A breastfeeding pump is a must-have nursing tool when you’re ready to return to work or if you have issues with milk production. Nowadays, different types of breastfeeding pumps are available for different purposes. First-timers will probably need a bit of know-how before they can choose the best pump to suit their needs. Following are some tips to help with your breastfeeding journey.
Breastfeeding Pump: A Quick Guide for First-Time Moms
Manual Pumps vs. Electric Pumps
1. Manual Pumps
Manual breastfeeding pumps are operated by hand by pumping one breast at a time using a flange and a manual lever.
Reasons to Use Manual Pumps:
Compared to electric pumps, manual pumps are more affordable and mobile. They are small, light, and easy to carry around when on-the-go. Manual breastfeeding pumps are ideal for moms who pump occasionally; the pumps give moms time to themselves or to run errands.
Reasons Not to Use Manual Pumps:
Using manual pumps is laborious and consumes more time than necessary.
2. Electric Pumps
Electric breastfeeding pumps are battery-operated and attached to a motor. Moms today have various options for electric pumps. There are pumps that come with an AC adapter, a car adapter, or a battery pack, allowing moms to pump wherever they are. These pumps are available in both single and double versions.
Reasons to Use Electric Pumps:
Moms who pump more than three times a week will find electric breastfeeding pumps very helpful. They are efficient and perfect for those who need to go to work, who have issues with milk production, or who prefer feeding their babies exclusively with pumped breast milk.
Reasons Not to Use Electric Pumps:
Electric breastfeeding pumps tend to be more expensive due to the convenience and technology they offer. Also, electric breastfeeding pumps require more maintenance, such as cleaning and sanitizing after every use. Due to their bulky size, they can also be challenging to bring with you wherever you go. Although portable designs are available, be prepared to spend more for them.
Single-User Versus Multiple-User
The FDA considers breastfeeding pumps as single-user devices, with the exception of multiple-user pumps. This simply means that breast pumps are designed for use by only one person to ensure that the pumps remain clean and disinfected. Contaminated pumps can infect mother or baby, or even both.
It is recommended that you submit used single-user pumps to a recycling program if any such programs exist near you. Otherwise, to avoid the risk of contamination, do not pass the pump on to another user.
Multiple-user breastfeeding pumps or hospital-grade pumps are designed for use by more than one person. These are alternatives to single-user breast pumps and are available in hospitals and medical supply stores.
While multiple-user breast pumps are designed to lessen the risk of infection, users must still purchase a new accessory kit, which includes tubings and breast shields.
Features to Look for in a Breastfeeding Pump
1. Flanges Must Fit Properly
Flanges are the plastic pieces that attach the breastfeeding pump to your breasts. They must fit properly to avoid abrasions that, in turn, can cause bleeding or infection. Flanges are available in different sizes. If you are unsure about your size, reach out to a lactation consultant for advice.
2. Breastfeeding Pumps with Dual-Phase Expression
— Sonya LittleLight (@LittleLight2016) August 27, 2017
Two phases occur when you nurse a baby. The first phase is the stimulation, when your baby takes short, frequent sucks. The second phase is when the milk comes in and the baby starts taking longer and deeper sucks.
Dual-phase expression breast pumps mimic these phases. This is an important feature to have in a pump to make your breastfeeding experience more comfortable and efficient.
3. Breastfeeding Pump Bag
While it’s not necessary, a breastfeeding pump bag can help when you’re pumping outside the home. Pump bags come in various designs to fit your lifestyle; some have extra space for essentials like keys and wallets. A pump bag is particularly handy during family travels.
4. Breast Milk Baby Bottles
Baby bottles or any form of storage for your breast milk are convenient for freezing your milk. They are available in glass containers and bags.
Parents shares a short clip of how to choose the right breastfeeding pump for you:
Breastfeeding keeps your baby healthy and is a way for moms to bond with their babies, but let’s be honest here: it won’t be a walk in the park. New moms tend to face problems with milk production, which is where breastfeeding pumps can help. Moms will want to know about the types of breast pumps and the additional features they need to make their breastfeeding journey easier.
How is your breastfeeding journey coming along? Let us know in the comments section below.