A breast milk pump, as the name implies, is a device that’s used by lactating women for the extraction of milk. These devices can be either manual or electronic.
It Triggers milk ejection response
A breast milk pump is meant for triggering the response that controls the ejection of milk. The triggering process involves the nipple to be pulled into the breast shield’s tunnel and then being released, making up one complete cycle. An electronic pump can offer anywhere around 30 to 60 cycles in a minute.
Types of Breast Pumps
There are three main types of pumps defined by their operating mechanism.
- Piston breast pumps create suction by drawing a piston through a cylinder in the device.
- Diaphragm pumps, as the name implies, use a diaphragm which function as a lever.
- Pumps based on Venturi effect use water pressure to work.
Breast Pump – Buying Guide
When looking for top rated breast pumps, there are some basic factors you should consider:
Considering the quality of a pump is very important. A cheap pump won’t last you long and the suction mechanism can also harm a woman’s breasts. Also, ensure that the EBM storage bottles are made of food-grade material.
Make sure you look at how the pump works. A manual breast milk pump is more commonly used compared to an electric pump. However, a manual device requires effort as you’ll have to provide the power to its suction mechanism with your hands.
An electric or an automatic breast pump works using batteries or a power outlet. However, such a device is larger than a manual one.
See if the pump you want to buy comes with specific storage bottles or if it’s compatible with other bottles for convenience.
- The Nipple Tunnel
The nipple tunnel is important as it relates to the pump’s efficiency. Tunnels commonly range from 24mm to 36mm in size. Pick a pump that has a nipple tunnel that suits you.
You want your breast pump to be comfortable. Some women do require some time to get used to the feeling of using such a device; however, the crucial thing to ensure is that it isn’t uncomfortable or painful to use.
Breast milk storage
Many mothers are looking for a breast milk pump that can store extracted milk. Take note that some pumps come with specifically manufactured bottles while some allow you to use different bottles (varying in size and type) which are compatible with the specific device you have.
The extracted breast milk, also known as EBM, can be stored and used later on during the day. EBM can be kept for approximately six hours at room temperature without it going bad. You can also keep it refrigerated for at least eight days.
Why do women need to pump milk
The decision to artificially pump milk instead of breastfeeding the old fashion way stems from a couple of reasons:
- Working women use pumps so they can feed their child when they return from work or, alternatively, store breast milk for the nanny to use when they are not at home.
- Some women experience low milk production. Usinga breast milk pump can trigger lactation.
- Babies who aren’t properly latching can still be fed with a bottle containing pumped milk.
- Women who are unable to nurse their baby due to physical reasons resort to pumping.
- Pumping helps relieve breast engorgement, a medical condition where a woman’s breasts tend to become overfull with milk.