At some point in time, almost all mothers have to leave their infant and need to have pumped milk available. Like most decisions for first-time mothers, purchasing a breast pump can be a daunting task. With pressure to do what is best for mom and baby, we hope these tips can help you make a purchase you’re comfortable with.
Manual or Electric?
If you are only planning to occasionally pump, a manual pump might be the right fit. They are fairly inexpensive and many do a good job. Moms who use the Avent “Isis” pump report that it works well and is available at most of the big box stores. No matter what pump you choose, look for adjustable suction and ease of operation and cleaning.
If you need to pump on a daily basis, it will be well worth the money to invest in a double-electric breast pump. Many available in the lower price range do not stand up to daily use or provide poor suction and ease of use. Among others, Medela “Pump in Style”, Ameda “Purely Yours” and the “Hygeia” pumps meet the criteria of durability, strength and ease of use. It may seem like there are endless options out there, but just remember, you get what you pay for.
New or Used?
Pumps are designed to last for approximately one year of use.
If you are pumping only 2-3 times per week, you may be able to use the same pump for several children but if used daily, you may find that the suction strength becomes insufficient over time. Due to the high cost of good electric pumps, you may be tempted to buy a used pump; however, viruses (like hepatitis) can be cultured from pumps years after use, so if the used pump does NOT have a HEPA filter that prevents the transmission of viruses into the motor, it is NOT recommended. The Ameda “Purely Yours” (available from the Fort HealthCare Lactation department) does have a HEPA filter and can be used between multiple moms.
Supply and Demand:
Breasts are designed to alter the type and volume of milk produced. The more frequently they are emptied the more milk you make. When you are pumping it is important to increase the frequency of pumps when you see your infant increase the amount they are taking in.
There are many sites online that compare various pumps, we strongly encourage visiting these sites, and asking other mothers for their opinion. Fort HealthCare's Lactation department provides the “Pump in Style” and the “Purely Yours” for purchase, at cost, to all of our clients. Please call our Lactation department for pricing and purchasing information.
Fort HealthCare’s Breastfeeding Support Group meets the last Thursday of every month
from 1:30-3:00 in the OB Classroom at the hospital. There is a lactation consultant who can answer questions and perform infant weight checks. Moms who attend are typically nearing the end of their pregnancy or have a nursing newborn, infant or toddler. All nursing or curious moms are welcome! As always, moms are invited and encouraged to call our Lactation department (920) 568-5396) for guidance on any breastfeeding related issue.