How to Select a Breast Pump

Like breastfeeding, you have to learn how to use a breast pump. The baby's sucking at the breast is the best way to remove the milk from your breast. However, when you are not able to breastfeed or your baby isn't latching to your breast properly, use a breast pump to remove the milk. Most mothers are able to remove only a few drops (sometimes nothing) when they first use a breast pump, especially in the first few days. THIS IS NORMAL. Removing your milk by HAND is often more effective in the first few days when you have small amounts of milk. It takes lots of practice to learn this skill.

What Type of Pump should you use?

The type of pump you use depends on WHY you need to use it. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU CHOOSE THE CORRECT PUMP FOR YOUR SITUATION OR YOU COULD RISK HAVING A LOW MILK SUPPLY. Talk to a BREASTFEEDING SPECIALIST OR to a LA LECHE LEADER BEFORE you choose a pump.
 

HOSPITAL-GRADE ELECTRIC PUMPS (RENTAL PUMPS) are recommended for PROBLEMS such as:

  • You have problems latching your baby to your breast. 
  • Your baby is preterm or has to stay in hospital.
  • Your baby was born before 38 weeks gestation.
  • You are separated from your baby for an extended period of time.
  • Your nipples are sore.
  • Your breasts are engorged.
  • You have a low milk supply.
  • You have a breast infection.

Examples: Medela Classic; Medela Lactina; Medela Symphony; Ameda Egnell Elite; Ameda Lact-e; and Ameda SMB.
 

PERSONAL USE ELECTRIC PUMPS are recommended if your baby is nursing well BUT:

  • You are working full-time

Examples: Medela Pump-In-Style; and Ameda Purely Yours.


PERSONAL USE HAND PUMPS, SMALL BATTERY OPERATED OR SMALL ELECTRIC PUMPS are recommended if your baby is nursing well BUT:

  • You are working part-time.
  • You missed a feeding.
  • You are having a short time away from your baby.
  • You want to pull out flat or inverted nipples.

Examples of Hand Pumps: Medela Harmony; Medela Little Hearts; Medela Spring Express Manual; Avent Isis; and Ameda.
Examples of One-Hand Breastpump: Medela.
Examples of Pedal Pumps and Small Electric/Battery Pumps: Medela Double Select (single or double electric or battery pumping); Medela Mini electric; and Nurture 111/Natural Choice/Double-Up (single or double pumping).


Check with your Insurance Company BEFORE giving birth to find out the following:

  • WHAT pumps they cover.
  • NAMES of VENDORS that participate in your Insurance plan that provide breastpumps.
  • What the process is, to obtain your breastpump.
  • If LACTATION SERVICES are covered after you go home from the hospital.
  • If Lactation Services are covered, ask for NAMES of LACTATION CONSULTANTS that participate with your insurance.

To ensure good hygiene, personal pumps should not be shared with anyone -just like toothbrushes should not be shared. Only rental grade pumps are approved by the FDA for multiple users.