Best Breast Pump for Working Mums 2019

MAM 2-in-1 review

Heading back to work? If you're having trouble deciding between electric or manual, the MAM 2-in-1 single breast pump could be the best of both worlds.

15% off using the code MN15PUMP at checkout

Verdict in 10 seconds

  • Flexible and convenient – ideal for on-the-go mums or parents returning to work following maternity leave
  • Pricey, but worth the investment

Watch our one-minute video review

Pros

  • Can be used as a manual or electric breast pump
  • Easy-to-use touch screen
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Lightweight, particularly as a manual breast pump
  • Compatible with MAM’s full range of Easy Start bottles
  • Storage pots means you can store your breast milk in the fridge or freezer

Cons

  • Bottles started to leak after a few weeks’ use
  • One-size-fits-all funnel
  • Can only be used with compatible MAM bottles
  • No storage bag provided

What are the key features?

  • Single breast pump
  • Features simulation and expression modes that mimic a baby's suction speed
  • Up to nine different suction strengths
  • Touch screen technology
  • Ergonomic shape
  • Quiet pumping
  • Soft funnel for maximum comfort

What are the specs?

  • BPA-free
  • Closed system
  • Two-year guarantee – more than most other pumps we tested
  • Compatible with MAM's full range of Easy Start bottles and Food Storage pots which
    attach directly to the bottom of the pump
  • RRP: £130
  • Resale value between £40-£50
  • Extras you can buy: nipple shields (£7.99), storage pots (£9.50), breast pads (£5.50), bottle teats (£5.25) and a bottle and teat brush (£6.99)

What's in the box?

  • 1 electric top, including a funnel cover
  • 1 manual top with pump handle
  • 1 rechargeable motor unit
  • 1 2-in-1 adapter
  • 2 Easy Start bottles with sealing discs (130 ml and 160 ml)
  • 2 storage pots
mam breast pump

What are the benefits of a 2-in-1 breast pump?

Lots of mums have both an electric and a manual pump for the sake of convenience, but it can be costly and leave you with a multitude of different parts to store.

This is where a two-in-one breast pump comes in handy. Not only does it reduce the amount of kit you have, but it also allows you to switch between a manual and electric seamlessly depending on your needs.

The MAM 2-in-1 provides both options in one easy-to-use pump. It offers the efficiency and convenience of an electric pump as well as the simplicity and discretion of a manual.

How easy is the MAM 2-in-1 to assemble?

Clear, easy-to-follow paper instructions are provided with the pump and there is also a simple demonstration and explainer video online.

Set up is fine – it typically takes about five to 10 minutes to get everything unpacked and organised.

The electric pump is fully charged out of the box, so once you’ve washed and sterilised the parts that interact with the milk, you can start using it straight away.

When expressing, you can either pump directly into a bottle or unscrew the bottom of the bottle and add a storage container to save the milk.

The bottles and storage containers are useful extras and the manual hand pump is a great initiative.

You can use the harder shell funnel or you can add a softer silicone fitting for comfort.

While there are only a handful of replacement breast pump parts on the MAM website, there are customer service details if you do have any issues. Plus, the pump comes with an attractive two-year warranty to give extra reassurance.

How does it look?

The MAM 2-in-1 is fairly minimalistic, but it looks and feels well made.

It has a subtle green colour scheme and the bottles have pretty designs, which makes it unintimidating.

How does it work and what's it like to use day-to-day?

If you’re going back to work and want to keep expressing breast milk for your baby, then this pump gives you the option to pump quickly and efficiently with the electric option, or to pump discreetly and simply using the manual option – it's ideal for a variety of scenarios.

And switching from one to the other is really easy – you just swap the top of the pump unit depending on which part you need.

There is also a rechargeable battery, which means that you don’t have to be close to a plug socket to use it and can move around freely.

With that said, you’re still attached to the digital hub and bottles in order to express so it may not always feel that liberating.

The electric pump has two settings – stimulation and expression, which acts like a baby’s natural sucking behaviour. You can adjust the suction strength using the touch screen and the digital display is really clear (albeit sensitive – which may not always be a good thing!), showing the battery status, pumping mode and vacuum strength, as well as how long you've been expressing.

The pump starts in stimulation mode and then you switch to expression mode when your milk starts flowing.

It’s exceptionally quiet when used as both a manual and an electric breast pump so you should feel comfortable when you express at work or in public using whichever mode you choose. The motor unit is also compact enough to be carried in a small bag, although the manual pump is, naturally, smaller and more portable.

I've got a MAM 2-in-1 which is brilliant and much less dramatic than the hospital pump I used originally. I like the fact that it has a battery so I can take it around with me if I need it. It means I can pump while playing with DD on the floor as I'm not stuck next to a wall plug.

How comfortable is it?

The MAM is comfortable and easy to use, leaving you with a free hand to multi-task at home or when out and about.

While some breast pumps can feel like you've attached yourself to a vacuum cleaner, the MAM 2-in-1 makes for a more comfortable experience. It automatically starts off at the lowest setting and whenever you adjust it there is a tiny pause, which many mums will no doubt appreciate.

The suction can easily be regulated thanks to the nine (yes, nine!) different strengths, so you can make sure you’re always comfortable.

You can use the harder shell funnel or you can add a softer silicone inlay for comfort. Our tester, Sam, reported no rubbing when using both options, but did prefer the silicone fitting to the plastic cone. Unfortunately, though, the breast shield is one-size-fits-all, which could make it tricky for some mums to find the right fit.

While Sam typically prefers to lean forward to make sure she collects as much milk as possible, she was able to sit comfortably when expressing with the MAM and didn't need to lean forward if she didn't want to.

Discretion and convenience

The MAM 2-in-1 is one of the most adaptable pumps to use at work. Rechargeable batteries mean you’re not reliant on a plug socket and the ergonomic manual pump handle means you can pump manually at any time.

When charged, the pump lasts for multiple pumping sessions of 20-40 minutes (up to five hours on a single charge) and recharges any time it’s plugged in. The battery life is clearly indicated on the hub so you know when you need to recharge it.

The unit is easy to plug in and recharge and there is no need for spare batteries.

mam breast pump

How safe and stable is it?

The pump is well made and the motor unit fine to be taken out and about. There is also a funnel cover for the electric top for hygienic purposes.

Sam found that the bottles did start to leak after a few weeks, but the pump itself is fairly durable.

How easy is it to clean?

The funnel cover is really useful for keeping the funnel clean, and the pump's closed system means that dried milk doesn't get into the tubes. As such, the pump is simple to clean and easy to reassemble once taken apart.

It can be cleaned using a sterilising unit, dishwasher or microwave. Sam tended to use a cold water steriliser, but did report some fading and a few water marks after cleaning.

What about value for money?

£130 is steep for a breast pump, and we’d think always carefully about any purchase with that kind of price tag. But considering you’re getting two breast pumps in one, and both are of great quality, we think it’s only to be expected.

The biggest advantage of the MAM 2-in-1 is the flexibility it offers, particularly if you're a first-timer and unsure whether a manual or an electric pump is for you, which makes it great value for money.

Two-in-one also means the component parts are adaptable, which cuts down on additional purchases. Do bear in mind, though, that you can only use this breast pump with MAM's compatible bottles, which could be limiting.

Final verdict?

The 2-in-1’s unique selling point is that it can be used as both an electric and manual pump.

It offers so much flexibility that it may well be a game-changer for tired, busy mums who are returning to work as switching from electric to manual is a breeze.

While it may only be a single breast pump, we think it would certainly be handy to have this lightweight, transportable device for expressing on the go.

About Mumsnet Reviews

All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of research and testing – this includes recommendations from the Mumsnet Talk boards. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage. Read our how we test page to find out more.

For more information about what to look for when buying a breast pump, check out our buyer's guide.

All prices correct at time of publication

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Awards

  • Best Breast Pump for Working Mums 2019

How we test

After lots of research, we handpicked and tested 15 of the most popular breast pumps on the market, as rated on Mumsnet and beyond. Find out how we tested them.

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Breast pumps

Buyer's guide

It's a subjective process, this breast pump lark, and choosing the right one for you can be tricky. Whether you're looking for a manual or electric, single or double, here's what you need to know when buying a breast pump.

Read more »
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