Options for Breast Pumping

Taylor Hite · April 16, 2021
There are numerous options for breast pumping and so many brands of breast pumps on the market. Do you know which option is best for you?

A breast pump is a lactation product that you’re likely to use at some point after giving birth. There are so many options for breast pumping. You can do it manually or use a breast pump. Breast pumps can be electric or manual and, as their name suggests, they pump breast milk out of your breast. Then, you can store the milk and give it to your baby at any other time.

Pumping takes practice. At first, you may only be able to extract a small amount of milk. However, little by little, you’ll see an increase in the amount you can pump.

Also, it’s important to emphasize that the amount of milk you can pump isn’t equivalent to the amount of milk you’re producing. No pump is as effective as a baby’s suction. 

In today’s article, we’ll explain the differences between manual and electric breast pumps. Be sure to take note!

Manual breast pumps, one of the options for breast pumping

Manual breast pumps are the simplest and cheapest option. They work via hand lever and you’re manually in charge of pumping the breast milk. 

manual breast pump

Manual pumps are especially recommended for specific extractions, since they’re somewhat slower than electric ones. However, it can also be tiring to be pumping manually every day, at different times throughout the day. You can find numerous brands of manual breast pumps, but they all tend to have similar characteristics.

Single extract electric breast pump

These pumps are more expensive than manual pumps, but they’re also more comfortable to use. These pumps contain a motor that requires either a plug or batteries. The motor is the part that creates the suction force and extracts the milk. So, all you have to do is put it on your breast and you don’t need to pump by hand. 

When using an electric pump, you can extract the milk faster and more effectively. In addition, they let you choose different speeds and suction intensity.

We recommend using electric pumps if you’re going to use them continuously and fairly frequently. Also, they’re convenient because you don’t have to pump by hand and they’re faster and more effective than manual ones.

The brand Medela has pretty much perfected breast milk extraction with its electric breast pump. However, you can also find other great alternatives on the market like Avent brand, from Phillips.

In addition, there are some cordless electric breast pumps that have recently come onto the market. For example, the Elvie Pump takes a new approach to the world of breast pumps. These pumps have ergonomic designs, they’re small, light and silent. You place them between the breast and your bra, there aren’t any cables, and you can easily pump anywhere and anytime without anyone noticing. 

The novelty of this type of breast pump is that they’re wireless. Therefore, if you think you may need to be able to pump at any place or time, this breast pump may be worth the price. Their price is quite high and they work similarly to other electric pumps that require a cord.

Double pump electric breast pump

These pumps are the most expensive on the market because they’re effective and produce optimal results. They work the same as the simple electric pump, but they’re able to stimulate both breasts at the same time. Therefore, extraction time is shorter and the results are fast and effective. 

Even though this option is more effective and saves time when it comes to pumping, this pump isn’t the best option for every single mother. However, they’re especially recommended for those who constantly have to pump. For example, for mothers who have to pump for premature delivery or for multiple babies.

Therefore, you should decide if this type of breast pump, and the use you’re going to get out of it, is worth the investment. Remember, they’re usually quite expensive. 

double breast pump

Manual extraction, the cheapest option for breast pumping

Manual extraction is the term for the technique in which mothers extract milk from their breast manually, without any type of breast pump. They extract the milk by putting their hand under the breast so that their thumb is above the breast and their index is below, creating a C shape.

You have to put your fingers about 1 inch away from the nipple and then push towards the wall of your chest. Then, you squeeze your fingers towards the nipple without sliding them across the skin.

This technique may be complicated at first, but you’ll start to get the hang of it with time and practice. After you’ve mastered this technique, it can be really effective. In fact, many mothers say that once they’ve learned how to do it, they prefer this technique over other options for breast pumping. The biggest advantage is that it’s free and you don’t have to wash any equipment before and after each extraction.

What should I keep in mind when buying a breast pump?

When buying a breast pump, you should also stop to look at what size funnel (the part that fits around the breast) you will need. Not all nipples are the same size, and using the wrong size (either too small or too large) can make it difficult to remove. Also, it can injure the nipple.

Because of that, it’s important to make sure that the breast pump you buy has the option to change the funnels. Not all pumps have that option and, instead, only come with a standard funnel without alternatives in different sizes.

We hope this article was interesting and helped you decide which pump is best for you and your needs.