Open vs. Closed System Pump

Buying a breast pump can be quite expensive especially here in Canada. It is cheaper to buy in the Philippines and we have lots of options of breast pumps there. But let’s make do of what can be done in the Canadian market. I’ve researched and two of my top brands for electronic pumps and one brand for manual pump are available in Amazon. I reviewed these three pumps based on my personal experience. The reason I had three because I wanted to know the different experiences of these pumps and I was so obsessed with my milk supply. It is relatively cheaper to buy pumps in the Philippines so  I took the chance to buy these three. For me, buying a pump is like an investment because the value of breast milk is priceless.

Before you buy a pump, make sure you know the differences between a closed-system pump and an open-system pump. Personally, I will choose the closed-system pump because it is cleaner and more hygienic than the open-system pump. Yes, others will say that you just have to boil and sanitize all of your pump parts and you will never have the problem about molds. Another thing that you have to worry after boiling/sanitizing the pump tubing is drying it. The tubing should be completely and totally dry before you use it otherwise the pumping will not be effective, the moisture can go straight to the pump itself, and can lead to moisture development in the tubing that causes contamination.

Heere is a picture of a pump tubing, which is really very tight and small that it can be hard to clean even if you boil or use an electronic or UV sterilizer:white-spectra-unimom-tubing1-2.jpgSo for me it is better to prevent and to have an added layer of protection to keep your already busy mind away from more worries.

Anyway, a closed-system pump has a media barrier that separates the milk flowing through the pump and the pump mechanisms. The reason for this is that it will help prevent contamination due to molds/bacteria that can develop in the pump mechanisms such as the tubing.  Below is a picture of a back flow prevention mechanism of Spectra pumps:two-short-tubing-three-filter.jpgA back flow prevention mechanism prevents the milk from entering the pump, thus preventing contamination.

An open-system pump does not have such barrier, hence it is prone to contamination. All pumps except Medela are closed-system pumps. However, Medela pumps recently developed next-generation breast pump connectors where the breast shield connector has now an overflow protection. This means that Medela has developed advanced pump parts that can prevent moisture from entering the tubing. This is a great news for Moms who are considering buying a Medela pump.

In any case, I think what matters more now is your compatibility with the breast pump. I have three pumps where two are electric and one is manual. I reviewed these breast pumps separately in the Products Review page of this website.