Breastfeeding is one of the most important aspects of motherhood. You can either just breastfeed your baby normally, use a manual breast pump or electric breast pump or combine all the techniques to do so. In this article, we will learn about electric breast pumps, its advantages and disadvantages, ways to use it safely and also answer some of the frequently asked questions.
When Can You Consider Using an Electric Breast Pump?
Let us understand who should use an electric breast pump.
1. Moms Who May Deliver Early
Women who have complications in their pregnancy or at high risk of delivering early would do good to use an electric pump since a low-weight preterm baby may be too weak to suckle.
2.Mothers Who Are Working
Most moms take a few months of maternity leave after delivery. However, there are few who may have to start working immediately after their delivery. Such mothers need to express their milk for the baby for the entire day’s feed.
3. Mothers Having Twin Babies
For mothers with twins, breastfeeding can be extremely tiring. Therefore, mothers with twin babies can express more milk in less time with electric breast pumps.
4.Moms With a Lot of Milk Supply
Some mothers have more milk ejection than required. Such mothers can express their milk and feed their baby later with the expressed milk.
5.Moms With Less Time to Express Milk
It is easy for a stay-at-home mom or moms with flexible work schedules to nurse their babies. However, mothers with busy work schedules having less time in their hands to express their milk need to heavily depend on electric breast pumps.
Advantages of Using an Electric Breast Pump
More and more mothers are using electric breast pumps these days due to its many advantages, some of which are –
- For mothers having a constriction of time, an electric breast pump may prove to be a boon. Compared to a manual one, an electric breast pump requires less time to express milk effectively.
- Since it comes with double breast pumps, it can simultaneously pump out milk, thus saving your time.
- For moms who need to pump out milk regularly or on a daily basis can do so without much effort.
- An electric breast pump has different types of models to offer, like double pumps and hospital grade pumps.
- It is easy to clean and sanitise electric breast pumps. They also come with microwavable steam bags and wipes.
Things You Should Keep in Mind While Using an Electric Breast Pump
1. Double Pumps
Models with double pumps can pump out milk from both the breasts at the same time. This saves you time. Moreover, it increases the production of milk since the more milk is pumped out, the more milk is generated.
2.Electric Pumps Which Are Easy to Use, Clean and Assemble
Choose a pump that can easily be cleaned and sanitised after use. Moreover, an electric model with better vacuum pumps will make it easier to grip the breasts for smooth milk suction. Also, a model which will be easy and quick to assemble will always be a good buy.
3. The Speed of the Pump
Look for electric breast pumps that will pump out more milk in less time. A good quality one will change the speed with the touch of a button.
4. Pumping Outside
If you are a mom who has to go out often or has to go to work, choose a pump which is portable and can easily be carried around. There are many which come with ice bags to store the expressed milk, or with chargers that can be attached to the plug point in the car.
How to Use an Electric Breast Pump Safely?
- The first and foremost thing before you start expressing milk is to be in a comfortable and relaxed position. Any kind of discomfort or anxiousness will hamper your milk supply.
- Read the literature of the pump properly to avoid any kind of mishap.
- You should avoid used pumps since already used pumps may carry virus and bacteria like HIV and Cytomegalovirus from the earlier user which may infect you and your baby as well.
- Always seal the other pump even if it is not in use since not doing so will reduce its effectiveness.
- It is imperative that you buy a pump with the right flanges. Really small shields or flanges might make your nipples sore and painful. Your breasts may also feel full due to inadequate milk suction.
- Look out for any kind of damage in the pump. If you see any, change the pump immediately.
- In case your nipple hurts due to blisters, bring down the breast pump suction. You should not feel any kind of pain while expressing milk.
- Wash your hands well before and after every expressing session.
- The initial days of breast pumping may not yield much of milk. However, regular breast pumping will stimulate the breasts and start producing more milk after a few days.
- Have everything you require like wipes, bottles to store the milk, phone etc around you before you start pumping.
- Preset the pace of the pump in which you are comfortable in.
- Once your milk flow slows down and your breasts don’t feel full, switch off the pump.
- After you have poured your expressed milk in a bottle, write the date in it and refrigerate it.
- Cleaning and sanitizing each part of the pump properly after use is a must. Failing to do so may cause health problems to your baby. After cleaning and sanitising it, dry it up with a paper towel to make it moisture free.
What Are the Side-effects of Using an Electrical Breast Pump?
Listed below are few of the side-effects of using an electrical breast pump.
- Giving expressed milk to your baby in feeding bottles can result in your baby not getting exposure to your nipples, and he may not recognise them when introduced.
- Expressed milk through a pump may be contaminated and cause severe health hazards to the baby.
- Damage to the nipples may be caused due to incorrect size of the flanges or if the pump speed is too high or too slow.
- Storing excess milk for later use can cause in more production of milk, causing breast engorgement.
- All the cleaning and sanitization process after the use of the pump takes up a lot of time and energy.
Here are answers to a few of the frequently asked questions on electric breast pumps.
1.Electric Breast Pump or Manual – Which One Is Better?
Each type of pump may have its own set of pros and cons. It is up to the user to decide what her priorities are, and use one accordingly.
For a mother who cannot spend much time on expressing milk, an electrical pump is the safest bet though it may be a lot more expensive than manual pumps. On the other hands, manual pumps are portable and can be carried around easily inside a handbag while it may be a bit difficult to carry an electric pump outside the house.
2. What are Double Electric Breast Pumps?
A double electric pump is one in which there are two pumps which can be used to pump milk simultaneously.
Invest in an electric breast pump and be content that your baby is getting your breast milk even when you are at work or away.