Breast pumps are obviously necessary if you’re planning to feed your baby part time (or full time) by bottle, but having a breast pump is also a great idea even if you’re planning to exclusively breastfeed. There are times when pumping can be an absolute life-saver!
When the pain and tightness of engorgement hits, expressing a little bit can help ease discomfort as well as making it easier for baby to latch. The only thing to be careful about it is the amount you pump; only take what is needed for your comfort and baby’s latch needs. You don’t want MORE milk in this situation!
My recent medical situation required that I have a d&c, and I was unable to breastfeed for eight hours while the anesthesia wore off. Having a breast pump allowed me to do two things; first, I was able to express milk the day before so that Elizabeth would have milk during the post-surgery hours, and second, I was able to “pump and dump” my milk during the hours that she was having expressed milk. If you’ve never had to pump and dump before, let me tell you, it is extremely difficult to pour it down the drain! Yikes, all that work for nothing!
While it is almost always okay to continue breastfeeding while you’re sick (check with your doctor), you might want to express milk for someone else to give to the baby some of the time simply so you can rest. Getting to take a nap or sleep in can be really beneficial to your recovery.
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A simple manual pump doesn’t cost very much and it’s well worth the price tag. Add a few bottles, caps and nipples to the cart and you’re all set should your baby need expressed milk.
Related post: Breastfeeding and Weaning
With my first baby, I worked part time so I had a single electric pump by Evenflo; it worked well enough but it wasn’t very comfortable and by the time I had used it for several months, the motor was weak so it was thrown away when I was done with it.
I decided to switch to a manual pump with baby number two because I was no longer working outside the home yet wanted my husband to give the baby bottles occasionally. I used an Avent manual breast pump and it was very comfortable! Of course, because we offered them to him so infrequently, he wouldn’t take bottles by six or seven months and he had to have a sippy cup instead.
I continued to use the Avent pump with my third, whom we also just occasionally gave bottles to. Because my body didn’t seem keen on getting pregnant with our fourth, I gave away all of our baby stuff, including my Avent pump…and then found out about baby Elizabeth about two weeks later. :P
And so, I had to buy another pump, but I had trouble finding the Avent one at the time I was looking so I picked up Medela’s manual pump. It is only about as comfortable as the original electric one I had; it works but I don’t care for how it feels. :/
If you’re in the market for a good manual pump, I definitely recommend Avent’s – the “petals” make the whole experience much more comfortable! You can click the image below to check it out on amazon (I do not use affiliate links).
What has your experience been with breast pumps?
When did you find it most useful?