Finding the Right Breast Pump for Nursing Moms
Breast pumps are the great companion of nursing mothers. Your choice of breast pump will depend a lot on your circumstances: stay-at-home moms may use one only occasionally to buy themselves a night out, or as a way to get dad more involved in night-time feeds. If you're in this category, you may be able to get away with using a manual pump, which will have the benefits of being cheap and extremely lightweight and portable.
Working moms though will depend on their pump to enable them to express sufficient quantities of milk for their baby's daily needs in a relatively short period of time, and for this, you'll almost certainly need an electric pump or wearable breast pump. In this article, we have gathered some factors you should keep in mind as you shop around for a best wearable breast pump. Are you ready? Let’s dive into it!
Manual vs. electric breast pump:
Different models vary somewhat, but all share common features: cone-shaped cups called breast shields which fit over your nipple and areola that are connected via a pump to a detachable collection container. As the pump exerts suction on your breast, it mimics your baby's suckling and stimulates your breast to release milk.
Manual pumps rely on you depressing a lever to create the suction effect, whereas electric pumps are battery or mains powered and do the pumping for you.
The more sophisticated electric breast pumps often start off with relatively quick, shallow suction to stimulate your let-down before settling into a slower, deeper rhythm, thereby mimicking the way a real baby feeds. Many also have adjustable controls so you can tailor the machine's operation to your own needs.
What Makes a Good Breast Pump?
If you are looking for the wearable electric breast pump, you should keep in mind the following factors in your mind when you are going to buy a breast pump.
This is a measure of the number of sucks per minute that the machine can achieve; the higher the number, the quicker you'll typically be able to empty your breasts.
Your pump needs to be able to exert enough suction to get your milk flowing freely, but obviously without causing you discomfort. Pumps that allow you to adjust the suction are great for balancing these somewhat conflicting requirements.
Single or dual
Choosing a pump with dual breast shields enables you to milk both breasts simultaneously, which means you will get the job done a lot quicker, and are also more likely to empty your breasts and thus stimulate more milk production.
It's useful to choose a pump that is compatible with your feeding bottles (which normally means using bottles from the same manufacturer). This means that you can express milk into the same container that you'll use to feed your baby, and thus cuts down on the number of items you have to keep track of (and keep sterilizing!).
Ease of cleaning
The fewer bits you have to keep track of the better, both for cleaning and reassembly.
Mains-powered double pumps tend to be bigger and heavier than say a manual pump, for obvious reasons. Make sure the model you choose has a case or bag to house all the bits and pieces and make it easier to take it with you.
The obvious downside of electric breast pumps is the noise factor which makes it a lot harder to express discreetly, or even to pump one breast while your baby is feeding on the other side.
Guide to Buying the Best Breast Pumps
- Determine how often you will need to pump. How long will you be away from your baby or if you work shifts, and how long are your shifts?
- If you are working part-time, consider a manual pump, especially if you pump occasionally. They are cheaper and convenient to travel with.
- Consider either a manual of the small motorized pump if you will be pumping just once or twice daily. These pumps are not expensive and are portable.
- If you will be away from your baby for more than a couple of hours each day, the best wearable breast pumpfor you will be a full-size automatic electric pump. Although they are slightly pricey, they are more effective in the long run since they allow you to double pump and maintain your milk supply for a longer period of time.
- When you purchase a pump, find one with insulated cooler bags and blue ice packs if no refrigerator is available in your work station. With cooler bags, you can store your milk up to a full day.
- Ask your insurance company if it will cover the purchase or long term rental of a pump if you need to pump for medical reasons.
- If you travel on the road often, find a pump that comes with a car adapter. While you may not want to pump while you drive, you can always pull over in the middle of your journey and pump in the back of your car discreetly.
Now that you know the general kind of pumps, here are a few quick points before you go shopping for the best breast pump:
- Don’t buy used breast pumps
- Consider your individual needs
- Consider renting
- Look for adjustable suction features
- Ease of use & durability
- Check the warranty
Once you have bought your pump, you may find that the best time for you to pump is first thing in the morning. Even if you have the best breast pump, you might want to consider some accessories to help you to use your pump more efficiently and more comfortably.
A breast pump can be sent by God, especially for the nursing moms. When you are going to buy a breast pump, keep in mind these things and consider them before making your final decision.