Special thanks to this week’s guest blogger: Kelly Wysocki-Emery, RN, MSN, IBCLC of Baby Beloved. In her work as a lactation consultant, moms often ask Kelly about breast pumps. Here are her nuggets of wisdom!
If You’re Not Returning to Work…
…outside the home and do not plan to be separated from baby very much, you may be able to get away with hand expression or a manual breast pump situation. The Medela Harmony Manual Pump or the Haakaa. The Haakaa is something so simple, so brilliant, I wish I had invented it! It is a type of suction-cup collection pump that needs no power source—it just collects the milk you leak effortlessly.
If You’re Returning to Work…
I recommend a double-electric breast pump. My two favorites are Medela Pump In Style Advanced and Spectra S1 or S2. Both brands get to the recommended 250 mm of Hg suction, and cycle at least 45-60 times per minute, which is recommended for good stimulation. Just like a baby would give you!
The Medela has the benefit of having spare parts available at many local stores in an emergency, and their customer service rocks (they’ll overnight you a pump if yours breaks).
The Spectra breast pump has the benefit of coming with two different breastshield sizes. The Spectra S1 has a rechargeable battery so it doesn’t have to be plugged in, which is nice. It also has the nice feature of a night light and a timer.
Both brands have the option of adjusting the suction and the speed (so, faster for initial let-down initiation period, and slower for when the milk lets down and starts coming out easier).
If Pumping at Work Is Basically Impossible…
If you have a job where you simply cannot get away, or get to an outlet to pump, you might consider the Willow pump. It’s quite expensive, but in a pinch, it might be worth it (formula is about $200/month, and this pump is about $500). I’ve had at least one surgeon and one anesthesiologist use it because they had to remain in their sterile gowns for six hours straight, without leaving the side of her patient—the pump remains in your bra and by pushing a button on the outside of your clothes you can start the pumping session….and even if you bend over, the milk does not leak out. Very nice design, if you can afford it.
Be Mindful of Backflow
Although the Spectra touts that it is a closed system and milk cannot back up into the motor, I have seen milk get back into the backflow protector area, so I would still be mindful of watching for this when you pump.
The backflow protector is meant to prevent the milk from getting into your tubes and motor, so that is a good thing, but just be aware and wash them often.
I have seen milk get into the Medela tubing when the pumped milk in the bottle rises to above the yellow/white valve/membrane piece. When the little, white, circular membrane opens up to allow milk to flow into the bottle, it can suck milk back up into the tubing; so for this, just change out the bottle once it gets to the 5 oz. mark, so it doesn’t reach the white/yellow pieces.
Each insurance company determines how much they will pay toward a breast pump. Your insurance company typically really doesn’t care which pump you get – it’s just business to the company. But YOU can shop around and make sure you are getting the pump you want in line with what your insurance will cover.
I no longer directly sell and/or bill insurance for breast pumps, but I have partnered with Aeroflow to make the process of getting a pump as hassle-free as possible. They have a boat-load of options and make the process extremely pain-free.
Click HERE to enter your insurance information to see what pumps you qualify for. They will do all the paperwork and deliver your pump right to your doorstep. Some insurances even let you get your pump before baby is born! Plus, if eligible, they’ll automatically mail you new (free) replacement pump parts every few months!
Want to Learn More?
I have SO MUCH MORE to say about pumping, bottlefeeding, and working! I’ve finished videotaping and am in the editing process of an online pumping course called Work.Pump.Balance. SUPER excited! Soon, I will have a free sneak peek from this course on a topic many moms have questions about: Bottlefeeding Your Breastfed Baby. Click HERE to sign up for notifications—I’ll be sure to send you a link to the free video when it’s ready.
Kelly Wysocki-Emery, RN, MSN, IBCLC, http://www.babybelovedinc.com/, 616.485.6757
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