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Although they have the word “pump” in the title, silicone “breast pumps” are not actual breast pumps. Instead, they should really be termed “silicone milk collectors”. These devices use suction to stay on the breast and are designed specifically to use on one breast while breastfeeding on the other. Milk collectors collect breast milk which may otherwise leak into your nursing pad. The drawback to this kind of “pump” is that it does not elicit a letdown, the event in which your milk-making cells push the milk out through your nipple and your milk begins to flow freely. In order for the silicone collector to be of use, your baby needs to be actively nursing on your other breast.

In contrast, manual hand pumps are designed to trigger a letdown, similar to how electric breast pumps work, and they can be used with or without your baby present. Just as an electric breast pump pulls your nipple in and out of the flange (using vacuum created by a motor), a manual hand pump pulls your nipple in and out of the flange (using vacuum created by you manually pushing down on a lever). This action mimics the feel of your baby’s sucking on your breast and stimulates a letdown.

Manual breast pumps are often overlooked when moms are shopping for a breast pump. But a manual breast pump can be a lifesaver in times of need, or even as an alternative to an electric breast pump. There are many benefits to a manual pump:

  • They are very small and portable. You can leave it on your car or purse in case of emergency or when you need to pump on-the-go.
  • If you have a power outage, you most likely won’t be able to pump with your electric pump (unless you have the Ardo Calypso pump, which can also operate on AA batteries), and a manual hand pump doesn’t require electricity to operate.
  • Some mothers actually respond better to a manual hand pump and are able to pump more milk using one.
  • If you don’t want to take the time to set up your electric pump, a manual pump can provide quick relief for engorged breasts and can even help relieve a clogged milk duct.

Ardo’s Amaryll manual pump attaches three ways for the perfect, ergonomic way to pump right or left-handed. Voted the favorite manual pump by mamas and professionals, the Amaryll is efficient, easy-to-use, and a comfortable option for pumping on the go!