5 Reasons a Breast Pump is Worth the Money
I gave birth to my daughter, Isabella October of 2015, and that day as well as the day leading up to it are two days that will remain fresh in my memory.
I’d had a really difficult labour which finally ended in an emergency cesarean section when my baby wasn’t coming out after some hours of pushing.
Since she’d spent a few hours in the birth canal (about six hours) the doctor diagnosed she was suffering from perinatal asphyxia and whisked her off to the neonatal ward immediately.
Since I also had to be treated for my surgical wounds, this meant we were separated for two days. What this translated to was that she had to be fed on formula, until I was strong enough to make the trip to her ward two days later.
Now, even after I visited, I found I couldn’t live my dream of exclusively breastfeeding (if it wasn’t already too late) as my breastmilk refused to flow to meet her needs.
Isabella would cry and I would be left to substitute her meals with formula.
Thankfully, we got back home a week later, but my breastmilk still refused to flow. Although it had improved considerably as I’d been feeding my baby on demand, it still wasn’t enough.
That was when I decided to turn to other moms for help and discovered besides feeding on demand and adjusting your diet, one other tip that can boost breastmilk production is using a breast pump.
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3 Amazing Benefits of Using a Breast Pump
1) Boost Breastmilk Production
Whether you opt for the manual or electric breast pump, one benefit you will get with both is that you will have enough breastmilk at your disposal to satisfy your baby’s needs.
Most moms prefer the manual breast pump though for a few reasons, including the fact it is quite portable, allowing it to be easily carried in your bag and the fact you can control pumping pace, deciding to either go slow or fast.
With a breast pump, you can express milk more often, signaling your system to the fact your baby’s food needs are increasing and it needs to produce more milk to meet up.
2) You Can Pump at a Certain Time for More Results
Since the body produces more prolactin (the hormone responsible for breastmilk production between the hours of 12 am and 6 am, this means you can pump your baby’s entire food needs in just a few hours.
If you pumped for two hours within this timeframe, you would have much more breastmilk as against pumping at any other time of the day.
It might not be easy settling into this schedule at first, but a way around this is to start pumping after giving your baby the feed for the night, that way you wouldn’t need to be up more than once for the night.
3) Allows for Shared Feeding
Expressed breast milk remains fresh for up to 4 hours at room temperature, for 3 days when refrigerated, and up to six months when frozen.
What this means:
- You don’t have to pump every night if you get more than enough the previous night.
- Someone else can step in to feed the baby if you had to take a quick dash someplace or need a few minutes of much-needed sleep.
For both my kids, I expressed a lot each night so I could skip a night after a few days, and with more than enough breastmilk available, this meant their dad could step in sometimes while I caught some snooze-time.
Shared feeding also makes it much easier for busy moms to return to work without having to break their initial plan of exclusively breastfeeding for 3 -6 months.
4) Makes It Possible to Donate
Some moms find they express so much breastmilk, there’s some extra to give away.
Sadly, I never had enough to donate, however, each time I log onto breastmilk sharing websites, I feel a sense of joy knowing there’s always breastmilk for moms who would love to breastfeed but are unable to for one reason or the other.
If you would love to donate or sell breastmilk, here are a few breastmilk sharing sites you could check out:
5) You Can Take Breaks
Breastfeeding your baby means you have to breastfeed your baby every time she needs a feed, even if you have a sore nipple (which makes breastfeeding extremely painful, I might add) or are ill.
However, with a breast pump, you would have enough breastmilk stored in the fridge and can take a break if the need arises.
Disadvantages of Breast Pumping
Most beautiful things have one or a few downsides; even roses have thorns and so does breast pumping.
One of the downsides to using a breast pump is that it will cut into the bonding time you share with your baby.
However, if you are doing a mixture of both breastfeeding and pumping, you will find the bonding time you lose while pumping is quite little and you can more than make up for it the next time you breastfeed.
Also, storing the expressed breastmilk depletes its nutrients, especially when stored for a considerable long time.
Frozen breastmilk stays fresh for up to one month, however, after this time it is believed there is a decline in the concentrations of calories, fats, and other macronutrients.
Moms everywhere agree that a breast pump is a must-have for every nursing mom since its benefits far outweigh its few downsides.