What Makes a Great Breast Pump?
For most parents who are breastfeeding, choosing the right breast pump is an important part of their breastfeeding journey. The best breast pump should be easy to clean, easy to use, and offer the best fit. It should also match your milk supply and lifestyle needs. Whether you’re going back to work or you simply crave the extra wiggle room a breast pump can offer, here’s how you can find the best pump for you.
The Type of Pump
Before you settle on a breast pump, you need to understand the different types available in today’s market. Learning their differences will help you decide what you need from a pump. Today, breast pumps are available as double electric breast pumps, single electric pumps, hospital-grade pumps, and manual pumps.
Double or single electric breast pumps have electric motors that express milk on your behalf. These hands-free pumps can be set to different expression and suction levels and are available to use with a pumping bra. The main difference between a double pump and a single pump is that with the double electric pump, you can express both breasts at once.
A hospital-grade breast pump is a rental breast pump. It’s often used by new moms who cannot breastfeed due to medical reasons. Some of the medical reasons that could make it difficult for a mom to nurse could be multiple births such as twins, triplets, or more. Mastitis, feeding difficulties, limited milk supply, or a baby admitted to the NICU are other medical necessities that could warrant the use of a hospital-grade pump.
Manual breast pump rely on the mom’s natural letdown or handle to induce milk production. These pumps are easy to use, portable, and don’t need a power source to work. They’re best suited for occasional use.
The Cost of the Pump
Breast pumps are available for purchase at baby supply stores, hospitals, online retailers, and in the baby section of major retail stores. If you decide to buy your pump from an online store, opt to buy directly from the manufacturer’s website; as you’ll have more help with warranties, return policies, and other customer support issues.
When it comes to cost, electric breast pumps cost more than manual pumps; but luckily, insurance companies are required to cover breast pumps. To see what pump brands are covered by your insurer; ask your doctor for a prescription and then give the prescription to a medical supplies company. They’ll let you know which Breast Pump brands your plan will cover. Some insurance plans also cover pumping accessories such as storage bags; breast shields, extra milk collection bottles, adapters, tubing, flanges, and more.
Signing up for newsletters from a source like Truly Mama can also help you get free handpicked samples of breastfeeding products.
Where you’ll be pumping from is another important fact to consider as you make plans to purchase a pump. If you’re going back to work, for instance, consider an electric pump, due to the privacy it offers. Brands like Willow and Elvie have wearable pumping bra options that make it easy for you to pump discreetly. Willow also has a reusable container that collects excess milk; so you won’t have to worry about the discomfort caused by leaks.
If you need more help choosing a breast pump, a lactation consultant can help. A lactation consultant is a trained professional who helps new parents resolve some common breastfeeding challenges. Some of the breastfeeding challenges they may help you address include engorgement; poor milk supply, trouble latching, breast pain or sore nipples, issues with pumping breast milk, and more. If you need help finding a lactation expert; websites like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the International Lactation Consultant Association can help.