Looking For The Best Breast Pump on the market? Read on.
If you are looking to purchase a breast pump, let us sidetrack for a second and congratulate you on your decision to breastfeed! As you may already know, the benefits are tremendous; from better health, better brain development, even better social skills. Human milk contains components which can’t be replicated in formula, meeting your baby’s nutritional requirements, as well as containing antibodies to protect them against infections and diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and continued breastfeeding until your child is 2 years old.
Even though nothing can be seem more natural than breastfeeding, it is never as easy as everyone else makes it out to be. It’s hard, hard work and all new mothers should be prepared for how tough it can get. From the ‘supposed’ insufficient milk to milk blisters and engorged breasts, fending off constant bombardment in the form of ads from formula companies, to ‘advice’ from well meaning relatives, nothing requires more determination and self confidence than breastfeeding, especially since you’ll be exhausted and still sore from the delivery. Being prepared increases your chances of successfully breastfeeding.
1) Being familiar with breastfeeding techniques. The series of instructional videos from Stanford University is a useful place to start.
2) Knowing the different baby hunger cues – A ravenous baby won’t be patient when you are trying to improve the latch. Start feeding when the baby first starts showing hunger cues.
3) Educate yourself about what makes a good pump. There are many review sites which can give you an insight as to what features many mothers find useful. Whats considered the a really great pump to one working mother may not be that to a stay at home mum.
4) Finding a good support group (on or offline) to address your concerns and share in your joys. This can make all the difference between achieving your breastfeeding goals or admitting defeat too soon. Read up on the experiences of mothers who have gone through the breastfeeding journey, from mastitis, exclusive pumping milk clots or just nagging from family members. Whether you need a shoulder to cry on or opinions on a breast pump, these are some good avenues to start.
KellyMom Mother-to-Mother Breastfeeding Support : https://www.facebook.com/groups/kellymamas Asian Parent Breastfeeding Support Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/206216689392950/ Breastfeeding Muslim Mothers : https://www.facebook.com/groups/breastfeeding.muslim.mothers/ 5) Lots of moms have recorded tips and tricks for pumping that work for them. Read up and be prepared mentally. Back
While its not necessary to buy the most expensive one in the market, a pump can come in handy for the following reasons:
1. Regulating your milk supply
Breastfeeding works on the mechanism of demand and supply. The more milk that is removed from your body, either via pump or via your baby, the more the body will produce. Of course this is not a perfect science because there are some foods, herbs or supplements that can reduce or increase your milk supply.
2. Increasing milk
In the event that your milk production is delayed, frequent double pumping with massage has been proven to increase milk supply. Some mothers also choose to pump after each feeding to drain their breasts of milk since any leftover milk will only cause the breast to produce less milk during the subsequent cycles. Another useful, but more drastic technique would be to pump out some milk prior to feeding. The baby suckling on a limited amount of milk in the body would signal the body to produce even more milk. Babies are later fed the expressed milk via cup or syringe. Remember to avoid a bottle so as to prevent nipple confusion. Since expressing milk can assist in addressing a concern most mothers have, i.e. insufficient milk, choosing a good pump for your lifestyle needs is essential.
3. Reduce engorgement
During the first few days, your baby may not nurse as much and your supply may be more than she consumes. Pumping the excess would prevent extreme pain and discomfort and allow you to maintain the supply.
4. Storage for later
You may produce excess milk during the first few months and the milk that has been stored would come in handy for dry spell, which can come about if you are stressed or having your period.
5. Allowing others to feed the baby
We understand that taking care of a baby is hard work and there might be times when you’ll be grateful that someone else is offering to feed the baby while you rest. Take the opportunity to recharge while you can.
6. Going back to work
You should ideally breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months and having to go back to work should not be a barrier. Investing in a double electric breast pump, what some mothers consider the best type of pump on the market, can cut the pumping time by half and assist you to meet your breastfeeding goals, despite being busy with work.
7. Supplementing first foods
When you start introducing your baby to first foods, you should add in some breast milk i.e. pumped out to allow your baby to get used to the taste of solid food.
8. Babies with special needs like a cleft palate
Babies with special needs may not be able to nurse effectively and would benefit from being fed breast milk via alternative methods like via a tube, a cup or a syringe. In situations like this, getting the a good pump to tide you over this stressful periods is probably one of the best decisions you can ever make. Back
Direct Latching or breastfeeding your baby directly is always the best way of increasing milk supply; your baby’s suckling as well as the saliva in your baby mouth send signals to your body to produce milk. The more milk removed from your body the more milk your body produces – this is the basic principle of demand and supply of milk production. In fact, getting a good latch is the most important thing you need to focus on once the baby arrives. (Dr Jack Newman’s website provides a lot of useful information from latching tips to supplementary aids to using medication to increase your milk supply.)
However, no matter how we plan for the best birth possible, none of us can predict emergency situations where you won’t be able to breastfeed your child directly. This is where it becomes useful to do research on a suitable breast pump prior to birth. Reading breast pump reviews from other mothers is beneficial and can help you select the best breast pump for yourself when the need arises. Not knowing the features and benefits of each pump brand and model would only lead you to spend more money buying several pumps before you find one perfect for yourself.
There is no right time for you to buy a breast pump. For some mothers, buying one before the birth of the child would allow them to get used to the device before the baby (and time crunch) arrives. For others, direct latching is the best way to go until the point of time where the mum needs to go back to work. Some mothers may also find themselves engorged with too much milk, with pumping being the best way to remove the additional milk while others may make use of it to produce more milk. If money is no object, we would recommend buying one prior to the birth of the baby because when the baby comes, you would want to be prepared for everything that may happen. Minimally, you should familiarize yourself with breast pump features and capabilities on the market by researching websites as well as reading as many reviews as possible. Back
Frankly speaking, there is no such thing as the one pump that is ‘best’ for every woman.There are a variety of pumps in the market, each catering to different lifestyle needs and budgets. Some insurance policies covers the cost of a breast pump so be sure to check with your provider so that you’ll be able to get the best one you can afford. You should also be aware that not every female body responds similarly to every pump, even if they have the best reviews or if they are most expensive one on the market. There have been cases of women who don’t respond to electric pumps but collect more milk when using a manual. There is also no exact science to determine which is the ideal one for you without trying it out for a few times. Also, pumping itself is a learned skill – massage and breast compressions might help, but you should not equate the amount of milk you produce based on the amount you pump. Your baby is still the best drainer of milk. The Breast pumps available on the market are typically divided into 3 categories:
- Double Electric Breast Pumps: Allows simultaneous pumping of both breasts which can cut pumping time in half. Double pumping also has been shown to increase milk production. This pump is often considered the best type of pump available
- Single Electric Breast Pumps: Electric Breast pumps do not require your ‘hand strength’ to control the pump lever, allowing you to massage your breasts to obtain best possible output.
- Manual Breast Pumps: Some mothers prefer to control the speed of the pumps themselves rather than rely on the motor so a manual pump works best. A manual pump also works any where, anytime, eliminating the need for a power source or batteries.
Within these categories, you should keep in mind that your ideal pump have the following features which suits your needs.
- Power source : Does the pump require a power outlet or does it work with batteries? Is the batteries located within the pump or is it an external pack. Does it come with rechargeable batteries or can it be used with AA batteries?
- Parts in contact with milk : How many parts do I need to wash after each use? We believe that this is an important feature for mums who are pressed for time ( then again who isn’t??). The less number of pieces there is to wash, the faster the pumping job will be done.
- Weight of the breast pump: If you have to lug around a pump to work everyday and back, you should definitely take note of this feature. If you intend to keep a pump at your destination, this may not be such an important feature.
- Portability: Some pumps allow you to multitask, e.g. pump while doing the dishes etc, while some require you to take a seat near a power source.
- Price: If you are price sensitive, You should try to determine the best breast pump option within your price range.
- Usage: Some breast pumps are built for temporary use, others for daily use, multiple times a day. Apart from the strength of the motor, its impact on your nipples may also be an issue.
- Support: The availability of support from the manufacturer and convenience of getting of spare parts is crucial as the breast pump is a delicate object. You wouldn’t want to be stuck with a malfunctioning breast pump when you’re engorged and in pain.
If you can afford it, we would recommend a portable double electric breast pump, as well as a hands free accessory. This would allow you to do other activities like cooking, washing up without being constrained to a single part of the room. This might not be an essential feature at the beginning of your pumping journey, however over time, you will dread being chained to that spot and long for a pump that allows more flexibility. Remember, you’ll be pumping for over 6 months to a year! Back
1) Read up on reviews. Reviews and ratings from thousands of users on sites like Amazon might be beneficial to find out what is suitable for you.
2) Watch this video about choosing the best pump for your lifestyle.
3) Get familiar with each pump’s functions and specifications and benefits, and judge if its essential to you. You might not need some of the features in a double electric pump, so if you’re on a tight budget, you might be better off with another model or brand.
4)Refer to our comparison tables. We have summarized information for easy comparison. You can also read more about the pump and its features in the individual breast pump review pages: Medela, Ameda, Philips Avent and others.