Breast Pump Buying Guide
For many first-time mothers, picking the perfect breast pump can be difficult. With so many variations, it is important to know what differentiates each breast pump so you choose the right product for you. Our goal at Expressmed is to ensure that your are receiving exactly what you are looking for. Here is some important information to help you make an educated decision.
The goal of a breast pump is to choose a pump that will mimic your baby’s suckling. The closer your pump is to your baby, the more comfortable and successful you will be at producing milk.
There are two main categories of breast pumps: manual and electric powered pumps. Here is the best way to find out which will work best for you.
If you’re having trouble breastfeeding…
You’re best option is an hospital grade breast pump. These heavy-duty pumps feature a double collection kit. This allows you to draw milk from both breasts simultaneously for more efficient pumping. These pumps also offer a suck-and-release cycle that mimics the suckling of your baby for a more natural feel.
If you’re going back to work…
If you are going back to work or know you will be away for several hours on a regular basis a double electric breast pump is also the best option for you. These pumps are fully automatic with adjustable suction levels to avoid nipple discomfort. Like the hospital grade pumps, these allow simultaneous pumping action. Our most popular double electric breast pumps is the Spectra 9 Plus Advanced Portable Breast Pump and the Purely Yours Ultra pump.
If you are pumping once or less a day…
For stay-at-home moms or the occasional pumping needs a manual is a great options. Keep in mind, that while manual pumps are less expensive than double electric pumps, they take twice as long to drain your milk. Manual pumps require you to squeeze a lever to create the suction to your breast. These pumps empty one at a time and require two hands to operate. While most people opt for the electric version, the manual pumps are less expensive and generally more portable.
General Breast Pump Tips
- Don’t borrow or buy a used pump. While it may be tempting to be cost efficient to borrow a friends pump, it is generally not very safe. Breast milk can carry all sorts of bacteria ranging from HIV to hepatitis that can be passed through a bump and on to your baby. Hand-me-down pumps also may be less effective because they lose their strength and the seal disintegrates over time.
- When only using one pump, seal the other side. If you are only using one side of a double electric pump, it is important to seal the side not being used. Not doing so reduces the suction on the side being used making it less effective.
- Choose the right breast shield. The shield that comes with the pump may not be the correct size your for individual needs. If the shield is too large, it may not properly suction to your breast. However, if a shield is too small it can cause bruising or sore nipples.
Clean after use. While sanitation isn’t required, it is important to rinse off the different parts of a breast pump after usage. Hot water and dish soap is all that you need to keep your breast pump clean and safe to use for you and your baby.