Choosing the right electric breast pump can make a breastfeeding mum’s life so much easier. Knowing that your baby can still get the benefits of your breast milk even when you are away can be comforting. A good electric breast pump which allows you to express milk comfortably, quickly and conveniently is essential.
These are a few key features to look for in a good quality electric breast pump:
- It should be easy to assemble and disassemble. You will need to take apart the pump every time you use it to clean it. The fewer parts, the better!
- It should include easy-to-follow instructions.
- It should be easy to clean: most pumps can be washed in the dishwasher (except the motor). You don’t need to sterilise it every time you use it. In most cases, once a day is sufficient.
- Single or double? A double electric pump is designed to express breast milk on both sides at the same time. It works twice as fast and it is a good choice for those mothers who return to work, are feeding twins, or are trying to increase their lactation (as with pre-term babies, for example).
- The double pump can always be used as a single pump if you wish. Expressing on a single side is important for breastfeeding mums who suffer from sore nipples or mastitis or wish to express on one side while feeding the baby on the other side.
- Although there are some compact models, a double electric breast pump might not be as compact and portable as a single one.
- Adjustable suction: every mum is different, every breast is different and every lactation is different. Electric breast pump designers try to mimic the baby’s sucking reflex to make expressing breast milk easier, faster and more comfortable. Being able to adjust the suction to what feels the most comfortable for you makes a difference.
- An electric breast pump can be plugged into an electrical outlet and can also run on batteries to make it more portable. How often you need to replace the batteries depends on the usage. Rechargeable batteries will allow you to cut the running cost of your pump significantly.
- Not all breast pumps come with a carry case. You can use one of your own bags or order the carry case separately.
- All parts of the pump that come in contact with the breast milk should be made in 100% Bisphenol-A (BPA) free materials like polypropylene, which is the safest plastic for storing breast milk.
- When it comes to breast milk storage, you have a choice: the pump can be connected to breast milk storage bottles or bags. You can store the breast milk in the freezer or in the fridge. The breast milk storage bags are convenient if you are having to express lots; for example, if you are returning to work.
A good electric breast pump is a wise purchase for a breastfeeding mum. Buying a high quality pump will save you time and money in the long run.