Best Breast Pumps in India
A mom-to-be has a million decisions to make, from the right stroller, to the right crib, to the right diaper bag, what to pack in a hospital bag? The list is truly never exhaustive. While breast pumps are not a must-have for every mom, but if you as parents have decided that it is something you would need as a part of your breastfeeding journey, then once again you will be overwhelmed with the multiple choices that are now available in India. There are a number of parameters basis which parents can pick and choose the apt breast pump for them.
What is a breast pump?
A breast pump is a device that not only helps mothers with their milk supply but allows you to fill a bottle with your breast milk, relieve engorgement and create a backup stash to store in your freezer for later, or even donate.
Are there many types of Breast Pumps?
Breast Pumps broadly can be categorized as manual or electric, and there are those that can be used for a single breast at a time, while those with dual pumping can express from both at the same time. There are also closed system and open system breast pumps. Based on the frequency of pumping, the need for pumping and the place where you will be expressing, parents can narrow down breast pumps from the plethora of options available today.
Why Breast Pump at all?
There are multiple reasons why a new mother would want to start pumping her breast milk, from boosting milk supply to storing milk for feedings when you’re away from your little one or plan to start working soon. Pumping also ensures that even if you are away your child can still get the benefits of your nutrient-dense breast milk. And then there are also moms who want to feed their babies breast milk but are unable to feed them directly for reasons ranging from poor latch or low supply, pumping surely allows you to feed consistently. Pumping also gives the mother a sense of freedom to go back to work or to step out for the night, go for a holiday or travel for work and still be able to ensure that your baby has breast milk. And of course, it is also a great way to ensure that the father or the caregiver can feed the child too.
When and how should you start pumping?
When you should start pumping is a timeline that is very different for every mother and the right time varies from situation to situation. Some mothers breast pump right from the time that the baby is born if they are unable to breastfeed, have supply or latching issues. Most moms are advised to start pumping only after 4-6 weeks once the breastfeeding routine has been established. When you eventually do embark on your pumping journey a few things to keep in mind are to relax, encourage your breast to let down, think about your baby, start at a lower level of suction and then increase the intensity as the milk starts flowing. Breast pumping should never be painful, so pump mindfully.
Cleaning & Maintaining
You must clean your pump after each and every use to make sure you get out all the residue and germs don’t multiply and in turn affect your baby. You have to be sure to wash all the pump accessories that come into direct contact with your breast or breast milk with soap and hot water, cleaning them thoroughly with a brush and then again rinsing them with water. Ensure that the basin is clean and devoid of any food residue, if possible try and use a sink that could be solely used for baby equipment. Air-dry all the accessories and store the parts only when they are completely dry.
How to store breast milk
Once you’ve got the hang of pumping you’ll also need to know how to store breast milk efficiently. Today many breast pumps come with special bottles that are to be used as storage and feeding bottles. You can then store the expressed breast milk in breast milk storage bags and fill them three-quarters full if you'll be freezing them to allow for expansion. Another tip to keep in mind is to freeze milk in small quantities so that it's easy to thaw. Expressed milk can stay fresh at room temperature for up to four hours and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days and in the freezer for six to 12 months. Once you've expressed your milk, always label each storage bag with the date to ensure that you or the caregiver uses the oldest milk first.
Brands You Can Explore
In India today, mothers have a plethora of brands to choose from depending on their budget, their pumping needs and lifestyle. Some of the top brands available in India today are Spectra, Medela, Elvie, Philips Avent electric, Lansinoh Pump, Bellababy and Willow amongst others. Parents can pick and choose electrical, manual, double breast pump, single pump and even hands free breast pumps today. There is literally a breast pump for every person and situation available in the market today. Whether you want to pump daily at home or pump on the go, are looking for a pump to increase your milk supply or want someone to pitch in with the night time feeding, are resuming work or need to travel for business or take a short break the above options are bound to make your purchase decision simpler.