When deciding what kind of pump to use or if one is even necessary, it is helpful to consider what your needs will be for expressed milk. Some women find that they never need to use a pump after seeing how easy it is to take a breastfed baby along. Others who will be away from the baby for specific times will need some way to express milk. Many women find it easy to hand express milk when needed. LLLI offers an information sheet Manual Expression Of Breast Milk which is available in the LLLI Online Store or from your local LLL Leader.
If you find you do need a pump, there are many different kinds of pumps available. Selecting the best pump can be likened to choosing a handbag–there are many options, and what works for one woman is not necessarily the best option for another. Some considerations when thinking about pumps are cost, portability, noise level, ease of use and efficiency. There are manual (hand operated) pumps ($14-$50) which often are helpful for those who want to pump on an occasional basis to leave milk for baby. Most are easy to operate, are small, and easy to transport. Some require two hands and others operate with only one hand. The “bicycle horn” style manual pump is NOT recommended. There are also small electric pumps ($30-$150) available from different manufacturers. These use batteries or AC adapters to supply the power and are still quite small and portable. Some are quiet and some are not.
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