5 things to know about buying and using breast pumps | Your Pregnancy Matters
I made a mistake with my first child: I underestimated how important my breast pump would be.
Like many of my patients, I was like a deer in headlights when it came to selecting a breast pump. The choices can be overwhelming: manual, electric, single, double, hospital-grade. The list goes on. It’s tough to know what you need when you’ve never done it before.
My colleague, Denise Bulpitt, B.S.N., RN, IBCLC, is a lactation consultant at William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital. She says breast pumps are often the most-asked-about topic during prenatal classes. I asked her to answer some of the most frequent questions women have about buying and using breast pumps:
1. Will my health insurance pay for my breast pump?
Yes! The Affordable Care Act requires that health insurance companies cover breast pumps. This is still new enough that not all expecting moms know about it.
Every plan is different, so talk to your health insurance company about what it covers. Here are a few questions you should ask:
What types and brands of breast pumps are covered?
Do I need a prescription from my doctor?
Can I get the pump through my insurance company before my baby is born?
Do I need to contact a specific durable medical equipment company (DME) to receive a breast pump using my insurance (such as a pharmacy or medical supply company)?
Most insurance companies will pay for a good, basic double electric pump. If you want an upgraded version or a multiuser rental pump, you may have to pay a little bit for it. It’s similar to coverage for generic versus brand-name prescription drugs.
Texas has been great about making sure moms who want breast pumps get them. For example, the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program has provided breast pumps to eligible moms since 1999.
2. What’s the best breast pump for me?
First of all, you don’t absolutely need a breast pump. Women have breastfed for thousands of years without pumps. So if you don’t want to use one, that’s perfectly fine.
If you do plan to use a breast pump, it’s important to understand the differences in the types of pumps and to think about how you’re going to use it.
Types of pumps
There are four main types of breast pumps.
Manual: These pumps are hand-operated to create suction. While you should be able to obtain a comparable amount of milk as you would with an electric pump, it’s more time-consuming and labor-intensive. However, they don’t require a power source, which makes them more portable.
Single electric: These pumps are run by a motor, which can be electric or battery-operated, and they pump one breast at a time.
Double electric: Also operated by a motor, these can pump both breasts at the same time, cutting down on the time needed to pump.
Hospital-grade: The true term for this type of pump is “multiuser.” They’re most often used by hospitals for moms whose babies are in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). These pumps usually have a bigger motor and pump more efficiently. Each mom has her own tubing and accessories, and when used and maintained properly, multiple women can safely use these pumps.
Think about how you’ll use your breast pump
You want to match the pump with how you’ll use it. If you’re going to be at home with the baby for several weeks or months and plan to pump only once or twice a week, a manual pump might be all you need. There are great manual pumps out there, so don’t count them out.
If you work outside the home, you’ll likely want to consider an electric pump to save time. As for whether you choose a single or double, it’s what you feel comfortable with.
If your baby needs time in the NICU, I recommend renting a hospital-grade pump because you’ll likely be pumping eight or more times a day to supply milk for your baby. You can switch to a personal pump later, but as you’re establishing your milk supply early on, you’ll appreciate the extra power a bigger motor brings.
Unless you’re pumping for a NICU infant or have a history of low milk supply, most women will not need a hospital-grade pump. They can be heavy and inconvenient to lug around!
It’s not one-size-fits-all
Flanges are the plastic pieces that you put over your breasts. The pump pulls the nipple into the flange to express the milk. It’s important that the flanges fit properly to avoid pain or abrasions that can lead to infection.
Many women will fit the standard-size flange, but not all will. You can get them in different sizes, either at the store or by contacting the company. If you start pumping and find it uncomfortable, you may need a different size.
Top tips for selecting a breast pump
Here are some tips to keep in mind while shopping for a breast pump:
Availability of replacement pumps: This is my No. 1 tip. While I don’t recommend specific brands, you may want to consider a more well-known and widely available brand because the parts are easier replace as they are carried in local stores. If you choose a newer company in which you need to contact them, and it takes days or weeks to get the part, it can wreak havoc on your pumping schedule.
Get your hands on the pumps: You can read reviews and what’s on the boxes in the store, but it helps to actually hold the pump and examine it before you buy it. Many prenatal classes, including ours, have a variety of pumps available for you to take a look at and learn more about.
Don’t buy used: Pumps that are not hospital-grade are considered single-user pumps. Even if they are well washed and sterilized, bacteria and viruses can still be passed on. Fortunately, with insurance now covering the cost of breast pumps, we’re seeing fewer women buying second-hand pumps.
3. When should I start pumping?
New moms often tell us they’ve heard they shouldn’t pump right after delivery. Not true. You can start pumping anytime.
We warn women that at first, they likely won’t get a lot of milk. Colostrum, which is the milk you produce for the first several days after birth, is thicker than the milk you produce later and is more difficult to pump. We don’t want women to become frustrated because they aren’t pumping much milk. If your newborn is latching, they are the most efficient pump! After those first few days, your milk will become more abundant and easier to pump.
If you’re breastfeeding eight to 12 times a day and your baby is latching well, you don’t need to pump at all. After two to three weeks, your milk supply should be well-established. At this time, many women like to start pumping to put milk away for later use.
If your baby is in the NICU and you can’t breastfeed, that’s a whole new ballgame. In those cases, we encourage moms to start pumping within six hours after birth and to pump at least eight to 12 times a day to establish a milk supply for their NICU infant. Breast milk does some of its very best work in the NICU. If you’re unable or struggling to pump right away, donor breast milk may be an option.
Pumping takes most women 15 to 20 minutes per session. As your milk comes in, it may take a little less time. If you’re exclusively pumping, you should pump eight times a day, about every three hours.
4. Do I have to wash my breast pump after every use?
Properly washing your breast pump is important for the health of you and your baby. But it can be difficult when you’re at work or traveling.
The most frequent tip we give women is if you have space to store your milk in a refrigerator at work, put the pump kit in with the milk. That way, you don’t have to wash it in between every single use. Take it home at night and wash it there. Doing this will save you a lot of time during the workday.
You don’t need fancy cleaning supplies for your pump kit. Soap and water will work just fine. You can even put it in the dishwasher. If your dishwasher has a sterilize cycle, even better. You also can buy microwave bags that allow you to sterilize your pump. Many of these bags can be reused a certain number of times. Be sure to follow the instructions.
When buying products to store breast milk, invest in ones designed for breast milk and not formula. The seams in some formula storage bags aren’t as good, so when you freeze and thaw the milk, you might lose it. You’ve never cried over spilled milk until you’ve spilled breast milk!
5. What’s the future of breast pumps?
Breast pumps haven’t evolved much since modern pumps came on the market in the mid-1900s. That’s beginning to change thanks to an increase in demand – partly because more women are breastfeeding and health insurance companies are covering the cost. We’re seeing more efficient, discreet, and technologically sophisticated breast pumps come onto the market.
Whenever we hear about a new product, whether on an online mommy board or from a patient, we write the company to ask for a demonstration product to show our classes.
We’re also excited about new pumps that fit closely on the breast under the bra. Tubing runs under the shirt to the pump and storage container, which you can sit next to you or put in a purse. No one would even know you’re pumping!
Not all new pumps are electric. A patient recently brought in a cool little hand pump we hadn’t seen before. She said she could easily use it on one breast while she breastfed her baby on the other. She called it “free milk”!
Support for breastfeeding and pumping moms
Both Denise and I know firsthand that breastfeeding and pumping can be difficult at times. Moms, you’re not alone. There are people and resources available to help.
Don’t hesitate to see a lactation consultant. Insurance often covers these visits. We also have the Lactation Care Center here in Dallas, which offers visits with lactation consultants free of charge to women eligible for the WIC program.
And don’t underestimate the importance of peer-to-peer support. There are numerous groups for new moms in Dallas. We also periodically offer breastfeeding information on this blog, including these tips for successful breastfeeding.
Even if you’re not having trouble breastfeeding or pumping, it might be worth it to call a lactation consultant a few weeks before you return to work for back-to-work lactation coaching. The lactation consultant can help develop a plan and pumping schedule that works for you, which can ease some of the stress of returning to work.
If you would like to talk with a lactation consultant, you can request an appointment online or call 214-645-8300.
Do I Need a Breast Pump?
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Evidence-based breastfeeding tips and resources
Editor in Chief Philippa Pearson-Glaze
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By Philippa Pearson-Glaze IBCLC
When breastfeeding is going well and if you don’t plan on being parted from your baby, a breast pump is not an essential purchase. Sometimes it is helpful to remove breast milk from a breast, however a breast pump is not the only way as hand expressing can be very effective. This article looks at situations when a breast pump might be useful and answers frequently asked questions. It is a companion article to How to Increase Milk Supply When Pumping.
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Do I need a pump if I am exclusively breastfeeding?
Most mothers won’t need a breast pump if they are exclusively breastfeeding. If situations arise when it might be useful to remove additional breast milk manually (see below) then a mother can hand express or a pump can be purchased as and when needed.
What is hand expressing?
A breast pump is not the only way to remove milk from a breast. Breast milk can be removed by using ones fingers to rhythmically compress the breast behind the nipple. For much more information including useful videos see Hand Expressing Breast Milk. Hand expressing techniques are very useful for removing milk from an engorged breast to resume comfort levels, or for expressing enough milk for a feed if a mother is due to be separated from her baby.
When might a breast pump be useful?
It can be helpful to express breast milk by pump in the following situations:
If a baby is not able to breastfeed—removing breast milk from the breasts frequently will stimulate your milk supply and provide a supplement to keep your baby well fed until he is able to breastfeed. Pumping eight to ten times a day is often suggested as a useful guide if a newborn is not breastfeeding directly at the breast. Using a breast pump can be more efficient and less tiring than hand expression if milk needs to removed very regularly. Hiring a hospital grade pump for a month or two may be a good option if a pump is not needed long term.
If a baby is not getting enough breast milk—pumping after breastfeeds can help to increase a milk supply by thoroughly draining the breasts and stimulating more milk production. As in the point above hand expressing could serve this purpose but for regular use a breast pump can be more efficient and less tiring on the hands.
If breasts are engorged—pumping or hand expressing to remove enough breast milk from the breast to resume comfort levels will relieve engorgement and avoid blocked milk ducts or mastitis (inflammation of the breast).
If you will be separated from your baby regularly or are returning to work you will need to pump enough breast milk to feed your baby while you are away from him. Pumping breast milk can be very effective when larger volumes are needed.
If you have flat, inverted or dimpled nipples a breast pump can help to evert your nipples before a breastfeed which may make it easier for your baby to latch (attach to the breast) when he is learning to nurse.
A manual or hand operated breast pump
What about expressing so my partner can help with night feeds?
Some mothers may be interested in expressing milk in advance for night feeds so they won’t have to get up at night to feed the baby and might get a full night’s sleep. However although this may work for some families occasionally, this could compromise a new mother’s milk supply. Babies expect to breastfeed during the night and your breasts expect to breastfeed too. One of the hormones of lactation, prolactin, is especially high at night. By sleeping all night instead of breastfeeding on demand, your breasts may become engorged with milk. Engorgement can be painful, will cause your milk production to slow down and can put you at risk of getting blocked ducts or mastitis. The chances are, you will wake at night anyway with uncomfortable, full breasts and need to pump to make yourself comfortable again. Waking to pump defeats the objective of a full nights sleep and, in most cases, you may as well breastfeed your baby while you’re awake. For more reading see Baby Waking Up at Night and Bed-Sharing With Baby.
A single electric pump ⓒEmily Walker
Are there any disadvantages to using a breast pump?
Cost. There are many different types of breast pump such as manual (hand operated), electric (single or double) or hospital grade (expensive multi-user pumps used in hospitals) and some can be very expensive to buy. Checking reviews and considering why you need a breast pump can help a mother choose one that is cost effective for her needs.
Cleaning time. Pump parts will need to be cleaned very carefully which can be time consuming.
Hygiene concerns over time. Unless the pump has a closed system and includes safeguards for several users such as hospital grade pumps, it is unhygienic to use second hand equipment. Doing so will usually invalidate a warranty. Infections can be associated with using a breast pump. Mould and pathogens have been found inside used breast pumps e.g. within the tubing. 1
Overstimulation causing oversupply. Too much unnecessary pumping can increase milk supply to problematic levels.
Reducing milk supply. Exclusively pumping mothers may find their milk supply begins to drop over time due to the differences with direct breastfeeding however see Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk for further information.
Nipple preference. Once breast milk has been removed from the breast it has to be fed back to baby. Feeding methods include cup, bottle, or by a feeding tube on a finger. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages. Some types of bottle have more potential to affect a baby’s latch at the breast than others (nipple confusion) or for baby to prefer a bottle over a breast (nipple preference). For more information to reduce nipple confusion see Best Bottle for a Breastfed Baby? and Tips to Bottle Feed a Breastfed Baby.
Breakdowns. Pumps can break or may not work properly. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding explains:
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: Completely revised and updated 8th edition, LLLI, 2010
…consumer-grade pumps aren’t built to last much more than a year or so, the average length of time that a mother might be pumping for one baby. When they start to wear out, they don’t just suddenly stop working. The suction and cycling mechanisms veeerrry slowly break down, and eventually you realise you aren’t pumping as much milk and the suction doesn’t feel as strong (or is too strong). Consumer-grade pumps aren’t closed system like rental-grade pumps, so milk and moisture may have entered the mechanical parts, where bacteria, mould, and viruses can grow.
Some single pumps can be converted to a double pump at a later date
What is the best type of breast pump?
One type of breast pump isn’t necessarily better than another as different pumps suit different mothers and some mothers may even find hand expressing works better than pumping for them. Options include:
Manual pump—works by manually squeezing a lever with the hand to draw milk from the breast by suction. Usually one of the cheapest types of pump.
Silicone pump—a single piece silicone pump with no moving parts which works by suction generating a gentle vacuum pressure on the milk making tissue of one breast while you feed your baby on the opposite breast to create a let down. For more information see This Year’s Big Thing… which describes the Haakaa pump by Shel Banks.
Single electric breast pump—an electric or battery operated pump that allows pumping each breast separately.
Double electric breast pump—an electric or battery operated pump with two collection sets to allow pumping both breasts at the same time. Newcomers to the pump market in recent years include a range of hands free portable pumps with a rechargeable battery (brands include Elvie, Freemie or Willow) which can be slipped unobtrusively into a nursing bra.
Hospital grade double electric breast pump—a pump that is suitable for more than one user and has a greater reliability and efficiency. Expensive to buy, these pumps can be hired from pump manufacturers or hospitals.
For specific brand recommendations there is a useful section on p 193/4 of Making More Milk The Breastfeeding Guide to Increasing Your Milk Production 2020 by Lisa Marasco and Diana West or visit their website at lowmilksupply. org for a summary of their favourite pumps and their individual features.
Our sister article How to Increase Milk Supply When Pumping has more tips for choosing a breast pump:
How to Increase Milk Supply When Pumping. Breastfeeding Support. 2022
Look for a pump with multiple settings for speed and suction to give you more comfort and control and to mimic a baby’s sucking pattern. Some breast pumps can generate unsafe vacuum levels or maintain a vacuum for too long. Pumping should not hurt and pumping with a suction that is too high can inhibit milk release (Mohrbacher, 2020 p 490)
Consider whether you want a single pump or a double pump. A double pump allows you to pump both breasts simultaneously which can save time (see above).
Look for a choice of flange size. The part of the pump that is held to the breast has various names with different pump manufacturers such as breast shield (Medela), breast shell (Ardo), funnel (Ameda) or flange. Look for a pump with different sized flanges because nipples and breasts are not all the same size and the right fit is important for your comfort levels (pumping should not hurt!)—see “Breast pump flange fit” below.
Availability of replacement parts. Consider whether a battery back up option would be useful in addition to mains operated.
Check reviews online from other women who have tried them before buying a pump.
Hospital grade pumps may be available to borrow from your maternity hospital or for short-term hire from major pump manufacturers in your country e.g. contact Ardo, or Medela in the UK.
Second hand pumps may not work efficiently and may have hygiene concerns.
Using a breast pump
If you do decide you need a breast pump and want tips to maximise the amount of milk expressed see How to Increase Milk Supply When Pumping for help with:
How often to pump
How long to pump in each session
What sort of volume of milk to aim for
How to choose and use a breast pump
How to get the correct size flange for your nipple size.
A hospital grade pump has a greater reliability and efficiency
There is no need for every pregnant woman who wants to breastfeed to buy a breast pump just in case they need one. In most cases when breastfeeding is going well you will not need to pump your breast milk. If you do need to express milk occasionally due to engorgement or because you need to leave some milk for your baby while you’re apart; hand expression can work very well. If you have a newborn baby who can’t breastfeed yet, hiring a hospital grade pump for a month or two may be all that is needed. While a breast pump can be very useful in a number of situations, mothers can decide whether they need one based on their own circumstances. For much more information on using a pump see How to Increase Milk Supply When Pumping.
Footnotes & References
Wilson-Clay and Hoover, Breastfeeding Atlas, 2017
Blocked Ducts, Engorgement, Flat Nipples, Haakaa Breast Pump, Hand Expressing, Increasing Milk, Mastitis, Nipple Confusion, Pumps
Making More Milk The Breastfeeding Guide to Increasing Your Milk ProductionLisa Marasco and Diana West. 2020.
This article should not be construed as medical advice. Information found online should always be discussed with your own IBCLC lactation consultant and doctor to ensure it is appropriate for you and your baby’s situation. Contact your doctor, paediatrician or health care provider with any concerns about your baby’s health and welfare.
Find an IBCLC Read our full disclaimer
Do I need a breast pump? | Motherhood
The prejudice that breast pumps interfere with breastfeeding has existed since their inception. In fact, a breast pump is extremely necessary to stimulate lactation and is almost indispensable for an active mother who needs to make sure that breastfeeding does not stop in her absence.
It's time to resolve all disputes and unequivocally answer the question, do you need a breast pump?
First, let's look at where it came from and how young mothers managed before it became available. Almost every breastfeeding mother had to express milk at least once. Our mothers, grandmothers and their mothers, of course, did it with their hands. Such pumping took much more time, and was, in principle, quite difficult without skill and long training. And even now, many mothers who already use breast pumps on an ongoing basis have tried to do it “manually” at least once and can safely confirm how uncomfortable it is, and sometimes it hurts. How much time, physical and emotional strength it takes.
Recall that periodic or continuous pumping is needed in the following cases:
The initial flow of milk begins approximately 2-5 days, and after a caesarean section, perhaps a little later. During this time, some moms may experience an excess of milk, but some may need extra help to stimulate lactation. In both cases, help is indispensable. If the breast is too tight, it will be difficult for the baby to grasp it. And, of course, stimulation is indispensable if there are factors that impede the flow of milk: caesarean section, delayed first application, premature or weakened baby, separation of mother and child, difficulties with breast capture. Then it is necessary to establish lactation as soon as possible.
Some women experience a physiological difficulty in breastfeeding - flat or inverted nipples that cannot be shaped by hand. A very simple way to resolve this situation is stimulation with a breast pump. With its help, you will not only help to form an elongated and hardened nipple that is more comfortable for feeding, but also additionally stimulate the flow of milk.
One of the earliest and most common problems that a mother may face is a lack of milk. This, of course, leads to early weaning and termination of breastfeeding. Of course, manually stimulating the breast with the aim of a rush of milk is a process that is more than labor-intensive, to say nothing of spent nerves, emotional fatigue and uncertainty about the final result. The use of a breast pump will help to optimize the process and minimize possible risks in this situation.
University of Western Australia research shows that double pumping is the fastest way to increase your milk supply. Simultaneous pumping of milk from each mammary gland increases its fat content (on average + 1%) and significantly increases the volume of milk (on average by 18%) 1 . To solve the problem of lack of milk, possible risks of underweight baby, for example, the Freestyle 2 double breast pump, one of the most convenient and compact models among devices for newborns and their caring mothers.
RC № ФСЗ 2010/06525 dated 26/8/16 There are contraindications. You need to read the instructions or consult with a specialist.
A serious problem, if not resolved in time, the mother risks experiencing serious discomfort. The breast "burns" and is painful when touched, the process of feeding, which used to bring pleasure, turns into torture. Alas, the facts say that almost every nursing mother sooner or later faces this unpleasant phenomenon.
But if you notice the first symptoms in time, often apply the baby and express the breast yourself, then milk stagnation can be safely eliminated. To quickly get rid of the stagnation of milk, you need to help the baby empty the chest, which is a great helper - again the breast pump. By using it to express leftover milk after feedings and by pumping between feedings, you can quickly extract stagnant thick milk.
Or a mother simply needs to be away from her baby for a while. After all, do not stop breastfeeding if an active mother can entrust the baby to his dad or other family members. The best solution would be to express milk in the morning before leaving home. So the child receives mother's milk during the day, the schedule is not violated, and lactation is preserved. Since manual pumping takes more time, which is so little in the morning, a breast pump helps out a great business mom. And so that the baby does not wean from the breast, and bottle feeding is as safe as possible, we recommend using the innovative Calma smart pacifier (for more information about the pacifier technology, click here, anatomically repeating the shape of the nipple and supporting the baby's vacuum sucking mechanism.
Given that breast milk has an average shelf life of 6 months, excess milk can be stored in the freezer using portioned and ready-to-use bags, such as the convenient and secure Breast Milk Storage Bags. There are contraindications. You need to read the instructions or consult with a specialist.
Today, there are several variations of breast pumps that mothers can choose for themselves, taking into account all the necessary selection criteria. First of all, you need to determine: an electronic or manual breast pump.
The Simple Manual Breast Pump is a budget option for occasional pumping or as a temporary replacement for your electronic breast pump on the go. It combines lightness, reliability, and in addition, if the breast pump works using 2-Phase Expression technology (2-phase pumping), it imitates the sucking of the baby's breast and provides gentle stimulation 3 , which ensures a quick full flow of milk. Its only disadvantage is manual labor, which, with frequent pumping, will surely tire the mother.
The main advantage of an electronic breast pump is the ability to relax while the electricity works for you. In addition, in dual models, simultaneous stimulation of both mammary glands significantly improves the quality of the pumped portion and its volume, optimizes the time spent 1 . Not so long ago, electronic breast pumps also had significant drawbacks - low mobility, high noise level. Modern models, such as Freestyle or Swing Maxi 2 already fit in the palm of your hand and even more so in a bag, are battery-powered or rechargeable, quiet and have additional bonuses in the form of a backlight for pumping in the dark, a timer, a memory of the previous cycle and convenient settings a comfortable level of vacuum for changing the pumping phases.
From all of the above, the conclusion is obvious. For a modern mother who cares about the health and well-being of her and her baby, who values time and comfort, a breast pump is an indispensable assistant. And the quality and reliability of the breast pump are important factors that affect not only the comfort of the mother, but also the condition of the baby.
1. Prime, D.C. et al., Breastfeed Med. December 2012; 7(6): 442-447
Midwifery 2, 164-171 (1986)
How to choose a breast pump - everything you need to know
With the widest range of products on the market, choosing a breast pump can seem difficult. However, don't worry. Our guide will help you find the perfect pump for you and your baby, whether you pump daily or occasionally.
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While you are pregnant, choosing a breast pump is not your main concern. And rightfully so, says Nania Scherer-Hernandez, Director of International Education at Medela: “Before your baby is born, you will probably be busy shopping for baby clothes and various accessories, but choosing a breast pump can wait for now. ”
“Of course, it is better to know in advance which types of breast pumps are available. But you will be able to understand how breastfeeding will develop and which breast pump is right for you only after the baby is born.
Every mother and baby has specific breastfeeding and pumping needs, and these needs may change over time. Therefore, we will first look at all types of breast pumps available, and then we will dwell in more detail on which breast pump is best suited for certain situations.
Which type of breast pump should I choose?
There are three main types of breast pumps. Understanding their differences will help you determine which breast pump is right for you.
Manual or electronic? Manual breast pumps are cheaper than electronic pumps, quieter and more suitable for occasional pumping. However, if you pump frequently with hand models, it will not be easy, because you need to constantly press the handle to create a vacuum. Electronic breast pumps are more convenient to use because the motor does the work for you.
2-Phase Expression technology reproduces the natural sucking of a baby at the breast. “At the beginning of a feed, the baby suckles in short, quick strokes to stimulate the flow of milk. As soon as milk begins to flow, the baby slows down and sucks more intensively to get as much milk as possible, 1 , explains Naniya, “Medela has developed 2-Phase Expression technology that mimics this sucking rhythm and allows you to express milk more naturally.” 2.3 .
All Medela* electronic breast pumps can also be powered by batteries (rechargeable or standard AA).
Single or double? Single electric breast pump ideal for occasional pumping. A double breast pump (which expresses milk from both breasts at the same time) is the best choice if you need to pump regularly, whether for medical reasons or due to work.
Dual breast pumps are twice as fast and deliver an average of 18% more milk than pumping from each breast in sequence. This is a great option for busy moms. In addition, milk produced by double pumping is more nutritious and has a higher fat content 4 .
Why rent a Medela Symphony Clinical Breast Pump?* If you have to pump multiple times a day or want to use the pump to start and shape your milk supply, you can rent a Medela Symphony* Clinical Breast Pump for as long as you need . The Symphony* breastpump features unique, clinically proven pumping patterns based on scientific research to start, shape and maintain milk production. This breast pump is especially useful for expressing milk in the first five days after the baby is born 5 . Find out if it can be rented in your city.
Why choose a Medela* breast pump?
“Medela believes that to achieve the best results you need to be as close to nature as possible,” says Nania. lactation process.
“Understanding nature's mechanisms helps us improve products to support moms and babies,” she continues. “That's why our electronic breast pumps feature 2-Phase Expression technology, and our clinical dual breast pumps have a milk trigger program that mimics a newborn's natural sucking rhythm.” 6 .
Choosing a breast pump that suits your needs and lifestyle
Choosing the right breast pump depends on how often you need to express milk and what stage of breastfeeding you are 5 . There are three stages in total:
Launch - the first five days
Formation - from the sixth to the 30th day
Maintenance - after 30 days
Choosing the right breast pump depends on what stage you are in, as well as your personal circumstances, the needs of your baby and your attitude towards breastfeeding and pumping. Read the options below and decide which one suits you best.
Baby can't get milk directly from the breast, so I have to express for every feed
Some babies can't feed at the breast because they have difficulty latching or suckling, were born prematurely, have special needs, or are unwell. Sometimes mother and baby have to be separated for treatment. And sometimes mothers want to give their baby all the benefits of breast milk, but are unable to breastfeed.
“In such situations, the solution to ensure the production of sufficient milk is to use the Symphony* clinical dual electronic breast pump with a program to start lactation in the first hours after birth,” says Nania.
Recommended breast pump
The Medela Symphony* Double Electronic Breast Pump has a unique lactation start program that mimics the newborn's behavior during the first days of breastfeeding with fast sucking movements and long pauses. This behavior of the baby has been shown to stimulate the mother's breasts and promote optimal milk production 7 . “Using the start-up program at the beginning of breastfeeding showed good results: in the first 14 days, significantly more milk was obtained than using the standard program” 5.6 , explains Nania.
The Medela Symphony* Breast Pump is the preferred choice of many hospitals and maternity hospitals, and in some cities it is also possible to rent one for use at home. Then, after discharge, you can continue to use the pumping technology that your body has become accustomed to and the same pumping accessories. Find out how to rent a Symphony* breast pump on our website.
“A good double breastpump and bustier top for hands-free pumping is worth getting,” says Catherine, mother of two in New Zealand, “My son's nurse explained that if you pump consistently, you need a clinical double breastpump to get the same level of breast pumping. stimulation, as if you were putting on a hungry baby.”
I have difficulty starting milk production
In the early days of breastfeeding, babies often have difficulty latching on and mothers are concerned about milk production. “If you and your baby are having difficulty starting breastfeeding, see a lactation specialist or consultant as soon as possible. A professional can give useful advice on how to attach and hold a child,” says Naniya.
If you are still in the hospital or your baby is only a few days old, use the Medela Clinical Breast Pump with lactation start program. This will allow you to start and shape milk production and feed your baby with expressed milk.
It may take you a few days to a few weeks to fully master breastfeeding. Using a double breast pump will allow you to express the maximum amount of milk in the minimum time, and the milk itself will be more nutritious 4 .
Recommended Breast Pump
Since you probably won't need to pump constantly throughout your breastfeeding period, you can rent the Medela Symphony* Clinical Breast Pump, the only clinical breast pump with research-based lactation initiation technology, for rent at short term, for example 1-2 months.
“The Medela Double Breast Pump has been amazing. The midwife advised me to use it as often as possible in order to establish sufficient milk production for my twins, which I did, ”says Anna, a mother of two from the UK.
If you don't need a starter program, prefer to have your own breast pump, or want to purchase a portable model, opt for a dual electronic breast pump with a long-life rechargeable battery, such as the Medela Freestyle Flex. Also check out the Medela Swing Maxi Flex* Dual Electronic Breast Pump.
I only breastfeed and want to pump occasionally
If you are already producing milk and want to express only occasionally, for example so that your partner or babysitter can feed your baby when you are away, a manual or single breast pump is a good choice electronic breast pump.
Recommended breast pump
Choose between the Medela Harmony* Manual Breast Pump or the Medela Swing Flex Single Electronic Breast Pump*.
“With my first child, I used the Medela Swing* Single Electronic Breast Pump to relieve the symptoms of mastitis, and with my second child, it allowed me to breastfeed him in the nursery. This is one of the few brands whose breast pumps fit comfortably on my nipples,” says Victoria, mother of two from Australia, “This breast pump was just perfect. It was quiet and fast, it didn't take long for the milk to come in, and thanks to the batteries, I could use it even if there wasn't a power outlet nearby."
I am returning to work and want to breastfeed my baby with expressed milk
As a working and breastfeeding mom, you will probably be pumping every day for several months and want to take your pump with you to work.
Recommended breast pump
A lightweight and portable pump, such as the Medela Swing Maxi Flex* or Medela Freestyle Flex double electronic breast pump, is ideal for you. It will allow you to express more milk in less time, which is very convenient if you only have a short break for pumping.
“I continued breastfeeding when I went to work. Fortunately, my boss was supportive and allowed me to take breaks to express my milk. I had a Medela Swing Maxi* breast pump and could even pump on the tram on my way to work!” recalls Sarah, mother of two from Australia.
We hope that now that you have an idea of the types of breast pumps available, you will better understand which pump is right for you. “Remember, it's not just the pump itself that's important for successful pumping. The time and place of pumping will also affect how much milk you get. And it is equally important that the funnels of the breast pump fit correctly to the breast, ”says Naniya.
Mitoulas L.R. et al. (Mitulas L.R. et al.) Effect of vacuum profile on breast milk expression using an electric breast pump . J Hum Lact. (Journal of the International Association of Lactation Consultants) 2002; 18(4): 353–360.
Prime D.K. et al. (Prime DK et al.) Simultaneous breast expression in breastfeeding women is more efficacious than sequential breast expression . Breastfeed Med. (Breastfeeding Medicine) 2012; 7(6): 442–447.
Meier P.P. et al. (Meier P.P. et al.) Which breast pump for which mother: an evidence-based approach to individualizing breast pump technology ) .