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When most women thing of breastfeeding, one of the first essentials that they think of is a double electric breast pump. You will find them on almost ever baby registry and some insurances will even pick up the cost.
What if this isn’t something you actually need though?
OK, before you start telling me that breast milk is best and in order to properly feed your baby you need an electronic breast pump, let me remind you that I have been there and done that. This is solely from my own personal experience.
In case you aren’t familiar, I have two sons — both who were breastfed for a while. With my first son, he couldn’t latch on and so I decided to exclusively pump. I dashed out and bought a Medela double electric breast pump. It was a lifesaver for the first two months that I breastfed and it worked like a charm. I would have continued to use it but I had to stop breastfeeding when I sought treatment for my postpartum depression.
With my second son I just assumed that the breast pump would be essential, so I went out and bought another one. Do you want to know how many times I used it?
And the one time I used it it was to “reset” my milk supply, not to pump and store milk. Actually, the best investment with my second son was a plain Medela manual breast pump. I used the heck out of that thing.
Not only does it work really well (it is from the trusted Medela name) but it is inexpensive. You can pick one up on Amazon for $23.99 compared to between $190 and $280 for a Medela double electric (which, I should add is the best way to go if you really need a double electric pump). Plus, since it is also a Medela product you can use the same breast shields, bottles, and accessories that you would for the double electric pumps.
I would use the manual pump if my son didn’t finish draining both sides. I would use it if I needed to relieve a little pressure. I would even use it to pump a bottle if I was going out or for someone else to feed the baby.
Plus, it was so small it was easy to take anywhere with me and it didn’t have the setup time of the large double electric pump.
Now I know a manual breast pump isn’t for everyone, especially if you are going back to work or are exclusively breast pumping for feedings. However, if you are almost exclusively breastfeeding or need something to fill in the gaps you may want to consider a manual breast pump instead.
My advice is if you are expecting, and especially if you aren’t going back to work, hold off on running out and buying an expensive double electric breast pump. In fact, you may find a manual breast pump works just as well — or even better!