More than likely if you have made it to this page you are either planning to breastfeed, or you are breastfeeding. The next question you need to ask yourself before deciding which breast pump you need is whether you really need one. I know that may sound odd, but some mothers do not need a breast pump. They are convenient to have in most cases but not always a requirement. If you are going to be employed full-time (more than 25 hours a week) or planning to pump exclusively whether by choice or for a premature baby, are adopting a baby, skip ahead to the bottom of the page to decide which you need. However, if you will not be working full-time or pumping exclusively, please read on.
Do I Need A Breast Pump
When you ask yourself the question “Do I need a breast pump?” there are a few factors to consider.
(1) Stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) who takes her baby everywhere with her
Yes! I’m a SAHM who takes her baby everywhere.
Will you nurse in public?
- No, I do not want to nurse in public. = you might need a pump.
- Yes, I will be nursing in public. = you probably will not need a pump.
(2) Employed part-time (less than 25 hours a week) and work no more than 2 hours a day (especially if your baby is over three months old)?
- If Yes, you might not need a breast pump.
- However, if you will be separated from your baby more than two hours a day or your baby is very young, nursing often, or your supply is not established, you may need a breast pump.
(3) Will your baby be over 6 months old when any separations begin?
- If yes, supplemental food such as cereal, bananas and the like may be able to be used in place of expressed milk for short separations and you may not need a breast pump if the separation is not for an extended amount of time.
- If no, supplemental foods should not be an option since solids are not recommended by the AAP until at least 6 months of age and you will need a breast pump.
(4) Are you proficient at hand expressing milk?
You probably do not need a breast pump in any of these circumstances if you are proficient at hand expressing. Hand expressing is a learned art. Once learned, you may find you can express 3 to 5 ounces in very little time. A few mothers find they can hand express enough milk for a whole day’s separation, such as working out-of-the-home (WOH) full-time. However, most mothers, whether WOH or SAHM still prefer a breast pump.
If after reading the above, you have determined that you do need a breast pump, let’s see if we can determine which one is best for you by selecting which answer most suits your situation.
Ok If I Do Need A Breast Pump, Which One?
Will you need a pump for –