When it comes to feeding your baby from the breast, you can’t be there for every feeding, especially if you have to work for a living. So, it is necessary to have a breast pump on hand so baby still gets the nutrition he needs when you are away.
In a perfect world where money was no object for mums who wanted to spend time with their kids, there might not be a need for breast pumps, at least in the first year of life. As it stands now, many working mothers return to work within two months after birth. As a breastfeeding mum, that means either switching to bottle formula or finding a way to keep giving your child breast milk. If you choose the latter, you’ll need a breast pump.
Here is a little bit about the mechanics of nature’s milk. It runs on the law of “supply and demand.” When you are home for the first six weeks or so of a baby’s life, feeding is constant – every couple or three hours. The milk comes in according to that rate, so you probably stay pretty full. Encouraging your child to feed from both breasts at each feeding keeps both fairly full.
When the feedings slack off once you return to work, the milk supply will fall as well. Mothers who intend to continue breast feeding need to keep their milk supply elevated between regular feedings.
Using pumps at the times when baby should be feeding can help. No one’s going to hook themselves up like heifers in a barn while they sit at their desk at work, so you’ll need to find a private place where you can express your milk on a regular basis. Before that happens though, you’ll need to find just the right device.
Choosing the Right Breast Pump for your Needs
Here are a few guidelines to help you pick your device.
Effectiveness – The pump needs to properly simulate the sucking motion of a baby so that the milk will “let down” and be expressed out. This should be done without causing pain and discomfort. A vacuum pressure higher than 250 mmHg can cause pain and/or damage to the breast.
Type of pump – There are single and double pumps. If you work in an office or a job that doesn’t allow much down time, a double pump gets the work done in half as much time by working simultaneously. Full time working mums might prefer the double, while mums who stay at home can use a single one to put aside extra milk for baby.
Design – Most designs vary only slightly but it needs to be made of a durable material that can stand up to several pumps a day for at least a year of use. Pumps with fewer pieces make for easier clean up and reassembly.
Price – If you have the above three criteria met, price is up to you. There is no need to pay hundreds of pounds if you can get away with £50 for a comparable product.
For the breastfeeding mum, invest in a good pump to keep up your milk supply.