There are many items touted as essential for bringing a baby home. From special swings to expensive swaddle blankets, to bottles, the list is endless. However, there is one item that truly is necessary if you’re planning to breastfeed your baby. That item is a breast pump. There are many options of breast pumps available. You will first have to choose between a manual pump or an electric pump. If you’re leaning toward an electric pump, this list has been compiled for you to show you your best options, weigh the pros and cons of each pump, and ultimately give you the best electric breast pump option on the market.
How do you use an electric pump?
While there are countless models of electric breast pumps on the market, they all function in basically the same way.
Whether you are using a hospital grade pump or a very inexpensive model, knowing how to correctly use your pump will mean the difference between having a productive pumping session or pumping no milk at all.
The first step to using an electric pump is to be sure that your equipment and breast are clean to form a good suction and ensure that milk will not be contaminated.
Next, you will make sure that the flange of your breast pump is a comfortable size.
If it is uncomfortable many pumps come with a few different size shields or you can purchase a different size from the manufacturer.
Once the pump is attached to your breast, you will begin pumping on the highest setting you are comfortable with to mimic baby’s rapid nursing.
You can turn the pump up and down to stimulate letdown.
Sometimes massaging the breast before and during pumping will speed the process.
Once letdown is stimulated, you can lower the setting to where you are most comfortable and pump until your breast is empty.
Be sure to clean your pump parts after each use and sterilize them regularly.
Advantages of electric breast pumps
For women who plan to exclusively pump or women who must return to work, pumping is not something they do sometimes but rather is an important part of their daily life.
While the number of times you’ll pump daily is up to the individual, you should be pumping as often as you would feed a baby.
For some, that could be up to every 2 hours.
The average pumping session last about 10-30 minutes.
This would mean that an exclusively pumping mother could potentially spend six hours per day pumping.
That's like having a full-time job!
If you could be spending that much time pumping, it’s important to choose an option that works best for you.
Electric breast pumps have many advantages over manual pumps, especially for frequently pumping moms.
More productive pumping session
Electric breast pumps are very powerful machines.
Their ability to hold suction and stimulate milk flow is unmatched by manual pumps or hand expression.
Many breast pumps come with multiple settings to make the most of your session.
These settings include mimicking the way baby nurses, rapid pumping, and even slow suckling pumping to induce multiple letdowns.
This high-tech approach to expressing breast milk means moms can spend less time pumping but still produce the same amount of milk.
Helps to build supply
Breastfeeding is all about supply and demand.
The more your baby demands to nurse, the more milk you will produce and be able to supply.
The same concept works for pumping your milk. The more you pump, the more milk you will make.
Once a good supply is already established, using an electric breast pump can increase your supply safely and allow you to get a good stash of milk ready for when you return to work or plan to be away from your baby.
Can be covered by insurance
Some women think that affording to purchase an electric pump will be difficult due to the sometimes high prices, but many areas will cover the price of your pump.
Choosing an electric breast pump
With so many electric breast pumps to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which one will work best for you.
There are many factors that must be considered. If you are planning on going back to work, you will need to purchase a pump that will be reliable when used frequently.
Working mothers must not only build up a freezer supply of milk but must also use their pump at work a few times a day.
Because of this, durability is a must.
If you will be traveling with your pump, you will want to look for one that has a small design and is not too heavy.
Carrying around a bulky machine will become tiresome after a while, so consider a pump that is smaller than the traditional ones.
A nice bonus would be finding a pump which has a carrying case and cooler bag for your expressed milk.
If you are only pumping to build a small supply for infrequent trips away from baby or to pump just enough out to maintain comfort, you would be safe to go with a less expensive pump without all the bells and whistles.
No matter what your needs may be, rest assured that the perfect pump is out there!
This breast pump has all the features you should look for in an electric pump and some extra bonuses as well.
Overall, with great features like a built-in night light and whisper-quiet operation, this pump is a wonderful choice for breastfeeding moms who must pump frequently.
The Pump In Style is designed with frequent pumping in mind. Intended for moms who pump multiple times each day, this pump is built to last.
If you are a very frequent pumping mom and don’t mind hauling around a slightly bulky electric pump, the Pump In Style may be a great choice for you.
While not yet a household name, the BelleMa brand gives its competition a run for their money with this electric breast pump.
With so many great features, this pump proves that good things can come in small packages.
If the bulk of some pumps concerns you but you still need something that will get the job done, the BelleMa Effective Pro may be the best pump for you.
While not the best option for exclusive pumpers, this pump has earned its place among its competitors.
The only single pump on the list, the Philips AVENT is a terrific option for nursing mothers who wish to pump only one side at a time.
The design is compact and the pump performs well for its size.
If you are not depending on this pump for multiple sessions per day, you will be happy with this choice.
For those who wish to only pump while away from baby or to prepare a small stash of milk, this is a wonderful option.
Another impressive model by Spectra, the S2 has many features that give it a leg up on the competition.
Built to last, the S2 is up to the challenge of even the most frequent pumping sessions.
The Spectra Baby S2 gives you portability, comfort, and a very high-grade pump all in one.
Whether you will be pumping frequently or require a stronger pump to express your milk, this may be the right choice for you.
The features on this great pump leave absolutely nothing to be longed for.
The S2 has a multitude of settings so that it will work for most breastfeeding mothers.
By enabling you to fine-tune the functions so well, this pump will truly help you to get the most out of each pumping session.
The small size, 3.3 pounds, makes traveling with this pump a breeze.
The whisper-quiet operation means that you can nurse your baby while pumping which helps to build your supply and keep you comfortable from engorgement.
Whether you are a frequent, successful pumping mother or you are trying to find a machine that will make pumping more enjoyable and productive, the Spectra Baby USA S2 Double/Single Breast Pump is an option that you should certainly consider!