When researching the net for information on Exclusively Pumping you may find many articles such as this one, and while the information is helpful there is one point I completely disagree with.
You DON’T need an industrial or hospital grade pump to successfully EP, you don’t even need a top of the range double electric in order to be successful!
Hiring a hospital grade pump is expensive, and in todays economy who can really spend the odd R500 a month on hiring a breast pump? You may as well just switch over to formula because it works out slightly cheaper and is far less demanding than exclusively pumping and for most moms spending that much is just not an option and can be completely off putting to the idea of providing baby with breastmilk, not to mention the added stress of having to find the finances to cover such a cost on top of the already debilitating stress of feeling as though they have failed at breastfeeding and the constant worry about supply!
Likewise as awesome as the top of the range double electric pumps are and the fact that they can make moms life a little easier, again, they are not completely necessary and can also be very costly.
I, from personal experience, feel that most moms, and even LC’s, overlook the good quality manual pumps on the South African market as an option, pumps like the Philips Avent manual and the Medela Harmony are both high quality pumps which are able to withstand the demands of exclusively pumping and even exclusively pumping long term.
In fact I would be so bold as to claim that in some instances a manual pump is not only easier, but can also be more efficient than a double electric.
Again it comes down to personal preference and which pump a mother is able to better respond to.
There is no disputing that double electric breastpumps are more convenient for busy, working moms or that they are able to stimulate prolactin levels from double pumping, but you are literally plugged into the same wall for a large portion of your day and lugging around a pump can become tiring whereas a good quality manual pump has a certain freedom and ease, not to mention that suction is completely adjustable so pumping sessions are often shorter.
I would however caution against investing in smaller, less efficient manual breast pumps on the market such as Lanisoh, Pigeon, Dr Browns, Chicco and Tommee Tippee, while these pumps are perfectly suited to occasional pumping sessions, the suction, handle mechanism and durability are not suited to the high demands of being an exclusive pumper.
I believe that in order to help moms who choose, or are forced to EP due to circumstance, reach their personal breastfeeding goals that we need to be realistic with them and provide new mothers with not only frank, honest and factual information, but also convenient and economical options. I find that peddling the most expensive and unnecessary option as the “only option” is counter productive in helping moms who wish to provide their babies with breastmilk but are unable to do so.
Exclusive pumping is hard, it takes a lot of dedication and time regardless of the pump you use and a healthy frame of mind, realistic expectations and a firm belief in the benefits of providing breastmilk to not only baby, but mother aswell is half the battle won.
Exclusive pumping is still a viable long term option for mothers who are unable or are not willing to nurse at the breast, it just doesn’t mean that you need to take out that second bond on your house in order to have the right equipment!
Pump On Mumma