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Best manual breast pump

Did you know that breast milk has many diverse and positive side effects that are passed on to your child? But, what’s more, did you know about the benefits that breastfeeding has on you as a mom, as well?

Of course, your child will benefit from added protection from infections, but you can also reduce the risks of having breast cancer if you decide to breastfeed your child from childbirth on wards. As a matter of fact, breastfeeding and breast milk are often considered as a ‘natural vaccine’ for both women and their children.

But reality hits in a different way for many new – and old – moms, as some individuals think that they can’t breastfeed their babies, that nursing a baby is not something they completely desire nor find appealing, some other moms go back to work a couple of weeks after giving birth and some others find it too difficult to breastfeed on a free demand. Either way, there’s space for all moms!

So, when should you consider buying a manual breast pump?:

– You are in need of producing more milk.
– You are sometimes away from your baby for a couple of hours.
– Someone else is taking care of your baby for a short amount of time.
– Your child is not breastfeeding enough and you would like to compliment with expressed milk.
– You are returning to work and want to start your milk bank.

Moreover, whether you are expecting your first, second or fifth child, or you recently became a mom, choosing the best manual breast pump for you can be considered a daunting task. In fact, for lots of moms, a manual breast pump is the solution that they were looking for, but others will only consider hand pump whenever they need it, as they will only be pumping occasionally and for short periods of time.

In addition to this, it is likely that your pump and yourself will develop a long-lasting coworking relationship, so it is better to take time to really get to know it. So, how do you choose the best manual breast pump and accessories, especially if you have absolutely no idea about them?

(If this whole breastfeeding and breast pumping thing is new to you, please have a look at our article Breastfeeding and Pumping Schedule: Sample Schedules for Nursing Newborns.)

Here you have some useful tips on what you should be considering when choosing the best manual breast pump for you, continue reading to find out:

How does the Manual Breast Pump work?

You will be surprised at how easy it is to use a manual breast pump. However, do consult the instruction manual of the Manual Breast Pump you have bought, as every brand has a specific way of using the pump.

Usually, a manual breast pump has a piece that is often referred to as ‘’cone’’. You will have to place this cone over your breast (specifically over your nipple area), and this is then connected to a handle that allows you to squeeze it when you apply pressure to it, so this action will make the manual breast pump replicate the action of suction your breast in order to have the milk come out and descend into the bottle that is connected below.

It may take a couple of seconds (or even minutes) before your milk starts to appear, so don’t start thinking that you are not producing enough milk and start stressing over this, as you need to be very calm whenever you are pumping.

It is sometimes recommended to pump for about five minutes from one breast and then do the same on the other breast…do this switch during the whole time you breast pump as it will give your breasts a much-needed rest.

Furthermore, some moms realize early on that one breast produces more milk than the other, this is completely normal and shouldn’t be a reason to put you off from the less producing breast. In fact, you should continue pumping from that breast as well in order to stimulate it.


How to choose the best Manual Breast Pump?

The first thing you must keep in mind is that not all pumps work for all women the same way alike. So, a pump may work for you but for your friend another pump is necessary. Here is what you must consider before investing in a manual breast pump:

● Does the manual pump have 1 or 2 modes? Some pumps have 1 mode for when you start pumping and then the second mode for when milk is already flowing, this could potentially mean that your pumping goes smoother, therefore it will be easier to express your milk.

● Make sure the manual Breast Pump you are choosing is BPA-Free, as you are going to be feeding your child with this milk.

● Is the handle ergonomic? This will actually save you from having pain in your hands, as anything that is ergonomic usually respects the physiognomy of your body.

● Can you wash your manual breast pump in the dishwasher? The last thing you would like to be doing is washing your pump all the time. It is not a big issue though, but it is very convenient when you can wash them alongside other things.

● Are there many sizes of the pump you are considering? Furthermore, do these sizes fit your breasts? Some women have a larger breast than the other, but this is not a problem when buying the correct manual breast pump.

● Invest time in finding the right manual breast pump that allows you to have a comfortable experience. Cushioning is very important to achieve a good milk extraction as silicone cushioning can help you stimulate your breasts as it gives it a subtle massage, thus milk flow will be easier to obtain.


Are there any benefits of using a Manual Breast Pump?

There are plenty of benefits! From being more eco-friendly to helping you maintain a milk supply, to continue feeding your child in the most natural way, manual breast pumps are definitely a good investment to be made. Have a look at some of its main benefits:

● Affordable: If you would like to invest in a manual breast pump, then you will only have to make one payment and that’s it, you forget about it. In fact, the price of a manual breast pump is not the only positive thing in terms of money, as you will be saving on your electricity bills as well if you choose manual.

● Portable: You will be able to take your manual breast pump everywhere. And this literally means everywhere. Whether you are going back to work, or you are travelling for a couple of days, nowhere is off-limits for your manual breast pump.
As a matter of fact, whether you are travelling by plane or you are stuck in traffic, you will always be able to take your manual breast pump out and start pumping. Just make sure you meet the hygiene standards and that you have a good storage system in place, otherwise your milk may get sour or lost.

● Quiet: A manual breast pump is a good tool to have and to take everywhere. It is also very discreet and it won’t make any weird loud noises some electric breast pumps make. So, don’t even worry about waking your child up every time you need to pump, as they probably won’t even notice you are in the same room!

● Adaptable: Not only you are able to use a manual breast pump pretty much everywhere, but you are also able to use it while you breastfeed. This will allow you to produce more milk, as the more stimuli your breasts receive then the more production they will make, thus, you won’t have to wait and pump for hours non-stop in order to get a good amount of milk.

● Convenient: And lastly, a manual breast pump is very convenient for any mum who is going to start pumping in order to fill her stash as they are usually cheaper than electric pumps. They are also very easy to clean as they don’t have all the cables that an electric breast pump has.


What about Hand Pump?

If you don’t want to invest in a manual breast pump then you can always use your hands to replicate the job of the breast pump. In fact, this is sometimes the best option as it is both cheap and convenient for most moms.

Bear in mind that you are trying to mimic your child’s’ abilities to suck and swallow, so you must continue with an established rhythm that will allow you to do this. You do, however, have to practice a lot as you could damage your nipples’ tissue, and you definitely want to avoid this!

And lastly…

Furthermore, a lactation consultant or even a doula can help you out with this. Whether you decide to buy a manual breast pump or simply do it yourself, it is always a good idea to have a professional oversee what your technique is all about in order to minimize the impact that this causes on you, your child, and of course, your milk makers.

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Eugenia Tovar - one of the Stuff4Tots editorial team
Eugenia Tovar

Eugenia is based down in Buenos Aires, Argentina although originally hailing from Venezuela. She is a seasoned traveller and student of life.  She is fluent in English, Spanish and French and is currently adding Italian to her impressive bow.

She has studied a variety of subjects in a variety of countries - from Political Science in Venezuela to International Research in the UK.

Her extensive breadth and depth of knowledge is a great addtition to the Stuff4Tots editorial team.