Mothers today should be after a model that; firstly does the job, secondly can keep up with their milk supplying needs, and thirdly is comfortable to use. Choosing the right breast pump has never been more difficult as the market is now flooded with an array of manufacturers and models to choose from!
Breast Pumps: Where the Differences Fall
There are so many aspects to consider when it comes to deciding on a breast pump. For example, a pump's ability to effectively mimic a baby's suckling action is determined by the number of cycles per minute and these can range from anything between 30 and 60. Mothers also have to ask themselves whether they are going to be more inclined to express each breast separately or both at once i.e. should they invest in a double or single action pump? Unfortunately the decisions don't end there; mothers will also have to decide whether they would be better suited to an auto cycling electric pump rather than a manually controlled one.
To help you make the best choice we propose mothers ask themselves the following questions:
What is the main reason behind your need for a breast pump? Is it to maintain your milk supply? This can often be the case in the event of a premature birth or in similar cases when a mother may find herself away from her baby for extended periods. Some women may need to turn to a pump to increase their milk production, as is often the case when twins or triplets have to be nursed. Then there are the mums who only need to express occasionally. Rental/ hospital grade pumps provide an effective solution to the first two situations, while the third can be solved by using either an electric or manual breast pump.
How often do you think you will need to use the pump? Mothers who are looking at expressing say once or twice a week would probably be most suited to a semi-automatic / automatic electric pump. Those who are looking at having more frequent sessions would do well to invest in a pump with a more durable motor such as those found in rental pumps. Very infrequent users would probably find a manual breast pump, such as the ISIS, would quite gracefully meet their needs while still be relatively affordable.
How mobile does one need to be? Portability is becoming a more and more attractive feature amongst new mothers. Designs are becoming less bulky and a lot lighter in weight, thus allowing mothers to more easily incorporate "breast feeding" in their already busy lives. A large number of companies have even gone as far as supplying carrier bags fitted with cooled storage compartments to further emphasise the "portability" factor. For maximum portability we recommend the Whisper Wear.
Cost is probably the last determining factor, and the one that should have the least amount of emphasis placed on it. Your health and the health of your baby should not have a price - in the end you want a breast pump that can empty your breasts, one that you feel completely comfortable with and lastly one that is durable and can be easily cleaned. The only guide to price that we can give is that manual breast pumps tend to be more affordable than their equivalent electric breast pumps.