The Right Pump
There are many different options for breastfeeding pumps. A good quality electric breast pump that expresses milk from both breasts at the same time is the best option for quickly pumping milk during the workday. Ask your WIC peer counselor which pump is best for you.
Manual pumps are perfect for places where there is no electricity or where quiet is a requirement. You will use your hand or wrist to operate a manual pump, one breast at a time. You may want to plan for extra time when using a manual pump. The advantage is they are inexpensive so it might be wise to leave one at work for "just in case".
The pedal pump is a manual pump that you power by pedaling your feet, similar to an old fashioned sewing machine. This type of pump can accommodate both breasts and is very efficient. It's also perfect for areas without electricity.
Electric pumps are designed for either personal use or multiple users. They require electricity and will make a humming noise. Double pumps are important for faster pumping. The smaller single pumps or battery operated pumps may not be strong enough for quick pumping at work.
Personal use electric pumps create suction automatically and allow you to control the rate and level of suction for comfort. These are good pumps to use at work or school. If you get one of these, do not share it with anyone else, not even a relative or close friend. Personal use pumps should only be used by one mother. They are not guaranteed to prevent contamination.
Multi-user electric pumps are similar to personal use pumps, but can be used by multiple mothers. If you get one of these, you will have your own collection kit. All that you share is the motor. These are the types of pump used in hospitals. They are powerful and will help you build a milk supply.
Bicycle horn pumps should be avoided. As their name implies, they look like a bicycle horn. Although they are very inexpensive, they have been known to hurt. They are also easily contaminated.