Breast Pump Buying Guide
Breast pumps are crucial for being able to pump and store milk for your baby. Most breastfeeding moms have to be away from their babies at some point and having a way to express milk for the baby to have provides a lot of peace of mind for the mother.
There are many different types of breast pumps on the market for a mother to choose from. We have outlined the different types below so you can have the information you need to sort through those choices and consider the ones that will provide what you are looking for.
Types of Breast Pumps
- Hospital grade – Electric breast pumps are usually about the size of a car battery and weigh anywhere from 5-10 pounds. For the most part, hospital grade breast pumps are available for use in hospitals and sometimes they are available for rent. They are adjustable in the areas of suction rhythm, intensity, and pressure. Depending on the model, it may have a stimulation or letdown mode that helps the milk start flowing easier. Hospital grade pumps are expensive but some mothers that plan on breastfeeding for a long time and/or plan on having children close together may feel the expense is worth it. Many of the breast pumps that are sold in baby stores and online are considered hospital grade, so that is not something that you can only get through the hospital itself anymore.
- Personal Use, Middle-weight Automatic – This type of breast pump is lighter but a little less efficient than the hospital grade models. They are similar to a hospital grade model in that the motor helps speed up the pumping time. The motor and suction in this type of pump is good for regular pumping. Depending on the model, it may have suction motion that mimics the natural sucking of the baby which makes it easier for the mother to get the most milk from each pumping. Many of these types of breast pumps are encased in a microfiber bag or pack which makes traveling with it very easy. Take it to the office, on trips or wherever you need to with ease. The personal use breast pumps often feature adapters for use in the car, and additional accessories such as removable cooler bags, battery packs, collection bottles or containers with lids and ice packs as well. If you are returning to work and will need to pump throughout the day, this is an excellent option to choose.
- Small Electric or Battery Operated – These are the lightest and compact automatic breast pumps available. They usually run on AA or C batteries. They are small enough to easily fit into a purse or even briefcase. They aren’t too noisy to operate but the suction can sometimes be slow or inconsistent which can make using the breast pump much more difficult to produce the amount of milk you need to produce. If you can find models that have intermittent suction that will be much better on you than constant suction. If you only need to use the pump occasionally, this may be a good choice for you.
- Manual – Manual breast pumps are not good choices for regular frequent use. They are good choices if you need to pump on the rare occasion or you are in a situation where there is no power available. Look for an ergonomic handle rather than a bulb to reduce the amount of tiredness that your hand and arm will go through. They are much less expensive than electric models and don’t need batteries or outlets. Manual pumps are usually small enough to fit in your purchase or brief case.
- Hands Free – If you need to have your hands free for other tasks while you are pumping milk, you want to look for a hands free model. These models have breast shield that will attach to the nursing bra. This enables you to use the pump while reading, talking on the phone, surfing the internet or anything else you need your hands for.
Breast pumps have been around for a long time and they have improved in technology and performance over the years. With so many mothers choosing breastfeeding, it is very beneficial to find one that is comfortable to use and that can handle the needs you have for storing and pumping milk.
Breastfeeding is good for your baby and many mothers want to do it for as long as possible to provide their babies with immunities and health benefits that will last their lifetime and start them off on the right foot. In addition, breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast cancer in the mothers as well.
There are many different types and styles of breast pumps on the market to choose from so finding one that will fit your pumping needs and preferences is not impossible at all. You need to take the time to figure out exactly what your needs are when it comes to expressing and storing milk.
These answers will help you understand the kind of breast pump that will work the best for you. If you will be gone from your baby a specific amount of time each day, you will require a higher quality and more powerful breast pump than you would need if you were looking for something to handle the occasional rare bottle. Knowing the differences will ensure the best possible purchase.