Once you have a baby, there are many decisions you need to make for their healthy and safe upbringing. While the baby’s comfort is paramount, a new mother’s convenience is equally important. Nursing a child is not always as easy as it sounds. As a mother, you will juggle multiple things like caring for your baby, family and even yourself.
To make things easy, we recommend you invest in a breast pump. It offers unmatched flexibility that allows new mothers to streamline work. They help mothers express and store milk but also stimulate milk production.
But how do you choose the right one? In this article, we discuss the types of breast pumps and the essential criteria to consider before purchasing one.
Importance of breast milk
Feeding your baby with breast milk aids healthy growth. The volume and composition of the breast milk change according to the time of the day, nursing frequency and age to cater to the changing needs of the baby. It provides your baby with the necessary nutrients and protects them against allergies, sickness, diseases and even obesity.
It benefits the baby and the mother by reducing the risks of Type 2 Diabetes and certain cancers such as breast cancer. Some mothers even find it easier to return to what they weighed before pregnancy.
Types of breast pumps
There are several types of breast pumps with distinct features and advantages. Here are a few kinds that you can choose from:
1. Manual pumps
These are most suited for occasional use. It is essential to wash it to minimize germs and bacteria. These pumps are discreet and do not make too much noise.
2. Electric pumps
An electric pump is a long-term investment. It is ideal for frequent use and works faster than a manual pump. You may find single or double electric pumps. You can buy a double electric pump and use it as a single pump; however, the reverse may not be possible. Like the manual pumps, these too require regular cleaning or sterilization.
3. Wearable pumps
Some pumps with a li-polymer battery shut automatically after 30 minutes. The Spectra Breast Pump, for example, is portable and provides you with a hands-free experience to pump milk. It gets attached to the innerwear and gives you the freedom to pump milk anywhere without worrying about privacy. These pumps also work on Bluetooth, so you can switch it on and off at your convenience.
4. Hospital-grade pumps
Hospital-grade breast pumps typically have powerful motors and are used in a hospital setup. They filter out any germs and microbes, keeping the milk sterile. Hospital-grade breast pumps may be available for rent monthly for personal use.
Factors to consider before purchasing a breast pump
There is a range of pumps in the market, and you need to make a wise choice. You may choose to start with manual and move on to electric. Let us look at some factors you need to consider before making this investment :
- Pumping frequency: If you need to pump regularly, manual pumping may consume a lot of energy and time. If you plan to express all your milk through pumping, we recommend buying an electric model.
- Ease of transport: You may have to carry your pumps to work or travel. In such cases, choose a lightweight model that is easy to clean.
- Noise level: Manual pumps are discreet, while an electric pump creates noise. Consider the environment in which you may have to pump the milk. For example, if you need to pump around people, choose a pump model that is relatively less noisy.
- Location of pumping: You can use a manual pump anywhere. However, an electric breast pump requires you to be near an electric socket. Ensure the power supply in the places you may pump milk, and if its location is comfortable for you to do the same.
- Ability to multi-task: Some pumps offer hands-free options. It allows you to do other things while they are pumping milk. So, if you want to work or complete other tasks, a hands-free model may be beneficial.
- Cost, replacement of parts, maintenance: There are delicate parts that easily get damaged and may not be easy to replace. It is essential to consider the brand you purchase, product quality and even the pumping frequency to evaluate the value of the money you spend on a breast pump.
- Design: It is singularly the most important consideration for a mother. Pumping should be comfortable. Replicating a baby’s suckling is not easy. A good design should account for the mother’s convenience by applying enough pressure.
Today there are models which enhance conveniences, such as fast pumps, pumps that fit into clothes, and wireless or rechargeable models. With breast pumps becoming as important as diapers and wet wipes, there are models suited for a variety of uses and budgets. Plan and make a smart investment. Consider the brand reputation, customer reviews and even the ethical business practices of the brand. You may also speak with a medical practitioner or lactation consultant before making a purchase decision.