If you're a working mother or are just unable to breastfeed the natural way, the breast pump is an invaluable tool that can help you give your baby your milk, ensuring they've got the proper nutrition, even when you can't physically be there to do it yourself. Here are some tips on how to master the breast pump and how to choose the right one for you:
Have a plan. Determine how often you plan to pump your milk. Some pumps are designed for frequent, daily pumping, while others are designed for occasional pumping. If you're using a pump that's designed for occasional pumping, it may be more prone to wear and tear.
A typical session of breast pumping lasts about 10 to 15 minutes for each breast. Meanwhile, a double breast pump helps increase milk production and cuts pumping time in half.
Learn the effectiveness. A traditional breast pump will pump up to 45 to 55 times per minute. The closer your breast pump is to that range, the more effective it will be. If it's lower than 25 per minute then it will not be as efficient and can cause some nipple and breast pain.
An auto-cycling breast pump is more effective than a pump that requires you to adjust it manually. So the range should be from 0mm Hg to 25mm Hg. Anything above that might cause severe pain.
Find out the cost. Manual breast pumps can cost around PhP3,500, while single electrics go for about PhP5,000. Double electric pumps can range from anywhere between PhP10,000 to PhP20,000.
Accessorize. No, we don't mean you should bust out some bling while pumping. Invest in equipment that can help in the breastfeeding process like hands-free bras to hold the pump in place, and a nursing cover, for the times when you'll have to pump in public.
Keep it clean. All parts of the breast pump that come in contact with breast milk should be cleaned regularly. This means the valves, breast shields, and bottles need to be sanitized after every use. Dishwashing soap and warm water should do the trick. Remember to dry each part before reassembling. Leave the parts on the rack to dry; do not use a cloth to dry them as this can leave behind materials that may carry germs.