Lactating moms, irrespective of their daily occupations, have come to appreciate the breast milk extracting device for its safety and ease of use. While this is mostly found with working moms, other women have employed its use for various reasons. For those who want to continue nursing their babies with breast milk while at work, the only option left is the use of breast pumps to extract the milk for their caregivers. Some women also use this device when they have just given birth or when there is low breast milk supply. In such situations, breast pumps help to stimulate the desired quantity of milk the child will need for consumption.
Breast pumps have been found useful in cases of mothers being under some medications that affect their babies. They use the device to extract enough milk to sustain the baby for the entire period. This is a clear indication that breast pumps are in high demand for these and more reasons. Since demand is directly linked to supply, various manufacturers have leveraged on the growing need for great breast pumps by many mothers and have therefore provided us with various types. This gives birth to the different categories of breast pumps found in the market. Here are some of the types commonly found around us:
Manual (Breast) Pumps
There are different products within this broad category. The manual device is one that is operated by the mom to extract milk from the breast manually using either hands, legs or levers. They are mostly used by placing a breast shield over the nipple/areola, squeezing a lever/handle to further create a suction that expresses the desired quantity of milk from the mom’s breast. The attached container to the breast shield collects the milk. Other types of manual pumps use small tubes to pump in and out of bigger ones that are believed to create some degrees of vacuum, which expresses milk from the breast and flows to any attached container.
In all, manual breast pumps are operated by repeatedly pulling or squeezing the handle of the device, which affords the user the chance of directly controlling the pressure as well as the frequency of the quantity of milk being expressed. While these types are usually cheap and within reach, they may be quite stressful considering the manual effort required in the process. While these can be used infrequently by mothers who are always with their babies except when they have to urgently leave then behind for a short while, they can be used on each breast one at a time, thus, consuming time.
Manual pumps require patience. They may not even supply enough emptying and stimulation needed by the breast to extract the desired quantity of milk. The bicycle horn categories are readily available and affordable, but can pose serious threat to both mother and baby. Moms are advised against using them.
Electric Pumps (Personal Use)
The personal used electric pumps are designed to be used by individuals in the privacy of their homes. They are also usually small in size. These pumps are controlled by an engine that supplies suction via a plastic tube to a horn fitted over the areola/nipple. With this device, both breasts can be pumped simultaneously leading to faster and larger quantity of milk being expressed. While they are significantly bigger than manual ones, there are smaller and portable ones. This type of pump is ideal for moms who pump breast milk on daily basis.
Electric Pumps (Rented)
Some of these electric pumps are rented as they are usually recommended for both mother and baby having health challenges such as premature babies or mothers undergoing medication that can affect their babies. This category of electric pumps has been identified to sustain the supply of nursing moms’ milk than the personal ones. One outstanding benefit of this type is the fact that they are designed as integral part of a feeding technique/system. This eliminates the process of transferring the milk from the milk collecting container to the feeding bottle. Technology has also made it possible for the provision of freezable milk (breast milk) storage containers/bags.
Electric Pumps (Hospital Grade)
This category allows for multiple users as they are larger. This is more suitable for moms having multiple births, for premature/sick babies, to induce lactation and to increase milk supply. These pumps can be used for many of them (moms) at a time. Approved by the FDA, they have been designed with some degrees of barriers that prevent any form of cross contamination. Each user is expected to use her collecting kits. Because of their stronger motors, they provide higher degree of suction and pumping. Also, due to their largeness and heaviness, they are difficult to move about. They are also more durable having several years of manufacturer’s warranty.
These are used as alternatives for the electrical ones for mothers who prefer to carry them along on transit. As portable as they are, nursing moms are expected to be proactive in times of emergencies when batteries run down.