If you want to stick to breastfeeding your baby but would like the added convenience of being able to store and bottle the milk for use at other times, you might want to consider a manual breast pump. In this article, we’re going to look at a number of different issues associated with manual breast pumps, along with how to get the most out of them.
More and more people are deciding to use manual breast pumps every year. They’re a good bridge between traditional breastfeeding and using milk formula. You get to use your own natural milk but in a more convenient way. If you want to know how to use a manual breast pump, then keep reading this article to find out.
What is a manual breast pump?
Breast pumps are made to extract milk from you naturally to use for breastfeeding from a bottle. Either to replace breastfeeding completely or to supplement the process.
Traditionally, breastfeeding was done directly straight from a lactating breast. This is still how many parents choose to feed their children. As things modernised, milk formulas were created to make things a lot more convenient. It isn’t always easy or appropriate to breast-feed a baby, especially when in public.
When these formulas became more popular, people started to realise that real, natural milk might be better for babies. So what if you want to use this natural milk but don’t always have the time to breast-feed a baby? You can now use a manual breast pump in advance when you have the time, fill bottles with milk and then feed your baby when it is convenient and practical. This is the perfect balance, as you still get to use natural milk but can fill a few bottles and use them on-the-go or whenever you need to. You can still use traditional breastfeeding sometimes as well, as the baby will be used to your milk. In this article, we’re going to look at how to use a manual breast pump.
What are the advantages of a manual breast pump?
Firstly, natural milk is considered better for babies, so you get to use that rather than formulas. Secondly, formula milk can be expensive. While there might be one small outlay when you have to buy the breast pump, you won’t have to pay for anything from that point on. You still get to use your own milk and therefore not have to pay anything.
But these advantages can be associated with natural breastfeeding too. So what are the actual advantages of specifically using a breast pump instead? They’re much more convenient, and a more practical way to feed while keeping the same milk you naturally produced.
They’re also flexible, since you don’t have to choose between either a breast pump or breastfeeding. You can do both as and when appropriate. Actually, just after a natural feed might be the best time to fill up some extra bottles with your breast pump to use later. Then you can still feed when you’re busy or out in public.
How to find a manual breast pump
There are a few different types of breast pumps. You can get automatic ones that are either battery operated or plug into mains, but these use up energy and aren’t as convenient if you don’t have a power source. The other type, and the one we’re going to be looking at in this article is the manual breast pump. These are widely available and easy to use.
There are also a couple of different types of manual breast pumps. You can get either single pumping or double pumping. Obviously, single pumping breast pumps can only be used to extract milk from one side at a time, while double does both. The most common type of manual breast pump is a single side one, and these are easier to use as well as more efficient at extracting milk.
To find the right pump for you, have a shop around. Comfort and ease of use is important, so check plenty of reviews online. Get advice from other people in a similar position to you to find the perfect pump for your situation and needs.
How to use manual breast pump
Once you’ve bought your manual breast pump, you’ll want to know how to use it. Start by opening up the box and setting up the breast pump. Check the instructions for safe usage and any other information you might need to know.
After you’ve set it up, put the shield on your nipple. It should fit easily inside the breast shield. Hold the shield in the correct place with one hand while you’ve got the lever in your other hand.
Start by squeezing the lever. Go slowly to start with and you can speed up as you get more used to the feel. Milk will start to get pumped into the container if you’ve got everything set up correctly. You can alter the handle on the pump until the level of suction is at the desired level. Look out for how fast it’s pumping and what it feels like. Make sure there is no pain.
Pump until the milk stops flowing out as much. It can take about ten to fifteen minutes for each side, so 30 minutes in total. When you’ve filled one container, replace it with another. You can fill multiple containers in each sitting.
When you think the process is complete, carefully put your finger between you and the shield to break the seal/vacuum. Remove the shield and pump. You can swap over to the other side if you want.
The milk should now be stored in a fridge. You can re-heat it with a bottle warmer or other similar warming system if you want.
Now you know how and why you might want to use a manual breast pump. so you can start saving money and living a more convenient life.