Not every woman uses a breast pump although most will
use it at some point for reasons applicable to them.
There are several types of breast pumps to choose
from to suit mothers with their different needs. In
fact these breast pumping aids have become a necessity
with most mums, especially those who are working and
those who are on the go. There are breast pumps designed
for everyday and the occasional user.
Buy a Breast Pump according
to your Needs
Not all breast pumps are of good quality; poor quality
breast pumps though low-priced can be damaging to
the breast. It is advisable to stick to reputable
brands even if they cost slightly more. Of course
budget can be a concern so it is good to browse around
retail and online stores and compare prices. It is
also advisable to get one that suits your needs and
purposes; an assessment of factors (some are outlined
below) will help you decide on your purchase.
• Ease of use.
Will you be
a heavy user i.e. the breast pump needs to be used
on a daily basis? Will you be exclusively expressing
milk or will you combine it with nursing your infant
(some mothers choose to go back to work soon after
delivery so daily expressing becomes the only option)?
Choose one that can be easily put together and cleaned.
• Weight and size.
be easily available, will you be carrying it to work?
What is your budget
- do you intend to use it again with other babies
or does hiring make more sense?
• Noise level.
Choose one which
is not noisy so you can pump discreetly.
How much time will
you have to express milk? Choose one that can pump
from both sides if time is an issue.
• Suction strength.
be comfortable for one woman may not suit another
in terms of power. Get one with an adjustable suction.
Breast Pump Types
• Manual Breast pumps
1. These types are inexpensive, in fact most affordable.
2. You need to use your hand power to create suction
3. Some hand breast pumps come with multiple settings
of suction enabling you to decide on the suction speed.
4. The typical feature though is the ability to only
pump one breast at a time.
5. Most suitable for the occasional user.
6. It is designed to be used on a not so frequent
basis since power or speed isn't its main asset. In
fact using manual breast pumps may tire you out if
you become heavily dependant on it.
• Battery operated Breast Pump
1. Offers the option of pumping both breasts consecutively.
2. These breast pumps are again better for mothers
who only need to use them occasionally because they
do not produce as much milk comparatively.
3. You need to exercise caution when choosing breast
pumps from this category as the low budget ones may
not be equipped with all the functions.
4. Low power models can cause injury to the breast
5. They can be noisy and require frequent battery
replacement, (therein lies your hidden expense).
• Electric Breast Pump
1. They are the hot favorites today as they are easy
2. They are designed for everyday use and are portable.
3. They can do single or double pumping.
4. Moms who work or have 'supply problem' or need
to pump exclusively find this extremely useful
5. Newer models have the added feature of 2-phase
pumping rhythms: stimulation and expression.
6. They plug into the wall socket and you also have
the option of using battery if electricity is not
accessible or in a car with a car adapter. Very handy.
Grade Breast Pump
1. They are the most efficient but also the most expensive.
2. Fortunately they are available for rent
3. These high grade breast pumps are suitable for
mothers with premature babies or babies who are too
sick to nurse.
4. They offer double pumping and are great for establishing
strong milk supply, ideal for working mothers as well.
5. They serve all purposes and do not cause discomfort
or damage to the nipples.
6. This grade of breast pump comes in various sizes
and weights; there are transportable versions which
mean you can carry it to work and back.
7. They are cost-efficient and especially sensible
if you use them regularly since the fees can be worked
out on a schedule.
Did you know
some breast pumps, especially
the newer electric models, mimic the baby in terms
of the sucking pattern. Sucking is quick at first
to stimulate letdown and then goes more slowly. Also,
with a press of a button you are able to manually
switch speeds. The older models do not have this feature
and run at a constant speed but do have adjustable
suction rates. When choosing a pump, keep this factor
in mind as well.