Breast milk comes with several benefits. Pediatrics and professional organizations recommend breastfeeding your baby for the first six months, with an exception of some medical conditions, without introducing water, formula, or juice as supplements. Breastfeeding is convenient however unless you need to carry your baby with you everywhere you go and the idea always goes smoothly, you will perhaps need a breast pump.
Actually, a breast pump is vital for nursing mothers in several scenarios: returning to work and need to continue breastfeeding, your baby can’t manage to physically breastfeed for some reason, or you want to skip a feeding sporadically because of travels or if not away from your baby. Learn more about contraindications to breastfeeding.
A breast pump may come in handy over the first few days of delivery when the breasts can be very full that a baby may find it hard to latch on. Things can be moving along in the hospital, however, when you get home, the supply can surpass demand. A quick fix is to extract some milk with a breast pump so you are good to go immediately you return home after delivery. Additionally, a breast pump enables you to store milk for later, after which you can bottle feed it to your baby or blend it with a little cereal when your baby enters the “solid” food stage after around 6 months.
Here Are Some Essential Features for Breast Pumps:
- Have various speed patterns and suction level – during breastfeeding, the milk begins with letdown and thereafter the milk is expressed. Switching speeds capability closely resembles the act of breastfeeding and increases milk production.
- Different power options – Since much pumping is often used by mums on the go, ensure your pump is electric and battery powered or perhaps manual for those times when there is a blackout or out of battery.
- Portability – This is vital and very essential if you want to pump from outside the home.
- Spring for a double pump
- Adjustable suction power – to adjust the strength of the suction freely. 6. Strength – powerful strength to faster milk production.
- Soft let-down massage cushion – to protect breast and reduce breast pain.
- Unique backflow prevention design – double pumps avoid backflow of milk during pumping.
6 Reasons to You Must Have a Breast Pump
The typical reason to pump is to collect your breast milk for your baby to have when you are not around and retain your milk supply for the time you are with your baby. Here are some other reasons:
- To revitalize your milk production and raise your milk supply
- To collect milk for your baby who can’t latch well
- To ease the pain and pressure of engorged breasts
- To raise your milk supply if advised by your healthcare provider or under certain conditions like medication.
- To wean as a result of an infant’s death.
- When the baby is placed in a nursery and, as such separated from the mother.
Should I Use the Second-Hand Breast Pump?
Even though it may be tempting to use a shared or borrowed or purchase a used breast pump, the FDA and breastfeeding professionals generally caution against it. The breast milk can carry viruses HIV and cytomegalovirus included and bacteria. These can contaminate such pumps and transmit an infection to you and your baby. Additionally, used pumps may not be efficient since their motors lose their strength and the seals wear down with time and can cause a loss of suction.
How to choose the Breast Pump (Type, Advantage and Disadvantage)?
There are many types of breast pumps on the market. You will need a pump that is suited to your particular situation. Here is a guide in choosing which type of breast pump may suit your needs:
Hospital-Grade Breast Pump
Pumping sessions by half to just 15 minutes with a dual pump, that empties both breasts at once. They are made for users in hospitals and for moms who opt for renting. They are nonetheless expensive to purchase, but you can rent them from drugstores, hospitals, specialty retail stores among others.
These pumps are almost the size of a car battery and weigh 5 to 11 pounds. The hospital grade pump is able tocut pumping sessions by half to just 15 minutes with a dual pump, that empties both breasts at once. They are made for users in hospitals and for moms who opt for renting. They are nonetheless expensive to purchase, but you can rent them from drugstores, hospitals, specialty retail stores among others.
You can go for this option if nursing is hard because your baby has hitches latching on, if you think of pumping for less than three months from home, or if you need to dramatically raise your milk supply and require the power of a hospital grade pump.
Pros: They are quick and efficient. Most of them are also light, close to a midweight, personal use automatic pumps.
Cons: Despite some coming with a rechargeable battery plus an adapter for in-vehicle use, many are not accompanied by a separate carrying case.
Midweight, Personal Use, Automated Breast Pumps. Normally no larger than a briefcase and weighing less than 8 pounds, these electric breast pumps basically are lighter and a little less efficient as compared to the hospital-grade brands. However, they are able to slash pumping time as they have powerful motor plus serious suction. Several personal-use automatic pumps have the suction that imitates the natural sucking of a baby, that basically start with fast, high-frequency suction and shifts to a slower, suck and swallow pattern.
This limitation promotes rapid milk flow, even though some pumps use a ceaseless vacuum, having self-adjusting suction settings. Sporadic action best mimics a baby as compared to a constant vacuum, and definitely easier on you too. Several models come enclosed in a black backpack that is suitable in case you are working outside your home. They are equipped with an adapter more often for your car use or a battery pack for use when not near an electrical outlet. Moreover, they may have all the necessary attachments not to mention AC adapter, lids, collection containers, battery pack, cooling element, detachable cooler carrier, and stands. Go for this option if you will be going back to work full or part-time and you want to pump during the day to keep up your milk supply and for missed feedings.
Pros: It is a fast and portable way to double-pump and fills up your bottle within minutes. Ideal for mothers planning to pump regularly.
The milk expression is quite more effective than other methods.
Allow a hands-free pumping option for extra versatility.
Most electric pumps come with their backpacks or carry bags with enough storage for storing your expressed milk cool.
Battery-powered alternatives make them mobile and highly convenient for active moms.
Double pumping greatly lowers the amount of time you require to pump making them less time-consuming and very efficient.
Cons: In case your purpose to pump only occasionally, it may seem more than you need. If carrying other items the pump can be a lot to lug. Are mains operated dependent on a plug socket, this can be difficult when you are out and about. A bit fiddly to sterilize Slightly expensive compared to manual breast pumps
Manual Breast Pumps
These small pumps can help you initiate the suction yourself by squeezing a lever or bulb. There are several manual breast pumps available on the market. Piston style or cylinder breast pumps normally allow you to keep check of pressure and avert discomfort. Some manual brands can be operated by one hand and are easier to use and can be a fantastic option for moms at home or working from home. Manual pumps are also ideal in areas where electricity is not available.
Pros: Less expensive than electric models and doesn’t require an electrical source or battery and can also fit easily in a purse or tote.
Cons: Slower than other pumps. Hands-Free Pumps
You can go for this option if you have a hectic routine and of the idea of multitasking while pumping. Many are rechargeable with a double electric pump.
Pros: You are able to pump while engaging in other tasks.
Cons: Setting up can be complicated.
In considering breast pump features, you need to think of how and where you will be using it. When you require one for an office, you will need something compact and quiet.
However, if you pump at the privacy of your own home, there are many breast pump features to look out for.
The best breast pumps imitate the natural nursing rhythm of a baby by automatically pumping in two clear modes: rapid, to mimic a baby’s quick sucking to initiate the fast flow of milk, and slower, to mimic the deep sucking of a baby to produce the most milk flow. These two modes jointly produce a more real breastfeeding experience with utmost comfort, raised milk flow, and faster pumping time. The “closer to nature” brands available on the market can claim to pump more like a baby. Some also allow you to self-regulate the pumping speed, rhythm, and suction promptly instead of overreliance on preset controls.
In case you are pumping on the road or you have no access to an electrical point, consider a pump that is able to function on batteries or that has an adapter that you can attach to your car. However, pumping while driving is not recommended as it can be a distraction on the road.
3. Carrying Case
For those mothers that will be commuting, a professional-looking pump backpack or shoulder bag can be an awesome way to go. Many models, excluding the hospital grade ones, are available in a chic, black microfiber case plus a shoulder strap. Other brands also feature a detachable cooling compartment and motor pump, to lighten your load.
4.Insulated Storage Compartments
Check for compartments in the carrying case of the pump in case you will be pumping on the go and want to keep your milk for later. However be sure to add ice pack in the storage compartment with your breast milk. 6. Pump weight
A breast pump of even 5 pounds can seem bulky after a while if you carry it regularly with other items too. If you have any lugs and you will be traveling often with your breast pump, acquire the lightest breast pump possible at your purchase range.
How to Use a Breast Pump (Breast Pumping instructions)
Many women express their milk by making use of an electric or manual breast pump as it is faster and easier. However strange it may feel initially, it is normally a short process before long.
To use an electric breast pump, you need to put a breast phalange supplied with the pump over your nipple, switch the machine on, and allow it to suction your milk to an attached container.
The manual pumps also make use of a phalange, however, you extract milk by doing a squeeze mechanism or by pulling a piston with your hand rather than motor reliance.
The process normally takes around 15 minutes to pump both breasts using a good electric pump. For a hand pump, the process can take up to 45 minutes. Ensure you use the correct size phalanges for your nipples and adjust them just right to avoid irritation or pinching yourself.
Consider purchasing a hands-free pumping bra to avoid holding the phalanges on your breasts. Keep in mind that for a maximum letdown and milk production, you should be calm and relaxed. Remember to clean the pump parts properly after every session.
Breastfeeding is one of the basic activities in the whole baby naturing process and something that every mom looks forward to. However, it is often not possible to breastfeed each time especially for working moms and also stay at home moms. There are may breast pumps and some mums find a success with one type of pump than with others. In case you are preparing to go back to work, or you would love to be able to leave home baby-free or get some rest, having a good breast pump may be the way to go. It will ensure your baby benefits from milk even though you may not be around.
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