know how to use breast pump

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what is a breast pump?

A breast pump is a device that’s used by lactating mothers to extract milk. It is a simple-to-use device that consists of breast shields that form a seal-like layer that helps in suctioning of milk. It also has silicone valves that also support suction and backflow protectors that prevent the milk from entering the monitor of the pump. The tubing of the breast milk pump helps in vacuuming the air that is displaced through the tubes and the connector connects the breast shield, valves, tubing, and the milk storage containers.

There are two types of breast pumps that you can choose from:

  1. Manual, which is operated by hand by squeezing a trigger button to create the suction. They are lighter in weight and more economical.
  2. Battery operated, which run on batteries and come in handy when you need to pump once a day and don’t want to use a manual pump.

Because of their advantages, it is easy to find a breast pump online at affordable prices.

how to use a milk pump?

For a mother milk pump use is pretty easy. It works by mimicking the feeding action of the baby and extracts the milk easily.

Whether you are using a battery-operated or a manual breast pump, follow these expert tips to get the most out of your breast pump:

  1. Read the product manual and understand the model of the milk pump.
  2. Wash your hands and assemble the parts.
  3. Sit in a private and comfortable space.
  4. You may use a warm compress to stimulate the production of the milk.
  5. Place the breast shield.
  6. Begin pumping gently. Remember, it might take a few seconds for the milk to begin flowing.
  7. Adjust the rate of pumping according to your needs.
  8. Switch between the breasts.
  9. Once you have extracted the required quantity, remove the breast shield.
  10. Take out the bottle and cover it with a cap.
  11. Wash the parts in warm soapy water and leave them to air dry.
  12. You can now use the milk or refrigerate it.

when can these milk pumping machines be used?

A breast feeding pump is used mostly in situations such as:

  1. When you foresee being away from your baby, like for work, but intend to lactate them.
  2. It is used when lactating your baby directly is not an option. This happens when your baby is premature or ill.
  3. You suffer from pressure, tenderness or pain from engorgement.
  4. You have stopped breastfeeding and would like to resume.
  5. You want to offer milk to an adopted child.
  6. When you are temporarily weaning your child.
  7. If you have more than one baby and want to either maintain a steady milk supply or increase it.
  8. A manual or an automatic breast pump both come in handy in these situations.

how to buy or rent a breast pump online?

Your needs are going to establish whether you should rent or buy a breast pump online. For instance, if you need better pumping but for less than six months, renting is a better option. If you plan to breastfeed for longer than six months, you should buy a quality breast pump.

Whether it is a manual breast pump or an automatic one, here is how you can go about its buying or renting:

  1. Go to a credible online retailer’s website and select the one that you want.
  2. Submit the payment or the rental depending on what you choose.
  3. In case you have rented a pump, you will be required to pay monthly rentals.
  4. Return the product after your rental period is over.

how to choose the best breast pump?

  If you are pregnant, a breast pump must be on the top of your priorities. Needless to say, the breast pump that you choose must be of good quality and reliable. Here is how to choose one:

  1. The type of pump, whether a manual breast pump or an electric breast pump, depends on your lifestyle, budget, and convenience. You can also choose between a single or a double breast pump in case you have more than one baby to feed or have a busy life.
  2. If you will be pumping while travelling and won’t have access to batteries, opt for a manual or a battery-operated pump. In this case, opting for a lightweight pump also helps.
  3. The breast pump that you choose must have at least a year’s warranty. This helps you get a durable and quality product that doesn’t fail while in use.
  4. Some pumps come equipped with an LCD monitor and memory with which you can program your pumping pattern. This way, you won’t have to reset the pump each time you use it.

frequently asked questions:

Q- Is it good or bad to use a breast pump?

A- While there are tremendous advantages of using a breast pump as mentioned earlier in the blog, here are some things that you need to know:

  1. Never overuse the pump. Doing so may lead to engorgement or blocked ducts.
  2. These may cause milk production to decrease, robbing the baby of the nutrients.
  3. Not maintaining optimum settings and keeping it too high or low may cause breast tissue damage.
  4. If your breast pump is not cleaned properly before use, it may lead to contamination of the milk. This may cause infections in the baby.
  5. Using a breast pump and cleaning it may be time-consuming as compared to direct latching, especially for women who are short on time or those who have more than one baby to feed. 

However, all these things are easy to manage. A breast pump is a great device that allows a mother to nourish her baby even when they are not around. Being better informed about the product and procuring it from a credible company will make your life simpler in the long run.

Q- Can breast pump be shared?

A- The single-user or personal-use breast pumps must not be shared. Passing the single-user breast pumps from one mother to another can increase the risk of contamination if the pump is not cleaned and sterilized in an appropriate manner. Moreover, when the breast pump is used by a number of mothers, it might also affect its functionality. On the other hand, the multiple-user breast pumps are ideal for sharing. They are also referred to as hospital-grade breast pumps.

Q- Can breast pump help produce milk?

A- Yes, the breast pump can help in producing milk. When the breast pump is used by mothers on a regular basis, it can help in increasing the production of milk effectively. The frequent and regular use of breast pumps allows creating, maintaining, as well as increasing the breast milk supply. 

Q- Is using a breast-pump painful?

A- The use of a breast pump should not be traumatizing or painful. It has been designed to be used in a very convenient and painless manner. However, there is a chance that some new mothers may experience pain and discomfort. The pain might be due to inappropriate use of the breast pump. When the breast pump isn’t used in the right way, the mothers may experience pain. Therefore, it is always recommended to see and read the manual carefully before using the breast pump. Moreover, not getting the right-sized flange of the breast pump can also result in pain. 

Q- What are breast milk storage guidelines?/How to best store breast milk?

A- Some of the best ways to store breast milk are:

  • Make use of food-grade containers or storage bags for storing breast milk.
  • Avoid the use of plastic bags for storing breast milk.
  • Avoid storing breast milk in the refrigerator doors to prevent fluctuations in the temperature.
  • Label the breast milk container properly before storing it. 

Content is medically reviewed by: Dr Renu Raina Sehgal (Advisory Panel, Portea), Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Robotic Surgery

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