The importance of breastfeeding a baby can never be overemphasized. But what should one do when they cannot be around to breastfeed the child all the time? The answer to this is expressing milk. Although breast pumps have been around for more than a decade, some mothers are not yet aware of the best pump.
If you are reading this, you must be interested in learning how to pump your breast milk for your little one. It can be quite a daunting task especially for new mothers. Here is a guide on breast pumps for different mothers.
Types of breast pumps
Breast pumps are placed in two broad categories; battery/electric powered and manual. Have a look at them and determine the one suits you.
For mothers who pump multiple times in a day-electric pumps
Electric pumps are ideal for mums who work full time or are away from their baby often thus cannot pump regularly. The pump is fully automatic and has variable cycling times as well as modifiable suction levels. The feature helps reduce nipple discomfort. An electric pump can either be double or single. Most are however double, implying that they can do more than one breast at a go.
Some electric pump models are designed to mimic the baby’s suckling patterns. They begin with short and quit sucks then move into deeper and slower patterns. The feature is important in ensuring the mother’s comfort. All the same, it does not mean that you will produce a lot of milk.
Most pumps weigh about 5 pounds or less. They come with carrying cases and usually include accessories such as bottles, labels, and nipple ointment and storage bags. If you go for an electric pump, consider taking a nursing bustier that enables hands-free pumping.
Many pumps have an in-built battery pack, which comes in handy for convenient electrical outlet. Top end pumps might also run on a car’s power outlet, using an adapter that is sold separately. That way, mums can charge the pumps even when the car is packed.
For mothers who pump once a day-manual pumps
Manual pumps are ideal for mothers who are only separated from their baby for short periods. These pumps are more portable than the electric counterparts, since they weigh about 2 pounds. They are also less costly than the electric pumps. Some mothers like the manual pump, since they are able to control it by hand and they say that it mimics the baby’s patterns.
When using a manual breast pump, you will have to squeeze a lever so that you can trigger suction. Most pumps can only express milk from one breast at a go, and the mother might require both hands. However, some are made for single hand use.
Their disadvantage is that they require more effort. Thus, mums have complained about them being slow and tiring. Some even lack milk entirely.For mothers who have trouble breastfeeding
If nursing has been challenging especially after the first few weeks of leaving hospital, this pump is most appropriate. A hospital grade breast pump is usually rapid suck and draws milk almost at the same level as a baby does. They are stronger than electric pumps. A double collection kit model is available that enables you to pump both breast at a go.
Essential safety notes
- Never buy a used breast pump - Although you are likely to be tempted to borrow a breast pump or buy a used one at an affordable price, the Food and Drug Administration Association strongly advises against that. Breast milk is a carrier of viruses and bacteria. Therefore, a used pump might be contaminated and consequently infects your baby.
- Clean the breast pump after each use - Sanitizing them does not necessarily mean sterilizing them. You can just wash them using warm water and soap, then rinse using hot water for about 15 seconds. Allow them to dry or use a clean towel.
- When using only one side of the breast pump, seal the other - If you do not do this, the pump’s suction might become less efficient.
- Avoid cleaning the tubing unless milk has gotten inside it. - If you see some water droplets inside the tube, turn it upside down to remove the water. In case milk gets inside the pipe, read the manual for cleaning instructions.