Expressing milk is more common now than it used to be a few years back. That is because nowadays mothers choose to go back to work a lot faster than before and there have been plenty of studies conducted that confirm the significant impact of breast milk on the child’s brain development.
Many people think that the baby can survive just fine on formula. And it’s true. But there is a huge difference between formula and breast milk. For starters, when it comes to the baby’s immune system, nothing can even begin to compare to the effects of breast milk. I don’t know if you know how the immune system works, but let me clarify that for you. When a bacteria, for example, enters the body, the immune system will identify it. It’s like police fingerprinting. The bacteria will be identified and ruled out as harmless or harmful. If it’s harmful, the immune system will work relentlessly to kill it, but not without memorizing its print. It means that the next time the same bacteria will enter your body, the immune system will know everything about it and will know how to fight it. An adult has a massive bacteria database, but a newborn does not. And the best protection a baby can have against bacteria is the mother’s breastmilk. When a mother breastfeeds her infant, there is some sort of data transfer between the mom’s immune system and the baby’s. I don’t think there is a simpler explanation than that. So, you see now why breast milk is so important for the child’s health?
If a new mom is away from her baby on a regular basis, but she still wants her newborn to enjoy all the benefits of breastmilk, then the best solution is milk expression. A breast pump is an ideal way to handle that situation. Thanks to modern technology, you no longer have to pump your breasts. Instead, an electric breast pump will do that for you.
The benefits of an electric breast pump
The advantages of using an electric breast pump are many, which is why millions of women around the world use it. Here are a few of them.
- It requires less effort than using a manual pump – if you go online you’ll notice what I did. There are not many manual breast pumps available, mostly because the electric device took over the market. Why? Because it’s easy to use. You don’t have to squeeze, which means your hands will not get tired of pumping. With manual pumps, even the position you sit in is uncomfortable, and that has a direct impact on the effort you have to make.
- It’s faster than a manual pump – or any other method of expressing milk, for that matter. You just connect the pump, or the pumps when you use an electric double breast device, and just let it do the work for you. Some models have an adjustable rhythm, and the more you can take, the faster the entire process will be. You can be done in 15 minutes, as opposed to a 30 minutes manual pumping session. And 30 minutes is optimistic. It depends on how much milk you can express.
- It’s comfortable – most electric breast pumps come with adjustable settings. Not all women can withstand the same suction power or rhythm, which is why manufacturers thought of that and came up with a solution. They created devices that have different settings for all women. There is also something called a 2-phase technology. It means that the process will start with a gentle massage to stimulate the let-down reflexes of the body, and only after that, the suction will be activated. It brings a lot of comfort to a woman.
- You have a lot of options – not that you don’t with manual pumps, but I think you know what I am referring to. You can choose a hospital-grade electric breast pump, or a double breast pump (that will cut the time in half). You will never be able to pump both breasts at the same time with a manual pump. These devices are specially designed to make your life easier. The point is that you have enough on your plate already, as a new mom. So why not make some of the aspects easier?
- You can enjoy flexibility – by flexibility I mean that you can hire an electric breast pump from the hospital. Even better, depending on your health insurance, some models can be covered.
There is no such thing as a perfect product. Everything has drawbacks as well. The electric breast pump makes no exception.
- It is more expensive than the manual pump – that makes sense because it is, after all, an electronic device with a motor. All things that are electric will be more expensive than their manual counterparts.
- It makes more noise than the manual breast pump – that is true and false at the same time. I know it sounds silly, but not all electric breast pumps make noise. There are, of course, some that make a little bit of noise because you can hear the motor running. However, some models make so little noise that you can barely hear them. The point is that the noise made by such a device will not wake the baby if that’s what you are worrying about.
- Not so easy to clean – this is again a true and false statement. It depends on the model. For example, some electric breast pumps can be disassembled, and almost all the parts are dishwasher safe. If the dishwasher cannot properly sterilize the parts, I don’t know what will.
- Not so portable – again, it’s a matter of model. It’s true that some of them are quite heavy and cannot be carried around, but at the same time, there are lightweight options available that are extremely portable. They even have a rechargeable battery that will allow you to use the pump anywhere.
- You need a power supply – it’s true that a manual pump will never require anything else other than your hands, and the electric breast pumps depend on a source of energy. However, there are rechargeable devices, and some of them can be charged using a USB cable. The possibilities are many. All you have to do is search for the one that suits you and your needs.
What are the best electric breast pumps?
Given the fact that there are so many choices available on the market, it’s pretty difficult to give a definite answer to that question. However, you can look for the most popular products. That way you know that you’ll get the best you can find. It’s not likely that thousands of women who bought the same product got it wrong, is it?
Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump Starter Set
This model is the pump with the cooler included. If you like, you can choose the model that comes without the cooler. It will be less expensive, but I advise you to keep it. It will come in handy when you are away from home and have nowhere to store freshly expressed milk. The Medela Pump In Style is a double electric breast pump that will cut the time of expressing milk in half. However, you can use it as a single breast pump if you like. It comes with a power adaptor that will ensure the power supply it needs.
The Medela model features a patented 2-phase expression technology. That means it will start the session with a gentle massage of the breasts. That will stimulate the body’s let-down reflexes, which means expression will come easily. After the massage is done, the device will move on to the expression itself. You will notice that with an electric pump, you will produce more milk than before.
This pump is compatible with all Medela accessories that can be bought separately. All accessories are made of BPA-free materials, to ensure your baby’s health and safety. The set includes the device, the tubing, two medium Personal Fit breast shields, two Personal Fit connectors, two valves, and two membranes. You’ll have everything you need for an easy and comfortable milk expression.
Keep in mind that this model should be covered by your health insurance, so before making a purchase check your coverage. Maybe you won’t even have to pay it.
Spectra Baby USA S2 Double/ Single Breast Pump
Spectra has a few additional features that make it one of the best electric breast pumps on the market. Your milk expression sessions will be comfortable and short, which is exactly what you need. One of the aspects that you will love is that it features a closed system. That means there is an actual physical barrier between the milk and the pump. Not only it is more sanitary than an open system, but the motor has a better performance as well.
The thing that made this product so popular among breastfeeding moms is that the S2 is hospital-grade. It has strength and efficiency that’s hard to top. Milk expression is a lot easier thanks to this small device. The power can reach up to 300 mmHg. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not comfortable. Even though the pump is strong, you will barely feel a thing.
Spectra features digital controls that allow you to set whatever program you feel comfortable with. The 2-phase expression technology will make sure that your body’s let-down reflex will be stimulated, so the expression itself will go smoothly. The pump includes a timer and a night light. As far as noise is concerned, there isn’t any noticeable sound. It’s more of a silent humming.
Philips AVENT Single Electric Comfort Breast Pump
Unlike the other two products I mentioned, the Avent is a single breast pump. You’ll have to take turns. If you have no issues with leakage, then this is not a problem. Even though it’s an electric single breast pump, that doesn’t mean it’s not high-quality. Actually, that is why I chose to talk about it. Despite its lack of a double operation feature, the pump from Philips is still one of the best on the market.
The Avent has a unique design that makes your pumping position a lot more comfortable than with other pumps. As a matter of fact, this is one of the most comfortable electric breast pumps on the market. Women all around the world praise it for its convenience and ease of use. You can choose from three expression settings (low, medium, high), but not before starting the session with a gentle massage. This too is a 2-phase expression breast pump that is meant first to stimulate your body’s let-down reflexes and only then move on to the next step, which is the expression.
The product is extremely compact and has a super lightweight design. You can easily store it anywhere you want. Portability is not an issue. It is very easy to assemble and clean. The milk will never come in contact with the tubing, which makes it extra safe for your baby. Also, the materials are BPA-free.
All three products are top-of-the-line and choosing which one is the best is not as easy as I thought. However, weighing all the features, from construction to ease of use, I think that the Philips AVENT Single Electric Comfort Breast Pump is one of the best electric breast pumps on the market. Yes, it’s a single breast pump, but I have no issues with that. It’s efficient, safe, compact, and very easy to use.
Women all around the world should be encouraged to breastfeed their babies. It’s a natural and healthy habit that can make a real difference in your newborn’s life. Many women do, but some don’t breastfeed because of shallow reasons. The ones that cannot breastfeed should receive counsel and point toward a solution that works. An electric breast pump is one of those solutions because it has the potential of increasing milk expression. That is why I believe that this small device is one of the best things that has ever happened to new mothers.