After your baby is born, nurses at the hospital or birthing center will help you nurse your baby the first few times so that you can get accustomed to the infant latching on and feeding directly from your breast. Feeding your baby is one of the most important things that you can do as a mother to help your baby grow big and strong.
For some babies and mothers, though, latching does not always work due to frustration, postpartum depression, or the baby’s medical issue. Luckily, many companies offer breast pumps that can make milk expression possible.
But when you start the process of buying a breast pump for feeding your child, how can you know what the best breast pump is? To ease your decision-making process, we went shopping and built a list of the best breast pumps in 2020. The goal is for you to find a product that allows you to let-down milk as easy and pain-free as possible.
How To Choose A Breast Pump – Buying Guide
When a lactating mother looks for the best breast pump, many factors need to be considered. You cannot take the cheapest one in the market due to the low price alone because it may prevent you from producing milk. Here is a comprehensive guide that may point you towards your ideal breast pump.
The natural breastfeeding process comes in two phases. The first phase involves the stimulation of your breast. This is when your baby takes short, shallow, frequent sucks to encourage your body to produce milk. During the second phase of extraction, the infant suckles longer and deeper to ‘express’ your breast milk.
Since not all babies can complete these two phases all the time, having a breast pump that can do it is very beneficial to you and your child. For one, neither of you will get frustrated if milk does not come out when you expect it to. The pumping tool can imitate a baby’s sucking pattern to increase milk production.
Machines can also do the dual-phase extraction at record time. Some even have double pumps, so you can collect and store a few ounces of milk in less than 30 minutes.
The flange is the curved piece of plastic that cups your breast before you start pumping. It needs to fit correctly because the suction strength of the pump depends on how little air there is between the flange and the breast. The tighter the cup is against the skin, the more milk you may produce.
A lot of breast pumps in the market offer different sizes to cater to women’s unique breast sizes. They even come with a matching wearable breast shield at times. If the flange is not fitting, you may bleed, experience pain, or even get an infection. You can contact a lactation consultant if you have concerns about it.
When the breast pump was first given a US patent, it was not exactly what you would call a compact product. Thankfully, new versions of pumps make it easy to take along when you are traveling and need to pump. This level of mobility will allow working moms to return to the workforce without having to resort to buying formula milk for their infant.
Types of Breast Pumps
Any breast pump in the market should come with BPA-free bottles that you can pump directly into. They should ideally be dishwasher-safe as well so that it will not be necessary for you to buy a separate sterilizer.
Breast pumps generally break down into three different categories:
Hospital-Grade Electric Pumps
As a heavy-duty breast pump option, hospital-grade breast pumps come with powerful motors that can extract more milk than a traditional tool every minute. The turnaround time is quite quick, and the noise that they produce can be very minimal (below 50 decibels).
Some people try to rent hospital-grade electric pumps because a kit tends to cost around $1,000. That is way above a regular wage-earner’s budget and less ideal than the $40-$80 that renters need to pay per month. Don’t hesitate to ask a local hospital or lactation center if they have multi-user breast pumps.
Personal Electric Breast Pumps
Career women may be allowed to take a few months of maternity leave, but they have to go back to work after six or eight weeks. For such mothers, it is essential to have an electric breast pump that lets them start pumping both breasts at the same time.
A major feature for electric breast pumps is a carrying case that can hold the pump mechanism, as well as the battery or electrical plug that powers the device. What’s great about this is that the case looks like a tote bag or backpack instead of a case for electric breast pumps.
Manual Breast Pumps
When you have a manual breast pump, you have no choice to put in the physical effort to express your breast milk manually. You may also need to stimulate the production of milk by place a warm towel over your breast.
Despite the extra work that comes with a manual pump, though, a lot of mothers continue to swear by it. After all, a single hand pump is more lightweight than a pumping machine. You get to express milk quietly, too, given that high-quality manual breast pumps have such a strong suction capability. It may be unnecessary to squeeze the pump repeatedly; you merely wait for the milk holder to be full.
Regardless of which type of breast pump you select, all of them come with a breast shield. This is used to cover the breast while you are pumping to achieve the best suction. Some models in the market provide samples for different breast sizes to ensure that you can find the right fit for you. No matter which you decide to go with, though, most insurances should be able to cover the costs of the breast pump you want to use.
Breast Pump Benefits
If you have never used a breast pump before, you may not think that it can help relieve the pain that persists on your breasts. Well, the truth is, it is capable of doing that and more. By continuously using a pumping, you will be able to let out the milk that collects in your breast and keep them in the refrigerator. You can prevent your breasts from getting engorged and becoming more cumbersome due to unexpressed milk.
This is ideal compared to strictly breastfeeding because the latter requires you to wait until it’s time to feed your little one again.
Ease of Extraction
Using a manual or electric breast pump can make milk extraction a much easier process than breastfeeding. You get to sit comfortably and allow the pump to extract your baby’s foods. It is not even vital for you to stay at a specific sitting position since the machine can stimulate milk production in any way. Thus, your baby will always have food on standby, even if they cannot latch onto your nipple successfully.
A lot of women feel uncomfortable about the idea of breast pumping or even breastfeeding in public. However, when you have a personal breast pump, you can collect your milk in the comfort of your own home without worrying about strangers who might stare at you as you do it. It may also keep you from needing to breastfeed your child outside since your breasts are no longer filled with milk.
Reduce Latching Problems
Many mothers have a hard time coaxing their bundle of joy to latch onto their breast, no matter how hungry they may be. In case lactation experts cannot come up with new techniques to make an infant want to latch on, a breast pump may be your savior. You can express your milk, your child can finally get the nutrients that only breast milk can provide, and both of you are stress-free.
When you start breastfeeding, it is you and your baby doing this together. While that can create an incredible bond between the two of you, it technically makes the dad feel left out.
Luckily, this is an issue that can quickly be resolved by a breast pump. When you choose to use it, after all, even your spouse has a chance to bond with your child in this manner. Feeding can also become a joint effort between mom and dad, considering the dad can feed the little one as you pump more milk.
One thing that a lot of moms wonder about is the amount of milk that their baby gets during a breastfeeding session. It is a good question since there is honestly no way to gauge the answer for that. No one can ask the infant to avoid swallowing the milk so that you can measure it once they are done.
The thing is, when you use a breast pump, you get to extract milk into a bottle. Before you even feed your child, you already know how much liquid is in the bottle. You may then take note of it and subtract it to whatever’s left in the feeding bottle to figure out your baby’s milk consumption.
Moms who have an excessive amount of milk to express manage to store numerous bottles in the fridge so that their infant never runs out of food on hand. The rest can be frozen in extra containers from four to six months.
While most moms may not cite this as an obvious benefit, you can save a lot of money by producing your own milk. Even when you decide not to breastfeed, you can purchase a high-quality pump and transfer breast milk in feeding bottles. Then, it will not be necessary for you to buy baby formula, which can be quite expensive. According to the Breastfeeding Center of Ann Arbor, they calculated that feeding primarily using formula can cost more than $1100 a year.
For some moms whose babies have latching or breastfeeding issues, pumping milk and bottle-feeding can still offer them a significant number of nutritional benefits to the little one. For instance, infants obtain natural antibodies from breast milk that protects them against infections and illnesses. A mom’s milk does not contain allergens either and is easier to digest than synthetic formula.
Breastfeeding vs. Breast Pumping
Before you start to feed your baby, whether it is directly from your breast or through a feeding bottle, it is crucial to understand both sides of the argument between breastfeeding and breast pumping.
Mothers who side towards breastfeeding their babies exclusively cite the closeness or bond that develops between you and your child during the experience. Aside from the convenience that comes out of not needing tools to feed your infant, getting milk straight from the source allows babies to gain nutritional benefits that may be gone during the pumping process.
However, the moms who prefer to express their breast milk with a pump instead of breastfeeding see the former as a way to build up milk production. They do agree on a lot of the points made by pro-breastfeeding folks, but many of them have experienced a more consistent milk flow whenever they pump. In terms of the milk’s nutritional value, some studies claim that breast pumping does not lessen the nutrients that infants get from it too much.
One of the disadvantages of needing a breast pump before feeding your baby is the fact that you need to carry a pumping tool around to extract milk, along with a feeding bottle, flange, valve, nipple, and sometimes even a cooler. It can honestly become a bit arduous to have to do it wherever you go, as well as find a private spot where you may express breast milk peacefully.
Q: What Is A Breast Pump?
A: A breast pump is a useful tool for mothers who need to express their breast milk and save it for later feeding. It is a mechanical device that can either be manual or automatic.
Q: When Do I Need a Breast Pump?
A: Lactating moms use a breast pump to collect milk in times when the baby is too full to be nursed or away from them. It is also necessary if you have gone back to work but do not want to stop producing milk.
Q: Which is better Medela or AVENT breast pump?
A: Medela and AVENT are well-known manufacturers of products that benefit both moms and babies. When it comes to breast pumps, however, the better option is technically the Medela breast pump. The reason is that Medela makes pumps with their 2-phase technology, which makes it faster to express milk.
Q: How do you get more milk with Medela Pump in Style?
A: Medela Pump in Style is a unique breast pump that allows you to collect milk from both breasts at the same time. If you express milk several times a day this way, your milk supply may not decrease even if you cannot breastfeed your infant.
Q: How long should I manually pump each breast?
A: If you are pumping manually, you cannot do it longer than 30 minutes. The quantity you may collect around this time may admittedly not be too much; that’s why many lactating women tend to turn to automatic breast pumps.
Q: Why won’t milk come out when I pump?
A: The primary reason why milk might not come out when you pump is that you may be using a wrong pump. If you cannot buy a hospital-grade breast pump, ask around where you can rent one.
Q: Can you pump for too long?
A: There is such a thing as pumping too much. You cannot pump your breasts for too long because the practice can cause you to overproduce milk. Although it sounds ideal, it is not since your breasts will be filled more quickly than necessary. And if you cannot express the milk immediately, you might have mastitis.
Q: Is manual pump better than electric?
A: A manual pump is better than an electric one in terms of cost-effectivity. However, busy moms tend to see more value in the latter because some electric pumps are so advanced that they can help you to “let down” milk faster than usual.
Q: When should I start pumping for storage?
A: Breast milk can remain frozen from six to 12 months, so you can start pumping for storage anytime. Still, experts recommend waiting until after the first month since the delivery of the baby before doing that.
Q: How much milk do you pump per session?
A: The milk you collect from both breasts should not exceed 2 ounces per session.
Q: How do I know if my milk supply is decreasing?
A: There is no way to gauge how much the volume of milk you produce has decreased. Even pumping may not inform you about it. You can only tell if:
- Your baby seems hungry more often than usual;
- Your baby does not sleep well at night;
- You baby always wants to be held,
- Your feeding times are wither longer or shorter; or
- Your breasts do not feel full.
My Babies Planet Overview
When you start the process of shopping for a breast pump, you want to make sure that you are aware of every factor that it should have. Various stores can give you far too many choices than you can ever imagine
Still, choosing the best breast pump for you should depend on your personal preferences. You need to opt for a product that fits your breasts—and budget—securely and comfortably. This is the only way to ensure the best possible lactating experience and avoid any pumping injuries that may arise due to misuse of the device.
We hope that our list of the best breast pumps in 2020 has enlightened you regarding your breast pump options. Although there are more choices out there, we are confident that the items mentioned will be able to ease the selection process.
A word of advice: try not to leave the task of choosing the best breast pump at the bottom of your priorities. You are not only finding a method to express your breast milk; you are also looking for a way to keep on the most nutritious food that an infant will ever need. Give the facts above some thought before buying any pump.
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