Buying a Breast Pump
Breast Pumps 101: How to buy a breast pump
Types of Breast Pumps
Manual Breast Pump
Small Electric or Battery-Powered Breast Pump
Electric Breast Pump
Hospital-grade Electric Breast Pump
Safety Tips for Mom
- Don’t share breast pumps as breast milk can carry bacteria and viruses
- Cool down breast milk as soon as possible if not being immediately consumed
- You can safely refrigerate breast milk for up to 24 hours and freeze for three to six months
- Gently heat breast milk in warm water as boiling or microwaving can destroy its nutritional benefits
Breast Pump Features
Breast shields +
The breast shield is the part of the pump that’s placed directly on the nipple during pumping. Important for comfort, breast shields can be made with durable hard plastic or a soft, flexible material. Breast shields come in many different sizes to fit a wide variety of nipple sizes. For maximum comfort, pay attention to the size, material and shape of the breast shield before buying a pump, or purchase separate breast shields for a personal fit.
Collection bottle or storage bags +
Collection bottles and/or storage bags are often included with a breast pump kit. The collection bottle or bag attaches to the pump and collects the breast milk. Once mom is done breastfeeding or the bottle is full, the bottle can be capped and stored in the refrigerator.
Cycling time +
The cycling time of a breast pump is also known as its suck-and-release cycle. A healthy baby suckles around 40 to 60 cycles per minute. Pumps with similar cycling times yield the most milk and maintain the milk supply. A breast pump with less than 25 cycles per minute is usually too slow. Automatic sucking settings can be programmed to mimic baby’s natural sucking rhythm: short and rapid at the beginning, then long and slow towards the end.
Double pumping +
Double pumping lets you pump both breasts at once. You can find this feature on higher-grade electric breast pumps and hospital-grade pumps. Ideal for frequent pumpers, this device can save you plenty of time and effort over the course of a day.
Hands-free pumping +
Some breast pumps come with a hands-free kit. This usually involves a regular nursing bra and attachment system. Great for busy moms, hands-free pumping lets you express milk while checking your email, holding your baby or performing other tasks while seated.
Shop Breast Pump Accessories & Related Products
Maintenance Tips for Mom
- Breast pumps need to be cleaned before and after every use
- Disassemble the breast pump and wash each part in mild soap and warm water
- Some breast pumps have dishwasher-safe parts for convenient cleanup
- Check the pump tubes for milk residue, thoroughly clean inside, and dry the tubes completely before re-attaching to the breast pump
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