Your Guide to Choosing the Perfect Breast Pump

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Are you feeling a little overwhelmed trying to choose the right breast pump? 

Rest assured, you're in good company. To make this process a breeze, we've carefully put together an all-inclusive guide. Whether you're a first-time mum or a seasoned breastfeeding pro, every journey with a new baby brings its own unique set of considerations. Join us as we dive into the details of this comprehensive breast pump guide.

Do I Need a Breast Pump for Breastfeeding?

You might be wondering whether a breast pump is essential for your breastfeeding journey. While it's not a mandatory tool, it can be incredibly beneficial for a variety of reasons. Whether you're planning to express milk occasionally or on a more regular basis, there's a breast pump designed to suit your needs.

From sharing feeding responsibilities with your partner to easing the demands during cluster feeding weeks, a breast pump becomes your reliable ally. And for those transitioning back to work, an ample supply of expressed milk can make the adjustment smoother for both you and your baby.

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What Types of Breast Pumps Are There?

The world of breast pumps offers a range of options, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. Let's take a closer look at the common types:

  Pros Cons
Manual Breast Pumps Portability, affordability, control Effort-intensive, time-consuming, low suction power
Single Electric Breast Pumps Convenience, portability, cost-effectiveness One-sided pumping, less suitable for exclusive pumping
Double Electric Breast Pumps Efficiency, effectiveness, great for frequent use Higher cost, less portable
Wireless Breast Pumps Convenience, portability, efficiency Slightly higher cost, limited battery life
Wearable Breast Pumps Convenience, discretion, mobility Very high price, lower suction power, high possibility of leakage
Hospital-Grade Breast Pumps Efficiency, milk supply boost, customisation Very high price, bulky, limited availability 

 

Choose A Breast Pump That Fits Your Lifestyle

Based on your specific needs and preferences, you can align yourself with the right breast pump type:

"I Want to Pump Occasionally": For those not planning daily pumping sessions, a single electric or manual pump suffices. Infrequent pumping won't significantly alter your milk supply during the early days. This approach aids in creating a small stash for times away from your baby. Many mothers who exclusively breastfeed also find occasional bottle feeds using expressed milk quite beneficial.

"I Aim to Express Milk Regularly or Exclusively": Mothers planning frequent expression sessions should opt for an electric pump. Electric pumps offer adjustable suction strength, minimizing manual effort. Convenience becomes a priority when pumping multiple times daily. Some pumps allow direct pumping into storage containers, reducing transfer steps.

"I'm Returning to Work and Need Discretion": Returning to work while breastfeeding demands a discreet and portable pump. Wearable pumps, known for their compact design and quiet operation, fit well in professional settings. Remember to consider noise levels and leak prevention when choosing your pump.

Keep an Eye Out for These Breast Pump Features

Closed/Open System: Choose closed systems to prevent milk from “backing up” into the tubes and motor, which may lead to mold or bacteria growing. It also stops any leakages whilst you’re pumping and provides a sanitary route for the milk to flow.

Suction Level: Most electric breast pumps have varying degrees of suction for both stimulating and expressing modes. The Lola&Lykke Smart Electric Breast Pump, for example, has 6 stimulation settings and 9 for expression. Having this feature is really beneficial to Mums so they can pump comfortably and efficiently. It’s important to find a setting that is right for you and won’t be too harsh on your breasts.

Credibility: When you're on the hunt for a breast pump, the easiest trick to spot the gems is to keep an eye out for pumps that have won awards, like the MadeForMums Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards, or have been given the thumbs up by peer-reviewed studies. This basically tells you that mums who were after the same things as you found these pumps top-notch and can vouch for their features and design. 

Wired/Wireless: Traditional breast pumps used to be stuck to the wall with tubes and cords, keeping you tied to one spot while pumping. As busy mums, you may want to go for a pump with a rechargeable battery that allows more freedom and mobility. Choose one that is light and easy to carry, so you can pump wherever you want.

Every breastfeeding journey is different and it doesn’t always work out for everyone. No matter how long you have breastfed your baby for, be proud of your accomplishments and cherish the special bond you built because of it.

If you are struggling to breastfeed, investing in a good pump can still help you to establish your milk supply and/or relieve engorgement.

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