There are countless options for the breast pump in the market. While some women prefer a manual breast pump, at the same, others prefer an electric breast pump. From these two available types, which suits you best depends upon your needs. However, before buying any of these, you must learn about the basic characteristics and drawbacks of these breast pumps. In this article, I would like to tell you how to choose a breast pump and which breast pump is right for you.
First, the good breast pump is a pump that best imitates the baby’s sucking. In other words, after applying it, you must feel that you are actually breastfeeding a baby, and not using a breast pump. Secondly, the pump must be easy to use because the more you use, the more comfortable you feel, hence, more milk.
Apart from this, the type of breast pump (manual or electrical), cycle frequency, suction power, provision of a closed or open system, portability, durability are some other parameters which affect the selection of breast pump.
Manual Pump VS. Electric Pump
Many mothers say that they had a good experience with a manual breast pump. However, according to breastfeeding experts, electrical ones are more effective for pumping milk and maintaining lactation. And from the electric pumps in the top are the double ones that you can pump simultaneously from both breasts.
On the contrary, if you use a manual breast pump, your milk production may decrease over time. Mothers using manual breast pumps may have to face difficulties in maintaining breastfeeding and lactation for a longer time.
The only reason for this is the inability to maintain the optimum cycle frequency (number of pumping per minute) by a manual breast pump. However, this does not happen in the electric breast pump.
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The disadvantage of using a hand pump is that in the long run, milk production decreases significantly. In addition, using the manual breast pump, few women manage to maintain their lactation for a longer time. And this because of manual breast pump’s inability to maintain the optimal cycle frequency (number of pumping per minute). And, in case of an electric pump, you won’t face any such trouble.
The Frequency of Cycles And Suction Power
The efficiency of a breast pump is primarily due to the cycle frequency and suction power.
A baby sucks about 45 – 55 times a minute. The closer to this number is the cycle frequency of your electric breast pump, the more milk you can take. In this case, if you use a breast pump, whose suction capacity is below 25 cycles per minute, then you will probably be in trouble. In addition, the pumping session can also be painful because you will have to use a breast pump for long periods of time to compensate for fewer cycles, which will increase the pressure on the breasts.
The vacuum that the breast pump creates is equally important. Ideally, the suction power should be adjustable and maintained somewhere between 150 mmHg and 250 mmHg. Pumps that have the suction power below the minimum level are relatively ineffective, and those that exceed the maximum will cause you pain, putting too much pressure on your breast.
Closed or Open System
Specifically, closed-system pumps have a membrane that prevents the milk particles from penetrating to the pump motor that can not be cleaned. Thus, there is no risk of the development of bacteria that could contaminate the milk collected. So closed system pumps are more hygienic.
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In the case of open-air electric pumps, it is possible that the milk reaches the engine via the hose connecting the collector to the electrical side. And this is why the hose should be washed, sterilized and dried before each use; something a little more complicated.
Another aspect that you should consider when purchasing a breast pump is the size of the bowl, that is, the part that is placed on the breast. Most devices come with a “one size fits all” cup and only a few manufacturers offer the option to separately buy a cup sized for your breasts.
With regard to durability, you should know that some breast pumps have smaller motors, being thought of as occasional pumping, while others are equipped with stronger engines, suitable for mothers who use them daily.
As a rule, larger engines are quieter than small ones. So, if you are looking for an electric pump with a lower noise level, then please go for a breast pump with a larger engine.
The level of portability depends on how you want to use your breast pump. If you are going to use it, while traveling, then you must choose a breast pump that is easy to carry, and which can be used anywhere.
In the case of Manual Breast Pump, it is clear that you can take them anywhere and they can be used anywhere. However, in the case of an electric breast pump, you must buy a breast pump that works on batteries and comes with a car adapter.
Before buying a breast pump, keep all these things in mind. This will not only help you buy the right breast pump but also save both your time and money.
In the end, all I want to say is – right breast pump means the right amount of milk for the baby and the correct amount of mother’s milk to the baby means a completely healthy baby.