If you are having a baby and planning on breastfeeding, you may want to consider buying a breast pump. The most valuable time to have a breast pump is generally in the first few days after having a baby. So if you’re going to invest in one, do so early.

Consider buying a breast pump if you’re planning on breastfeeding and…

  1. You’re going to go back to work.
  2. You want to be able to leave your infant for more than three hours (you could use formula for the baby, but your breasts will still need emptying).
  3. You ever have to have surgery (you will be advised to “pump and dump”).
  4. You’re going to have more than one child.
  5. Your baby is premature (premie babies often can’t feed initially).
  6. You have anything unusual about your anatomy that may make it hard for a baby to feed directly (inverted nipples, etc. – although, sometimes a nipple shield can help with some of those problems)

Features of a good pump.

I once went to a medical conference when I had a breastfeeding baby at home. I dutifully took my pump, but realized when I got there that I was missing a piece to make the pump work.  After traveling for hours, I was dying. It was in the middle of the night and no baby stores were open. The only place open was a 24-hour Walgreens. I bought a cheap hand pump and resolved to hit a lactation store to get the missing piece the next morning. After 40 mins of hand squeezing the dumb pump, I only extracted a small fraction of the milk and my hand muscles were seriously cramped. Needless to say, the hand pump went in the hotel garbage. I learned a valuable lesion that day. When it comes to your boobs, buy the best. Words to live by. Nothing works better than a good, double-electric pump. Be prepared, they can be expensive. (However, some insurance plans are now covering them, so it may be worth asking your insurance company). I bought the Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump. Although, I bought it 9 years ago, it’s still one of the best pumps on the market. I’ve used it 5+ times a day for over a thousand total days and it has always worked (that is, when I have all the pieces) without problems.