Choosing the right breast pump can be confusing, but it’s easier if you break it down into steps: first consider the reason for needing the pump, then the availability, and finally the cost. Here is a list of available pumps and how to use them.
The best option for expressing colostrum in the first days post-partum, hand expression is when you use your bare hands to pump milk into a sterile container. It is an excellent solution when you need to soften an engorged breast in order to make it easier for your baby to latch on and feed to empty.
Single Breast Pumps:
Offering the ability to regulate pumping frequency with your hand, manual options are meant to be used on one breast at a time. It’s a convenient option for occasional use and doesn't require electricity.
Single electric with battery option
An option that allows you to pump one breast at a time using electricity to power the pump, this type of pump is great once milk is established as well as for once a day or occasional use. Batteries are often an option if you are unable to access electricity but they will need to be replaced frequently.
Double Electric Pumps
Single User / Personal Pump
The Single User / Personal Pump can pump both breasts at the same time. Great for frequent use and to help maintain supply when separated from your baby, it does not use a closed system which means that bacteria can enter the pump chamber. This option is NOT recommended for moms to share.
Double Pump Multi User/ Hospital Grade
This type of breast pump works on both breasts at the same time, and is best in order to establish a full milk supply if your baby is unable to breastfeed. Using a closed system to prevent bacteria from entering the pump chamber, it is the only pump type recommended for multiple moms.
Keep in mind
- Pumping both breasts at once increases production and takes up less time.
- Most electric pumps also come with either battery or car power options.
- The majority of health insurance providers now cover breast pumps, but the options available to you will depend on your individual policy. Some insurers will also require a prescription from your doctor.