No one would argue with the old adage that ‘breast is best’ when it comes to feeding your baby. Breast milk contains so many hugely important ingredients which can help protect a baby from a wide range of problems and illnesses, as well as providing the much needed goodness for growing and developing.
But for mothers it isn’t always possible to ensure that breast milk is available ‘on tap’! If you need to restore a little sanity by popping out for an evening, or you need to work, you may have to rely on a breast pump to ensure that a ready supply of breast milk is available for whoever is looking after your baby to use.
The two basic options are manual and electric, but which is best? There’s no ‘right’ answer as to which is best, but as a rough guide you’ll find that for regular use an electric pump is quicker and easier, whilst a manual pump is quieter, lighter and cheaper.
If you’re breastfeeding your child whilst using a pump a smaller, quieter manual pump is often less distracting, whereas some electric pumps can mimic suckling for more effective extraction of milk, and even draw milk from both breasts at the same time.
If you’re not yet sure whether you’ll need to use a pump, it’s probably best to go for a manual pump, moving to an electric pump at a later stage if you find the ability to have milk available in advance very convenient.
If you think you’ll need to use a breast pump quite frequently then an electric pump may be easier to use whilst also suckling your baby on the other breast. However, it’s best to do this from the very beginning as some babies don’t take well to having to share you with a machine if they aren’t used to it.