Help Me, Helen! Breast Pumps: How Do I Choose the Right One for Me?

Helen Borg is a senior midwife and infant feeding specialist who heads up the drop-in breastfeeding clinic at Mater Dei hospital. As mentioned in the series intro, Helen will cover common issues that can arise when feeding your newborn, giving professional advice and reassurance to help make your journey run smooth.

Are some breast pumps better than others? 

Some breast pumps tend to fit more comfortably on a certain shaped breast, so it will work great for some and terrible for others. For this reason, I wouldn’t rely on recommendations from friends, because although they liked it, it doesn’t mean you will.

One thing I find really that causes problems with breast pumps is the silicone inserts they put inside them. They can cause a lot of damage because you end up rubbing against the silicone inserts which are a bit sticky. This can cause blisters, and I’ve even seen burning in some cases.

How do I choose the right one for me?

One of the things I always recommend when it comes to choosing a breast pump is to look at the mothers reviews. They will tell you a lot. Don’t look on the company website for the reviews, it’s better to check something independent like Amazon, which is selling lots of different brands. If there are a lot of reviews and they are mostly positive, it’s a better indicator of performance, rather than just one or two ratings.

You will see starter kits out there that come with a breast pump, bottles, and other things. It can be tempting to get one of these for ease and cost saving, however when it comes to these things, it is usually better to spend that extra money to get things individually, that way you can tailor the breast pump to you, the bottles to your baby, etc. You will end up saving money in the long run and avoiding a lot of waste and discomfort.


To provide spare equipment for new mums, the breastfeeding clinic relies on donations, so if you have any of the following that you no longer need, you can drop them off at the clinic where they will be gratefully received:
  • Breast pumps
  • Nipple shields
  • Milk storage bags or containers
  • Breast pads

 

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