We have all done it, spent ages in front of the Breast pump isle at the baby shop. Not understanding what all the differences mean. This is not a small purchase but these days, it’s a very important one. With most of us going back to work after our 4 months of Maternity leave, we either start pumping or move onto Formula. Pumping while working may take some getting used to and may not always be easy. It is well worth it. Why? Because your baby will directly benefit from it.
Breast milk is always best
- It is perfect for your baby, as it has the complete package of fats, lactose, iron, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and water.
- Breast milk is designed to help protect your baby against harmful bacteria.
- It enhances brain development! Yes, it makes your baby smarter.
- It also enhances the link between mother and baby which is so crucial, when work normally means being away from your baby for several hours in the day.
How do I choose the right one?
There are a couple of key questions to ask yourself when deciding on a pump.
- Are you going back to work? How often will you be pumping? This will establish if you will be pumping occasionally or regularly. (More than twice a week will be regularly.) Great options for occasional pumping are the manual pump like the Medela Harmony Breast pump or the Medela Swing (single electric) Breast pump. For regular use you will be looking at a double pump like the Medela Swing-Maxi breast pump or the Medela Freestyle Breast pump.
- Are you or baby struggling with establishing breastfeeding? We always suggest seeing a lactation consultant in these situations. The best pumps for this circumstance would be the freestyle pump (double) Electric Breast pump or renting the hospital grade Symphony Electric Breast pump.
- If baby is pump dependent like babies in the NICU, or in the case of multiple births the Symphony Hospital Grade Breast pump is really the only answer.
Electrical or manual?
I get this question all the time. The biggest factor here is time. Electrical is quicker and gives you the option to do hands-free pumping and double pumping. You really need to find what you are comfortable with and what works for you. Keep in mind that a baby breast feeding will always be the best possible answer. Unfortunately, today, many of us cannot be with our babies 24 hours a day as our families depend on a second income.
Do you LOVE your pump?
It sounds a bit silly but we in essence need to trick our bodies into producing milk for something we don’t have strong feelings for. This process of the milk ejection reflex works naturally with our babies but sometimes we struggle with it, when using a pump. Here are a couple of suggestions to learn to love your pump:
- Enjoy your pumping time. Grab a drink, a magazine or just close your eyes. Take a moment for yourself. You deserve it.
- Try to look at a picture or video of your baby while pumping.
- Try using a warm compress over the breasts before pumping.
- Do breast massage before pumping.
- Routine does help, try to feel comfortable in your surroundings.
Contributed by Michelle Pitt
Marketing Manager at Breastpumps and Beyond, The distributor for Medela in Southern Africa.