Should I wait until after my baby arrives to buy a breast pump?
It sounds like what you really want to know is: Should you make the investment to buy a breast pump when you're not sure how breastfeeding is going to be for you. Research tells us that "breast is best" and that is why keeping a positive attitude is essential in your approach to nursing. Along those lines, we say, if it's in your budget, go ahead and make the purchase. For many women, having the breast pump at the ready, was just the thing that kept them motivated and driven to succeed in this area.
There are a wide range of prices and styles to consider. On the low end, a manual pump can run around $50; on the high end, you can get a state-of-the art electric pump for around $400. If, however, the cost of a breast pump is prohibitive, don't fret, there's an alternative. Many hospitals, as well as maternity and baby stores, have hospital grade breast pumps that you can rent, usually by the week or month. Also, be sure to check if the place you're renting from has a rent-to-own program, as this can also be a money saver.
Whatever you decide, we strongly recommend taking a breastfeeding class as a means to help you determine which pump is right for you, discuss the changes your body will be going through, and to develop a breastfeeding support system. It's also important to have on hand the contact information of a knowledgeable lactation consultant to help you conquer any unforeseen difficulties. You can find all of these resources at your local hospital or doctor's office.