When it comes to being a new mom, there are a lot of unknowns and also a lot that you need to learn. To many new mothers the thought of breast pumping can be quite scary and intimidating, However, it really is not and with the right equipment, it is a doddle.
While the huge amount of different types of breast pump options on the market may be very overwhelming, we are here to help. We will take a closer look at both manual breast pumps and electric breast pumps to figure out which is best for you. We will detail what exactly they are, how they work, and their benefits so that you can make a much more informed decision on the right breast pump for you.
What Is A Manual Breast Pump?
A manual breast pump is simply a breast pump that is used on one breast at a time and must be hand-pumped in order to express milk and create the milk supply. While manual breast pump sessions obviously take longer than electric or battery-powered pumps, they’re a much cheaper, quieter, lightweight and easy-to-use option that is still very effective at extracting a good amount of milk.
How To Use A Manual Breast Pump
Using a manual breast pump is actually very simple. But there are a few important things that you always remember to ensure that your little one gets the best milk flow.
It is extremely important to ensure that everything is sterilised before you begin the process of pumping milk. You should therefore make sure that your bottle and all parts of the pump are fully clean and sterile before you extract breast milk.
You should then gently massage the breast for a few minutes to help stimulate the breast milk production as well as help with the let-down reflex. Then simply place the breast shield/flange over the nipple and then slowly begin to pump. Be patient as it may take a few moments for the milk to start flowing.
Once you are done with the first breast, switch breasts and repeat the process once more. Once you finish, switch back to the previous breast as there may be more milk that you can express. After fully emptying both breasts, simply sterilise the pump and its parts.
Benefits Of Manual Breast Pumps
Portable & Lightweight - Manual breast pumps are extremely lightweight and therefore portable. This means that it is much easier for mums to carry around the pumps and express on the go during their hectic day-to-day.
Affordable - We understand that becoming a new mum can be very financially stressful and leave women very worried. If you are on a budget then manual breast pumps are a much cheaper and affordable product than electric or battery-powered pumps. While more affordable, they are still incredibly effective and reliable.
Easy To Clean - Due to the fact that a manual breast pump does not have a huge amount of parts such as batteries and electrics, they are incredibly easy and simple to clean. They have very few parts and accessories that come with them and are therefore brilliant for quick cleaning.
Easy To Use - A manual pump is incredibly easy to operate. All that the mother has to do is attach the breast shield to the nipple and then squeeze. This ease of use makes the breastfeeding journey so much simpler for newly breastfeeding moms.
Quiet - Manual pumps are by far the best breast pumps on the market when it comes to reducing noise. Electric pumps can be very loud, therefore, a much quieter manual will be much more quiet and discreet. This will therefore draw less attention to you when expressing in public.
Convenient - Due to the fact that they are fully manual, there is never any need to be around any kind of power source. This therefore means that you can express literally anywhere that you may need to without having to worry about power sources or anything else.
What Is An Electric Breast Pump?
An electric breast pump is simply a hands-free breast pump that expresses your milk electronically. This therefore makes it far easier for busy mums to express their milk as it is far quicker than a manual breast pump. While more expensive than a manual pump, these wearable pumps allow you to avoid aching arms or slow expressing and are therefore a favourite of many moms.
How To Use An Electric Breast Pump
Just like with a manual breast pump, before starting to express any milk you must first make sure that all of the pump equipment, accessories and bottle has been completely sterilised. When expressing it is incredibly important to ensure that each piece of equipment is completely safe and clean.
Once again, before expressing, you should spend around 2 minutes gently massaging the breasts in order to stimulate milk production as well as helping the letdown reflex. Once you have done this you should then place the breast shield over the nipple and switch the machine on.
You should always start with a slow-speed setting. Once you are comfortable with this speed, you can then start to think about slowly increasing the speed. Make sure that the speed is completely comfortable for you at all times.
If you have a double electric breast pump then you can finish and sterilise the equipment. However, if you have a standard electric pump then once you are finished with one breast you must switch breasts and repeat the process once more. Once done expressing the second breast go back to the first as there may be more milk.
Once both breasts have been emptied, you can then put the lid on the bottles and refrigerate straight away. You can then wash and sterilise the pump and all of its accessories.
Benefits Of Electric Breast Pumps
Hands-Free - Electric breast pumps give you the ability to express milk completely hands-free. This means that you can easily express while holding your child or simply completing everyday tasks. This is also brilliant for avoiding any aching arms from expressing manually.
Efficient - Electric pumps are much more efficient than manual pumps. They also allow you to electronically increase the speed of the expression and help you to have more time to care for your child or complete other tasks. In addition to this, double electric pumps allow you to express milk from both breasts at once which therefore cuts the time in half.
Effective - Electric pumps have a motor which helps to increase the suction which allows you to express your milk far quicker than a manual alternative. The suction and speed settings of an electric pump are incredibly effective and efficient.
Manual Vs Electric: Which Is Better?
The simple, but boring, answer is that the choice is fully dependent on your needs and wants. If you are looking for the quickest and most effective breast pump and have no budget, then potentially an electric breast pump is for you. However, if you are looking for a more budget-friendly option that is still very effective and easy to use, then a manual breast pump will be perfect for you.
Each and every mother has their own specific needs and requirements. There truly is no wrong answer to the question. Both manual and electric pumps have their own amazing benefits that make them phenomenal products and perfect for many mums. However, they both also have cons that may make the other one more suited to different mums.
Here at Pippeta, we stock a phenomenal range of both high-quality manual breast pumps and high-quality electric breast pumps. So no matter what you are looking for when it comes to a breast pump, you can be sure that Pippeta has you covered. Each and every one of our breast pumps is hospital-grade and award-winning, so you can always be sure you are getting the very best products on the market.