What is a Closed System Breast Pump?

If you’ve done your research on breast pumps, you’ve likely heard of the term closed system. However, this term might get lost among lots of other maternity jargon, making it difficult to truly comprehend what it means and how it could benefit you and your little one throughout your breastfeeding journey. Luckily, that’s where we come in! 

At Pumps for Mom, we want to help you make informed decisions about your breast pump. With help from our Maternity Product Specialists, you can learn everything there is to know about top-rated breast pumps, including the features you should look out for! If you’re curious about how a closed system breast pump could aid your breastfeeding journey, allow us to share our intel. Below, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide on closed system breast pumps to help you decide if they’re the right fit for you! 

In this blog, our experts share their exclusive knowledge of closed system breast pumps by answering the following questions:

  • What is a closed system breast pump?
  • What is the difference between a closed and open system breast pump?
  • Which breast pumps have closed systems?

What is a Closed System Breast Pump?

A closed system breast pump has a protective barrier between its parts, including the breast shield, connector, valve, and bottle, and its tubing. This barrier “closes off” access to the pump’s motor mechanism, preventing breast milk and moisture from overflowing and leaking into the pump’s critical components. A closed system also ensures your breast milk is safe from contamination, ensuring proper hygiene and safe consumption for your baby.

The term ‘closed system’ isn’t technically a technical or medical description for a breast pump. That said, many popular breast pumps have other ways to market their closed system products. For example, Medela uses the term ‘overflow protection’ to describe its pumps with protective milk barriers. Meanwhile, Spectra often refers to their pumps’ ‘backflow protectors’ when referring to closed system mechanisms. 

What is the Difference Between a Closed and Open System Breast Pump?

The difference between a closed and open system breast pump is, you guessed it, the protective milk barrier! Unlike closed system pumps, an open system breast pump does not have a barrier between its milk collection kit and pumping mechanism. For a mom, this means exposing her breast pump to external air as it circulates through the system. This exposure can be harmful depending on where you pump. Pumping in a sterile environment is completely safe with an open system breast pump. However, if you’re in an area with high levels of pollutants or germs, such as airborne bacteria or viruses, you could contaminate your breast milk and make it unsafe for your baby’s consumption. 

If you have an open system breast pump, cleaning and sterilizing your pump after each use is especially important. The lack of a protective barrier makes your pump more susceptible to mold buildup in the tubing and motor, leading to an increased risk of milk contamination. After cleaning, ensure that your tubing is completely dry. Any remaining moisture could leave your pump at a higher risk of mold growth. 

Which Breast Pumps Have Closed Systems?

Most popular breast pumps on the market have closed system designs. Ameda, Medela, and Spectra are some popular brands offering closed system breast pumps with additional safety features to protect breast milk from contaminants. Below are some of our top picks for closed system breast pumps.

Ameda Mya Joy

The Ameda Mya Joy is an excellent pick for a closed system breast pump. This compact, lightweight pump is the world’s only FDA-cleared pump kit, ensuring the utmost safety and comfort for new moms. 

Medela Pump in Style with MaxFlow

From the #1 recommended breast pump brand, the Medela Pump in Style with MaxFlow™ makes breastfeeding a breeze. With closed system technology and 2-Phase Expression®, this pump offers everything you could ask for as a new mom!   

Spectra S2 Plus

The Spectra S2 Plus is another good option if you’re looking for a closed system. Lovedby moms and lactation consultants worldwide, this pump offers “backflow protection” to ensure proper hygiene throughout your pumping sessions. 

Looking for a Free Breast Pump Through Insurance? 

Do you want to get a closed system breast pump free through insurance? Pumps for Mom has got you covered! We act as the liaison between you and your policy provider to ensure your breast pump comes at no cost to you! Shop our comprehensive catalog of top-rated breast pumps, and head to our form or contact us today to get one through insurance.