Breast pumps stimulate the production of breast milk and help you to build and maintain an adequate supply of breast milk for your baby.
There are a number of reasons to use a breast pump, including:
We recommend using electric breast pumps over manual or battery-powered models. Electric pumps come in light-weight, mid-weight and heavy-weight (hospital-grade) models. We recommend the following models manufactured by Hollister/Egnell and Medela Electric.
We also recommend double pumping set-ups, which can be used to extract milk from both breasts at the same time, over single pumps. Double pumps better stimulate your full production of breast milk and save time spent pumping. (Note that even if you have a double pumping kit, it can function as a single pumping kit if you decide you prefer to pump one breast at a time.)
Additional equipment you will need:
Hollister/Egnell and Medela electric breast pumps are available for rental and purchase through your neighborhood rental depot. To find a local rental depot call:
You may also call the Main Line Health Lactation Center at 484-476-2336. Press 2 for a few of the current locations in Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery counties.
Rent or Purchase? Call the Lactation Center if you have questions about purchasing versus renting a quality breast pump.
Preferred models to rent: We recommend one of the mid-weight models for rental (the Hollister/Egnell Elite, Medela Lactina Plus or Medela Lactina Select). Easy to carry, these models pump both breasts at the same time efficiently, are user-friendly, and have an available adapter that plugs into the lighter in your car. They are excellent choices for long-term, frequent pumping. Double pumping set-ups are recommended and are a separate purchase.
Rental costs range from $1 to $3 per day, depending on the length of time you rent the pump. A small charge may be required to cover loss or damage to the pump. Costs are subject to change. An initial deposit may be required or waived depending on the policy of the rental depot. Discuss any questions with the staff at the Lactation Center.
Preferred models to purchase: If you are going to purchase your breast pump, we recommend one of the light-weight models (the Hollister/Egnell Purely Yours or Medela Pump In Style). They pump both breasts at the same time efficiently, are user-friendly, and come with a carrying case. They are excellent choices for long-term, less frequent pumping. Double pumping set-ups are included. They range in cost from $180 to $240 and are available for purchase on the Internet at reduced cost.
Insurance: Rental costs, not purchase costs, are covered by some insurance plans. Also, some insurance plans will arrange for your pump to be delivered to your home, your hospital room or the NICU. Please ask the NICU/Maternity case manager to contact your insurance carrier to check on coverage of your rental breast pump and any specific requirements that your must follow to have your pump covered. For your records, save any information given to you by the case manager about your pump coverage.
Steps for use:
Relaxation Tips: Practice relaxation when using your pump. Listen to soothing music. Meditate about your baby. Visualize your baby breast-feeding while you are pumping. Look at snapshots of your baby. Tape and listen to the sounds your baby makes while sleeping and crying. Do anything that you find helps to minimize stress, as stress inhibits letdown. Massaging the breast and applying moist, warm compresses prior to pumping can be helpful. Do not worry about the amount of milk that you are able to collect—practice makes perfect. Pumping is a learned experience, and will take you at least one week to feel comfortable and confident.
Obtain the pumping kit that is compatible for your electric breast pump. Read the manufacturer’s directions included in the kit.
Double pumping kits must be completely taken apart and each part washed separately after each use, except for the tubing. Do not wash the tubing. Warm to hot water and any mild liquid soap are recommended. Rinse parts in warm to hot clean water and completely air dry on a clean towel or drying rack. Cover between uses with a clean, dry towel. Larger pieces may be cleaned in your dishwasher on the top rack.
If moisture collects inside the tubing, detach the pumping set up from the tubing leaving the tubing attached to the motor and run the pump with only the tubing attached until the moisture clears.
If tubing is washed accidentally, pour rubbing alcohol through the tubing to remove all the water and allow the alcohol to completely evaporate before using the tubing for the next pumping.
In the hospital:
Three types of storage containers for pumped breast milk are suggested. Choose the type that works best for you and your family:
If you have any questions or concerns about which type of container is best, discuss them with your baby’s neonatologist or pediatrician. Once you have selected your preferred storage method, follow these steps:
Send collected frozen breast milk to your baby at the hospital NICU daily. Keep the breast milk frozen during transport to the NICU by use of picnic-type cooler bags and freezer gel packs.
Breast milk storage times for premature or ill babies:
Breast milk storage times for full-term, healthy babies:
You may contact the NICU staff nurse who is caring for your baby any time of the day or night. Calls and visits are welcomed. Visiting hours for baby’s parents are unlimited. Grandparents, siblings and other family members may visit according to restricted hours. Discuss these restrictions with your baby’s nurse. Ask your baby’s nurse for a parking pass to help with your frequent visits.
Follow these basic care instructions. Call the Main Line Health Lactation Center at 484-476-2336 if you have any questions or concerns.
© 2014 Main Line Health
Copyright 2011 Main Line Health
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