HOW TO CHOOSE A BREAST PUMP
1. Which type of breast pump should I choose?
As far as breast pump technology is concerned, you have three main choices. Understanding these will help you when you’re deciding what you want from a breast pump.
A manual or electric pump?
Manual breast pumps are cheaper than electric models, quiet and handy for occasional expressing. But they can be hard work if used frequently, as you have to keep pumping the handle to create the vacuum. Electric breast pumps are easier and more convenient to use, as the motor does the pumping for you.
A single or double breast pump?
A single electric breast pump is ideal for expressing from time to time. A double breast pump (which draws milk from both your breasts simultaneously) is more convenient for expressing regularly – whether for medical reasons or because you’ve returned to work.
2. Figure Out Your Needs
If you will be away from the baby only occasionally and your milk supply is well established or if you are pumping on the side just to build up a supply for your freezer, then any pump will do.
Even a hand pump and/or hand expression can help you quickly express an extra ounce or two each feeding to store away in the freezer. With a hand pump you simply place a cone-shaped shield on your breast and squeeze the handle to express milk.
If pumping is being used to replace breastfeeding, establishing or boosting your supply, or for when you return to work, then a high-end double electric breast pump is needed.
3. What About Accessories?
Breastfeeding and pumping alike can take up a lot of time. If you plan on using your pump frequently, then there is a good chance that you will want as many accessories as possible to make the process easier and more enjoyable.
Determine what type of accessories you might want or need and find a pump that will work with them. Some great pumping must-haves are a vehicle power adapter and a hands-free pumping bra so that you can do something else while pumping. Different sized breast shields are also a must if your breasts are larger or smaller than the pump’s “standard size”. Your nipple should not rub against the shields as your pump – if it does, go up one size. Cleaning products, cooling bags and breast pump bags are also very helpful if you will be pumping outside the home.