How to choose a breast pump, selection tips and reviews
Breast pump – a device that is used to express breast milk. A breast pump is used by a nursing mother to continue breastfeeding after she returns to work or school (in this case, relatives feed the child with expressed milk); with mastitis and for its prevention; to improve lactation and hyperlactation.
Important: the breast pump can be used already in the maternity hospital, but a sterilizer is required.
- Electric breast pump
- Mechanical breast pump
Mechanical (manual) – driven by the physical effort of a woman. Advantages: independence from the mains, batteries and accumulators, silent operation, ease of cleaning and sterilization. In addition, mechanical models allow you to better control the intensity of pumping milk than automatic ones. Disadvantages: requires physical effort, which leads to hand fatigue, slow pumping of milk.
Manual breast pumps are well suited for mothers who express milk only from time to time. There are such types of mechanical devices:
pump action – the simplest device, consisting of a rubber pump or pear and a nozzle on the chest. When the pump (pear) is squeezed, milk is sucked out. Advantage – low price. Disadvantages: risk of teat cracks with frequent use, low productivity. Not suitable for regular use.
Piston – a more complex device consisting of a lever, a bottle and a nozzle on the chest. For pumping, you need to press the lever. Advantages: comfortable and fast pumping (up to 150-200 ml in 10 minutes), which does not injure the chest. Disadvantages: fragility of parts and higher cost.
Cylindrical – consists of two cylinders, one of which is placed inside the other: the inner cylinder is applied to the breast, and the outer one, when moving back and forth, creates a vacuum and sucks out the milk. Advantages: ease of use and maintenance, small size. Occurs most often.
Electric – driven by a special motor. Advantages: saving time and effort, high performance, the most careful pumping, the ability to memorize the operating mode. Disadvantages: noise during operation, high cost. The best option for regular use.
- Electronic – a kind of electric breast pump with microprocessor control of the milk release mode. Electronic models have built-in memory (for memorizing the pumping mode), equipped with a display. The disadvantage is the very high cost.
Important: Pay attention to the material of which the machine is made. Well, if it is high-quality propylene without toxic Bisphenol-A.
Plastic – hard and rigid material. Plastic pads are less comfortable to use than silicone ones.
Silicone – soft and thin material that takes the shape of the nipple and does not injure it. Such pads are called anatomical, providing comfortable pumping.
On both breasts – allows you to express milk from both breasts at the same time. Found in electrical devices.
Expression force adjustment – allows a woman to choose the optimal intensity of milk expression, making this process convenient and painless.
Massager – pad on the chest with bulges in the form of petals, stimulating the release of milk. Gently massaging the breasts, it provides complete pumping with maximum comfort for the woman.
two-phase – the device works in two phases, imitating the natural rhythm of baby suckling. At first, the device stimulates the chest quickly and slightly, then slowly and deeply. This mode ensures maximum expression of milk.
Rhythm memory – when turned on, the device starts to work in the same rhythm in which the previous pumping took place.
Number of bottles
Often, a breast pump comes with bottles where breast milk is expressed. This is very convenient, since you do not have to look for a separate container suitable for the device. There can be from 1 to 4 such containers.
Number of earbuds
Lactation pads keep milk in the breast and thus protect clothes from getting wet. There are both disposable and reusable liners. Their number varies from 2 to 56 pieces complete with a breast pump.
LCD display – displays the information necessary for a woman: pumping time, vacuum level, battery status. In some models, the display is equipped with a backlight, which is convenient when pumping at night.
bottle adapter – an adapter connecting the bottle to the breast pump, ensuring the tightness of the connection.
bottle cap – closes the hole in the nipple, thereby preventing spillage of the contents.
bottle stand – prevents the bottle from tipping over.
Cooler bag – Designed for safe transport of expressed milk and breast pump. In such a bag, milk will not spoil. The best option for travel.
The breast pump also comes with a bottle nipple.
Power supply for electric breast pumps.
Off the grid – the simplest option, which has serious limitations: such a breast pump can only be used in a room with electrical outlets.
Batteries – allow you to use the breast pump in field conditions in the absence of the mains. At the same time, it has a limited life: usually the batteries last for 2-3 days if you use the device 5-6 times a day.
Battery – like batteries, it allows you to use the device where there is no mains, but the duration of its operation is longer. In addition, the battery will save money, as it can be charged from the network if necessary. Mains and battery powered breast pumps are more expensive.
When choosing a breast pump, you should give preference to models with the highest quality nozzles. Usually these are Philips, Tommee Tippee, Medela, Chicco and NUK products. They provide maximum comfort and pumping efficiency. There is an opinion that Philips breast pumps are overpriced due to the popularity of the brand, but these devices work well.
Models Baby Ono, Canpol babies more often recommended themselves as uncomfortable and ineffective in use. For the smallest budget, you can choose Alpina Plast products – cheap mechanical breast pumps, however, will be better than manual pumping.