Choosing a Breast Pump – 4 Things You Need To Know

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If you’re a breast feeding mother who needs to get back to work after maternity leave and do not want to start on formula right away, a breast pump will be a necessity in order to pump the required amount of breast milk for your baby until you get back home.

Here are a few things that you will have to consider when purchasing a breast pumping unit.

– Tip # #1:

Do your research. Unless your baby arrives unexpectedly, you can take some time to look into the pumps available, work out your budget and consider what lifestyle factors might influence your choice. Think about your breastfeeding goals and how pumping might be involved in your day to day life. Consider facts such as, will you continue breastfeeding once you return to work? Is your plan to exclusively breastfeed? Once you have come to a decision share your thoughts with your doctor, who will help you make the best choice.


– Tip #2:

Common reasons to pump are:

Occasional use – giving sore or cracked nipples a rest, boosting your milk supply after a temporary decrease, relieving engorged breasts in the first week, storing some milk for a short separation from your baby

Regular use – leaving your baby with a care giver while you are working, studying, keeping a supply of expressed breast milk in the freezer.

Exclusive use – providing your breast milk for a very premature baby, feeding a baby physically unable to breastfeed due to physical problems.


– Tip #3:

Consider Your Options:

Hand Expressing: If you need to express in the first 2-3 days after your baby is born, you will be encouraged to hand express until your milk comes in. Hand expressing is an effective alternative to using a breast pump, once you learn the technique and get the hang of it. Even if you use a breast pump, knowing how to hand express is useful in case your pump breaks.

Manual Breast Pump: The simple design and compact size make these a good choice for occasional pumping. With no mechanical noise, they are discreet and can seem more natural. However, some mothers find them tedious to use or they cause fatigue in hand or arm muscles. Some brands are gentler than others and effectiveness can vary between designs.

Personal Electric/Battery-Operated Pump: When you are expressing on a regular basis or find the idea of a manual pump unappealing, small personal pumps which run on battery and/or main power are a great option.


– Tip #4:

Take Time to Learn, when you first begin expressing, it will feel awkward and you may feel you will never perfect the technique. Just as when you breastfeed, your milk needs to let-down to flow but unlike your beautiful baby, you probably won’t bond with your breast pump and convincing your body to relax and release those hormones might take some time. Your baby uses a combination of positive and negative pressure to remove milk from your breasts. When you express, a technique known as ‘hands-on pumping’ will help you recreate that. Studies have shown this can double the amount of milk you express.

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