Breast pump basics

The benefits of breastfeeding are many, including the bonding time between you and that sweet little baby. But as you start to calculate and schedule the number of daily feedings and the timing of each, you may feel as if you can never be more than a boob’s-length away from your baby – and that’s not always possible. 

If at some point you plan to return to working outside the home, or maybe envision a date night or even help with middle of the night feedings, a breast pump is a must.

There’s a lot of info out there about the different pump options and how to clean your pump, but here, we’re covering the basics of breast pumping with a little breast pumping 101.  

What is a breast pump?

Simply put, a breast pump is a device that expresses milk — sans baby. A breast pump works to stimulate milk production, allowing you to pump and store that nutritional goodness many call ‘liquid gold’ for later use.

For Moms who are breastfeeding, but do not have in-the-moment access to the baby, a breast pump can do the trick. A breast pump can also be a way of getting the nutritional benefits of breast milk to a baby who cannot nurse.

Types of breast pumps

Luckily there are multiple types of breast pumps, including:

  • Manual styles
  • Electric options
  • Single pumps
  • Double pumps (electric only)

You’ll also find breast pumps at just about every price point. The most important factors to consider when choosing a pump are how much you intend to pump and where, and how much you’re able to spend or would like to spend on a pump.

Benefits of breast pumping

Breast pumps can be helpful for work-outside-the-home moms, those with babies in the NICU, those who don’t yet have efficient eaters and need to boost or maintain their milk supply, and those who would like to start building a supply of stored breast milk. 

Other benefits of breast pumping are:

  • Share the love and the responsibility of feeding (hello 3 a.m. feedings!)
  • Breast engorgement relief
  • Prevention of mastitis

Do I need a breast pump?

If you’re not sure if you need a breast pump, consider your response to the following questions:

  • Are you breastfeeding?
  • Do you want your baby to have access to breast milk when you’re not available?
  • Will you be working outside the home and need to supply your baby with breast milk when you’re away?
  • Would you like to share feeding responsibilities or bonding time with your partner?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, a breast pump may be a good investment. If you’re on the fence or think that your breast pumping needs may be minimal, a manual pump can be an affordable and efficient option.

Does insurance really cover a free breast pump?

If you decide a breast pump may be right for you, there’s good news: your insurance company should provide a free or low-cost pump to you for each pregnancy. 

Wanna skip the hold music, long wait times, and back and forth with insurance reps? Let Bump Boxes take care of the logistics for you. We work directly with insurance companies and can do all the heavy lifting.

Get our insurance-savvy nerds on the case.