Do I Need A Breast Pump? How To Use And Maintain The Pump Properly?

New mothers must worry so much about breastfeeding. To relieve the stress, many manufacturers make pumps to help with breastfeeding. You may be wondering: “Do I need a breast pump to maintain the milk supply for your baby?”

The answer varies in different situations. The pump helps you express and store breast milk. Even when you are not close, your kid still has a nice meal.

This article will give you an in-depth explanation and usage instructions for breast pumps. Let’s join us!   

Do I Need A Breast Pump? 

Breast pumps are tools that can help extract and store milk from your breasts. After getting the milk, you can feed it to your infant right away or save it in milk bags or containers for later use.

You can extract your milk using a manual expression method. However, based on how often you need to produce, you may find out that using the pump is easier and convenient.

You need a breast pump in these cases:

You can’t breastfeed your baby.

Collecting breast milk from breasts regularly will help boost your milk supply while also providing a supplement to keep your infant adequately fed until he can nurse.

If a newborn is not nursing directly at the breasts, pumping is typically advisable as a good starting point. 

If you often have to provide breast milk, a breast pump is more productive and less stressful than a manual method.

If you just want to pump for one month or two, renting a hospital-grade pump can be an excellent alternative.

Breast milk is insufficient for a baby.

By completely draining your breasts and boosting milk supply, pumping after breastfeeding can improve milk production.

Hand pumping can work for this purpose. However, the pump is more effective and less exhausting on the hands for frequent use. It can also deal well with low milk supply. 

Your breasts are puffy.

Pumping and hand-pressing milk can help reduce engorgement and prevent mastitis. 

You are not close to your child.

You’ll need to express extra breast milk for your kid while you’re away from him. This issue may happen if you have to move regularly or come back to work. 

Pumping can be an efficient approach when you need more milk to save for the next breastfeeding.

Your nipples are flat.

A breast pump might help you evert nipples before a feeding time if you have flat, dimpled, or inverted nipples. This method makes it easier for your kid to latch when you start pumping. 

There are some cases that you need the tool

There are some cases that you need the tool

Drawbacks Of Using A Breast Pump 

Using the pumping tool is quite convenient. However, it does have some drawbacks that may discourage you from buying it. If you don’t feel the annoyances below are terrible, you can opt for the tool immediately. 

Cost

These pumps are available in different types, and some may be rather costly to purchase. You can pick a breast pump that is reasonably priced for your requirements by reading reviews and evaluating why you need one.

Cleaning time

You have to clean the pump parts meticulously, which might take a long time.

Hygiene concerns

It is unsanitary to employ second-hand accessories unless the unit has a concealed system and has protections for many users, such as the hospital-grade pumps.

A warranty doesn’t work in this case. Hence, you can’t ask for help from the manufacturer. Moreover, infections may arise from the pumps. Mold and bacteria may also be available in used tools, particularly tubes.

Oversupply 

Excess breast pumping might lead to an issue with milk supply. It can’t last for a long time. Hence, you will end up with waste due to oversupply. 

Reducing milk production

Given the difference between pumping and direct breastfeeding, pumping moms may experience a decrease in their milk production with time.

Nipple preference

Cups, bottles, and a feeding tube are all options for feeding your baby. Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Some bottle varieties are more probable than others to influence a baby’s grip at the breast (called nipple confusion) or cause a baby to choose a bottle over the breast (nipple preference).

Breakdowns

The average lifetime of this tool is often one year. It’s also the standard amount of time a woman will breastfeed one infant. The pumps don’t just stop running when they begin to break down. 

The cycling and suction mechanics degrade over time. You’ll probably realize that you’re not expressing as much milk and that the suction isn’t as effective.

Be careful with the potential risks

Be careful with the potential risks

Types Of Breast Pump

Choosing the right pump might be challenging or confusing because there are so many different types, designs, and brands. Consider your budget and the amount of time you intend to invest while looking for the perfect unit.

Manual breast pump

Breast pumps that work by hand are manual pumps. You have to push a trigger button or move a cylinder continuously. This motion creates pressure, which draws the milk out of the breasts.

These pumps are often compact, cheap, and simple to carry around. They’re great for infrequent pumping and short-term usage.

On the other hand, using the manual pump may be a little time-consuming and laborious if you often express or produce a great volume of breast milk.

Battery-operated breast pump

If you just need to nurse your baby once per day or less and don’t like to utilize a manual compressor, a battery-operated tool may be a good way to go.

For most breastfeeding, you’ll still need to place your infant to the breast since they’re not robust enough to increase production or assist a milk supply.

Pumps that use batteries to operate are often tiny, mobile, and simple to use. However, they need battery work, which can be costly to replace. It would be best to keep some backup batteries on hand in an emergency. 

Electric breast pump

An electric breast pump can bring the most outstanding results if you press it often. Electric breast pumps are stronger and capable of generating, maintaining, and enhancing your milk supply.

The electric pump is the most productive and may save you a huge amount of time. However, it is also the most pricey, biggest and needs a power supply.

Bulb-style breast pump

Pumps in this design are also bicycle horn compressors due to their shape. We do not recommend you go for this option.

They’re pretty unhygienic, unproductive, and potentially dangerous to your breasts. As a result, avoid employing this breast pump that includes a bulb.

There are different types of pumps in the market

There are different types of pumps in the market

How To Set Up A New Breast Pump? 

The pump has some tiny parts that you may find overwhelming to set up. These steps can make your construction time easier. 

Prepare beforehand

You don’t want to stress how to set the pump up once your baby is born. It would help if you set aside one hour before the due date to assemble your pump and familiarize yourself with how to handle it.

Read the manual carefully.

Read the directions on the package and keep it somewhere securely. If problems arise, your pump guide may have resources for assistance.

In addition, YouTube is an excellent place to learn how to assemble pump pieces. Some companies also offer tutorial videos.

Sterilize each component

Before constructing the unit, make sure that all the parts are clean. It’s often a good idea to take breast pump components out of the dishwasher before the drying phase to avoid distorting them.

Some people like to boil the components in water. If you don’t like this idea, steam bags will also allow you to disinfect your pump components in the microwave within a few minutes.

After cleaning, let the components air dry thoroughly before storing or assembling them after disinfection.

If you use a closed system, you don’t need to sanitize the tubing as carefully as the rest of your gear. On the other hand, if you use an open system, it is essential to clean your tubing thoroughly.

Hot water can eliminate bacteria

Hot water can eliminate bacteria

Be patient

Because learning takes some time, it’s crucial to get started before your little angel arrives. Most pumps have different suction options and pumping sessions to learn about.

Also, purchase breast pump accessories ahead of time. The essential pieces of equipment are nursing cushions, tote bags, and hands-free bras.  

You may include them all on your registry as necessary items to make extracting milk more convenient and comfortable.

How Much Milk Should You Pump? 

While breast pumping, make sure both of your breasts are empty. This procedure might last anywhere from 25 to 30 minutes. After the last drops have been released, continue pumping for several minutes to be sure you’re through.

Breast milk production differs based on your infant’s age, time of the day, how often you feed, the quality of each pump, your diet, and other factors.

You can plan to breastfeed according to your baby’s age:

  • Day 5 to 7: Two ounces.
  • Week 1 to 3: Three ounces.
  • Month 1 to 6: Five ounces.

Don’t worry if you aren’t expressing a lot of breast milk for the first few days after your child’s arrival. Because their stomachs are still so small, only pumping two ounces for the first five to seven days is fine.

Every breastfeeding mother is different. Some can pump more than others. Talk to your doctor or a breastfeeding specialist if you’re concerned about your milk supply.

The amount of milk expressed depends on several factors 

The amount of milk expressed depends on several factors 

How To Clean A Breast Pump? 

You should be washing infant feeding equipment following the manufacturer’s instructions after every use. Remember to wash it with soapy, warm water and air dry. 

Pay attention to the tubing, valves, flanges, collection containers, and membranes. They are the dirtiest parts.

There are two ways to wash the equipment thoroughly:

By hand

Put the pump components in a clean tub that you have used to clean newborn feeding gear. Because bacteria in basins and drains might taint the pump, do not put the parts directly in the washing tub.

Add detergent to the washbasin after filling using hot water. Scrub things as instructed by the pump manufacturer. If you’re going to employ a brush, make sure it’s clean and exclusively used for newborn feeding supplies.

Rinse objects by placing them under running water or soaking them in clean water in a separate tub specialized for infant nursing items.

Allow for complete air drying. Then, place the pump components, the washbasin, and the bottle brush on a dry, unused paper towel in a dust-free area.

Use a towel to dry objects instead of rubbing or pressing them to dry, as it may spread germs to the components.

Try to wash every component thoroughly

Try to wash every component thoroughly

By dishwasher

Start by placing dismantled pump parts in the dishwasher. You should put the small pieces in a mesh laundry basket to avoid getting stuck in the washer filter. 

If at all feasible, use hot water and a hot drying mode (or sanitizing mode) in the dishwasher to eliminate more bacteria.

Before storing treated objects, wash them thoroughly with water and soap. If objects aren’t totally dry, air-dry them completely before placing them on a clean dish towel.

Use the towel to dry objects instead of rubbing or pressing them dry. Otherwise, the germs will transfer to the components.

You can learn more cleaning tips from this video. Please check carefully and figure out how to treat the equipment correctly. 

How To Store Breast Milk? 

Many breast pumps arrive with milk storage bags and feeding containers. Others involve gathering milk with a traditional feeding bottle.

You can also gather pumped breast milk using plastic bags, but only those specially created for breast milk are helpful. 

Then, if you’re freezing milk, fill the bags full to allow for extension. It’s easier to thaw pumped breast milk if you freeze it in small volumes.

If stored away from the sunlight or other heat sources, newly pumped milk can last about four hours at average temperature. 

You can store milk for four days in the fridge and six to twelve months inside the freezer. The extra tip is to always write the date on each bottle. Make sure to start with the oldest dairy.

A freezer is an ideal place for storing

A freezer is an ideal place for storing

How To Maintain Milk Supply While Pumping? 

The higher the demand, the more milk supply required.  If you want to keep your milk production up, push at the same pace as if your baby were nursing directly from you. Also, make sure that your breasts are empty between sessions.

Here are a few more tips to help you maximize your production when pumping:

Relax

When you’re comfortable and happy, your body generates oxytocin, a hormone that informs your breasts whenever it’s time to produce milk.

According to research, parents who pumped while listening to directed relaxation or soft music had a higher pumping yield. 

Moreover, those who looked at images of their children pumped much faster.

Relax at all times

Relax at all times

Massage 

Try to relax and massage either breast while pumping. Continue massaging until the flow decreases to a drip, then focus on any places that appear full.

Continue with some extra minutes of hand expression when the device is no longer expressing milk. It’s when you apply strong breast suction to both breasts to assure they’ve drained thoroughly.

Check the medical cabinet.

Some forms of birth control medications might lower a mother’s milk production. If it is your case, you might consider switching to another pregnancy prevention treatment containing the decongestant pseudoephedrine.

Adhere to non-medicinal approaches to ease congestion, such as steam, sinus rinses, or nasal sprays, if you get clogged. 

How To Choose The Best Breast Pump? 

Before you choose a breast pump depending on a recommendation from your friend, keep in mind that you and your partner may be searching for entirely different things.

Any woman trying to buy one of the greatest pumps should think about the following factors:

Cost

Stick to anything within your budget range. However, keep in mind that it could not function efficiently if you choose a really inexpensive pump.

If such a thing happens, you’ll have to get another set anyhow. Hence, save yourself the trouble and start with a high-quality unit.

Most breast pumps range in price from $30 (manual pump) to $300 (electric pump). It’s still less expensive than buying milk every week, and specific health insurance policies may cover the costs of the equipment. 

Milk volume

Some compressors are suitable for one-time usage only. Meanwhile, others can handle multiple pumping sessions per day. Manual pumps, for example, might be time-consuming if you want to pump constantly or have a large supply. 

Knowing how much to nurse might assist you in determining whether to use a manual or electric model.

Single or double

Pumping breast milk is a time-consuming and unpleasant task. Consider a double pump instead of a single one to save time attached to the equipment. 

Portability

Mothers who intend to return to work after their baby arrives may consider purchasing a portable unit. Then, during break times, they can extract milk.

Portability is something to consider if you want to provide breast milk while traveling. On the other hand, stay-at-home parents may be less worried about portability.

Ease of cleaning

Buying a compressor that fits together like a jigsaw might put you off breast pumping completely.

Furthermore, mothers may dislike the time they spend struggling to extract milk from cumbersome tubing when they should be investing it with their infant.

Suction

Every woman does not require a certain amount of suction. You’ll want to search for a pumping system that can be adjustable. 

This issue is highly personal. It should be similar to your baby’s breastfeeding ability, but not too much stronger.

Consider carefully before choosing a product

Consider carefully before choosing a product

How Often Should You Pump? 

The optimal pumping schedule is whatever feels right for you. However, it’s preferable to do it at a period when your breasts are often full.

If you’re pumping milk because you’re skipping feedings, try to express at the exact times you’d typically breastfeed, perhaps every three hours.

Try pumping breast milk one hour or so after your infant’s morning feeding session if you do it at home. Because your breasts are typically larger in the morning, pumping at this time is an excellent idea.

Another ideal time for pumping milk is at the end of each meal. Then, you can be sure to capture every drop of expressed milk.

You can also consider pumping per two hours between the feedings if your infant’s meals have started to stretch out about once every four hours. This strategy will enhance your milk production and allow you to keep enough milk.

If possible, avoid late in the afternoon and early evening feedings. Your production will be at its weakest because of baby weariness and stress towards the end of the day.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Here are some frequently asked questions about the baby breast milk pump. Let’s check for more details.

1. Which type of breast pump should you purchase?

Consider your demands before purchasing a pump. For example, if you’ll just use it at home, a plug-in model could suffice.

On the other hand, if you’ll be pumping at work or anywhere away from home, a tool that’s portable and battery-powered is a nice choice.

2. Is renting or sharing a breast pump safe?

If the pumps are not meant for different users, renting or leasing this equipment might be dangerous. Contaminated tools may cause both you and your infant to suffer from infections. 

Sharing the tool will void the maker’s warranty. As a result, if you have trouble with the device, you can’t seek assistance from the supplier.

3. Who should use a breast pump?

A breast pump can help you maintain your supplies if your infant has problems breastfeeding. Returning to work or any other intentional absence from your infant often necessitates the use of this piece of equipment. 

4. When should I start using the breast pump?

When your baby is growing and maintaining healthy body weight, wait about six weeks before using a breast pump to build a breastfeeding habit. 

However, your doctor may suggest you start sooner if you have a low birth weight, are away from your newborn, or have other problems.

Conclusion 

Being a mom is the most challenging yet rewarding job. Thankfully, there has always been assistance to make things simpler. New mothers should consider the breast pump. The equipment can help you express and preserve milk easily. 

Hopefully, we have satisfactorily answered your question. If you need any further information, please feel free to ask. Thank you for taking the time to read this!

Related Articles:
How to use a breast pump: 12 top tips – Medela
A Beginner’s Guide to Breast Pumping

Rate this post