If you plan on breastfeeding your baby, you may be wondering why in the world you would need a breast pump. Although for some, breastfeeding goes without a hitch and handles all of their child's needs, for many a breast pump comes in handy in numerous ways. Here are 10 reasons that you may want to supplement your breastfeeding by pumping.
1. If your baby is born prematurely or ill, you may not have access to breastfeeding in those early days. A breast pump such as the Avent Isis Breast Pump can be your savior. By spending those first precious days or weeks pumping, you can provide the hospital staff with your own breast milk to feed your newborn.
2. Although movies and media sometimes portray breastfeeding as the most easy, natural thing in the world, that's not always the case. Sometimes, babies struggle to form a proper latch and find breastfeeding painful and difficult. This leads to frustrated mothers and hungry babies. By pumping, you gain the ability to choose a bottle that works for your child while ensuring that they get the precious nutrients and antibodies found in breast milk.
3. If a mother can not keep up with her baby's hunger, a breast pump can be used to stimulate her milk supply. An automatic pump, such as the Medela Pump Style Advanced Breast Pump, features several different modes that simulate your baby's suckling and can raise supply to meet baby's needs.
4. While breastfeeding is a special bond between mother and baby, pumping breast milk into a bottle allows the father and other relatives to experience similar joy. Not only that, it can also give mom a much needed break while dad takes over a couple of late night feedings!
5. While low supply is a concern, the issue of over supply should not be underestimated. When a mother is producing more milk than her baby needs, it can lead to painful engorging and embarrassing leaks. By pumping excess with a Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump, a mother's discomfort can be lessened or eliminated without having to wake baby for an extra feeding.
6. A common complication of breastfeeding occurs when mother and baby develop thrush or other infections that are passed from mouth to nipple. These conditions are uncomfortable to both. Until the infections are under control, pumping and storing milk can heal the pain and reduce the chances of re-infection from one to the other.
7. A breast pump that comes with a storage bottles and an insulted bag such as the Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump allows a new mother to pump directly into containers which can then be transferred to freezer bags. Keeping a backup frozen supply is good practice and easily accomplished with a pump. An emergency may take you out of town or otherwise keep you separated from baby for a while. Having breast milk on hand can be a lifesaver.
8. The backup milk supply can come in handy in many situations. If a mother finds herself ill and in need of antibiotics or other medicines, she may not be able to breastfeed due to the medications entering the milk supply. In these cases, milk can be pumped and discarded while the frozen supply from before the illness is used.
9. Occasionally, many mothers will have to return to work. However, that does not mean that the special connection of breastfeeding has to end. For instance, many manual breast pumps are quiet and discreet. Using a lunch break to pump when unable to be with her baby can keep a mother's supply active and allow her to breastfeeding in the evenings while having enough milk to send along with baby to daycare.
10. Lastly, although public breastfeeding done discreetly is becoming more and more accepted, sometimes a mother may find herself at an event or location where it would be uncomfortable. In these cases, carrying along a few bottles of pumped milk in a cooler bag such as the one offered with the Medela Pump Style Advanced Breast Pump can allow her to continue to feed her baby with nutritious breastmilk without having to leave an event early.
While exclusively breastfeeding works well for many mothers and babies, the advantages and security offered by a breast pump can not be taken lightly. Quiet, easy to use and readily available, a good breast pump can help mother and baby along in many situations.