Just like many other decisions, most parents face, how to effectively feed the baby is yet another tricky one to make.

Most doctors and even baby formula companies advice and recommend breast milk for babies up to two years of age. However exclusive breastfeeding is not the only option for all moms.

Some mothers are sorting to pumping as an alternative to exclusive breastfeeding.

Brief background on pumping breastmilk

The fascination on breast milk pumping can be traced back to 1854 by Orwell H. Needham’s first patent in history with the goal of easing discomfort of using the conventional pumps through mimicking the sensation of a nursing baby.

Years and years later the old bulky pump models have evolved through the efforts of several inventors as the demand grows on usability, comfort, and style.

There are three basic types of pumps: the manual, the battery-powered and the electric pumps with two different pumping types: single and double. Most manual and battery-powered pumps are single pumps while most electric ones are double pumps.

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Why Use Breast Pump

Breast milk pumping was primarily aimed to allow mothers to return to work or school without having to stop feeding breast milk to their children.

Other significant reasons include: to help stimulate lactation for mothers with little to no milk supply, to help in latching difficulties, to relieve breast engorgement, and to aid the challenge of feeding multiples.

Is Breast milk pumping for every mom?

The Pros 

The advantages of breast milk pumping are numerous as it of direct breastfeeding.

  • It takes less time and can involve other family members in feeding the baby as the mom can get extra time to rest and care for herself.
  • It is a great option for working or schooling moms too, as they can just store milk stash in the refrigerator and leave the feeding to babysitters until they come home.
  • Moreover, it is also an effective way of knowing the exact amount the baby is eating at each feed.
  • In addition, if a mom is running low on milk supply, pumping is a great support as it provides stimulation to increase milk production.
  • Pumping helps drain the breasts and encourages faster milk production.

The Cons

  • While breast milk pumping offers a wider array of healthier benefits than formula, it also has its drawback compared to direct breastfeeding.
  • A 2013 clinical study showed that direct breastfeeding provides customized food for the baby as the saliva interacts with the milk and that interaction provides a signal to the mother’s brain about what the baby exactly needs.
  • Contrary to pumping, wherein there’s no communication exchange between the baby and the breast milk thus the maximum benefit for the baby’s immune system is not fully met.
  • Direct or exclusive breastfeeding is free, while breast milk pumping requires extra expenses on equipment such as a good quality breast pump, milk storage bags, breast milk cooler bags, bottles, and bottle warmer.
  • Moreover, you’ll have additional cleaning and maintaining to do with your pumping equipment. Not to mention the inconvenience of not having a proper place to pump in private especially at work or school.
  • Meanwhile, in most cases, storing pumped breast milk can also be tricky and should be practiced with extreme caution. Knowing the proper way to store milk is vital as it can pose risk to the baby since milk can expire even when it is frozen.

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The verdict

Whether you decide to pump as support to breastfeeding or to exclusively pump, it is your call. As a mother, you know what’s best for you and your baby. Whatever fits your baby’s needs without sacrificing your well-being or vice versa, is totally your choice. As long as you and your baby are both healthy and happy, there shouldn’t be a problem.

It is also helpful to note that a supportive, positive community play a big role in getting the maximum benefit from whatever choice you make for you and your beloved little one.

Some takeaway

– It is proven and best to pump in the morning.
– Pump at least 30 minutes before and after nursing
– Keep pumping if milk is still flowing. Try “power pumping” technique.
– Pump at least 8 times a day on a regular daily schedule
– Make sure to research and study proper milk storage guidelines to ensure the safety of your baby.

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