What is a breast pump?
A breast pump is a device used for drawing milk from a lactating woman’s breasts by suction.
Who is it for and why is it needed?
It is used by new mothers for the following reasons-
- To stimulate milk production and increase the milk supply
- To collect milk to feed a premature baby or one who can’t latch on to the breast
- To relieve the pain and pressure of engorged breasts
- To keep the milk supply up if the mother is advised to stop nursing temporarily because of being on medication that might be harmful to the baby or if the mother is hospitalized for a short time and can’t breastfeed throughout the day.
Benefits of a breast pump
- It makes it possible for the baby to have milk when the mother is not around.
- It helps in maintaining the mother’s milk supply when the mother and baby are together. This is important for a working mother who wants to continue nursing.
- It makes it possible for someone else to feed the infant which allows the mother to have a much needed uninterrupted sleep.
- A breast pump is useful if the baby can’t latch well.
- A breast pump may also be used to stimulate lactation for women with a low milk supply or those who have not just given birth.
Features of a breast pump
- Tubing – It is a clear plastic tube that connects the pump motor to the flanges
- Flanges – They are also called breast shields. They are the plastic, cone-shaped horns that fit over your breast
- Valves – These are small plastic pieces that fit at the bottom of the flange that is fitted with a membrane to let the pumped milk fall into the collection bottle.
- Membrane – It is a little flexible plastic piece that is attached to the valve. It is responsible for creating suction. It is also the most common item to be replaced after constant use. A worn out membrane can actually affect the performance of the pump and have a direct effect on how much milk can be pumped.
- Milk Collection and Storage bottles – They are the bottles that are connected to the flanges to collect the milk while the pump is being used.
Types of breast pumps
There are three types of breast pumps widely available in the market-
- Manual breast pumps
- Battery-powered breast pumps
- Electric breast pumps
- It is of further two types –
- Single – Extracts milk from one breast at a time.
- Double – It can be used to extract milk from both breasts at the same time.
- It is of further two types –
Frequently Asked Questions-
- How often should breast pump parts be replaced?
- Performance of the pump decrease due to worn out parts and therefore they should be replaced regularly to ensure a longer lifespan of the pump.
➢ It is recommended to replace-
- duck valves between 1 and 3 months
- valve membranes between 2 weeks and 8 weeks
- backflow protectors between 3 and 6 months
- breast shields every 6 months
- tubing if there is moisture or residue in the tubing
- Should breast pumps be washed after every use?
- It is essential that all breast pump parts that come in contact with breast milk (like bottles, valves, breast shields, etc.) be cleaned after each use for hygienic purposes.
- How should breast pumps be sterilized?
- Breast pumps should be washed in warm water with a gentle soap after each use.
- How much milk should be pumped?
- Pumping 750-800 ml per day by 7-10 days postpartum is ideal. If one has twins or higher order multiples, pumping 800-950 ml by 14 days postpartum is ideal.
Where to buy breast pumps?
Breast pumps are available in Hyderabad at:
- TrueCare Surgicals (Store 1)
- Address: No 1-100, G2, Hitech City Main Road, Opposite Indian Oil Petrol Pump, Madhapur, Hyderabad, Telangana- 500081
- TrueCare Surgicals (Store 2)
- Address: Nizampet X Road, Near Sri Sri Holistic Hospital, Behind Vasireddy Swagruha Foods, Kukatpally, Hyderabad, Telangana- 500072