How To Choose The Best Breast Pumps
Learn about types and brands of breast pumps, when to buy one & accessories
Before heading off to buy a breast pump, consider if you really need one at all.
If you are on maternity leave or a stay-at-home mom, breastfeeding works well and you have no immediate urge to go out with your friends or hubby and leave your baby at home, you really do not need to buy a breast pump.
But for many moms, it is not possible to be present every time the baby is ready to eat. In such case, a breast pump is particularly useful. By keeping milk supply up and providing the benefits of breast milk while you return to work or need a break, a breast pump can make it possible for the baby to get the nutrition and disease-fighting substances despite mom not being there all the time.
In addition, using a breast pump is an efficient way to prepare for breastfeeding an adopted baby as well as for keeping milk supply up even if your baby was born too early and can't nurse in the beginning.
But which pump to choose?
There are several different types and brands available at very different prices. Here we try to help guiding you to which may be the best breast pumps for your situation.
Choosing The Best Breast Pumps
When To Buy One?If you are still pregnant with your first child and you will stay at home with your baby after he or she is born, I would certainly recommend postponing any purchase of breast pump. Chances are that you won't need it!
But if you already know that you will go back to work early, are waiting for your adopted baby, or are at high risk of giving birth too early, then buying a pump in advance can make sense.
Another option is to rent one, to be able to try out which are the best breast pumps for you.
What Type Of Pump Do I Need?
This is a good question since there are many available, however basically the choice comes down to either a manual type or an electric or battery operated breast pump.
The best breast pumps for you will depend on the type you prefer and of course how often you will use it. Some women decide to use both. Maybe one more efficient, but slightly heavier for home use and then a lighter, smaller one to carry along.
The Different Types In DetailAn electric hospital-grade breast pump is often used when a highly efficient pump is needed. This could be when preparing for adoptive breastfeeding or when a mom has problems to maintain her milk supply for her special needs infant (for example a pre-term or sick newborn baby, who can't nurse effectively yet). The pumps have a suck-and-release that most resembles the baby's rate of nursing. These are the best breast pumps available; however, they are expensive at about $1000. In addition, they are usually quite heavy and unwieldy.
The personal use breast pumps that are top of the line are electric and are a combination of the proficiency of the hospital pump without the bulk. Most moms that are returning to work find these are very reliable and have the best cycling times. They weigh only about eight pounds and many have adapters or battery packs so they can be used in places that may lack electrical access. These breast pumps are more affordable than the hospital type generally costing from $200 to $350.
The mid-range breast pumps are typically electric or battery powered. They are commonly used by moms who are only gone for a short period of time on an occasional basis and leave their baby with a sitter or a family member. They are portable - weighing only about two pounds - and they are less expensive - from $50 to $150 - which are the good aspects. The cons for these breast pumps are they often take longer, battery-operated models often need new batteries and if you are going to choose one of this type, you need to see if it has an adjustable suction, as it is often not strong enough or too strong.
A manual pump uses neither batteries nor electric but manual effort and is dependent on the preferences of the mother. Some prefer more efficient models and some say the manual pumps are more natural. These pumps are smaller, weigh less and are quite affordable. In addition, they are quieter.
There are moms who do not like the manual breast pump because they say they do not empty all the milk from their breasts and are tiring for their hands. They range in price from $30 to $60. The type that is similar in shape to a bicycle horn should not be purchased as the rubber balls can allow build-up of harmful bacteria.
Convenient AccessoriesMany breast pumps, like this popular one, have carrying cases and as assortment of accessories included. There may be storage bags, bottles, labels, breast flanges, clips and nipple ointment. Some may not have the accessories included and they must be purchased separately.
The choice of the best breast pump will be a personal decision. Some moms find that the one they are using is not the best one for them and may try different types before settling on one. There are many places that rent breast pumps, so it may be wise to go this route before making the ultimate choice of the one you will use.
Breastfeeding Book Tips
Breast milk is such a great benefit for a baby, so anything you can do to prolong the period of breastfeeding is great. Using a breast pump is an important option for many moms. If you want to learn more about breastfeeding, (in addition to the information supplied here at Easy Baby Life) here are a few good books to dig through:
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