Breastfeeding is one of the most natural and wholesome things a mother can do for her newborn. It creates a special bond between mother and child and also helps the new mom get back to shape after childbirth. While most women will find it easy to establish breastfeeding, not all mothers are naturally blessed with ample milk supply or have the ability to lactate.
This means that they will need to use breast pumps to extract their milk to feed their babies from a bottle. So, if you’re thinking of buying a breast pump soon, you’ve come to the right place! This post aims to be your ultimate guide on how to choose the best breast pump for yourself so you won’t go wrong with your purchase.
Is it necessary to get a breast pump?
A lactating mum may use a breast pump to maintain or boost her milk supply. Every baby is different, so not all babies may take to breastfeeding right away or naturally. A breast pump is a medical device that assists mothers who are lactating to keep up with their milk production.
Breast pumps are one of the best ways to extract milk and feed it to a bottle-fed baby. If you’re a first-time mom, you might have heard that you shouldn’t use breast pumps because it can lead to decreased milk supply. This is only true if you’re stressed out, overworked, and don’t have proper time to feed your baby. If you have not been able to establish breastfeeding, owning a breast pump can help you with expressing your milk.
This is something that can be done at home and doesn’t require much time. Plus, you can store the milk in breast milk storage containers in the freezer to feed your child when you’re out somewhere and unable to nurse. Breast pumps are also recommended for mothers who have premature babies. They can start using a breast pump as early as two weeks. This will help their bodies start producing more milk and in turn feed their babies.
When is the right time to buy one? Before or after the baby is born?
Breast pumps are not typically needed immediately after giving birth for the first time. For instance, if you plan to feed exclusively, you may not require a breast pump right away. On the other hand, if you plan to return to work, investing in the correct breast pump early on may be beneficial. You might be able to practice pumping some milk for storage if you have a breast pump on hand. You may order it at any time in your pregnancy, whether it makes you more comfortable or not. However, if the mother feels more comfortable procuring the pump before the baby is born, there is no reason she shouldn’t.
What are the different types of breast pumps?
There are three different types of breast pumps, but let’s start with the basic mechanism behind all of them. A breast pump works by suctioning some of the milk from the breast. Some of them can be powered by batteries, while others can be plugged in. These pumps come with a variety of settings that allow you to control the suction strength and speed.
All breast pumps contain a few basic parts;
a. Breast Shield: a cone-shaped cup that fits over the nipple and the circular area surrounding the nipple (the areola).
b. Pump: creates the gentle vacuum that expresses milk. The pump may be attached to the breast shield or have plastic tubing to connect the pump to the breast shield.
c. Milk Container: a detachable container that fits below the breast shield and collects milk as it is pumped. The container is typically a reusable bottle or disposable bag that can be used to store the milk or be attached to a nipple and used for feeding a baby.
Types of breast pumps
There are three main types of breast pumps;
- Manual breast pump
- Battery-powered pumps
- Electric breast pump
Manual Breast pump
Manual breast pumps are pumps that can be operated manually. You use a manual breast pump by sliding a trigger back and forth to create suction that removes milk from your breasts. Because they are less expensive than electric ones and are small and lightweight, manual breast pumps are good for occasional pumping. However, if you wish to pump frequently or extract a lot of milk, operating a manual breast pump could be time-consuming and tiring.
Battery Powered Breast Pump
A battery-operated breast pump is a great alternative to manual breast pumps. Like manual pumps, battery-operated pumps are also quite small and easy to store. However, you do have to incur the cost of having to replace batteries over time.
Electric Breast Pump
If you need to pump frequently and are looking for the best breast pump to produce large quantities of milk, then an electric breast pump is your best bet. Electric breast pumps are more powerful than battery-operated pumps. Electric breast pumps pump quickly and can help you save time when you are in a hurry. Unlike manual or battery-operated pumps, however, electric breast pumps are larger and tend to be costlier.
Other types of breast pumps include;
Bulb-style breast pumps
Breast pumps in the form of bulbs were favored in ancient times, but no longer. Because they don’t provide adequate stimulation or emptying, bulb-style breast pumps are no longer in vogue. Furthermore, these pumps are no longer popular because they may damage breast tissue and may contain bacteria in the difficult-to-clean rubber suction bulb.
Hands-Free Breast Pumps
Hands-free breast pumps are known as wearable breast pumps. Why would you buy a hands-free breast pump? Unlike conventional electric pumps, hands-free breast pumps do not require an electrical outlet to be plugged in or against the breast for a pumping session, usually about 10 to 30 minutes based on your milk quantity and your time availability. Because they can be worn under your clothes, hands-free pumps are frequently more portable and simpler to set up than electric pumps. As a result, you can perform multiple tasks with them.
Open-system vs. closed-system breast pumps.
The barrier between the pump and the tubing in a closed system pump prevents your breast milk from getting contaminated. This barrier prevents your milk from leaking into the pump and ensures that it travels through a 100% hygienic system. Breast milk is prevented from leaking out of the barrier so that it does not contaminate the pump. In Kenya, Medela, one of the most popular breast pump manufacturers, uses the term ‘overflow protection’ instead of ‘closed system.’ You can pump in the most comfortable position with a closed system pump. If you prefer to pump while reclined or lying down, a closed system breast pump is exactly what you want.
Open system breast pumps, on the other hand, do not come with barriers. If mild gets into your tubing, the tubing must then be cleaned carefully and dried out before it can be used to pump again. If milk is inadvertently left in the tubing for too long, the mold can grow.
What about a pumping bra?
An alternative to a hands-free breast pump is buying a pumping bra. A pumping bra can convert any wireless electric breast pump into a hands-free pump. Pumping bras can also be used with electric breast pumps, you just have to stay close to an electric outlet.
Determining factors when buying a breast pump
As mentioned, there are many different types of breast pumps available. This means that it can be quite confusing to choose the one that’s right for you. But don’t worry, we have listed down the factors that you should consider to help you make the right decision when buying a breast pump for yourself.
- Breast Pump Type – We’ve already discussed the different breast pump types in the previous section. The main difference between them is the way they extract milk from your breasts. And the way you feel when using them. You should select the one that feels most comfortable for you.
- Breast Pump Ease of Use – This is a very important factor to consider especially if you’re a busy mom. You don’t want to spend hours trying to figure out how the pump works.
- Breast Pump Noise Level – Let’s face it, you will be using this pump in your own home. So, you don’t want to buy one that’s incredibly loud and disrupts the peace. Again, there are different types of pumps, so you can pick one that is quiet.
- Breast Pump Batteries – It’s best if you buy a pump that you can plug in. However, make sure that the one you choose can be powered by batteries as well. This way, you can pump in places where there isn’t a plug nearby.
- Breast Pump Ease of Cleaning – You will have to clean your pump before and after each use. And make sure that you sanitize it properly. This will prevent any infections from forming in your breasts.
- Comfort- The flanges of the breast pump must fit well to your breast and nipples to avoid pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell whether a pump will be comfortable until you test out different sizes and types to find your most comfortable fit.
- Breast pump cost – As mentioned earlier, electric breast pumps are faster and more efficient than all other types of breast pumps. For this reason alone, electric breast pumps are more expensive than manual or battery-operated breast pumps. Manual and battery-operated pumps tend to be more affordable but they are also time-consuming and labor-intensive, which is something you have to keep in mind when making your purchase.
Shop for breast pumps in all shapes, types, sizes, and styles from top brands like Medela, Spectra, Avent & more at Zawadi Baby Shop.
To make the shopping experience even more stress-free for you, we will safely deliver your breast pump to your required destination! you don’t need to lift a finger!
Head on over here to buy your breast pump.
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