Breast pumps can be a godsend for nursing moms. They can give you the choice to go back to work, while making sure your little one is well nourished, they can allow dad to enjoy the bonding experience of feeding, or they can purely give you some much wanted rest while someone else feeds the baby.
Many moms prefer to buy a pump prior to the baby arriving as it gives them a chance to try out the gadget to make sure it’s right for them, as well as help prepare them for repeated use. In fact, it’s highly advised that bottle feeding is introduced very early on to help the baby become accustomed as well. Many babies will reject the bottle if it’s introduced to them too late.
There are various types of pumps, all with different settings and accessories so it’s imperative to know what you’re looking for. This is especially Reviewlr useful before you start reading breast pump reviews. We’ve put together some instructions to help you discover the very best pump for your needs.
There are two foremost varieties of pumps available… manual pumps, and electric pumps.
Manual breast pumps are hand-operated by pumping a handle. The pumping stroke creates a vacuum which causes the milk to pass from the breast shield (the part that covers the breast) through the tubing and into the collection containers (usually baby bottles). A number of manual pumps use a single handle, while some have two handles.
Manual pumps can be an excellent choice for moms who plan to pump at work as they’re generally of a lighter weight, and also quieter than electric pumps. However, they often take a bit more effort and may also be time intensive, so if you’re planning to use it regularly you may be better suited to an electric pump, either in place of, or as well as a manual pump.
Electric breast pumps function the same way as a manual pump, however they use a motor instead of a hand pumping action.
You’ll find that an electric pump will often create a higher amount of suction than a manual breast pump and also cut down on the amount of time it takes to express. A number of the better electric pumps on the market such as the Medela Pump in Style come with inconspicuous backpacks or carry bags that make them easier to transport if you plan on leaving the house with them.
And while they’re noisier than manual breast pumps, there are a few available that are whisper quiet so don’t be entirely discouraged by electric pumps.
Electric pumps are available in two different varieties… single breast pumps and double breast pumps.
Single Breast Pumps are made with one flange or breast shield (the part that covers the breast) and one collection bottle.
While Double Breast Pumps logically come with 2 breast shields and 2 collection containers.
A double electric pump will obviously produce more milk, in much less time than a single pump. They can be tricky to get used to at first however, if you plan on repeated use, the reward is worth persisting with the learning curve.
It’s imperative to ensure that the parts of a pump that will come into contact with the milk, or with your baby are free of BPA. BPA is compound sometimes used in the production of plastics, and can be potentially harmful to your child. Most pumps on the market are free of BPA but it’s always important to check.
Another concern to bear in mind is whether the breast pump uses an open system, or a closed system
A Closed system pump means that the motor is entirely blocked off from the parts of the pump that come into contact with the milk, such as the tubing, flange, and containers.
In an Open system pump there may be a chance the milk may overflow or possibly come into contact with the motor where it’s impossible to clean and may create bacteria.
While a closed system is good for piece of mind, it isn’t a huge concern, as contamination is very rare, especially when are careful to ensure you don’t overflow the containers. Also most of the top breast pumps that use an open system are created to prevent this.
One of the helpful settings to look out for in an electric breast pump is a let-down function. This is a setting that may help stimulate the breasts when you first begin pumping so that a natural milk flow is achieved. Again… It isn’t a necessity but it’s something that some moms find very useful.
Another option to look out for in an electric pump is battery operation. Many of the best breast pumps are able to be operated either via batteries or AC power. And While there can be a small loss of power or suction while operating a pump via batteries, it allows you to take the pump practically anywhere. A lot of pumps also offer car chargers as an extra accessory.
Finding the best breast pump will most likely come down to lifestyle and your personal preferences. Hopefully now you have a better idea of what type of pump is suited to you and what features to look out for