A newly expectant lady often knows what to buy when it comes to the layette and crib, but when she sets out to buy a breast pump, she may not have the slightest idea what to look for in her purchase. Since many retailers do not offer breast pump returns, it behooves the mama-to-be to learn about the breast pump's purposes before charging her card. Here are a few things to consider:
- Does it have a stimulation phase to help the mother's milk let down?
- Is it portable? A mom on the go may prefer a light and portable pump.
- Does it have hand-free capabilities? Though it's not a necessity, some moms could benefit greatly from such amenities.
- Can you control the strength and speed of the suction to mimic your own child's?
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- Is it hand, battery or electric operated? Some offer all of the above. For moms pumping often, an electric pump may prove to be worth the investment.
- How easy is it to clean and change the parts?
- Can you pump both sides at once or is it a single breast pump?
- Can bottles and bags collect the milk? Moms wanting to store the milk right away may like the choice of pumping directly into a bag.
Instead of buying ahead of the delivery, many women wait until they have started breastfeeding so they can get a feel for their needs. If she is still unsure of her pump requirements, she might choose to rent a pump (either from a breast pump store or the hospital) until she can determine what she needs.