The milk production in the breasts, much like so many other things, work on the shear principal of supply and demand. The more breast milk your baby consumes, the more your body will need to make.
Breast pumps are generally used to insure continued production of breast milk when you cannot feed your baby – whether you are back to work, traveling, taking medication, or just out of town.
Basic types of pumps: Breast pumps can either be automatic or manual.
Manual breast pumps
Manual hand pumps are designed to use the strength of your hand or arm muscles for pumping one breast at a time. Due to it’s manual nature, it’s designed for occasional pumping. Ideal for on-the-go pumping.
Silicone breast pumps
Huh? What are silicone breast pumps? Silicone breast pumps are exactly as the name suggests. They are made from silicone and are a type of manual pump. To apply suction, you must squeeze towards the base of the pump before placing it on your breast. The pressure of the suction can be adjusted based on how hard you squeeze the pump. This type of breast pump are designed to withdraw breast milk by using natural suction technique and suitable for occasional pumping and collecting breast milk let-down.
Battery operated breast pumps
Pumps with battery operation are the best for women who have an established supply of milk and want to pump once or even twice a day. These pumps use batteries to create suction, minimizing any type of muscle fatigue. Most battery type pumps are designed for pumping either one breast or both breasts at a time and are recommended for occasional usage or less frequent usage.
Even though electric pumps are more efficient than hand or even battery operated pumps, they also tend to be more expensive. You can however, rent them if you need to. Electric pumps can normally plug directly into an outlet and are designed for pumping both breasts at a time and for frequent use. Hospital grade pumps are the most efficient for initiating and maintaining milk supply, and are available for hire or purchase.
As you can see, there are different types of breast pumps to choose from. Depending on your needs and circumstance, one may perform better than the other. Manual pumps are easier to maintain as there are no moving parts. However, if you required to express frequently then an automatic breast pump will most likely be a better option.