Wearable manual breast pumps can be great for pulling out extra breast milk on one side while you pump or nurse on the other. Here’s a complete review of two of the best wearable manual pumps – the Elvie Curve and the Haakaa Ladybug.
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What are wearable manual pumps?
Many breastfeeding parents find silicone manual pumps like the Haakaa really useful.
They work well for pulling out milk from one side when you’re nursing or pumping from the other or for “catching” milk when you leak and aren’t ready to nurse or pump.
Wearable manual pumps work just like a Haakaa, but they go in your bra instead of hanging off of your breast. This way, it’s easier to do other things while you pump, and you don’t have to worry about your baby kicking it off while nursing.
What is the Elvie Curve?
The Elvie Curve is a silicone manual breast pump that fits in your nursing bra. It has only two parts to worry about, is dishwasher-safe, and easy to use.
Below are some stories I did showing in a little more detail how it works:
- Very versatile and you can use it in a lot of situations – when you’re nursing on one side, when you’re single pumping on one side, to catch milk when you leak, or as a quick option when you can’t sit down for a full pumping session.
- It’s easy to “latch” it on to your breast, and it stays on and in place pretty securely.
- It has a valve on top that you can press to reduce the suction (if it’s too much) or release the suction completely (when you’re done using it).
- Holds more milk than the Haakaa Ladybug (4 oz).
- Not the easiest to wash – it can be hard to fit a bottle brush in the hole. A smaller one or your finger can work though, or you can use the dishwasher.
- It can be a little challenging to get every last drop out without spilling.
- You can’t really see how much milk you’ve gotten without taking it off.
What is the Haakaa Ladybug?
The Haakaa Ladybug is just like the Haakaa manual pump shown above, but it fits in your bra. You can buy two (to use on both breasts at the same time), or just one.
- Also very versatile and can be used in all of the same situations as the Elvie Curve.
- Has a spout on the top that makes pouring all of the milk out a little easier.
- It has “feet” on the bottom that make it more secure (and spilling less likely) when placing on a counter or table.
- It’s at a lower price point than the Curve.
- It doesn’t have any volume measurements on the outside, so you have to pour it in a bottle or bag to see how much you got.
- It’s also not the easiest to wash with a bottle brush (but the hole is a little bigger so it’s easier than the Curve).
When would you use these pumps?
Here are a few scenarios where you might use a wearable manual pump:
- If you’re a nursing parent, you can get a lot of use out of these one of these pumps by wearing it on one side while nursing on the other. This way, you can “catch” the letdown milk that would otherwise get lost in a breast pad or mess up your shirt.
- If you’re an exclusive pumper, you could use it while single pumping. (Even if you’re using a double electric pump, there are sometimes situations where it makes sense to single pump.)
- If you want to increase your milk supply, you can also try wearing it around the house and see if it pulls out any milk while you go about your day. Because milk supply is driven by demand, removing more milk from your breasts (i.e. increasing the “demand”) is key to boosting supply.
What’s the difference between these pumps and the Elvie Catch?
While they are similar (both the Elvie Curve and the Catch are silicone, have holes for your nipples, and can go in your bra), the difference is that the Catch does not have suction and the Curve does.
The Elvie Catch basically just catches milk that you leak. The Curve (and the Ladybug) uses suction to pull additional milk out that otherwise wouldn’t have come out.
Which pump should you get?
Both of these are great options! Here’s a comparison table with all of the different features that can help you decide.
Have you used a wearable manual pump? Tell us what you thought in the comments!