Whether you're planning to go back to work and need to start stocking up on a milk supply, trying to increase your milk supply, or baby can't breastfeed directly, many breastfeeding moms will use a breast pump at one point or another. So how do you know which pump is best for you? Here are some things to take into consideration:
1. How often do you plan to use it?
For occasional use, a manual pump works in a pinch to help relieve engorgement before a feeding, for use when traveling and you may not have access to electricity, or for pumping quite infrequently. Small, motorized pumps can also be used for the occasional pumping, such as for missing a feeding once a day.
For frequent pumping, it is really worth it to spend a little extra money to invest in a good, electric pump. Luckily, the Affordable Care Act allows moms to receive free or low cost breastfeeding supplies, including pumps. Check with your insurance company about what pumps are included. Moms can also rent hospital-grade electric pumps.
2. Breast size.
Choose a pump that fits you well. Most pump flanges (the part you put on your breast that your nipple fits into) come with a standard 24 mm size, and for many moms, this size works just fine. If your nipple rubs along the walls of the flange, you probably have a size too small. If too much of your areola is being sucked into the flange, you probably have a size too large. Medela has a great visual to gauge the correct size: