In this article, you will find the most important tips to start the breastfeeding pump adventure which, we can never say it enough, is a form of breastfeeding like any other.
Breast pump: the right equipment
It doesn't hurt to point out that breast pumping is a type of breastfeeding and that babies fed by bottle or any other alternative container to the breast receives the same nutritional and immune benefits.
Some moms choose to use an exclusive breast pump, but in general, breast pumps are used as an alternative to breastfeeding. Whether personal (you want to take time off work), medical (baby born prematurely, anatomical reasons) or professional (returning to work), each reason is unique and must be respected.
Still, for many of you, breast pumping is perceived and experienced as complicated... especially in the choice of the breast pump.
Did you know? Normally, a start-up fee is provided for a health professional (usually the pharmacist from whom you rent your breast pump) to ensure that it is suitable for you.
▹ Which breast pump to choose?
Breast pumps are available for sale or rent. To rent one, you need a prescription (issued by your midwife, general practitioner or gynecologist) from your pharmacy or from specialized websites. The models available for rent are often bulky and impractical; some of you will therefore prefer to invest in the purchase of a nomadic and compact breast pump, without wires or tubes, in order to be able to breastfeed anywhere, anytime.
‣ Le tire-lait électrique
Ideal for: pumping your milk daily or regularly, or increasing or boosting milk production.
The electric breast pump is available in two versions:
- Compact ou classic
- Battery or mains-powered
Recommandation from the Fam': opt for the double pump, which allows you to express your milk twice as fast and in a slightly larger quantity, because when you pump on one breast, milk leaks from the other (and is lost). There are names for the milk collection cups, very practical.
‣ The Manual Breast Pump
Ideal for: an occasional pumping when you are away from home from time to time or to express some milk to avoid engorgement.
Less practical for: stocking up or pumping several times a day because it will only allow you to express milk one breast at a time and will require some manual endurance.
Most of the manual breast pumpsrequire a bit of a hand, but don't worry, you'll get the hang of it very quickly! Compact, silent, it slips discreetly into your bag. The Elvie manual breast pump is one of the most practical models: it is placed in your bra and, by a simple pressure, activates the pumping.
▹ Nipple shield size
Pumping milk with non-adapted nipple shields is like hiking with shoes that are too small: it hurts and you are not efficient
A good nipple shield is
‣ A nipple shield that fits your nipple Measure the diameter of the breast after feeding, adding 2 mm. The size may change during breastfeeding.
‣ A well-placed nipple shield: centered on your nipple. The nipple should move back and forth without rubbing against the edges of the nipple shield.
▹ Additional accessories
‣ Breast pump bras, a kind of hands-free kit for breast pumps: a bra designed to express milk easily, thanks to reinforced openings to hold the nipples during expression.
Little tip: you can make them with a pantyhose top: cut the legs, keep the thick part and make two little holes to put the nipples.
‣ A Tajinebanane top: The side openings on our clothes allow you to breastfeed and express your milk anywhere, anytime, in a discreet way.
‣ Nursing pads: practical to avoid leaks. They exist in washable, very practical and ecological. Elvie goes even further with their milk collection cups to recover leaking milk and never waste your liquid gold again
‣ Preservation bags: pre-sterilized and airtight, you can pour your milk directly into them for storage in the refrigerator or freezer. Jam jars can also be used, as glass is the ideal material for storing breast milk.
‣A cooler with ice packs for transport: If you have no access to a refrigerator, you can use an isothermal bag. Milk can be kept for 24 hours in a cooler with ice packs (15 degrees).