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As a mum, you have your own reasons for wanting to express your breast milk – and these reasons can play a big part in making the right decision between selecting an electric breast pump or a manual breast pump.
A manual breast pump may be the best way to collect your breast milk for the odd occasion or single feeds. Some mothers find they are successful with one kind of pump, but not with others. If you buy a manual breast pump and it doesn’t work for you, don’t assume you can’t express, try other kinds of manual breast pumps until you find the one you feel most comfortable with.
Advantages of manual breast pumps include their simplicity and size. If you are going to breast pump regularly, you may prefer electric breast pumps. Many mothers say a manual pump feels natural and more closely mimic your babies suckling patterns.
Comfort is very important for expressing mums. Using a breast pump shouldn’t hurt, but some women can find the suction uncomfortable. With a manual breast pump, you are generally better able to control the suction rate yourself.
Once you’ve placed the suction cup over your breast, you squeeze the handle to create a rhythmic vacuum that stimulates milk flow. At first, you may need both hands to work the breast pump, although you’ll probably soon get used to one-handed breast pumping.
Manual hand pumps are generally more affordable, smaller, lighter, and quieter than electric breast pumps. Once you’ve become skilled at pumping, it is possible to express from one breast while your baby is feeding on the other.
Choosing a manual breast pump is a good low-cost option if you’re only expressing milk every now and then, or when you’re away from home. If however, you want to feed your baby frequently with expressed milk, spending more upfront on a good-quality, an electric pump could make your expressing journey happier, more efficient and more effective.
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