Buying Guide: Best Breast Pump Models and Features
Some will remember the days of yesteryear fondly, when mothers would snuggle up to their babies for some intimate feeding time. For others the nostalgia is quickly accompanied by realizations that often times, the suckling imitated the latching on of a piranha more than a quite bonding experience. Regardless of where you stand, gone are the days of when women often times found themselves in awkward public situations, having to expose themselves for the benefit of their crying little one. Yes my friends, the dawn of the breast pump is upon us, and everyone is happier for it.
Breast pumps, while somewhat embarrassing in function, are a life saver for many parents. It has often been noted through research, that a mothers breast milk is perhaps the healthiest meal that their babies can possibly eat, and will help them grow mentally and physically. Naturally, this meant parents had to make a choice, go through the awkward process of breast feeding, or provide less nutritious feeding times for their young one. With the advent of the breast pump however, mothers can discreetly pump at their own whim, comfortably in the privacy of their own home, and then store the milk for later consumption. Not only that, this allowed for greater quantities of milk to be produced, so formula would not have to be supplemented when the milk that was on tap, ran dry. Breast pumps aren’t for everyone however, and to help you make the best buying decision possible, we’ve written this thorough guide, along with a list of the best breast pumps on the market. Time to get pumped up!
Why Should You Pump Breast Milk?
Like previously mentioned, there are many reasons why a mother will or will not pump breast milk, and her individual needs will dictate what type of breast pump she buys. In case your on the fence as to why, or what, here are some things that you might consider before your lifestyle gets too sticky to handle.
Assistance: If you’ve ever fed a baby before, you need no explanation as to just how much of a chore they can be. From diaper changing, to bathing, to the attention that they require. Feeding time is perhaps the most time consuming of all, however, it doesn’t have to be solely left up to a mother who decides to feed their baby naturally. Pumping on her own time and handing off the bottle, gives others the opportunity to share the work load.
Extra Supply: You can stockpile milk if you stimulate it properly. While babies can be a bit fussy as to when and where they eat, with a breast pump you can regularly produce milk throughout the day and then leave it in the fridge for later use. For moms who have trouble with producing enough, this is a life saver.
Work Demands: In the past, if mother and baby were not together, a feeding could be missed. However, now a mother can return to work after successfully pumping milk from the previous night, without having to supplement her little ones diet with formula.
Types of Pumps
When it comes to choosing a breast pump, you really only have two options, three if you consider a power source a relevant criteria. Choosing the right type might seem like a subtle difference to somebody not involved in the process, but to us moms that subtle difference means the world, unless you like being objectified as a cow!
Electric: Often the best option for mom’s who have to consider frequent feedings and a hungry baby, electric breast pumps really take away much of the hassle and effort involved with the entire ordeal. Like most models, these are usually designed with a dual suction option, basically doubling the rate at which you excrete milk, and are quite discreet. In addition, they also have features which help you control the speed and suction power, which simulates a natural process and will help you feel more comfortable.
Battery-operated: These work exactly the same way as electrical models, but with the added benefit that you aren’t required to be actively bungied to an electrical cord. The only downside to these models is that if your baby is a frequent feeder, you can drain the battery quickly, and because of this most models are single suction and require a longer amount of pumping time.
Manual: These models are perfect for mothers who prefer to bottle feed most of the time, but on rare occasions want to treat their babies to some hearty grade A quality mommy milk! Again, these are mostly single suction and there aren’t a ton of varieties on the market. Also, pumping with one of these can be quite tiring, so if you feel like you have to breast feed more than semi-regularly, an automatic version might be more suited to your tastes.