Breastfeeding is the process of feeding your baby with milk from your breasts. It can provide many health benefits to both mother and child, including decreasing risks for certain diseases and disorders while providing a strong bond between mother and child.
Breastfeeding is natural but it's not always easy. Both you and your baby have to learn how it works, so for some women breastfeeding does take getting used to. Even if it doesn't come naturally at first, most new mothers are committed to learning how to breastfeed successfully.
There are two main types of electric breast pumps:
A manual pump will break down the fat in milk via suction just like a mouth would, making them great options when out and about or on the go! They come in different sizes but are always small, portable, and easy to use. These pumps are good for occasional or daily pumping.
Single Electric Breast Pump- A single breast pump is best used when you only need to pump one breast at a time. It's great for moms who want the option to use it frequently, but don't require simultaneous pumping of both breasts.
A double electric pump is perfect for creating a regular supply of milk while still allowing you the freedom needed to complete tasks like grocery shopping, attending meetings, or even relaxing with your partner. Double breast pumps can also mimic natural baby sucking patterns by imitating a rhythmic pattern that babies strive for when feeding naturally.
Double/Dual Electric Breast Pump- A double or dual electric breast pump works almost like an automatic vacuum cleaner. They offer higher suction levels than most other pumps and are designed for frequent heavy-duty use over prolonged periods of time.
While this type of pump is usually more powerful than other options, help ensure an efficient letdown phase - by utilizing speeds and suction power meant to mimic your baby's rhythm during breastfeeding!
This makes them perfect for women who want to build a milk supply or provide milk for two.
How does it work?
The parts of a breast pump include tubing, flange/breast shields, valves, and membranes. Pumping is almost exactly like breastfeeding so you would need these parts similar to how you would have them when feeding your baby naturally. There are different sizes that might work better depending on what feels comfortable for you because everyone's body is different! Other things that come with breast pumps are bottles, cooler packs, and storage bags.
Benefits of using a breast pump
Breast pumps are used when a baby is not available to feed when the mother wants or needs to. Whether this is because of work, school, or other commitments it's always possible to express breast milk and store it away in the freezer for later use.
Moms who want to go back to work after maternity leave but aren't able to take their baby along with them can count on breast pumps and other methods that allow them to continue breastfeeding without actually being present for feedings.
If you're having problems with engorgement, mastitis (inflammation of the breast tissue), plugged milk ducts, sore nipples, or thrush your lactation consultant may recommend using a pump during certain periods of time. If you decide to pump you should talk to your doctor or lactation consultant about the best way to do this.
There are also women who choose to exclusively pump but instead of nursing their babies directly, they use a bottle for feedings because their partner, family member, or friend is unable or unwilling to breastfeed.
How to choose a breast pump
Finding the right type of pump is key for moms who are looking for an efficient way to build up their milk supply. While it might take some careful consideration, once you've found the perfect fit you will be building up your freezer stash in no time!
One important factor to consider when picking out your pump is if you are planning on exclusively pumping or not. If so, make sure you find one that can provide both single and double motor action. This way, once your baby starts eating solids or comes back for another feeding round you'll have the power needed to feed them as well!
Another thing you want to look at before purchasing a breast pump how easy it is to use and clean! This is because if it's too complicated you might not use it as much and when it comes to breast pumps, the more often you use them, the better your supply will be.
Another good thing to keep in mind when looking at breast pumps is how quiet they are during operation. A loud pump can disrupt others around you and make for a less than ideal work environment (if that's where you plan on using it).
Breast pumps need to be cleaned regularly before and after every use. Some come with cleaning brushes while others may require you to purchase special cleaning supplies or wipes like Medela's Quick Clean Breastpump and Accessory Wipes.
If you're pumping at home, clean your parts once a day. If you plan on going out all day and want to use the same parts, clean them in the morning before you leave and when you get back home. When using a breast pump it's important to always wash your hands before touching or assembling any of the components.
When it comes down to it every woman is different and has her own way of doing things. So while I can give advice from my experience with pumping for over 3 years, what works best for me may not be ideal for someone else!
However, there are some pumps that have been recommended by other moms who have gone through this journey themselves:
The Avent Isis manual Breast Pump is lightweight and easy to use. The pump has a closed system which means there are no breaks in the tubing so air can't get into the pump and contaminate it. This model is also BPA-free and dishwasher safe making it easy to clean!
Another manual option is the Philips AVENT Double Electric Comfort Breast Pump. This model comes with two different sized breast shields: 24mm and 28mm.
The Ameda One-Hand Breastpump is an electric, double pump that comes with a rechargeable battery pack allowing you to use it anywhere you go. The Ameda pump has received great reviews from other moms who loved how quick and efficient this particular pump was at expressing milk.
A top-of-the-line electric breast pump is the Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump. This pump comes with a backpack and cooler bag making it perfect for moms who like to go out and about! The Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump also boasts several different settings to adjust the speed and suction level depending on what feels comfortable.
Last, but certainly not least is the Freemie Freedom Double Electric Breastpump which has received great reviews from fellow breastfeeding mommas. The Freemie uses small cups that fit right over your breasts making pumping accessible no matter where you are! These cups have been specially designed to simulate a baby's mouth as closely as possible so you won't miss those feedings even when you're away from your little one.
Breast pumps are a great way to provide your little one with breast milk all day, even when you're not around. However, these pumps can be expensive and it's important to make sure you purchase one that works for your lifestyle and body type. With the right research and know-how picking out a breast pump can be easy and rewarding!