26.01.2021

Breast pump selection

Breast pump is a special device for expressing breast milk from the breast. In order to choose the best breast pump, it is important to know all about the types of this device that the modern market offers consumers.

Why do you need a breast pump?

To answer the question of why a breast pump is needed, it is necessary to consider the difficulties that a young mother encounters in the process of feeding her baby.

Women preparing for childbirth often doubt whether to take a breast pump with them to the hospital. However, sometimes situations arise in which a woman in childbirth is required to express.

Firstly, sometimes a child needs to lie in a couveze under a lamp at a children’s post. Causes may include prematurity, pathology, hypoxia, or asphyxia transferred during childbirth. In this situation, there will be no opportunity for breastfeeding, and the baby will need expressed milk.

Secondly, the baby may be born weakened. Such a baby sluggishly sucks a breast or spits out a nipple, and he has to be fed from a bottle with a nipple.

Thirdly, the newborn often injures the nipple of the mother before the appearance of painful cracks that impede the process of natural feeding, and then the mother has to use a breast pump. In this situation, it is better to use a manual breast pump, rather than an electric one.

Fourth, hyperlactation requires an active outflow of milk from the breast. If milk is produced in excess, it is necessary to express it in order to prevent swelling of the mammary glands and to avoid lactostasis.

Some use the device as a stimulant of lactation in case of insufficiency (for example, after cesarean section), but this is not recommended. If there is little milk produced, you need to feed the baby on demand, often applied to the breast.

Many maternity hospitals now have electric breast pumps. But there are a limited number of them, and women in labor who need to express milk are much more. Therefore, it is advisable to have your own breast pump. You can not take it to the hospital right away, but purchase it in advance and ask your relatives to bring it as soon as it becomes necessary to use it.

Is a breast pump needed at home? There may be several reasons for its use: 

  • Forced separation from the child if the mother has to go to work or go to the hospital. And then only decantation will allow the baby to regularly receive breast milk.
  • Very fat milk. Its density does not allow the baby to receive enough food during breastfeeding.
  • Infectious disease of the mother or taking antibiotics, antipsychotics and other potent drugs. It is necessary to express and pour out milk.
  • In rare cases, babies simply do not accept maternal breasts. They get food from a bottle with a pacifier.
Manual or electric?

How to choose a breast pump? To answer this question you need to know all the existing options for this device. Breast pumps are manual and electric. Manual – pump-action, pear or piston-driven manually. Electrical appliances are powered by electricity, and some are also battery powered.

Pumping speed is the main advantage of the electric breast pump. However, it depends on the power supply with which interruptions can occur. Another point: an electric breast pump is harder to sterilize.

Manual breast pumps are successfully used in the field and are much cheaper. But their effectiveness is lower, and use requires physical effort. Read more about manual breast pumps →

In order to decide which breast pump to choose, it is important to consider all the pros and cons of both options. Electric models have disadvantages: noise, high cost, difficulties in terms of sterilization. But usually for customers outweigh the benefits: convenience, speed, hands-free and a minimum of physical effort when decanting.

Types of electrical

According to opinion polls, the rating of the best modern electric breast pumps looks like this:

  • Medela  Swing .  Electric breast pump, which can be called a sales leader. Advantages: applicable for expressing milk from two mammary glands at the same time, runs on batteries and from the network. Disadvantage: it is expensive, 7000-13000 rubles.
  • Philips  Avent .  A good device in demandAllows to express milk both sitting and standing, without leaning forward. Advantages: it is operated by one button, it can work on batteries. Disadvantages: very noisy. Cost: 7000-9000 rubles.
  • Medela  Mini  Electric .  The most portable device of electric models. The electronic unit is located on the suction funnel, there are no extra wires and parts. Advantage: convenience, ease and compactness of the device. Disadvantage: noisy. Cost: from 4000 rubles.
  • Medela  Freestyle  electronic.  The most productive breast pump. Expression is fast, there is a backlight that allows you to work in the dark. Advantages: the ability to simultaneously express both mammary glands, a cooler bag included. Disadvantage: high cost, an average of 15,000 rubles.
  • Nuk  E motion .  Combines compactness with high quality, and the cost is pleasantly pleasing. Any nursing mother who uses this device notes that pumping is gentle and feels like a natural feeding. It takes up little space and does not contain unnecessary parts, the electronic unit is located directly on the device. Advantages: reasonable price, portability, noiselessness. Disadvantage: Expresses slowly. Cost: 4000-5000 rubles.

Often on the packaging with an electric breast pump you can see the word “electronic”. Electronic and electric are not different types of breast pumps. The inscription “electronic” is a sign of the most complex, high-quality and expensive model: with a microprocessor, with a display on which decantation indicators are displayed, with backlight and at high speed. Not every family will buy such an expensive device.

What should I look for when choosing?

Before buying a breast pump, you need to decide what is more important: the speed of pumping, the sterility of the device or price category, and choose based on your needs and capabilities.   

To choose the manual breast pump that better expresses milk and delivers less inconvenience, you should be guided by the following principles:

  • Choose a piston, not a pump: it is more powerful.
  • Look for a device with a silicone, not a plastic funnel overlay.
  • Buy a breast pump, which comes with a bottle with a pacifier: you do not have to transfer the milk to another container after decantation.

Which electrical appliance is better to choose? The following points should be considered:

  • A device with a silicone nozzle is preferred.
  • If the funnel nozzle is not smooth, but has the shape of a flower with petals, it wraps around the nipple more tightly.
  • A more convenient model, which provides for several nozzles.
  • It is worth paying attention to whether the device works on batteries or only from the mains.
  • More effective breast pump, which allows to express both breasts at the same time.
  • The two-phase principle of work is preferable when first the breast is prepared and massaged, and then quickly and quickly emptied.
How does the device work

Manual breast pump is driven mechanically. Its funnel should be tightly placed on the chest. The pear or pump must be activated by rhythmic contractions. Air is pumped into the pear, as a result of which, thanks to the vacuum formed, the milk is pumped out of the chest. If the device is a piston, then it acts like a syringe: translational movements of the piston pump milk out of the breast. To use such a device requires more effort, but it is considered more effective than a pump-action breast pump.

An electric breast pump frees your hands: its mechanism plays the role of a piston or pump. Pumping out of milk occurs by forcing air, and special parts in the form of nozzles stimulate the breast. Due to this, it is not required to produce stroking and decanting movements and additionally affect the mammary gland.

How to sterilize properly

The sterilization process of the breast pump is reduced to the sterilization of the device itself, the bottle and container for decantation.

A container for decantation is a container into which decanted milk is collected. Recently, for this purpose, disposable sterile packets are increasingly being used. They do not need to be sterilized, they are not reused, they are sold everywhere and fit comfortably in the freezer. In addition to sterile bags, glass jars that are available in all homes are in demand for pumping and storing breast milk. They must first be exempted from the labels.

The breast pump should be completely disassembled and washed with baby soap. Rinse all parts thoroughly and rinse, then put in a spacious pan. Pour water, put the pan on the stove and boil for fifteen minutes. Then drain the water and hold the appliance in a pan until it cools. The breast pump will be sterile for the next half hour.

To avoid plaque formation on the device and its parts, steam sterilization can be carried out. The breast pump, jar or bottle should be put in a colander, put it on a pot of boiling water and, covered with a lid, keep for a couple of half an hour.

Is it always necessary to sterilize a breast pump? Yes, after each decantation procedure. Only sterilization can protect the baby and maternal breasts from infection.

So, how to choose the right breast pump:

  • Western manufacturing companies produce better breast pumps than domestic ones.
  • Too high power of the device injures the chest, and low power will not give the desired result.
  • Cost. Expensive breast pumps are not affordable for everyone. However, the cheapness of a product is almost always inversely proportional to its quality.

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