HOW TO: CHOOSE THE RIGHT BREAST PUMP

Make the best choice!

Mother & Baby - - CONTENTS - BY TA­NIA TARAFDAR

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.

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