One of the hardest decisions pregnant parents have to make is how they are going to feed their newborn baby. While some decide to feed their baby with commercial formula through a bottle, others choose to breastfeed their baby. Those that breastfeed will want to consider getting a breast pump. This helpful device expresses milk from the breasts so that a new mother can store the breast milk for later use.
For those who want to know more, here are the answers to three frequently asked questions about breast pumps.
1. What Are the Different Types of Breast Pumps?
All breast pumps consist of a breast shield, a pump, and a container for the milk. While all breast pumps have these basic parts, there are different kinds of breast pumps. The types of breast pumps include:
- Manual. With this type, you squeeze a handle on the pump in order to get express milk from the breast.
- Battery-powered. This small motorized pump relies on battery power.
- Electric. Similar to a battery-powered pump, this pump is powered by electricity.
One advantage of a battery-powered pump or manual pump is that they will still work in the event of a power outage. Some electric and battery-powered pumps allow the user to adjust the suction to more closely mimic their baby's suction. There are also single and double pumps. Double pumps increase convenience by expressing milk from both breasts at the same time.
2. How Much Do Breast Pumps Cost?
You can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $3500 for a breast pump. The single manual breast pumps are the least expensive option, while the double electric pumps are more expensive. Most people can get a breast pump covered by insurance. In order to do this, they must know what type of breast pump their insurance covers and for how long they will cover it.
3. What Are the Benefits of Having a Breast Pump?
One of the greatest advantages of having a breast pump is that it frees up the mother from always being the one to feed the baby. Breast milk can easily be put into bottles, which allows other people in the family to bond with the baby during feedings.
Other benefits of a breast pump include:
- They can help to prevent mastitis
- They help maintain an adequate supply of breast milk.
- They allow mothers to go back to work while still feeding their baby breast milk.
Some babies are born prematurely, and when this occurs, it can be difficult for the milk to come in. A breast pump helps to stimulate the production of breast milk for mothers of preemies.