feed him all myself but like tO he able to pump if I need to 27. I had twins and needed to bottle feed as well
28. I had twins and needed to build up milk supply. I was pumping between every feed in the beginning and topping up the babies with expressed milk every feed until my supply was enough.
29. I have low supply and my milk came in very slowly no matter what I done so have to use a pump to help my breast out
30. I intend to breastfeed and wanted to be prepared
31. I knew my baby round be in NICU for surgery. I needed to pump to provide adequate EBM before I was able to start EBF
32. I needed to express before having Bub as I had GD And then had to have a operation 8 weeks after having Bub and wanted to continue BF.
33. I originally purchased an electric one thinking I would bottle feed occasionally but rarely use it. The haaka I use to collect milk on the other breast while feeding
34. I suffered from mastitis from a large milk flow and Bub has large breaks between eating for burps
35. I thought I would need one
36. I use it daily, to have a supply in the freezer
37. I use it to collect my letdown and freeze the milk in case I need to use it in future
38. I want to build a store of breast milk so other people can help me with bottle feeding
39. I wanted to make sure I had a milk stash so my husband could do a bottle feed with breast milk.
40. I was given a second hand one. Using it occasionally for dad to feed our baby
41. I would like my husband to also be able to feed the baby and also for occasions when baby and I are apart (i.e. returning to work)
42. I'm currently preparing for the birth of our 3rd baby... I previously pumped to supplement breastfeeding and to add to food when my children started solids
43. Just in case I needed it and have used several times for engorgement as well as catching letdown
44. Low supply, jaundice, lethargic preemie.
45. My baby only feeds from 1 breast so i pump the other
46. my baby was a preemie and was unable to feed for over a week
47. My friend loaned it to me to test out
48. My milk supply wasn't enough
49. My son was is ICU and unable to feed from me.
50. Only let down collection
51. Past experience of not being able to establishing a supply/
52. Pre-purchased for when I returned to work; ended up exclusively pumping due to medical issues
53. Pregnant, intend to breastfeed mainly
54. So dad can feed and bond with baby
55. so dad is involved in feeding
56. So that my partner can take on some of the feeding duties. I will breastfeed most of the time but will also use for when I head back to work.
57. To be first time mum but would like the option to pump for convenience and enable my partner bonding time with our first baby
58. to build stash
59. To build supply of milk. My baby breastfeeds all the time but I like to have the option of giving expressed milk if she's not with me or for ease when we're out. But just building supply in the freezer at the minute (baby is just over 2mths)
60. To build up a milk supply so I don't need to be always available
61. To build up a stash
62. To catch any overflow for freezing.
63. to catch milk from opposite breast while feeding
64. To ease engorgement in alternate breasts when feeding
65. To help relieve engorgement and also to pump for going back to work
66. To help with engorgement and oversupply as well as keep some extra milk in freezer
67. To increase my milk supply and allow my partner to feed occasionally
68. To increase supply and provide top ups to baby
69. To just try it out and catch letdown
70. To stop wasting milk and to pump during the night

71. Twins and ongoing supply issues

72. While pregnant and thinking I needed one, so brought the Medela

What is the Brand name of the pump you are using?

We asked mums what brand of breast pump they are using and of the 318 participants, 200 were using a Haakaa Breast Pump.

What is the most important feature you look for in a breast pump?

We also asked mums what features they rated as the most important when choosing a breast pump. Almost 250 mums rated ‘ease of use’ as the most important factor, closely followed by ‘efficiency’ (200+) and ‘comfort’  (100+).. Mums also looked at the noise level, size and weight of the pump which makes sense when considering ease of use. (Figure below)

Other Responses

1. Easy to clean, not too many parts.

2. Ratings are important

3. Portable

4. Hands free so I can multitask

Which breast pump do you find is the easiest to clean?

Other Responses

1. I don’t know
2. Tommee tippee
3. Ameda
4. I only have one pump so can't compare
5. Ardo
6. None
7. Unsure of other brands
8. Not sure
9. Minbie
10. Ardo
11. To be first time mum so no experience yet
12. Milk genie
13. Freemie
14. Unsure
15. Pigeon
16. Unsure haven’t tried them all
17. Will find out re the Haakaa!
18. Tommee tippee
19. Not sure
20. Not sure yet :)

Which breast pump do you find the easiest to use?

As we’ve seen previously, these are both big priorities for mums when shopping for a breast pump. Mums also found the Haakaa the easiest to clean and the most convenient pump thanks to its one piece design and hands free capabilities.

Other Responses

1. Evenflo
2. Haven’t tried either of my brands previously. Have tried medela with a previous birth but have nothing to compare it to as yet
3. I don’t know
4. Tommee tippee
5. Eonian care
6. Ameda
7. Not sure yet!
8. Only have 1 pump so can't compare
9. Ardo
10. None
11. Not used another
12. Pigeon
13. Not sure
14. I've only tried haaka
15. Minbie
16. I only have a medela
17. To be first time mum so no experience yet
18. Milk genie
19. Unsure
20. Tommee tippee
21. Both that I have require a so
22. Not sure yet :)
23. I haven’t tried any yet so can’t answer this
24. Milkbar

Which breast pump do you find to be the most comfortable?

When it came to comfort and ease of use, Haakaa came out on top, with 150 mums in both categories finding Haakaa the easiest breast pump to use AND the most comfortable.

Other Responses

1. apre
2. Tommee tippe
3. Eonian care
4. I've only ever tried the avent pump due to what I can afford but is very comfortable
5. Ameda
6. Not sure yet!
7. Only have 1 pump so can't compare
8. Tommy tippee
9. Ardo
10. None
11. Not sure
12. Haven’t used another brand
13. Minbie
14. I have only used medela
15. To be first time mum so no experience yet
16. Milk genie
17. Freemie
18. Unsure
19. I find both pumps comfortable
20. Tommee tippee
21. Not sure yet
22. The Medela used at the hospital
23. Haven’t tried them yet - I’m a first time mum and the baby hasn’t arrived yet!
24. I don’t find them comfortable at all
25. TommeTippee

Which breast pump do you find to be the most convenient?

Mums purchasing a breast pump often need to use it when away from home or on-the-go, making convenience a big priority. This is especially true when considering the most common reasons for needing a breast pump in the first place.

Over 150 mums rated the Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump as the breast pump they find the most convenient. They also ranked the Haakaa as the best breast pump for busy mums and for travelling/the outdoors, thanks to it’s easy use functionality, durability and easy to clean design

Other Responses

1. I don’t know
2. apre
3. Tommee tippee
4. Eonian care
5. Tommee Tippee
6. Ameda
7. Not sure yet
8. Only have 1 pump so can't compare
9. Tommee Tippee
10. None
11. Pigeon
12. Minbie
13. To be first time mum so no experience yet
14. Milk genie
15. Unsure
16. Both depending on the situation
17. Lansinoh
18. Tommwe tippee
19. Tommee Tippee
20. Not sure yet :)
21. As above - but I imagine the haakaa because of its size and weight
22. Milkbar

Which breast pump would you consider to be the most durable?

Other Responses

1. I don’t know
2. Tommee tippee
3. Eonian care
4. Ameda
5. Only have 1 pump so can't compare
6. None
7. Pigeon
8. Minbie
9. I have only used medela
10. to be first time mum so no experience yet
11. To early to answer this question
12. Pigeon
13. Unsure
14. Both that I have
15. Unsure
16. Not sure yet
17. Not sure
18. They’ve all been durable for me
19. No idea

How important is the "quietness" of operating a breast pump an important purchasing factor?

How important is cost when deciding to purchase a breast pump?

Which breast pump did you find was the best value for money?

Other Responses

1. Haakaa seems positive so far if does the job I’m hoping for :)
2. I bought mine second hand
3. Milk bar
4. I don’t know
5. apre
6. Tommee tippee
7. Eonian care
8. Ameda
9. Tomme Tippee
10. Ardo
11. I only used the one with my first pregnancy and I’d like to try others with my current
12. Pigeon
13. Not sure yet! Isee lots of people recommending Spectra pumps as the best overall.
14. Minbie
15. I have only used medela
16. To be first time mum so no experience yet
17. Milk genie
18. Unsure
19. Both pumps I own are on par for cost
20. Pigeon
21. Lansinoh
22. Tommee tippee
23. Both are good value
24. Not sure yet
25. Milkbar

Which manual breast pump would you recommend and why?

The Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump was the most highly recommended manual breast pump. Simple and effective, the Haakaa is the ideal solution for busy mums who struggle to squeeze pumping into an otherwise packed schedule.

The Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump offers::

  • Hands free pumping for at home or on-the-go
  • Is quiet, discreet and can be used anywhere without the need for a battery pack of electricity.
  • Can be easily transported and stored
  • Is quick and easy to clean without the need for sterilising or other special equipment
  • Is cost effective

Which electric breast pump would you recommend and why?

We asked our mums which electric breast pump they would recommend along with what features mattered to them most when choosing an electric pump. 108 (or just over 33%) of our 319 mums surveyed recommended Spectra electric pumps due to their efficiency, cost and comfort levels. Mums also commented on its weight and ease of use. Other popular recommendations included Medela and Phillips Avent, Unimom and Mimbie.

For the majority of mums, ease of use and efficiency in milk output were the most important factors they considered when investing in an electric pump.

Which breast pump would you recommend for busy mums?

Other Responses

1. Not sure yet!
2. Milkbar
3. apre
4. Tommee
5. Eonian care
6. minbie
7. Not sure yet!
8. Not sure, still looking
9. Tomme Tippee
10. None
11. Unsure
12. Pigeon
13. Willow
14. Minbie
15. An electric that suits their needs
16. Minbie
17. I have only used medela
18. To be first time mum so no experience yet
19. Milk genie
20. Unsure
21. Lansinoh
22. Depends on what they need or for what purpose
23. I am not sure.
24. Unsure, but I would definitely say get an electric pump to save time!
25. Not sure
26. No idea

Which breast pump would you recommend for travelling and/or outdoors?

Other Responses

1. spectra S1 or haakaa
2. Unsure
3. Spectra S9
4. Not dure
5. apre
6. Tommee
7. Eonian care
8. unsure
9. Spectra with battery options
10. Pumpgenious
11. Not sure
12. Bella baby
13. None
14. Unsure
15. Spectra
16. Pumpables
17. Pigeon
18. Spectra
19. Spectra
20. Nuk
21. Not sure!
22. Minbie
23. Spectra
24. Spectra
25. Minbie
26. To be first time mum so no experience yet
27. Don’t have one
28. Milk genie
29. Spectra s9 portable
30. Tommee Tippee
31. Spectra
32. Spectrum
33. Freemie
34. Spectra
35. Not sure
36. Not sure

Which breast pump would you recommend for working mums?

Other Responses

1. apre
2. Tommee
3. Eonian care
4. minbie
5. unsure
6. Not sure yet
7. Minbie
8. Not sure cos I'm not at that stage yet
9. Not sure
10. Super Mama Lab
11. None
12. Unsure
13. Pumpables
14. Pigeon
15. Minbie
16. An Electric perhaps a double
17. Minbie
18. Unsure
19. To be first time mum so no experience yet
20. Milk genie
21. Both pumps I own would work
22. Unsure
23. Tommee Tippee
24. Depends on how often she is working, but an electric pump will save a lot of time. Unsure of brand to recommend.
25. Not sure
26. Not sure
27. No idea
28. Milkbar
29. Unsure
30. Milkbar

Which breast pump accessory or accessories would you recommend?

We asked mums which breast pump accessory they’d recommend. Breast Milk Storage bags came out on top with close to 250 mums recommending them as useful.

Nursing Pads came in second with close to 200 votes. Other popular accessories included a pumping bra, insulated cooler bag and nipple shields.

Breast milk storage

With breast milk storage being ranked so highly, we were keen to find out what kinds of milk storage mums had used and loved.

The most recommended option was plastic BPA free breast milk storage bags, closely followed by silicone breast milk storage bags. The most popular brand of breast milk storage was Medela with 100+ votes, followed by Junobie and ‘other’ with responses indicating Swisspers and Phillips Avent.

Have you used a nipple shield before?

What nipple shield brand did you use?

Just over 55% of mums surveyed said that they had used a nipple shield during their breastfeeding experience. Of these mums, the majority had used Medela shields with a smaller percentage having tried both Haakaa nipple shields and Phillips Avent Nipple Shields.

What type of breastmilk storage would you recommend?

Other Responses

1. Not used yet
2. Medela 80ml tubes
3. To be first time mum so no experience yet
4. Unsure
5. Bag if freezing and bottle for the fridge
6. Milk storage bottles 80ml
7. Biodegradable breast milk bags
8. Biodegradable, pre-sterilised

Which breastmilk storage brand would you recommend?

Other Responses

1. Haven’t experienced brand use for approx 5 years so unable to answer this question currently
2. Bigw
3. Swisspers
4. avent
5. Avent
6. Swisspers
7. Nuk
8. I don’t know
9. One Eco Step
10. Nanobebe
11. Avent
12. Avent
13. Not used
14. Any but used Medela because we had it
15. Phillips
16. Haven't tried enough to compare
17. milky goodness
18. Avent
19. Nuk
20. zip lockxbag
21. Unsure
22. Swispers
23. Swispers
24. Nuk
25. Swisspers
26. Nuk
27. Swisspers
28. Swisspers
29. Dr Dudu
30. dont know
31. Spectra
32. Phillips Avent
33. One step eco
34. Avent
35. Swisspers
36. To be first time mum so no experience yet
37. Swisspers
38. Nil
39. OneEco
40 .Eco One Step
41. to freeze i use an icecube tray with a lid
42. Nuk
43. Swisper?
44. Any
45. I didn’t form a preference
46. Eco
47. Nuk
48. Yours
49. Not sure yet
50. Generic
51. Philips
52. I just use ice cube trays
53. Swispers
54. swisspers
55. Philips Avent

Do you have any suggestions you would like us to take on board? E.g. is there a brand you would love us to stock or breastfeeding topic you would love us to talk about? If so let us know

Key takeaways

Now more than ever, mums are on the hunt for time saving products that are both simple to use, eco-friendly, proven to work and without an enormous price tag. When it comes to purchasing ‘big ticket’ items like a breast pump, mums are informed, educated and looking for a solution to fit their lifestyle and milk expression needs.

The Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump has proved hugely popular thanks to its innovative design, effective functionality and low cost. It’s a pump that can work for a huge range of mums and their circumstances without the need for a massive outlay, tons of research and complicated usage guidelines.

Mums are also searching for products that make pumping easy to integrate into everyday #mumlife. Cost effective, reusable milk storage bags, pumping bras and cooler bags are all highly rated ‘must haves’ for mums who need or want to pump.

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