Types of Breast Pumps
1. Manual Breast Pumps
2. Electric Breast Pumps
Swati’s Real Life Pumping Success Story
The day was 30th June, 2014. I was at the St. Luke’s Labor and Delivery Building in Chesterfield, MO, USA. I was nervous, since in just a few minutes, I was going to be wheeled into the OT for a scheduled C-section. Suddenly a nurse came into my room and said, “How are you feeling lady? Within a few minutes, you will be holding your baby in your arms!” Oh, yes! I was nervous but really excited too! The nurse was slowly pulling my bed towards the OT. They gave me an epidural. I was holding my breath. All I knew in that moment that in a short while, my angel would be in my arms. After the epidural, I was completely numb and I have no idea what they were doing on the other side of the green curtain. Suddenly, I heard that magical sound – my baby’s first cry.
We moved to our room. The nurse was trying to teach me how to breastfeed and the different positions I could try. I was trying as well as I could with my newborn, but nothing was working – she just kept crying! We tried for an hour but she couldn’t latch on properly and finally fell asleep. We tried again several times through the day, but it still wasn’t working. When they weighed her, they said that she had lost too much weight and advised switching to formula. I agreed, but continued to try to breast feed as well. The next day, the nurse asked me if I was willing to use a breast pump, before moving to formula. I agreed and tried a hospital grade breast pump for the first time. The rest, as they say, is history!! I’ve been pumping for a year now, and my baby has never had to have a formula supplement since then.
Benefits of Using a Breast Pump
There are several advantages to pumping, and they’re not just for babies with latching difficulties.
- Whenever you are not around, the baby can be fed by some one else, leaving you free for at least some time
- Moms who pump can sleep through the night, when Dads can take on night feedings.
- For working Moms with very few days of maternity leave, their babies can get the benefits of breast milk even when Mommy is at work
- The baby can be fed when the mother isn’t well, thus avoiding catching a cold or fever from her
- Moms can pump milk before a journey and feed babies the pumped milk while travelling. This way, they don’t need to worry about exposing their breasts in public
- Siblings can get a chance to feed the baby and bond with them
Breast Milk Storage Guidelines
Pumping helps babies get all the benefits of breast feeding, but pumping requires more care. Since the milk doesn’t reach the baby directly from the source, there is a chance of contamination and subsequent infection. Here are a few guidelines on how to use a breast pump to help you manage a successful pumping system:
- Fresh breast milk can be kept at room temperature for 4-6 hrs
- Fresh breast milk can be kept in the refrigerator for 5-7 days
- Breast milk can be kept in a deep freezer for 6 months
- To thaw breast milk, run it under warm water or use a bottle warmer (I use Dr. Brown)
- Do not thaw breast milk in a microwave or oven
- Store in 2-4 ounce portions so that you can feed your baby according to her hunger level
- Always store your breast milk in breast milk storage bottles or bags.
- Clean and sterilize your bottles
- Never reuse breast milk storage bags
To boost your milk supply, pump every 3-4 hrs, even if you need to wake up at midnight! Always use double breast pumps (I use the Medela Electric double pump) so that it can empty both breasts at the same time.Try to pump for 20 mins during each session, and keep pumping till you see the last drop.
It’s true that feeding your baby directly from the breast has many emotional advantages for the baby and mother, but you can do just as well by pumping your milk too! Spend lots of time with your baby and cuddle her whenever you can; she’ll get all the comfort and warmth she needs. Pumping will not make you any less of a mother and your baby will love you with all her heart!! Happy Pumping!!
If you are confused where to buy breast pump and accessories, you can check put Amazon, they have almost all the accessories and different types of breast pumps.
Swati Basu is a Computer Engineer and Mom to a one year old angel.