Breast Pumps Buying Guide
Welcome to the wonderful world of motherhood. If you need help breast-feeding , these handy devices may be just the thing to keep you and your baby happy and healthy. Check out some of the following breast pump basics, and browse the different models available on today's market.
What They Do
Besides simply extracting milk for feeding your baby, breast pumps can also:
- Maintain or even increase milk supply.
- Relieve breasts that are engorged, are painful or have plugged milk ducts.
- Help feed multiple babies at once.
- Pull out flat or inverted nipples so that the baby can feed more easily.
Breast Pump Anatomy
- The breast shield is the cone-shaped cup that fits over the nipple and areola.
- The pump itself creates the suction that expresses milk from the breast. The pump is usually attached to the breast-shield directly or by way of plastic tubing.
- A detachable milk collection container is fitted below the breast-shield. It is usually a disposable bag or a reusable bottle that has a nipple attachment for feeding the baby.
Manual Breast Pumps
- This model uses a two-cylinder system to create suction.
- Some manual pumps have a handle or lever that is squeezed to create suction and express milk
- Other manual pumps have a bicycle horn pump (a hollow rubber ball is attached to the breast shield) that is placed over the nipple. The rubber ball is squeezed and released to create a vacuum that expresses milk.
Battery-Powered Breast Pump
- Can be adjusted to create different patterns of suction that mimic a nursing baby.
- Should have a back-up method to use (like a manual pump) in case batteries fail.
- Good for short-term separations--mums who leave their babies with sitters and don't want to use formula.
- Most allow you to slowly pump only one breast at a time.
- Lightweight and portable.
Electric Breast Pump
- A cord plugged into a electrical outlet powers a small motor that creates suction to extract milk.
- Fully automatic with quick cycling times.
- Adjustable suction levels to avoid nipple discomfort.
- Capable of pumping both breasts at once.
- Often come with carrying cases, bottles, nipple ointment and other accessories.
Stocking up on more baby gear? We can help you find just what you're looking for.