Newborn parents need all the help that they can get, especially when it comes to making sure their babies are well-fed, happy, and healthy. Many choose to incorporate the use of a breast pump to increase breast stimulation to boost milk production, a pump allows cracked and sore nipples time to heal, and it offers a parent a way to offer their milk if their baby needs some additional calories and allows them to empty their breasts if they are away from their baby.
However, choosing from the wide selection of breast pumps available in the market can be quite overwhelming. These are definitely not a one-size-fits-all type of product – both literally and figuratively – and finding the most suitable breast pump for you is crucial in maximizing the benefits for you, your milk production, and your baby.
In this article, we listed the most important factors to consider when choosing the best breast pump to fit your lifestyle and preference. We also included information on our recommended and trusted brands, most of which are available at Lactation Room.
Figuring out your feeding frequency
When the baby is not able to breastfeed, you will need to plan how often you’re going to need to express your breastmilk using a pump. A double electric breast pump is the best choice for quickly expressing both breasts simultaneously when you are away from your baby and unable to directly breast/chest feed. If you choose to exclusively pump and provide your breastmilk via a bottle then pumping 8 times a day is ideal in the beginning to help establish your milk production. Lactation Room offers the Medela Symphony Pump, which features a 2-Phase Expression® technology proven to achieve faster milk ejection and faster milk flow. This option is perfect for establishing a milk supply, especially when you’re busy and returning to work.
A single breast pump is suitable for stay-at-home parents who prefer to express milk occasionally. While the Medela breast pump also provides single pumping, you can opt for the Zerlar Silicone Breast Pump, which is a lightweight and convenient passive suction milk collector. It works by applying a gentle vacuum to all the milk to be collected passively. The Zerlar is also a great tool to collect any milk that may leak when your milk begins to letdown at the start of the feeding. Collect it to save or feed the baby – you worked hard to make it!
Pumping at home or when you’re out and about
The Willow Breast Pump is a lifesaver for multitasking parents at home and busy parents on the go. You can simply slip Willow Pump into your bra and pump while sitting down or running errands. Elvie Breast Pump has similar features – you can wear it inside a standard nursing bra, making it truly hands-free. It is easy to set up and clean as it only has just 5 parts to clean! There are several models of Elvie Pump, including Elvie Stride, which is a Hands-free, hospital-grade performance electric breast pump.
Freemie Breast Pumps are state-of-the-art portable breast pumps that are wearable and discreet. Pumping is easier than ever with lightweight Freemie Liberty & Independence Pumps!
Whether you’re at home or away from home, the Spectra S2 breast pump is a great option that offers some hospital-grade pump features without the price tag of a true hospital-grade pump. It has highly adjustable settings and an ultra-quiet monitor, making it suitable for pumping while you’re in the bedroom with your sleeping baby or in a breastfeeding room at work. Lactation Room offers a wide variety of Spectra products, including the Spectra S2. We also offer Spectra pump replacement parts, to help during any challenges that may happen during your breastfeeding experience.
Checking the flange before you take a plunge
When it comes to choosing the best breast pump, checking the flange fitting is a very important step. Make sure that the flange or breast shield is the appropriate size for you and that it fits comfortably. Your nipple should move freely in and out of the neck of a flange with little to no rubbing. If there is pain, there is a problem. It is crucial to get the right fit. Not only could an ill-fitted flange lead to sore nipples but it could also create clogged milk ducts and a decrease in production. If you have questions about your flange fit seeing a lactation consultant for help is the best place to start. An IBCLC will help you determine if you need to change your flange sizing, Remember, nipples aren’t always the same size so choosing the right size per nipple is important. Medela breast shields and other brands come in various sizes and are sold so that you can choose which is the best fit for you to customize to your body.
Choosing the best fit for both your breast and budget
Choosing the breast pump that will work best for you and your lifestyle is ideal. You can call your insurance directly or use a Durable Medical Equipment company such as Natural Way to assist you in the process. Double electric breast pumps vary in price so seeing how to get a free breast pump through insurance helps when looking at the budget.
If you are wondering if you qualify for or how to get a breast pump through insurance, the Affordable Care Act now requires most insurance plans to provide a breast pump. You’ll need to call your insurance to get more information on the specific pumps they provide. Pro-tip, don’t wait until the baby is here to call. By calling during your second trimester and ordering the pump then it will ensure you have plenty of time to learn how to use it before the baby arrives!
Choosing a hospital-grade pump rental may be the ideal temporary choice to establish or support milk production. Many new parents find they need help with getting their milk production started, need to make milk for a baby in the NICU, or have to supplement a baby with the parents’ milk to aid in weight gain. The hospital-grade rentals are a perfect solution for these transitional times after the baby arrives. Lactation Room offers pump rentals and other pumping items that might be needed to help you along your journey and they are an official hospital-grade Medela breast pumps rental station.
You can also take advantage of a meeting with anyone of our International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) team members. They can speak with you via Telehealth, In-Office or at Home. This comprehensive visit includes assessing the mother’s breasts, clinical evaluation of the baby’s breast/chest or bottle feeding, and developing a personalized care plan to support your breastfeeding goals. Call 301.529.5433 for Lactation services, or book online.