Types of Breast Pumps and Points to Consider When Choosing One

Breast pumps are described as medical devices regulated by FDA, and are normally used by breastfeeding women to extract their breast milk. They may also be used to increase or maintain a woman’s supply of milk, relieve plugged milk ducts and engorged breasts, or pull out inverted or flat nipples to enable a nursing baby to more easily latch-on to the mother’s breast milk.

Majority of women find it handy, and even necessary, to use a breast pump in order to express and store their breast milk once they have gone back to work, are traveling or separated from their baby. The device may be employed as a supplement to breastfeeding, and a number of them are designed to imitate the suckling sound of a breastfeeding baby.

Types of Breast Pumps

There are three major types of breast pumps:

  • Manual pumps
  • Battery-powered pumps
  • Electric pumps

Breast pump is basically held in position by using a nursing bra or by hand, a band or breast pumping bra. They extract milk from breasts through creating seal around the nipple, and applying and releasing suction to it. This releases milk from breast.


Manual Pumps

Source: Amazon

Immediately the breast-shield is put over the aureola and nipple, a lever or handle is squeezed in order to create suction, expressing milk from breast. This milk is then collected in some attached container.

A number of manual breast pumps have a small tube that is pumped in and out of larger tube in order to create a vacuum which expresses and collects the milk in some attached container.

Another kind of manual pump called bicycle horn pump contains a hollow rubber ball that’s attached to the breast. Some professionals discourage its use since it can prove to be difficult to clean and dry.

Source: Amazon

Battery-Powered and Electric Pumps

These types of breast pump use a cord plugged to electrical outlet or batteries that power a small, motorized pump which creates suction, extracting milk from breasts. It might possess one or more tubes linking the breast-shield to electric pump. It has a control panel with a switch or a dial that control the degree of suction.

A number of powered breast pumps may be adjusted in order to create various suction patterns. Some manufacturers say the adjustable suction lets the user find a setting which closely imitates the nursing baby, including some features with phases like let-down. This feature is the natural reflex that starts the release of milk when the breastfeeding mother’s nipple area is stimulated, for example, by breast pumping or breastfeeding.

Since these breast pumps depend on a source of power, women using them should be ready for emergency situations when extra batteries or electricity are not available. When breastfeeding is not an option, possessing a back-up method or extra supplies for pumping like manual breast pump, might help a woman maintain her breastfeeding routine during emergency.


Points to consider when choosing a breast pump

There are several factors which may help choose your ideal breast pump. The following are some points to consider when buying a pump.

  • How you plan to use your breast pump
  • How much time it’s going to take you to pump
  • Whether the pumps instructions are simple to understand
  • Where you will be using the pump?
  • Whether the breast-shields are fits for you

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