The Chargeable Breast Pump That’s Not a Medieval Torture Device

By
It has a battery life that lasts a day or more, untethering me from the outlet behind my couch.

Breastfeeding is practically federal law at this point, but before I had my daughter three years ago, no one told me that unless you have perfect baby-bottle-shaped nipples, you could find yourself beholden to a breast pump to get the job done. Of course, this was my fate: Failing miserably to grip my boob “like a sandwich” (per a $350-per-hour lactation consultant) and deposit my flat nipple into the baby’s mouth, after about a week I gave up on breastfeeding and resorted to exclusively pumping — or, in mom-blog lingo, “EP.”

I quickly learned that while new iPhones are unveiled seemingly every quarter, breast pumps are still, tragically, stuck in the first-gen phase: expensive (popular brands are priced in the high $300s), clunky, electric-only — rendering me a prisoner plugged in to the nearest outlet for the 20-ish minutes it took to pump, every three hours — and as noisy as medieval torture devices. I distinctly recall burying the supposed top-of-the-line pump I used with my daughter under two throw pillows and still hearing the mechanical churning assault my ears, a maddening sound at 4 a.m. pump sessions.

I was mentally preparing to return to this drudgery before having my son this past February — until my best friend Lindsay shared a hot tip from her younger sister: There was a “cool” new breast pump on the market. Shockingly, I soon discovered that wasn’t an oxymoron. The Spectra S1 charges like an iPhone and boasts a battery life that lasts a day or more, untethering me from the outlet behind my couch and letting me roam free around my apartment, a simple pleasure when you’re a human cow. I felt like Tim Robbins after escaping from Shawshank. Developed by lactation consultants, the S1 is sleek and doughnut-shaped, with a handle like a purse (unlike the brick-shaped pumps of yore), so I actually toted it from room to room when I needed to break from binge-watching This Is Us and grab a snack. At $175, it’s comparably affordable, and worth every penny, because it’s miraculously quieter than the competition, emitting a gentle hum instead of the nails-on-chalkboard grating of my last pump. This might be because, according to Spectra’s slogan, “our pumps don’t suck, they suckle,” mimicking the natural rhythms of a baby’s mouth. I’m not sure what it feels like to have a baby successfully suckle at my breast, but I can say that this pump definitely doesn’t suck.

Other Nursing Products We Stand Behind

A non-ugly nursing cover, which new mom Maryse Brand told us she’ll also use as a blanket for her daughter in the car.

Pediatric emergency-room doctor Frances Benedict told us that for “breastfeeding moms, this lanolin ointment is a MUST.”

This, one of writer Hesper Desloovere Dixon’s seven sanity-preserving things for traveling with a baby, is a packable “Brest Friend” pillow. She told us: “I’m so reliant on mine for nursing at home that I drag the standard version around with me anywhere I’m going to feed the babe more than once. I thought that my husband’s family would make fun of me when I showed up with the pillow strapped around me for a day trip to Connecticut, but instead, all of his cousins rhapsodized about how superior it is to the Boppy.”

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Breast Pump That’s Not a Medieval Torture Device