Shopping for a breast pump is both exciting and confusing for mums. While there are many options, breast pumps are not a one size fits all – from features to sizing, this tool has different types that suit a mother’s unique needs. If you’re looking for the right one for you and your baby, here are some common questions mums have about breast pumps that can help guide your decision.
What type of pump should I get?
Choosing a breast pump – manual, electric, or wearable – will depend on how often you plan to pump. Manual breast pumps are affordable, hand-operated, quiet, and portable for the occasional expressing of milk. On the other hand, electric breast pumps are better for regular and daily pumping – they express milk quickly and efficiently, and some models, like the Eonian Care Smart Double Electric Breast Pump, let you pump both breasts at once. This not only saves time but may also increase your milk supply. Lastly, wearable pumps are portable and meant to fit inside your bra, making you feel more at ease when pumping in public.
Consider your and your bub’s needs when getting a breast pump. If your newborn is a big eater and you plan to breastfeed exclusively, an electric breast pump might be the most helpful and can help you stock up on liquid gold so your little one can continue drinking milk even if you’re away. If you mostly stay home and only need to pump occasionally, you can consider the manual breast pump. Understand the pros and cons of each type to help guide you in deciding.
What size am I?
One of the most essential breast pump parts is the shield or flange, a funnel shaped plastic that rests directly on the breasts. It forms a vacuum seal around your nipple and then uses suction to express breast milk.
Ensuring the correct breast shield or flange size is essential for a comfortable pumping experience. The right fit helps you express breast milk as efficiently as possible so you get the most out of every session. If your breast shield is too tight, it can constrict your breasts and lead to clogged milk ducts, impeding the release of liquid gold. If it’s too loose, you won’t be able to remove all the milk from your breast, which can lower milk production.
To find your size, check the sizing guide from your breast pump manufacturer, which lists the recommended nipple diameter for each tier. To measure your nipple diameter, ensure it is full sized by stimulating it – either by rolling it between your thumb and finger or applying ice on it. Then, using a ruler or measuring tape, measure the diameter at the base of the nipple without including the areola. Remember to measure both nipples, as they can be different sizes.
You can also use the “COMFY” test to determine whether the breast shield size fits correctly.
- Centre nipples move freely. Begin pumping for a few minutes and check if your nipples can move freely and easily within the funnel – in and out without touching the sides of the funnel and without redness or pain.
- Only a little areola should be pulled into the funnel. As you pump, it is best if little to no areola tissue is pulled into the funnel.
- Motion of the breast is gentle and rhythmic.Your breasts should comfortably move back and forth as you pump.
- Feels comfortable.Breast pumping should not make you feel any pain or experience sore nipples after expressing milk.
- Yields well drained breasts. Your breast pump should be able to express majority of the milk from your breasts to keep your milk supply up. Your breasts should feel lighter and softer after every pumping session.
If you experience pain, tenderness or soreness after pumping, it may mean that the breast shield you are using is not the right fit for you. Eonian Care offers small sized massage cushions that reduce the standard 24mm breast shield to 21mm, as well as 28mm and 322 mm breast shields.
Should I get a double or single pump?
Single breast pumps can be less expensive than double breast pumps, but if you have an abundant milk supply and plan to pump regularly, the latter can be more beneficial. Apart from being a timesaver, studies have found double pumping can potentially increase breast milk supply.
What does “hospital grade” suction mean?
Suction is an important feature of breast pumps as it stimulates milk production. Hospital grade, as the name implies, is meant for hospitals to use with patients and offer stronger suction levels. Hospital grade breast pumps like the Eonian Care Smart Double Electric Breast Pump offer suction power up to -300 mmHg, perfect for mums who plan to pump milk exclusively.
Does the pump include helpful accessories?
Breast pumps are beneficial for nursing mums, but having a breast pump compatible with various accessories would also be nice. The Eonian Care Smart Double Electric Breast Pump comes with a wide-neck feeding bottle, and it can also be connected to the Eonian Care Breast Milk Storage Bags for easy fridge and freezer storage. Handy and convenient!
When you have the answers to these common breast pump questions, you can already narrow down your choices and select the breast pump that best suits you and your baby.Don’t forget to check out the Eonian Care Smart Double Electric Breast Pump, which was recently selected by Mum Central as one of the best breast pumps in Australia for 2023!