Q&A: Any tips on how to choose a breast pump?
I am due to deliver via C-Section in just nine days. My question is regarding breast pumps. My husband and I would like to know if the breast pumps that you can buy in retail stores are just as good as the expensive pumps? What are the differences and the advantages of both?
Congratulations, and I certainly hope all goes well with your upcoming delivery! It’s great to hear that you’re planning ahead regarding breastfeeding, as it is one of the best things you can do for your baby. Even though most moms don’t end up wanting or needing to pump breast milk right away, it’s definitely good to figure out as much as you can now—and that definitely includes getting yourself set up with a breast pump that will work well for you. When it comes to which ones are better than others and which features you’ll want to look for (and consider paying extra for), I certainly recommend that anyone who is planning to do quite a bit of pumping opt for a double pump. The efficiency and time saved by being able to pump from both breasts at the same time is well worth it.
As for the “expensive” types, some pumps are definitely better at getting the job done than others. However, it’s often not just a matter of whether the more expensive types are better than the less-expensive ones, but rather how much you value the extra functionality, convenience, and ease-of-use features they typically offer. Lots of pumps can do the job, but as someone who had three children in three and a half years and spent a lot of time with my double breast pump, I definitely was willing to pay more to own a better quality, more efficient breast pump with features such as a better motor and the ability to adjust how light or strong the suction was, not to mention a sleek black-leather briefcase-looking carrying case complete with a built-in cooler for storing previously pumped milk. Given that I got many years worth of what seemed like almost continuous use out of it, it made good sense for me to buy my own, even if it meant an investment of a couple hundred dollars.
That said, some moms appreciate the potentially money-saving alternative approach that involves renting a hospital-grade pump—an option that allows you to use the highest quality pump without having to buy one outright. Hospital-grade pumps can certainly make the pumping experience go more smoothly, so if you decide you want to look into renting instead of buying, I suggest you ask at the hospital where you’re planning to deliver, talk to your doctor, or ask your pediatrician (assuming you already have one picked out) to find out your options.