There are a lot of choices and a lot of considerations for breast feeding mothers choosing a breast pump these days. The choices range in cost, portability, size, efficiency and comfort and a new mother’s choice of a breast pump will depend on her budget and individual needs. Here is a basic overview of the type of breast pumps available and what the considerations are in evaluating the choices:
If a mother will be returning to work and needing a breast pump that is light and portable, she may need to go with a semiautomatic double breast pump, or a small motorized or battery-operated single pump. A double pump can pump both breasts at the same time–which can add to efficiency and ease, and a single pump pumps one breast at a time. If a mother will have a small space to pump and need to carry it back and forth to work–then small, portable and lightweight may be strong considerations. A woman may also want a pump that comes with it’s own carrying case, and may also want to test the pump for noise level if that will be an issue.
The easiest, most comfortable, and most efficient breast pumps tend to be the automatic, electric double pumps. These can be fairly large kits, but the ease with which a mother can pump both breasts and may actually be able to keep one hand free make them appealing.
These pumps are comfortable and you can get them as pumps that automatically regulate the suction and release at safe levels for a mother at regular intervals, or some have a continuous suction that the woman must regulate herself. These automatic double pumps are generally the most expensive pumps but a mother may be able to rent or lease one from the hospital or birthing center.
There are also less expensive hand-operated cylinder breast pumps and trigger or handle squeeze breast pumps. These pumps are small and lightweight and can be quite portable, but they do take some practice to get used to and be able to operate effectively. For a woman who is on the go, or doesn’t have access to electricity every time she needs to pump her breasts (or who doesn’t want the expense of charging and replacing batteries), these can be a good choice
The mother does have to learn how to operate and different pumps will have different types of suction and require more or less maneuvering and regulating of the suction by the mother. These are also generally easy to clean–another advantage if the mother is traveling to and from work.
As you can see, there are a variety of breast pumps now available to make breast feeding as convenient and flexible as possible for an active, modern mother. A woman who intends to breast feed should do some investigating and shopping prior to the birth of her baby–taking into account her particular lifestyle, budget, and how the pump will be used (how often, where, etc.). Breast pumps can be bought at a variety of locations where infant and baby supplies are sold, as well as from many online resources.