A breast pump might be the perfect thing to gift yourself if you are a would be mother but also a working woman! It greatly simplifies breast feeding. Find out how to choose a breast pump in this article.
It is not uncommon for a woman to be a home-maker as well as a professional in today’s world. Women are stepping up and out of their houses, assuming important roles in the corporate world, as well as in research, marketing and all kinds of fields. However, no matter how many roles a woman plays, the one of being a mother and a home-maker is probably the most demanding (and maybe also the most thankless) of them all!
Being a professional means missing some of your baby’s hunger pangs and feeding times. You cannot be with your baby every time he/she feels hungry. But you know that breast milk is the best thing for your baby. You cannot possibly switch entirely to baby food, right? This is when a breast pump is going to come in handy. Apart from this obvious advantage, a breast pump has several other advantages, which will be discussed towards the end of the article.
Essential Pointers to Choose a Breast Pump
There are several types of breast pumps available in the market. There are different things you need to keep in mind while considering each one of them. Here are a few pointers that will help you choose the appropriate breast pump.
Mechanical or Electrical?
There are the mechanical, or manual pumps, and there are the electrical pumps. The best thing about manual pumps is that you can control the exact amount of pressure that is exerted on the breast. This is important as using a breast pump is painful to some extent. This is especially true in the case of women who are victims of breast engorgement. However, it is very tiring! On the other hand, the best part of the electrical breast pump is that it rids you off a LOT of effort, leaving you comparatively fresh to tend to the baby. It is a lot simpler and hassle-free. But then you cannot control the pressure, and it can be a cause of much pain.
Hand-pump or Foot-pump?
The mechanical, or manual, breast pumps come in two types – those with a hand pump, and those with a foot pump. The hand pump is operated with the hands and hence requires more strength. It is not as easy as it may seem. A less tiring option is the foot breast pump that has a foot pedal that allows you to express milk. It is a lot more convenient and allows you to apply a lot more strength and force with little effort. however, it would probably be slightly cumbersome to carry around, I guess. (If you have a baby bag – which I am sure you do – it can just go into the bag; so no hassle.)
One or Twin?
Some breast pumps have a single collection bottle. Some have two – one for each breast. The single bottle pumps are less bulky and hence more mobile. The twin bottle pumps, however, are a wiser choice. This is because, expressing milk from one breast – either by actually breast feeding your baby, or using the breast pump – can cause the other breast to lactate as well. A twin bottle pump would be the better option in such a case. It also helps you prepare for a longer time out of the house – if the baby gets really hungry, there’s always an extra bottle.
Some General Considerations
- Portable/Easy to carry – in case you are stepping out for a long time, or if you are going to be traveling, etc.
- Easy to clean and sterilize – breast milk reaches your baby unadulterated when you breast feed the baby. But bottling provides enough chances for the milk to spoil. Hygiene is priority
- Easy to use – you shouldn’t have to struggle with the pump to express milk! It should be easy to use and should be as least painful as possible.
- Medically approved – sometimes if the suction of the pump is too hard, it can cause severe damage to the delicate breast tissue. Make sure you consult your gynecologist about the safety of the pump you are planning to buy.
Advantages of Using a Breast Pump
The benefits of breast feeding are many, so I would advocate you buy a breast pump to solve any feeding issues you may be having. Your baby needs the colostrum, don’t deny your baby of it! The biggest advantage of a breast pump is for the working woman, as discussed in the initial paragraph. Apart from that it can take care of several common feeding problems as discussed below –
- A breast pump will save you the trouble of breast feeding your baby in public. You can simply carry the expressed breast milk bottle with you when you step out of the house. It is a lot more convenient and a lot less clumsy.
- In the initial weeks after the baby is delivered, the ‘milk let-down reflex’ of the mother is not developed, so that even the slightest of triggers (such as the sound of a crying baby) can cause the breasts to lactate milk involuntarily. A breast pump will help you avoid such a situation – you can use the pump to store the milk lactating from the breasts at an instance when the baby is not hungry.
- Some women lactate a lot more than the average female. If this milk is not expressed, it may lead to breast engorgement. This is a condition with varying degrees of pain. A breast pump may take care of breast engorgement.
- There is also the condition when the baby is unable to ‘latch’ onto an overfull breast. A breast pump will make it a lot easy to feed the baby in such a case.
One final tip I will like to give is – use the breast pump as a facility, an aid; but do not solely rely on it. Breast-feeding the baby has amazing physical and psychological effects on the mother as well. It is healthy for mother and baby both. When you are home, prefer to breast feed your baby, even if that means postponing your beauty-parlor appointment, skipping your soap-opera or arriving late for a party or get-together. Wishing your baby always be in the pink of health…! Adios!