How do I choose a breast pump?

December 15, 2014

Choosing a breast pump can be a difficult decision, because there are so many of them out there. Unlike breastfeeding, knowing how to choose a breast pump does not always come naturally. When selecting a pump, the first choice you will have to make is whether to go manual or electric.

How do I choose a breast pump?

Manual vs. electric

Manual pumps are great because they’re quieter and compact so you can take them with you wherever you go . Electric pumps tend to extract milk faster, but are noisier and bulkier. Jumping in a bathroom stall, for example, would be quite awkward with an electric pump due to the noise. Electric pumps require a wall outlet, and there usually aren't electrical outlets in bathroom stalls.

If you’re going to be doing most of your pumping at home, then an electric pump could be great. If you’re going to be doing a lot of pumping, then you probably want to choose electric. But, if you’re going to be pumping frequently and in new places each time, such as coffee shops, then you probably want a nice compact manual pump.

You always need to decide how to store the milk

Some pumps expel milk directly into the bottle that you can then use to feed your baby. This is very convenient for people who are going to use the milk right away. If you’re going to be storing the milk in the fridge or freezer, then you’ll want something other than a bottle — possibly something that can hold a full day’s worth of milk.

How long does pumped milk last?

Pumped milk can be stored for up to one week in the fridge, and usually three months in the freezer. But if your freezer is really cold, you can store the milk pumped from either an electric or manual pump for up to six months.

Pumped breast milk gives your partner the opportunity to bond with your baby

If you don’t want to give your baby formula, giving your partner the gift of a bottle filled with your milk to feed your baby is something he or she will love. Pumped breast milk also gives you the freedom to have a babysitter give your child a bottle filled with your breast milk. And it gives you a much-deserved break.

Choose the pump that’s right for you and never look back.

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