Your breast pump guide: Choosing the breast pump that's right for you

Wondering which breast pump is right for you? You're not alone! There sure are a lot of breast pumps to choose from. One particular type of breast pump is not right for every circumstance.

Find the Pump That's Right for You

Are You a Stay-at-Home Mom?
Every nursing mother does not need a breast pump. If you are a stay-at-home mom, a breast pump may not be necessary at all, especially if you learn to hand-express your milk.
Find out which pump is right for you.

Will You Be Returning to Work?
Mothers who will be working outside the home full-time usually are looking for a breast pump that is quick (able to double-pump) and efficient.
Find out which pump is right for you.

Will You Be Pumping Occasionally?
Women who need to use a pump every now and then usually want a method that is effective, but also relatively inexpensive.
Find out which pump is right for you.

Do You Have Concerns about Your Milk Supply?
When you are at all worried about your milk supply, it's important to use an effective pump.
Find out which pump is right for you.

Are You Experiencing Breastfeeding Difficulties, Such As Sore Nipples or Breasts, Engorgement or Difficult Latch-On?
If you are having problems with breastfeeding it's important to have an efficient breast pump to help preserve your milk supply while getting professional help.
Find out which pump is right for you.

Do You Offer Your Baby Only Your Expressed Milk?
When solely expressing, it's important to choose a very effective breast pump so that your milk supply will not be compromised.
Find out which pump is right for you.

If you are a stay-at-home mom or only have the need to pump occasionally, hand-expression can be very easy and effective -- and it's free! And, best of all, once you learn to hand-express you never need to worry about being caught without your pump in tow. Learn more about hand-expressing your milk.

If you do decide to purchase a pump for occasional use, choose from a manual pump, a battery-operated pump or a mini-electric pump.

  • Manual pumps come in three styles: rubber bulb or bicycle horn pumps (neither is recommended!), cylinder pumps (Medela's Manualectric) or SpringExpress) and squeeze-handle pumps (Ameda's One-Hand). In general, these pumps are easy-to-use, quiet and inexpensive (around $30.) Since they are not battery-operated, they are not subject to poor operation due to low battery power.
  • Battery-operated pumps are another option for the occasional pump user. A major drawback of battery-operated pumps is that the batteries need to be changed very frequently. This can be costly.
  • Small motorized pumps, such as the Medela mini-electric are medium priced and lightweight (usually under one pound.) They can be quite noisy, depending on the model you choose. These pumps are intended as alternatives to manual pumps.

Don't forget to work with a Board Certified Lactation Consultant if you are having breastfeeding problems -- and stay in touch with your health-care provider.

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