HOW TO: CHOOSE THE RIGHT BREAST PUMP
Make the best choice!
When you first start breastfeeding your baby, you will probably consider getting a breast pump. And why not? Pumping not only enables you to bottle-feed your baby but also increases your milk supply. But with so many breast pumps available in the market how do you know which option is the right one for you? To help you decide we rounded up some of the most useful tips. From making a choice between electric and manual breast pump to the most important features you should look for in a breast pump, we’ve got you covered!
Electric vs Manual
The first question that will cross your mind while choosing a breast pump is whether you should purchase an electric breast pump or go for a manual one. Electric breast pumps are more effective but also more expensive. But the breast pump you choose really depends on your needs. If you want a pump for making a bottle every once in a while a manual pump will just be fine to do the job. However, if you plan to go to work and fill a lot of bottles, an electric pump will be worth the investment. Some electrical pumps have adjustable features that you may find beneficial such as tailored suction to mimic your baby’s sucking patterns and adjustable suction levels. One downside of an electric breast pump is that they make more noise than manual breast pumps and thus it can be hard to express discretely if your baby is sleeping nearby.
Single vs Double
Another factor to consider is whether you should go for a single or double breast pump. Single breast pumps extract milk from one breast at a time and are generally manual or battery powered. On the other hand, double breast pumps can extract milk from both the breasts at once and are usually available as electric pumps. So naturally, single breast pumps are a little more time-consuming but if you are more comfortable pumping just one breast at a time, go for the single breast pump.
Battery Powered vs Mains Operated
Most electric breast pumps are mains operated but battery-powered pumps are also available for expressing milk. Battery operated pumps run out of batteries quickly. Pumps that come with adapters for an electrical outlet can give you the flexibility you need without really having to depend on batteries for power. But before you get your hands on a main operated breast pump, think where would you be pumping the most -- at home, at your desk, in your car or in the ladies’ room. Some restrooms do not have electric outlets.
What features should you look for in a breast pump?
An adjustable vacuum which allows you to express milk in comfort. A pump that is easy to use, easy to clean and easy to assemble. Look for a breast pump that comes with a case to make it easier to carry around. If you are going to express regularly you will likely need a few accessories to make pumping less stressful. So if the pump is offering a handful of breast shields, bottles or even a car adapter go for it. While researching for breast pumps, keep an eye out for BPA-free parts and accessories. BPA can be harmful to your baby so it is best to use accessories that are BPA-free. While making the purchase, ensure that warranty is included. This will allow you to replace the breast pump at no cost to you in case of any malfunction.
Tips to remember
When you are using just one side of a double breast pump, make sure to seal the other side. Not doing so can reduce the pump’s suction and make it less efficient. Although, it can be tempting to borrow a friend’s breast pump experts caution against it. Breast milk can carry bacteria and viruses that can contaminate these pumps and pass the infection to you and your baby. The shields that come with the pump may not be the right size for you. Watch your nipples while pumping. If they turn red, rub painfully against the sides of the tube, or if an excessive amount of areola gets sucked in, you may need a different shield. Wash the parts of the pump with soap and warm water after use and allow to air-dry on a clean paper towel. A new mom’s relationship with her breast pump is a very personal one. No matter how helpful and knowledgeable your best friend is a pump that worked wor her may not be the best fit for you. So before you make your big purchase, read through this handy guide.