Pumping is a part of every new mom’s routine; it’s just something that has to happen. That’s why it’s so essential to purchase a breast pump that works well, is comfortable, and was built to last. If you have to do something every day, you want to ensure the process will be as convenient as possible.
The Baby Buddha breast pump is extremely small, lightweight, and comes with a rechargeable battery, making it easy for you to pump on the go. The suction on the pump is also powerful, which can be a benefit or a disadvantage, depending on your specific needs.
In this review, I’ll break down all the Baby Buddha breast pump’s features – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Hopefully, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether or not this product is right for you after reading this in-depth review.
Baby Buddha Breast Pump Review
The following is a breakdown of some of the Baby Buddha’s most prominent features and what those features could mean for you.
Feature: Small, lightweight, and portable
Of all the breast pumps on the market today, the Baby Buddha is one of the smallest and most lightweight ones I’ve ever seen. You can wear it under your clothes without it weighing you down or making you feel like you have a boulder on your chest.
It doesn’t matter if you have the body of Kelly Brook and the face of Angelina Jolie; pumping just doesn’t make you feel sexy. Unfortunately, even the Baby Buddha won’t change that. It will, however, allow you to get up, move around, and do things while you’re pumping.
That may not help you feel sexy, but it should help you feel productive, empowered and may even take your mind off the pumping experience. It’s just so much better to pump when you have purpose and can get other things done instead of just sitting in a chair, doing nothing when you could be getting a hundred other things done.
Feature: Rechargeable battery
Not only does the rechargeable battery allow you to carry your pump with you while you’re doing housework or walking on the treadmill, but it also saves you money and a lot of trouble.
Replacing batteries can be such a hassle, and it’s one you certainly don’t want to have to deal with right in the middle of pumping. With the Baby Buddha, you won’t have to worry about it.
Portability and saving money are always good things, but neither of those compares to the peace of mind you’ll get from knowing your pump isn’t going to shut down on you in the middle of pumping.
Since the battery is rechargeable, if it goes dead, you can move somewhere near an outlet and pump while it’s charging. Of course, that means you can’t move around and do things, but at least you know you won’t be left in a bind.
Feature: Two preset modes with various levels + adjustable settings
The Baby Buddha offers two preset modes: Expression mode has nine various intensity levels, and stimulation mode has an additional five.
You can also tweak the settings and the intensity of the suction by manually adjusting the rollerball.
If you’ve ever read any of my reviews or articles, you’re probably familiar with one of my favorite truths about pregnancy: No pregnancy is the same, and no woman is the same.
We all have our likes, dislikes, needs, and desires, extending to how we want our breast pumps to work. Not all of us can handle super intense suction, especially not from the moment we turn on the pump.
That’s why the different settings are very handy. I was surprised by how adjustable and customizable your pumping session with Baby Buddha can be.
Feature: Single or double pumping options
You can use the Baby Buddha on one breast or both to suit your specific needs at the time.
Sometimes, you need to pump a single breast instead of both, and at other times, you may need to pump both. With many breast pumps, though, you have to choose. They’re made strictly as double pumps or strictly as single pumps, meaning you don’t get the option to swap it up as needed.
That’s not the case with the Baby Buddha, and I love that. As a general rule, double breast pumps are more convenient. However, there are a couple of reasons you might want to use a single pump occasionally.
Maybe you want to breastfeed your baby while pumping, or perhaps you have one breast that produces much more milk than the other and frequently becomes swollen and painful.
Whatever the reason, you can easily change from single to double pumping with the Baby Buddha.
Feature: Unique “massage” function
If you’re using this particular mode, the suction of your Baby Buddha pump won’t be even and repetitious. Instead, it will have uniform suction for a few moments, and then you’ll experience a longer, more forceful pull.
Then it will return to the less powerful, more uniform suction, interspersed with the longer pull at specific intervals (source: Baby Buddha).
I’ll be honest; just about every woman I’ve talked to who’s used the Baby Buddha breast pump uses some version of the exact phrase to describe the pump’s intermittent long pull feature: “It takes some getting used to!”
And because I promised at the beginning of the article to be perfectly candid and show you “the good, the bad, and the ugly,” I also have to say that a few women (only two of the numerous ones I talked to) – really didn’t like it.
However, once they got used to it, most women found that they enjoyed this occasional powerful pull. It helped them feel like they were pumping as much as they could pump and left them feeling confident that they wouldn’t be leaking a few minutes after finishing.
Others just liked the way it felt, claiming it felt almost like a light massage. And hey, being pregnant is stressful. If you can get a free “massage” while pumping, why not take it?
Feature: Extremely strong suction
If there’s one thing on which nearly all moms who’ve used the Baby Buddha agree, it’s that the pump has powerful suction. I consider this as both a benefit and a disadvantage because different women see it differently.
If you have incredibly sensitive or already hurting or irritated nipples, the Baby Buddha’s strong suction might be unpleasant or even downright painful for you. The suction can be intense even on the lowest setting, so be aware of that before purchasing.
However, if that isn’t an issue for you, then you’ll probably love the strong suction because it takes care of business, and it takes care of business quickly. Some women credit the Baby Buddha with cutting their pumping times almost in half!
If you’re a busy, on-the-go mom (aren’t we all?!), then saving time on pumping could be a tremendous benefit for you. Or you might hate it. It really depends on the individual with this one.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Baby Buddha Pump
Here are some common queries that women ask about this pump, with my answers and thoughts below.
How Does the Baby Buddha Pump Work?
The Baby Buddha works as either a single or a double breast pump, as you prefer. It has two preset system modes: expression mode and stimulation mode. Expression mode has nine levels, while stimulation mode has five. You can adjust the suction intensity by using the rollerball.
One of the unique features of the Baby Buddha is that its suction isn’t uniform. This is the unique “massage” mode that I mentioned earlier in the actual review.
I mention it again here because it’s part of how the pump works, and it’s different from any other pump I’ve ever used or heard about from my friends and family. Whether you love or hate this feature, there’s no denying that it’s one-of-a-kind.
Baby Buddha Breast Pump vs Spectra
The main difference between the Baby Buddha and the Spectra S1 is that the Baby Buddha (BB for short) is much smaller and portable. The Spectra S1 (S1 for short) is a large, heavy-duty breast pump that’ll require you to stay in one place to use it.
From my own experience and after talking to friends, we concluded that the milk output from both machines is comparable. Neither seems to draw out significantly more than the other.
However, the suction on the BB is much stronger, almost too intense for some women. The S1 has much gentler suction. Consequently, most women agree that pumping with the BB takes less time than with the S1.
The machines are a bit more alike if you’re comparing the BB and the Spectra 9+ (9+ for short). They’re both small and portable, but the BB is more lightweight. They both have rechargeable batteries, and the charging times are comparable, as is the milk output.
The most significant difference between the BB and the 9+ is the suction. Again, the BB has much more powerful and aggressive suction than the 9+.
Where To Get Parts and Accessories for the Baby Buddha Breast Pump
According to the Baby Buddha website, you should replace some components regularly. These include the following:
- Silicone diaphragms: every eight weeks
- Duckbills: every four weeks
- Tubing: every six to 12 months (as needed based on condition) (source: Baby Buddha)
But where can you find these parts?
You can purchase replacement parts for your Baby Buddha breast pump online from the Baby Buddha website. Additionally, there are parts from other breast pumps that will work with the Baby Buddha. These include Bella Baby tubing, Legendary Milk or Freemie collection cups, and more.
You can find many of these replacement parts from the baby sections at places like Walmart or Target. Many more are available online from Amazon or the brand-specific websites for each brand.
In addition to those parts mentioned above, some pump parts of these following brands will also work with the Baby Buddha:
- Motif Luna
How Long Does the Baby Buddha Pump Last?
The Baby Buddha will last for up to an hour on a fully charged battery. While this doesn’t seem like a long time, it’s enough to cover between two and four pumping sessions for most women. It takes about four hours to charge the battery to completion once more.
Most women agree that charging the Baby Buddha at night was usually enough to cover the next day’s pumping sessions. Thanks to the USB charger, though, even if it does start to die before you’re done pumping for the day, you can simply plug it in and let it do its thing (source: Baby Buddha).
Is Baby Buddha Pump a Hospital Grade Pump?
Breast pumps that are “hospital grade” are usually considered stronger and more durable than other breast pumps. They’re generally heavier and less portable than other pumps, as well.
However, the main distinction between hospital-grade pumps and other pumps is that multiple women can use hospital-grade pumps. That’s because their design blocks cross-contamination (source: Breast Pumps Direct).
Non-hospital-grade pumps are designed for a single user. They don’t have any barriers or features to block cross-contamination and may not be safe for multiple mothers to use.
The Baby Buddha pump isn’t considered hospital grade. It’s lightweight, portable, and designed for only one woman to use. However, according to women who’ve used both hospital-grade and the Baby Buddha pumps, the Baby Buddha’s suction is just as strong as that of most hospital-grade pumps.
You might also be interested to know that the FDA doesn’t recognize the term “hospital grade,” so it’s somewhat useless. Individual companies can determine what “hospital grade” means for them and stick the label on their pumps (source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration).
Is the Baby Buddha Pump Covered by Insurance?
As of 2012, breast pumps, including the Baby Buddha, are covered by insurance, thanks to a provision in the Affordable Care Act that included breast pumps, supplies, and breastfeeding support (source: University of Rochester Medical Center).
Of course, there are stipulations in place. For example, if you’ve already received a different breast pump through your insurance company, you may not be eligible for another. However, there’s a form you can fill out on the Baby Buddha website to see if you qualify for a Baby Buddha pump under insurance.
If you’re looking for a portable, lightweight breast pump to take with you while you’re on the move, the Baby Buddha may be the right choice for you. However, as already mentioned, the pump has extremely strong suction, so consider that before purchasing it.