Buying or renting a breastmilk pump can be one of the hardest decisions a woman will have to make. She is going to be faced with making that choice when she brings home her baby, especially if she is planning to go back to work before the baby is weaned. Pediatricians and infant nutritionists advocate breastfeeding for at least four months, but six months is even better. Most mothers only get to take six weeks off from their jobs before they are forced back to work. That can make it difficult to continue breastfeeding. The stress of knowing that they are going to be leaving their baby can keep new mothers from being able to establish a good routine.
Manual or Electric?
Some women are afraid of the electric pumps, which can be expensive, noisy and may have far too much suction to be comfortable. Others may not have the patience to sit and do the manual pumps, which may need some practice to get the hang of and may also lead to a decreased milk supply. Before the baby is born, it is a good idea to get a look at the different models to see which might be the best choice for your needs. If you are planning to rent a pump, it is also best to enter your reservation as soon as possible. If you are part of a feeding program, there might be a limited choice of the type that are available.
Regardless of the kind that you have, make sure that you read the instructions so that you know how to put it together, how to clean it and how to store it when it is not in use. It is vital that your pump be kept as clean as possible.
Smaller Versions for Travel
Once you establish your rhythm, it will probably be time to return to work. You can still do it when you are out of the home, as long as you have this with you. For this purpose, you are likely to want a much smaller one than what you are using at home. Again, it is important that you are using it as directed, including cleaning and storing it so that you do not contaminate your milk and make the baby sick. There are smaller ones for travel, but they can be noisy. If you are embarrassed by pumping, you might opt for the much quieter manual version instead.
Having a small, portable breastmilk pump on hand can allow you to continue your breastfeeding routine whether you are home or not.