Having a baby is the happiest of times for new parents. From the time of conceiving to bringing the little miracle to the world, new parents make many decisions. These include choosing an appropriate crib, changing the table, etc., and ensuring ultimate child care.
However, once the baby is born, feeding is one of the most important things for a mother. Yet the process is different for feeding a premature baby or a medically vulnerable child, which can be challenging. While breastfeeding the baby can be impossible, a breast pump will ensure the baby gets the required nutrition and immunity.
But is using a breast pump a good technique? If yes, which is the best breast pump for first-time mothers? All of these questions and more are covered in the article, which elaborates on the hows and whys of using a breast pump.
What is a breast pump?
A breast pump is a tool used for extracting milk from a mother's breast via the nipple. The milk is collected inside the container using a funnel fixed around the mother's nipple.
Why must a first-time mother use a breast pump?
Breast milk is the primary source of nutrition for an infant. Pumping breast milk offers similar benefits to the child, although it may not be identical to direct feeding. As per research, the breasts will produce more milk when the child continuously feeds on them.
- Furthermore, as mother's milk is the only food source for the infant, which also includes considering many factors. Pumping and storing milk in the freezer can be used as an emergency supply if the mother is sick or under medication.
- An ideal alternative for working mothers who do not want to feed their infant supplements or milk formula. It is helpful to store and give her child breast milk.
- Using a breast pump and storing the milk will ensure the child is fed the mother's milk even when they are away from the kid during meal times.
- Breastfeeding an infant is not easy. Mothers need to use different positions for feeding, which may often leave them worn out. A breast pump can help her express her milk and take some rest without starving the baby.
- It helps feed a premature or sick newborn who is too feeble to feed by themselves. Herein, the mother can employ a clinical-grade breast pump to store her milk for feeding.
- Breastfeeding builds bonds between child and mother. It is best suited to create a bond between mother and adopted baby. Breast pumps assist in activating lactation for an adopted child by stimulating the breast to incite more milk production.
- Excessive production of milk causes the mother's breasts to hurt. Collecting sufficient milk using a breast pump can relieve pain.
- If the mother cannot produce adequate milk or those who secrete plenty of milk can use breast pumps to give the surplus to a newborn who does not have access to breast milk.
- Mothers with more babies or twins can use the method to store the milk and provide all her continuous kid's supply of breast milk.
Benefits of Breast Pump:
Babies fed on pumped breast milk gain access to nutrition-rich food rich in antibodies and healthy fats to fight illness. Some of the benefits include:
- Allows mothers to schedule their feed: It assists caregivers in controlling feeding time, especially when returning to work.
- Ability to share feedings: It reduces the load on the mother and promotes splitting caregiving duties.
- Help mothers relax: It allows mothers to relax after continuous breastfeeding without feeling stressed about depriving the child of food.
- Recover from childbirth in the postpartum period: A mother can feel extremely exhausted postpartum. Sharing feeding duties by storing milk will help her heal and recover.
- It addresses supply issues: Mothers who are unable to supply adequate milk can use a pump to incite the supply of milk.
- Donate milk: In the case of excessive milk, mothers can pump out the milk and feed it to adopted babies.
- Also reduce the abscess issue (mastitis) due to overproduction of breast milk.
Should we pump or breastfeed?
Breastfeeding and pumping are both identical but are not similar. Breastfeeding is the ideal and natural way to feed a baby to increase the connection between the baby and the mother. However, few mothers may not be able to express more milk. Herein, pumping the breast using breast pumps is better, stimulating the milk supply.
On the other hand, breast pumping is highly beneficial for mothers who are thinking of returning to work to express milk and store it in the freezer. In addition, it will ensure the baby is not left deficient in the required nutrition.
Even if breast pumping will increase the milk production, in order to last long the milk production, it's always advised to breastfeed the baby, since it's the enzyme from the baby’s saliva which will stimulate the milk production.
Different Types of Breast Pumps:
Breast pumps assist mothers essentially when they have to get back to work yet continue feeding milk. Besides, it is also a reliable tool for mothers experiencing engorgement, a drop in milk supply or a plugged duct.
Are you overwhelmed with the vast range of breast pumps available online? Then, run through the different types of pumps to select the best ones per your requirement.
There are four types of breast pumps which include:
Manual breast pumps
They are also known as hand pumps which require manual squeezing of the level or horn to express milk.
- It is most recommended for use during the early days of milking for engorgement.
- It helps to pull out milk without needing batteries or electricity quickly.
- It is best to carry along when the electric pump stops working.
Electric breast pumps
It is one of the ideal pumps used commonly by working parents who do not need to spend time manually pumping milk.
- It is budget-friendly and portable
- It includes features and settings for adjusting milk collection
- It provides options for suction strength and different modes
- It automatically switches to extraction mode, which slowly and steadily pulls milk mimicking the baby's suckling pattern.
Battery-operated breast pumps
Battery-operated pumps work on batteries that power a small motor to operate the pump. It is useful when there is no charging port available to use an electric pump.
- The pumps are lighter and easy to carry compared to an electric pump
- It is smaller in size
- It is best suited for pumping milk once in a while
Hospital grade breast pumps
Hospitals offer hospital-grade pumps with trouble expressing milk or for those pumping a premature or medically ill baby who cannot be directly fed.
- It is used for inducing lactation
- It is expensive and is often rented by multiple mothers. But the renting mother must use a new breastfeeding kit.
Which breast pump is best for first-time moms?
There are two types of breast pumps that first-time mothers popularly use. These include manual and electric breast pumps. Care n Cure is an online pharmacy where you can buy breast pumps online in Qatar. Let us check a few examples.
Buy the best manual breast pump online for all first-time mothers to express their milk and feed the baby. It is manually operated and does not include any motors. The mother has to squeeze the horn manually without any motor.
- It is manually operated
- The suction release button mimics the baby's sucking rhythm
- The nipple stimulator assists in stimulating mammary glands
- It includes fewer parts that are easy to assemble and clean
The manual breast pump by Nuby is the best suited pump for expressing milk without any hassle to feed your little baby. It makes it easier for first time mothers to pump milk to store milk in a container.
- It has to be manually operated
- It includes a 240 ml body and cradle
- Its suction mimics the baby’s sucking rhythm stimulating milk production
One of the best-suited and compact electric breast pumps online comprises a small motor. In addition, it is a tubeless pump easy to use and clean.
- It is lightweight and easy to carry
- It can be operated with one hand
- It is easy to assemble and take apart
- It is easy to clean
An electric breast pump to express milk without applying any manual pressure. It includes a small motor with a customizable system allowing double pumping.
- It includes four suction power programs
- It allows pain free pumping
- It is easy to clean and enables smooth assembling
- It can be customized to double pump milk
Things to keep in mind when buying a breast pump!
If you are first time mother looking for an ideal breast pump, then here are a few things to consider:
- Manual breast pumps are designed for only one user. Do not rent or share the breast pumps to avoid infections
- All those using hospital-grade pumps must change the breast pump accessories
- Clean the breast pumps every time after feeding the mother
- Wash each piece of the breast pump separately using warm water and rinsing in hot water for at least 10 to 15 seconds
Tips for using a breast pump!
Often mothers opt for a breast pump sooner or later during breastfeeding. While some may use it to return to work, others may use it to store a sufficient milk supply.
However, getting acquainted with the process is quite a challenge. Run through the tips on how to use a breast pump.
- Read through the instructions before using a breast pump
- Choose a quiet and comfortable place
- Sit in a relaxed position
- Plugin the pump and ensure its batteries are working well
- Assemble the kit, and get your hands sanitized before use
- Center the flanges over the breasts and center the nipple towards the flange opening.
- In the case the mother is double pumping then cups each flange to the breast by placing the fingers below the rib. Place the thumb above the cup.
- Adjust the dials and switch from one arm and keep the airtight seal
- Now turn on the pump
- The breast pump will start sucking slowly like an infant and increase its speed.
- As the milk flow decreases, speed up to high until the following let down and decrease it to medium level.
Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Pump Usage:
- When should I start using a breast pump?
- Mothers are ideally recommended to start using the breast pump when the child is 6 weeks old.
Can You Share Breast Pumps?
- Yes. As per research, only hospital-grade breast pumps should be shared by more than a person. These breast pumps are designed to reduce contamination, and each renter must purchase their accessories, including tubing and breast shields.
How long should a first-time mom pump for?
- A first-time mom should pump milk for at least 15 minutes.
How do I pump for the first time?
All first-time mothers using manual and electric breast pumps must read the instruction manual thoroughly.
For the manual pump, position the flange centring to the nipple. Squeeze the level to enable the flange to seal the breast and create pressure to draw milk. On the other hand, electric breast pumps use the same procedure and switch on the pump. Begin with low speed and low suction, which will stimulate more milk.
Does breast pumping hurt?
- No, it does not hurt. However, if you are a new mother and first-time breast pump user, it can cause minor discomfort due to stretching of nipples. In addition, after the milk starts to flow, you may experience a tingling sensation.
Is an electric pump safe?
- Yes. An electric breast pump is safe. It has stronger suction than a manual pump allowing mothers to express milk faster.
How often do i clean the breast pump?
- You must clean and sanitize the breast pump once daily after every use.
Breastfeeding and pumped milk offer similar health benefits. A breast pump is an alternative blessing for mothers to feed their newborns. Whether you are returning to work or unable to feed your kid due to medical reasons, a breast pump will help to keep your little one nourished. However, choosing the best breast pump is imperative.
So put your stress at bay for feeding your infant. Instead, buy the best breast pump and nourish your child day and night, whether near or far.