A big question new moms ask while still pregnant is-
Will I need a breast pump if I’m planning on breastfeeding?
And the answer is-
This guide will go over the different types available and why you may need one.
WHY WOULD YOU NEED A BREAST PUMP?
There are a few major ‘yes’s’ as to why you may actually need a breast pump!
- If your baby is not able to breastfeed.
- If your baby isn’t getting enough milk and you’d like to try to increase your milk supply with a pump.
- If you will be separated regularly or returning to work.
- If your baby is premature and too small to nurse properly.
WHY YOU WON’T NEED A BREAST PUMP
- If you are planning on exclusively breastfeeding and won’t be leaving your baby occasionally for more than a few hours.
- If breastfeeding is going well.
- You may need to remove breastmilk but such a small amount that a pump is not necessary.
Something I wish I had known before having my first baby is that 6 months is not a long time, AT ALL. And by 6 months, your baby will most likely be starting on solids and your milk production will be regulated. So depending on your situation (how long your maternity leave is, if you’re a SAHM, or going back to work), by 6 months you’ll be able to go out even longer than a few hours no problem.
What I’m saying is-
Don’t make the mistake of buying an expensive electric pump if you are planning on going out for dinner, a movie or leaving your baby for an hour or two in the beginning. It’s not necessary!
DIFFERENT TYPES OF BREAST PUMPS
Hand pumps are exactly what they sound like- A pump that is worked by hand to express milk. Reasons for needing a hand breast pump are:
- If you are planning to be away from your baby more than a few hours, a few times a week. It’s nice to have an easy way to pump some milk for the caregiver while you are gone, even it it’s just for peace of mind.
- If you are going on a trip and don’t want to pack a heavy pump that takes up a lot of space.
- If you are needing to pump but won’t have easy access of an outlet.
- If you are wanting increase supply but don’t need the high cost electric pump to do so.
An electric pump uses a motor to mimic the way a baby would breastfeed to express milk into an attached bottle. Reasons for needing an electric pump are:
- If you are returning to full-time (or part-time if it’s before 6 months) work where you will be away from your baby for long stretches.
- If your baby is premature and not able to nurse properly, you may want to invest in a higher end pump to make sure you can keep your supply up so you can eventually start breastfeeding. Some hospitals have the option of renting a pump which can be easier on your budget.
- If your baby is not able to nurse properly.
- If you are having troubles with milk supply and would like to try to increase it.
There are a few instances where you can use hand expression before buying a hand or electric pump. These would be:
- To relieve engorgement at the beginning (be careful not to use this too often though, as expressing too much milk can actually increase your supply.)
- To increase supply (gentle hand expression after a feed can stimulate more milk production.)
- In an emergency, it’s always free and always available.
- It can help treat plugged ducts or mastitis.
A lot of moms are told that it’s imperative that you have a breast pump while breastfeeding so you can take time away from your baby or give dad a chance to bond. You can absolutely take time away from your baby without needing to pump, even in the beginning and definitely by the time your baby is trying solids. Dad can absolutely bond with baby without feeding them from a bottle!