Breast pumping needs vary from mother to mother

Some mothers may never find a need to use a breast pump.  Other mothers may pump on occasion, for example when they need to leave their baby and a bottle of pumped breast milk with a caregiver or while travelling.  Some mothers may need to pump several times a day, for example, to provide milk for a baby when they need to return to work while their baby is still nursing.

Breast pumping is also useful for mothers of newborns where the baby has not yet mastered the skill of breastfeeding or when the baby cannot be breast-fed directly for health reasons (due to a premature birth or cleft palate).  You can still give your baby breast milk by using a breast pump and feeding the baby using a bottle and teat.

If not enough breast milk is taken from mothers who have recently given birth, this can lead to the painful build-up of milk, which in the worst-case scenario could cause inflammation of the nipples (mastitis).  This build-up of milk can be prevented through targeted expressing of breast milk using the breast pump.  In addition, breast pumps help to alleviate cracked or sore nipples.

Whatever your need, here is some tips to help you:

Choose the right pump

Make sure you choose a good pump that is well-suited to your particular needs.

Manual breast pump:

Manual breast pumps are an excellent choice for mothers who express their breast milk occasionally.  No battery or mains power is required as they are operated individually by hand.  They are ideal for using on-the-go as it allows you to store breast milk in the bottle and have breastmilk available on hand.  Microlife manual breast pump’s innovative design is easy to assemble, lightweight and ultra-silent.  You can also use the integrated stimulation function to draw out flat or inverted nipples, making it easier to then express the breast milk.

Single electric breast pump:

Electric breast pumps are designed to mimic your baby’s natural feeding action, for more comfort and more milk.  Ideal for mothers who want to comfortably express their breast milk every day.  Powered by batteries or mains adapter to allow comfortable expressing anywhere.

Dual electric breast pump:

Double pumping systems are the perfect time saver for mothers.  Microlife’s dual breast pump vacuum technology can express more milk in a shorter period of time than conventional breast pumps.  Simultaneous expressing of milk at both breasts is proven to be more efficient and may even boost your ability to produce breast milk.

Don’t share

Don’t share your breast pump or buy a used one.  Purchase a new breast pump, or rent one that is hospital-grade and designed for multiple users.  Although you may consider saving money by borrowing a pump from a friend or relative, it’s not worth the risk.  Even after it’s washed, bacteria or viruses may stay trapped inside and could harm both you and your baby.  When you rent a pump make sure the device is carefully sterilized before you get it.

Another reason for not using a borrowed or used breast pump is that breast pump motors wear out.  A motor that is not working at optimum function can result in poor milk production.

Store milk right away

You can safely store breast milk at room temperature for 4-6 hours.  But it’s best to put it into the refrigerator as soon as possible to prevent bacterial contamination.  Breast milk can last in the back of a refrigerator for 5 days or be frozen for 6-12 months.  It is a good idea to put a date on stored milk.  Do not store milk left over from a feeding.  Only use clean glass, BPA-free plastic containers, or storage bags made for breast milk to store breast milk safely.

Prepare a supply in advance

If you know you are going to need a supply of milk for your baby begin storing your milk several weeks in advance.  Choose a time in-between your baby’s usual feedings to pump.  Most lactation consultants recommend adding one pump session per day (on top of your baby's usual feedings) and storing that milk.  This will help with let-down issues and allow you to build an emergency supply.

Divide pumped milk into small servings

Freeze milk in different amounts.  Instead of uniformly stocking your freezer with servings equal to amount your baby consumes in a feeding, freeze some in smaller quantities so it’s easy to top up a feed if baby is particularly hungry one day without wasting any frozen milk.  Don’t refreeze unfrozen breast milk as this encourages bacterial growth.

Care for your breast pump

Read the manufacturer’s manual and follow the care instructions.  Remember to wash your pump between pumping sessions.

Click here to download the Microlife Baby Care Flyer to help you select a suitable breast pump.