How to Select a Breast Pump

Today’s breast-feeding moms find that a breast pump is as essential as a car seat. Whether you’re going back to work, or need help building your milk supply, or want to allow the baby’s dad or siblings to enjoy feeding the baby without sacrificing the best nutrition, a breast pump is the solution. With so many high-quality breast pumps available on the market, it can be difficult for a new mom to choose. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you select the pump that is just right for your family.

How often will you use a breast pump?

If your milk supply is well established, and you have to be away from your baby only occasionally, you might just need a simple manual pump. To work a manual pump, you just place a cone-shaped shield on your breast and squeeze the handle, and you’ll express your milk easily into a bottle or bag. Then you can store the milk in the refrigerator or freezer (or an insulated cooler if you’re away from home) and feed it to your baby later, or leave it for a caregiver. If you’re going to be away from your baby more than a few hours each day, or if you’re going back to work full-time, you’ll probably need to express your milk more often. Then, an electric pump is a better choice.

How much time do you have to pump?

Usually, it takes about 10 to 15 minutes to pump each breast. If you need to express your milk more quickly, like on your coffee break at work, you’ll do well to purchase a double electric pump, which will allow you to pump both breasts at the same time. Since your body will “let down” milk into both breasts at once, a double pump will trim your pumping time by half, and will also help stimulate your milk production.

Are you concerned about safety and hygiene?

There are genuine concerns about safety and hygiene when using a breast pump. One issue is Bisphenol-A, or BPA, a plastic resin that has been linked to certain health risks. All the breast pumps offered by Megna are free of BPA in all components that come in contact with your breast milk. Another concern is backflow, which occurs when the milk you are expressing travels back down the tubes toward the pump, and presents a hygiene risk for mold and transmission of viruses. Most pumps feature backflow protection.

Do you need a portable pump?

If you will be expressing your milk on the go, look for a breast pump that is lightweight and easy to transport. You may also be concerned about being discreet, so a pump that is quiet is important. Some portable pumps come with a handy tote and an insulated cooler to keep the milk fresh. Megna offers portable pumps that are powerful, quiet, and lightweight.

Do you want adjustable suction and speed?

Because different babies suckle in different ways, and because every mother is unique, it is a good idea to look for a breast pump with adjustable vacuum strength (how hard the pump “sucks”) and cycle (how often the pump “sucks”). With adjustable controls, you can set the pump’s speed and strength to achieve the most pleasant and efficient pumping experience. Some pumps even have a “let-down” mode to help stimulate milk production, and can then be adapted to a pumping cycle that best mimics your baby’s nursing style and your own physical comfort. Some pumps are programmable so that once you discern what you need for effective, comfortable expression of your milk, you can set the pump to remember your preferences.

Do you need battery power?

An electric pump needs a power source. If you are going to pump your breasts away from an electrical outlet, look for a pump with a rechargeable battery. If you have frequent power outages at your home, you may want to keep a manual pump on hand for emergencies.