If you are looking for an electric breast pump, I'd wait until Lo arrives before you part with your cash. Expressing isn't usually recommended in the first few weeks and you may find that hand expressing works so well for you that you won't need a pump.
Having said all of that, if you do still want to buy one, have a look at pumps with a closed system rather than an open one. The ameda lactaline has a closed system, I used it and can really recommend it. If you have a nosey in the breast and bottle section there is a thread at the moment saying how to get £40 off too
My Philips avent was a life saver. Especially as we had weight gain problems in the first 2 weeks and didn't want to supplement too.much with formula. It helped me get my supply going after a c-section and haemorraghe (sp?) And meant dh could do.some night feeds to let me recuperate. So I would say buy one before the birth.
Depends why you want/need it. If time is an issue, then definitely get a double. I had medela freestyle, and had to use as I had to return to work after 3 months. Meant I could pump in 15 minutes, otherwise would have spent half of my time at work pumping. Used it lots over ~7 months and worked great. If time is not an issue, single is cheaper.
Agree, it totally depends on what you want it for. If you just want to give an odd bottle you may leak and be able to save the milk in breast shells or you may be able to hand express lots or you could just use a manual pump. Really is worth waiting until Lo arrives and see how you are getting on then
I agree with the above that the expense of an electric pump may not be worth it for the occasional need to express.
However, if you want to pump a lot, and quickly, an electric pump is a god send. I pumped for 2 weeks while DS was in SCBU and using the manual pump gave me massive hand cramp! I was so happy when I got my electric one.
I recommend the Ameda Lactaline, by the way - its a double pump, but can be used as a single as well (nowadays if I am going to pump I tend to do it off one side while DS is feeding on the other - I get a better output that way).
I think the Ameda Lactaline is great as well. I found with it being a double pump that I used to get a lot higher yield than I got with any singles I used. Also very powerful, and if I remember rightly, about £100.
I had the Medela swing - bought from Boots before baby was born. Used it on about day 4 or 5 when my nipples were cracked and bleeding and expressing less painful. I then expressed about a bottle a day for 5-6 months or so. Found it to be a great pump, bit noisy but other than that no complaints and would certainly recommend. At about 5.5 months it packed in so I took it back to boots, as I still had the receipt, and they exchanged it for another no questions asked. Not sure if that was the Medela guarantee (tho seem to recall it might have been from memory), or Boots' but overall great service that I couldn't fault and now I have a hardly used pump for baby #2!