Monday, July 13, 2009

The Right Pump Will Enhance the Breastfeeding Experience

Loved; Sharifah Nurul Ain at 9:18 PM
Breastpumps vary in style, quality and price. Is a more expensive pump
necessarily better? Nursing mothers need to consider several factors before
investing in a pump.


One of the many advantages of breastfeeding is that it doesn't cost
anything
.
Well, at least the milk itself is free. Nevertheless, there are
some expenses that nursing mothers may incur. One of the most significant of those expenses is the breastpump. A mother needs to find a pump that is right for her situation. Since so many options do exist, it is important to understand the differences in the many pumps that are available.

Manual Pumps
Manual pumps are often the least expensive option. A mother who is
only pumping occasionally or who wants to nurse her baby on one side while she pumps the other may prefer this kind of pump. This is not the right pump for a mother who is pumping to maintain her supply or whose baby isn't nursing regularly.

Medela Harmony
This pump actually features a manual version of Medela's 2-Phase
Expression technology
. Move it one way, and it is supposed to stimulate letdown. Move it a different way, and it removes milk. This pump comes with a soft silicon breast shield. Once again, though, a mother with hand problems might find the squeezing motion a bit uncomfortable.

Battery Operated Pump
Pumps in this category are more expensive than manual pumps, but they are not necessarily more effective. In fact many lactation consultants discourage the use of battery operated pumps. Some pumps in this category have even caused tissue damage to mothers who turned the suction up too high trying to get the milk out. Another drawback to many of these pumps is the need to continue putting new batteries in them. The only legitimate use for most battery operated pumps would be for the mother who is only pumping occasionally. The one exception to this category is the new Medela Freestyle which has a rechargeable battery feature.

Mini-electric Pumps
Many manufacturers offer small single or double electric pumps that vary widely in their comfort and performance. When evaluating one of these pumps, factors to check include the availability of various breast shield sizes, variable levels for extraction, and ease of use. A mini-electric pump would not be a good choice for a mother who is returning to work and will need to pump more than one time a day. These pumps generally are not recommended for maintaining a milk supply.

Dual Electric Pumps
Several manufacturers offer pumping systems that feature simultaneous collection from both breasts, a powerful motor for good suction, and proven comfort. Double pumping offers several benefits:
Reduced pumping time
Increased prolactin levels
In many cases, increased milk production.

Pump that is highly effective is the Medela Pump In Style. Pump in Style Advanced features Medela's patented Two phase expression. When the pump is first turned on, it has a rapid,
shallow suction to elicit letdown. Once the milk begins flowing, the pump goes into expression mode with deeper, more intermittent suction to help maximize the flow of milk. However, Medela has just released a new pump, the Freestyle. This state-of-the-art pump features
digital technology to record the mother's pumping preferences. It, too, has Two Phase expression, and can be used as a hands-free pump so that a busy working mother can continue working as she pumps.


Talk with your lactation consultant if you have concerns about how the shield is fitting.
A breast pump can be a lifesaver for any mom. It is wonderful to be able to pump a bottle
of milk to leave so that Mom and Dad can enjoy a romantic date. Many times mothers have no choice but to return to work. Nevertheless, don't buy the first thing you see in the drugstore! Make sure you take the time to compare and get the best pump available for your situation.

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