There are so many things to consider when having a baby. I had no idea there was a difference in breast pumps when I decided that I would breastfed, but I quickly learned that there are actually two types of systems: OPEN and CLOSED. So what’s the difference? Does it matter? I’ve tried to highlight the main points below to the best of my ability. **Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, just a soon to be first time mom, learning as I go, hoping to help others make educated decisions.
Open Systems Basics
- No barrier between milk collection and the pumping mechanism–This means your milk is exposed to an outside air impurities (examples–dust, smoke, pet dander, viruses) and vulnerable to contamination. It also means that milk can be sucked into the tubing parts. If milk gets into the tubing unnoticed, mold can begin to grow in the tubes and the motor.
- With open systems it is recommended to dry the tubing after thoroughly cleaning with isopropyl alcohol; however, while this speeds up the drying time the alcohol vapors can stay and thus be drawn into collected milk.
- Common open system breast pumps: Medela Pump in Style, Medela Symphony, Evenflo Elan, First Years Easy Comfort, First Years miPump
- Barrier between collection and tubing– This prevents any outside air impurities from your breastmilk. Also ensures no milk will enter tubing or motor which eliminates need to wash tubing and prevents mold from being able to grow.
- The first closed system was made by Ameda.
- Common closed system breast pumps: Avent ISIS iQ, Ameda Elite, Ameda Purely Yours, Playtex Embrace, Lansinoh Double Electric, Medela Swing, Hygeia EnDeare or EnJoye