Breast pumps are important maternity items and are a must-have maternity essential as soon as the baby arrives. A working mother needs it the most - extracting milk either before leaving for work or while in the office. A good breast pump offers a quick and easy solution to the lactating mother and makes breast milk extraction an effortless and comfortable task. The breast shield is placed over the nipple and areola and the lever squeezed to pump out the milk. The expressed milk is then stored in a hygienic container at room temperature or in the fridge. At HPFY we have an array of manual and electric breast pumps that help in extracting and storing that liquid gold for later use.
There are basically three types of breast pumps available – manual, battery-powered and electric. A manual breast pump can be powered by an ergonomic, swivel handle. This type is lightweight therefore making it discreet and portable. Manual breast pumps are convenient for lactating mothers who may not have access to a power outlet. They offer flexibility to vary the frequency of the squeeze. Manual breast pumps allow the user to adjust the suction intensity and speed intervals to ensure the best results. Manual, battery-driven or electric breast pumps have either single pumps or double pumps. There are double breast pumps that also offer the flexibility to be used as a single breast pump or double breast pump.
Single Manual Breast Pumps: Single manual breast pump expresses milk from one breast only. Once this is done, then the pump is attached to the second breast and then milk extracted from it. Most manual breast pumps are single. They are ideal breast pumps for mothers who only express milk occasionally.
Double Breast Pumps: Double breast pumps are designed to allow both breasts to be pumped simultaneously. They are convenient for those working moms who are always in a hurry.
Single Battery/Electric Pumps: Most battery-powered and electric breast pumps are single pumps. They use batteries or plug the motorized pump into a power outlet to get it working. The suction speed of some powered pumps can be adjusted.
At Health Products For You, you will find a whole line-up of single and double breast pumps including Medela breast pumps which are a regular buy. Medela breast pumps are great for work and travel and follow the patented 2-phase expression technology which is said to produce more milk in less time.
Before buying a breast pump you need to consider what will be most suitable for you. You do not need to buy a pump with powerful suction. Remember, that a breast pump should mimic your baby’s sucking force which is around 80 to 100mmHG. The suction should not exert pressure on your mammary glands and for the breast-feeding mother, the pumping strength is recommended to not be above 200mmHG. Which one should you buy – manual or powered? If you are going to use it occasionally then manual is better. But if you are a working mom and need a breast pump regularly, then a powered breast pump will be convenient because it will be faster and less tiring. Go for a pump that has adjustable settings for speed and suction. Also ensure the breast shields or phalanges fit your breast nipples well in order to obtain proper positioning. This is to ensure maximum comfort and no strain on you.
Breast milk which has been extracted can be stored in a bottle or steel container but ensure the container is hygienic. If the milk is to be used within four hours of extraction then it can be left out in room temperature. But for use after four hours, the milk should be stored in a refrigerator. If the extracted breast milk is to be used within 5 days, then it should be kept in the fridge and not left outside. If the usage is to be beyond 5 days, then the milk should be kept in the freezer and used within two weeks of storing it. Any leftover milk should be discarded and no milk of two different temperatures be mixed together.
You may sterilize the breast pump by immersing all parts in boiling water for 5-10 minutes. This is especially to be done if the pump is being used for the first time and thereafter, every third to fourth use.
You can also sterilize in the microwave by immersing the parts in water taken in a microwave container. Or use a steamer to sterilize. However, first read manufacturer instructions before doing so.
After every use, wash the parts in warm, soapy water and then either air-dry them or wipe with a clean, paper towel.
It is highly advised that breast pumps should not be re-used for hygiene sake and to eliminate the risk of cross-contamination. Manufacturers say viruses may be transferred through milk if a previously used breast pump is used again. They discourage selling or buying a used pump and stress that breast pumps are single-user items.
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