Even stalwart supporters of the breasts, at some point in their breastfeeding career, will need the help of the bottle (milk bottle, that is), to feed their babies. It is not possible to have the baby with you 24 hours a day, or to plan your life around your baby’s feeding routine for six months. It is not good for your mental and emotional health. But there is no need for you to rush to the supermarket to choose the most expensive formula milk. You can still feed your baby breast milk from the bottle if you express your milk.
Some mothers worry that their baby will suffer from nipple confusion, but frankly, that is old wives’ tales. Give your baby more credit than that. Yes, feeding from the bottle requires a different sucking action than feeding from the breast, but your baby will get the hang of it quickly. It’s no more difficult than speaking two or three languages, and we know that children can easily do that, given the chance.
Types of breast pumps
There are two types of breast pumps: manual and electric.
Manual pumps are lightweight, simple and quiet to use, portable and, above all, inexpensive compare to electric pumps. On the down side, it takes time to express and pumping is tiring, especially if you don’t have a lot of milk.
Manual pumps work by simulating the baby’s sucking action. The pump comes with breast shield, which is positioned over the nipples, creating a vacuum, which encourages milk flow. The size of the breast shield can affect the efficiency of the suction. If you are using the wrong size breast shield, it can be uncomfortable or even painful.
When choosing a breast pump, look for designs with soft cushions or massage cups, as they are more comfortable to use.
Electric breast pumps, on the other, are faster to use and offer more options. For example, you can get electric breast pumps with different setting or pumping style. Most electric pumps can also be used as a single or double pump, which means you can empty both breasts in one go. On the down side, you need an electric socket or batteries to pump. So, if you are travelling and you ran out of battery, you’ll not be able to use it. It is also noisier than a manual breast pump and more expensive. Some electric pumps can have lots of fiddly parts, making it tricky to sterilise.