What is a Breast Pump?
A Breast Pump is a mechanical machine that aids women to extract milk for feeding the baby. Every breast pump consists of 3 basic elements:
- Pump – A pump is a device that creates a feeble vacuum to extract milk. It is attached to a breast shield.
- Breast Shield – Breast shield is a cone-shaped cup-like structure that holds the breast, especially the circular areola region around the nipples.
- Container – Milk container is a bottle-like detachable container that collects the extracted milk. It is basically a reusable bottle with a nipple to feed the baby.
Breast pumps are held in place manually or using a nursing bra. The suction around the nipples by the breast shield works like actual breastfeeding, thus collecting the milk easily.
Why do lactating women use breast pumps?
We all know that mother’s milk is very important for the initial immunity development in a baby. But sometimes, it becomes very difficult for a mother to attend every feeding call post delivery. To overcome this problem, many women use breast pumps to feed milk to the baby. Reasons for using a breast pump may vary from women to women.
- Premature Baby – A baby born before actual delivery date is too weak to breastfeed and thus, nursed by the intake of mother’s milk through a bottle.
- Working mothers – Many women are expected to resume back to work just after few months of delivery. Thus, to tackle the situation without affecting the nourishment portion of a baby, lactating women use breast pumps to collect the milk and feed thereafter.
- Maintaining the milk supply and collecting excess leakage – A breast pump helps in stimulating the milk production in lactating women so that she can upkeep the supply of milk for feeding the baby. Also, it is used to overcome leakage by collecting excess supply of milk.
Choosing a Breast Pump
Every lactating women hold different approach towards breastfeeding. One needs to remember that an ideal breast pump is expected to create a suction similar to a baby suckling to empty the breast with an average frequency of 40 to 60 times a minute. To adhere to these requirements, there are a variety of breast pumps available in the market. Some of the high-quality breast pumps are:
- Medela Swing Breast Pump, being the major shareholder in the breast pump sector, has a two-phase expression-pump and individually adjustable vacuum to pump more milk in less time. Medela Breast pumps are high-quality devices with Automatic or individual option comprising stimulation and expression mode.
- Philips Avent Single Electric Comfort Breast Pump has a compact design to provide a comfortable pumping position. Also, Philips breast pumps are made from BPA (bisphenol A) free material.
- Pigeon Breast Pump Portable Electric is portable and easy to operate breast pump with unique push level to imitate baby’s suckling pattern.
Other than this, some of the cheaper breast pumps are- Pigeon Breast Pump Basic Edition, Philips Avent Breast Pumps Manual Breast Pump etc.