Choosing a breast pump can seem extremely overwhelming. There are many different brands and options available. If this is your first time breastfeeding, the entire concept of a breastpump is confusing. Here are some tips and ideas to help the process not seem so scary.
- Ask for Opinions: You probably have friends and family that have pumped before and can tell you what worked for them. Your OB more than likely has a recommendation or can send you in the direction of an expert that does. If you have found your pediatrician, they probably have a lactation specialist on staff that can answer your questions. There is no such thing as a dumb question, so ask as many questions as you need.
- Call Your Insurance Provider: Many insurance companies provide help when it comes to your breast pump. Some allow you to choose whatever pump you prefer from a retailer or medical supply store, and they will reimburse you in full. Other companies have a list to choose from and will send the pump directly to you. Each provider is different, so call and ask your questions.
- Visit a Retailer: Go to a store close to you that sells or rents breast pumps. This way you can see the products in person and get a better idea of what you will be purchasing. Hopefully there is an expert available in the store to answer any questions you think of. This is also a great way to see all the accessories that can be purchased separate from your pump to make pumping easier.
- Decide How Often You will Pump: There are single and double pumps available, meaning you can pump one breast at a time, or both at the same time. If you will be going back to work, pumping both breasts at the same time will make your pump sessions quicker. There are electric and manual pumps available. If you will be staying home and breastfeeding the majority of the time, a manual pump might be enough for your occasional pump session. If you plan to pump more often in order to head back to work (full or part-time), or you hope to pump in order to be able to bottle feed part-time I definitely recommend an electric pump. A manual pump means you are using your hand to pump the machine to extract the milk. This can get old quickly, that’s why I recommend the electric pump if you plan to pump often at all.
- Think About Where You Will Breastfeed: Some breast pumps offer a rechargeable battery. This is a huge benefit for busy, pumping mothers because you can pump without being plugged into the wall. If you need to pump at work, but need to be able to move around your office or workspace, a rechargeable pump can be very beneficial for you in allowing you to work through your pump break. If you will be staying at home, but tend to stay busy throughout the day, a rechargeable pump can allow you to move freely around your home to get tasks done, and tend to your children without needing to sit close to an outlet.
Choosing the correct breast pump can lead to a more successful breastfeeding journey. Doing your research and asking questions will help you get the perfect product for you and your baby. Good luck, and happy milk making!