Breast Pump : What is it?
Breast pumps extract milk from a mother’s breast by stimulating lactation. They are commonly used by women who have low milk supply or overfull breasts, or to store breast milk for later feeding. They are also used by those who are taking medications that may affect the breast milk quality.
Breast pumps work by pulling the nipple into the breast tunnel and releasing. This triggers the let-down or milk-ejection response and causes the production of milk. The mechanism used is designed to simulate natural breastfeeding, although generally less efficient.
Kinds of Breast Pumps include the following:
Manual breast pumps
Manual breast pumps are used by squeezing a pump connected to a milk container or reservoir. They have the lowest yield and can be tiring to use. Some models are powered by foot pumps to reduce manual fatigue. They are ideal for occasional use and occasional feeding. There are also manual pumps designed like bicycle horns. These are not recommended because they can collect bacteria and damage breast tissue.
Handheld breast pumps
Handheld breast pumps are small enough to hold in the hand while pumping. They are meant to reduce muscle fatigue that often results from using manual breast pumps. Most models are designed for single feeding and occasional use. They are usually battery operated, and may have AC adapters that allow them to run on household power as well.
Electric breast pumps
Electric breast pumps are powered by small motors and connect to AC sockets or adapters. They have the highest yield and may be used to pump from both breasts. They are also used for keeping up milk supply in mothers with low lactation. Electric breast pumps are generally larger than manual and handheld pumps, but also come in portable and backpack models.
Suction control: Choose a breast pump with an adjustable suction control. This will allow you to choose a comfortable suction level in different situations. For manual pumps, choose one with a movable pump handle to help you find a convenient pumping position.
Efficiency: Choose a breast pump that can pump from both breasts at once for a faster yield. Look for one that operates at 48 cycles or more per minute.
Maintenance: Choose a breast pump with detachable tubes and pumps for easier cleaning. Look for one that is compact and lightweight, with a padded carrying case. For electric pumps, make sure the electronic parts are well sealed to protect them during cleaning.
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