Breast pumps are an essential addition for any mum who looks to express milk to benefit their child. They help you to extract milk which can is later stored in breast milk storage bags.
Parts Of The Breast Pumps
Various types of breast pumps come with three main parts.
- Breast shield: this is a cone-shaped cup that fits over the nipple as well as the circular area around the nipple. It helps with stimulation when one is looking to express milk.
- Pump: The main function of the pump is to generate a gentle vacuum that helps express milk. The pump is directly attached to the breast shield, but in some cases, it is connected to the breast shield with the use of plastic tubing.
- Milk container: This is a detachable container that is placed below the breast shield and helps with the storage of the collected milk. The containers come in the form of reusable bottles or disposable milk storage bags.
Main types of breast pumps
Breast pumps are categorized into three main types.
- Manual pumps
- Battery-powered pumps
- Electric Breast Pumps
Manual breast pumps
When one places the breast shield over the nipple and areola, they squeeze a handle or lever to create suction which in turn expresses breast milk.
Other manual breast milk pumps come with a small tube that is pumped in and out of a larger one to generate suction and express milk.
A bicycle horn pump comes with a hollow rubber ball attached to the breast shield. It is the rubber ball that is used to generate a vacuum.
Almost all manual breast pumps come with a single breast shield, and this means that you can only express milk from one breast at a time.
Battery-powered and electric pumps
Powered breast pumps utilize batteries or electrical power to generate suction and express milk from breasts. Most powered breast pumps will come with a control panel allowing the parent to control the degree of suction. There are powered breast pumps that allow you to adjust the suction patterns, allowing the parent to find a setting that mimics their nursing child.
Powered breast pumps come with single or double breast shields. Double breast shields allow a nursing mum to express milk from both breasts at the same time.