Do you know that the emptier your breast is, the faster your milk will be produced again? That’s why expressing breast milk is worth the effort. Your baby doesn’t drain your breast completely when he or she is done. Removing the milk left in your breast is helpful to stimulate more milk supply. It’s also helpful if you can’t breastfeed frequently, in case you’ve to go back to work or stay away from your baby.
Best Breast Pumps in 2016
|1- Philips AVENT Double Electric Comfort Breast Pump||$$$||4.2||Massage cushion stimulates milk flow, comfortable flange, small size.||Loud while in use, no option to run on batteries.|
|2- Medela Pump In Style Advanced Electric Breast Pump Starter Set||$$$||4.4||For frequent use, also operates on batteries, more size of breast shields sold separately.||Bulky to carry away.|
|3- NUK Expressive Double Electric Breast Pump||$$||4.0||32 suction and speed settings, easy to use.||No battery option, louder than some other models.|
|4- Spectra Baby USA Double/Single Breast Pump||$$$||4.5||Quick, powerful, backflow prevention.||Poor customer service, parts unavailable in stores.|
|5- Lansinoh Double Electric Breast Pump||$$$||3.9||Innovative, no milk backup in tubing or motor.||Weak suction, needs more time to extract milk.|
|6-Bellema Melon Double Electric Breast Pump||$$||3.9||Comfortable on nipple, very quiet while in use.||Pumping becomes weak if using on both breasts|
|7-Evenflo Single Electric Breast Pump||$$||4.1||Small, one-hand operated, works with plug and batteries.||Noisy, not for constant use.|
|8- Philips AVENT Manual Comfort Breast Pump||$||4.2||Easy one-handed operation, ideal for sore breasts.||Noisy, milk leaks.|
|9- Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump|
|$||4.2||Lightweight and portable, pumps fast with 2 phase expression.||Good for only occasional use.|
|10- The First Years Double Breast Pump||$$||3.5||Compact, extra quiet, double pump with one hand.||Only for 2-side use, large shields unavailable for larger breasts.|
Type of Breast Pumps
Breast pumps aren’t all the same! There’re so many types available on the market nowadays. They can vary much in price, pumping mode, size, efficiency, portability, etc. The common thing that all breast pumps share is that they provide a shield that fits your nipple and areola and express milk by performing suction and release. Before buying a breast pump, you should ask yourself some questions like how frequent you’re going to use it, for how long you’ll need it, where you think to use it mostly and how much you can spend on it. Breast pumps can be categorized into 2 major types. Each type has its strong and weak points. To decide which one will be best for you, consider your main purpose of using. Read on to know more about each type of breast pumps.
Manual breast pumps
A manual pump typically has a handle or lever where you squeeze to make suction. It can be attached to a bottle or a container where the expressed milk goes to. Some models of manual breast pumps have tubes that connect the shield to the attached container. The advantages of manual pumps are various. They’re usually handy, simple to use and without too many parts. For this reason, they’re ideal to bring with you in the office or while travelling. They don’t need any source of energy either. However, they require more effort and more time to extract enough milk. They allow you to pump on one side at a time. If you’re going to pump several times a day, this type may not be very helpful.
Electric breast pumps
As told by the name, this kind of breast pumps works on electricity by the cord plugged into the wall outlet. Some of them also have an option to run on batteries. The motor create suction, so you won’t have to work hard to express enough milk. They may come with one or two tubes that connect the breast shield to the electric pump. They usually provide a control panel where you can select the degree or speed of suction. The more sophisticated ones offer numerous settings and are designed to come close to natural suction of a baby. Some models of electric pumps offer the possibility of pumping on both breasts at the same time, making you collect more milk in less time. Most of them are more efficient than manual pumps, but they’re more complicated to use and are more expensive as well. Because they run on electricity, you must be prepared for the occasions when you will be without any source of such energy. The models with optional batteries are preferable for this purpose. However, moms may be suggested to own a manual pump as supplementary option.
When should I buy a breast pump?
If your baby latches on well, empty your breasts effectively, is nursing frequently and you’re always at home taking care of him or her, you may not have to own a breast pump. Instead, if your baby seems to suck effectively only the first 5 minutes or when the milk flows strongly but then continue with “comfort nursing” (when he or she sucks your nipple to find comfort, to feel secure and to fall asleep) for most of the time, there can be a problem as he or she doesn’t receive an adequate nutriment. At the same time, your breasts aren’t stimulated enough to increase your milk production. In this case, pumping can be very useful.
If you unfortunately find that your baby isn’t latching on well or doesn’t suck effectively for any reason, it means that he or she isn’t nursing adequately at all. In this case, pumping becomes necessary for both you and your little one. It helps maintain your milk supply and you may be able to feed your baby more successfully with a bottle. An ideal number of pumping for increasing breast milk is from 8 to 10 times daily.
Beyond every motive given previously, another good reason to breast pump is to give yourself more time to relax, especially if you’ve other older children. Pumping allows you to organize better your timetables among feeding, doing housework and taking care of other children.
Tips to pump for increasing breast milk
It’s always suggested to let your baby feed as much as possible on your breasts before pumping. It’s the most natural way to stimulate and increase your milk production. But more important than that, nursing helps your baby feel calm and secure while the bonding between you and your little one is strengthened at the same time. The right moment of pumping can be halfway between feedings or when your baby is sleeping and doesn’t need your attention. You’ll surely find it hard to go on pumping when your little one is crying and wants to be taken in your arms.
When pumping is aimed especially at increasing your milk supply, it’s best to pump at least 10 – 15 minutes each time even though your milk already stopped flowing. Continuing to pump is just for stimulating your breasts and body to produce more milk than they’re doing right now. Some experts also suggest to pump on one side while your baby is sucking on the other as your breasts will be stimulated more effectively and milk will even flow more strongly.
It would be good if you’re able to schedule one pumping session during nighttime but it’s not that necessary. If you’re exhausted and can rarely find time to rest at daytime, sleeping during the night becomes a priority as your little one is sleeping longer too. A poor sleep can impact on your breast milk production too.
Editor’s Pick 5 Best Breast Pumps
1. Philips AVENT Double Electric Comfort Breast Pump
This BPA-free electric pump comes with a unique design which allows you to pump while sitting comfortably upright without leaning forward. You can stay relaxed and let the pump works without doing any effort. That’s what every mom is dreaming of! Philips AVENT Double Electric Comfort provides you various special features. Just to begin, it has a soft and large (25 mm) cushion with 5 petals that will massage your breast gently. The massage is beneficial in stimulating your milk flow because it mimics the natural suckling patterns of a baby. The angled neck of breast pump helps the milk flow easily from your breast to the attached bottle. Since it’s for a double use, you are going to save time by pumping from both sides at the same time. The pump is compact and has only few parts to assemble. When turned on, it starts by massaging to encourage milk to let down, and then you are able to select among 3 expression settings until you find which is best for you. The pump includes a bag for storage or travel, 2 Philips Avent Natural bottles and nipples. Most parts are dishwasher-safe and can be sterilized for the most hygiene. If the cushion is too large for you, a smaller size (19.5 mm) is sold separately. Most moms find that it works greatly, easy to clean and to use and offer comfort as promised. It also has a closed system, so you find no milk backup in the tubing. Though, it has some negative sides. Moms say it’s loud when in use and it can’t operate on batteries, so you always have to plug into the wall outlet.
2. Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump Starter Set
Medela Pump In Style offers the 2-phase expression technology. This means that, by activating one-touch let-down button, it begins with stimulation phase which make pumping faster to let the milk begin to flow. Then, it goes into expression phase that would continue to remove milk from your breast. This’s the way a baby naturally does when breastfeeding. The 2-phase expression technology has been studied in order to make the pumping sessions more effective and to promote more breast milk production as well. Moms usually are using pumps for this reason. It offers you to adjust the speed of pumping as you preferred. A very important thing that Medela offers is that you can find a wide range of breast shield sizes, so you’ll find one that suits you. Using a right size of breast shield does help expressing milk with more success. Moms who pump several times per day confirm that Medela Pump In Style is ideal for a daily use. It also provides a battery pack (it requires 8 AA batteries) which is a great option if you’ll have to use it outside your house or while travelling. The motor comes with a soft and protective bag. It fits perfectly Medela tote bag which can be bought separately. The parts are also easy to clean and sterilize. Moms find it works efficiently and the parts are durable. Because it’s quiet when turned on, they don’t feel embarrassed to pump in the office. The pump can fit most of standard-sized bottles. Some have mentioned that it’s a little bulky to carry with them.
3. NUK Expressive Double Electric Breast Pump
This’s another best concrete electric pump. NUK Expressive Double pump has few parts to assemble and to clean. It includes breast shield with valve to be connected to the motor unit and to be screwed up with a milk container. Despite its simplicity, this model of NUK offers numerous advantages. It’s designed for a daily and frequent use. The pump provides 32 settings for you to adjust both speed level and suction strength. The numerous settings allow you to obtain the most suitable performance. They just give you the possibility to maximize your milk flow, to make pumping comes closer to the baby’s natural nursing at your breasts and to promote comfort while using the pump as well. The digital display shows clearly the settings which are visible in the dark room too. NUK Expressive also features a convenient memory button that is capable to remember your preferred speed and suction settings. The pump includes 2 BPA-free silicone massaging breast cushions, 2 BPA-free bottles and nipples, 2 breast shields with valve and membrane and easy-grip handle. Most moms love this double electric breast pump for its efficiency. They can express the same amount of milk spending less time than some other models. Some complaint about the loud noise. Another downside of this model is that it can’t work on batteries.
4. Spectra Baby USA Double/Single Breast Pump
As a hospital-grade pump, Spectra Baby USA is one of the most reliable electric breast pumps available. The motor is powerful, making a great performance to increase breast milk supply and allowing moms to have an easier life! With a closed system, it prevents your milk from getting into the tubing and the motor, ensuring the hygiene and safety. It’s very flexible as it’s able to be use as a single or double pump as you want. The pumping program will be shown on the digital display. The controls allow you to choose speed and rhythm that fit you best. This model, too, offers a stimulating massage at the beginning of pumping. Most moms find that this letdown setting is very helpful. When it switches to expression mode, the suction becomes deep and slow just like that of your baby. You can adjust both the cycle and the vacuum (strength) of suction easily by selecting from the digital unit. It comes with timer and night light. Moms agree that it works very well and quietly. It also includes a rechargeable battery which is a very convenient feature. Although Spectra Baby USA pump works effectively, moms have complaint are about a poor customer service. The parts are not available in stores either.
5. Lansinoh Double Electric Breast Pump
Lansinoh Double Electric breast pump has every feature you would want. It offers 3 adjustable pumping styles and 8 different suction levels. This let you choose vacuum strength and cycle speed separately. It also has the capacity to mimic the baby’s natural nursing pattern. This model of Lansinoh is pre-assemble with few parts, so it’s easy to use and clean. The closed system guarantees an adequate hygiene as no milk will be trapped in the tubing or motor. The parts are free from BPA and BPS. Moms like its compact size and the quiet performance that allow them to use it everywhere. It comes with a tote bag, 2 breast flange bodies, 2 collars, 2 ComfortFit flanges, 2 bottle stands, connection tubes, 2 Lansinoh mOmma bottles and mOmma Natural Wave nipples. Many moms refer that the pump has a weak motor. While it seems to be gentler than some other pumps, it takes more time to collect the same amount of breast milk. Moreover, only Lansinoh mOmma bottles can fit the pump as it requires wide necks. For this reason, some moms preferred to switch to another model and use this one occasionally.
Are you a regular pumping mom? Do you have any issues about low breast milk supply? IF yes, does pumping help you resolve it?
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