Cheerful family carrying baby boy in front of curtains at home

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Wearable Breast Pump

Newborns need to feed every 2 to 3 hours, that’s approximately 8 to 12 times every 24 hours. Between 1 to 3 months, this number decreases to 7 to 9 times per 24 hours. Between 3 to 6 months, it further decreases to 6 times a day. After that, nursing typically drops to 4 times a day. While this feeding and sleep schedule works well for your tiny tot, it can throw your sleep pattern into disarray. Breast pumps are a great way to make sure that your baby continues to enjoy the benefits of breast milk while allowing you to share the task of nursing with your partner or your child’s nanny. 

Conventional breast pumps are typically manual or electric, and both of these have drawbacks. Manual pumps can be tiring, especially on your wrists. Electric pumps do not require you to do any work, but the ones that plug into a socket limit your movement while the ones with batteries can be unwieldy and cumbersome. Wearable breast pumps eliminate these issues since they are lightweight and allow you to pump while you go about your day. User reviews and expert advice on wearable breast pumps will help you choose the pump that suits your needs.

Here’s what to consider when choosing a wearable breast pump.

1. Suction

Suction strength varies from one wearable pump to the next. Many (but not all) of the cheap wearable breast pumps out there cost less than others because their motors are not as powerful, so they don’t have the same suction power as the expensive models. On the plus side, wearable breast pumps come with smartphone integration via mobile apps that allow you to adjust suction levels so that you can customise the suction strength according to your comfort. If you are new to breastfeeding, increase the suction setting slowly so that you have time to figure out what works best for you. You can also look for a pump that uses suction cycles that mimic your baby’s natural sucking rhythm which makes for a more comfortable experience.  

2. Noise Level 

Some wearable pumps emit an audible hum while others are so silent that you can have them on and a person standing next to you in a lift wouldn’t be able to hear it! If you will be pumping at home most of the time, it’s likely that the noise level will not be a factor. However, if you’re working in an office or if you plan to wear them when you pop down to the shops, you should check out the decibel level of the pump you plan to buy. 

3. Cleaning 

Some wearable pumps have tubing which means that cleaning your pump after expressing milk can take time and effort. According to NHS recommendations, breast pumps need to be cleaned and sterilised each time they are used. The tubes are particularly difficult to wash because they need to be cleaned thoroughly with a brush meant specifically for this purpose. If you are hard-pressed for time, then it would be better to choose a wearable breast pump that eliminates the dreaded tubes! Many of these pumps have only a few parts that need to be cleaned and you will be able to make short work of it. 

4. Capacity 

On average, most mums express about 4 ounces of breast milk per session. However, some women produce more milk and can express anywhere between 6 and 8 ounces per session. Furthermore, as your body adjusts to breastfeeding and pumping, your milk supply can increase. This is why the milk capacity of a wearable pump is important. If you tend to produce a lot of milk, you should choose a pump that holds at least 5 ounces per side. 

5. Design 

A wearable breast pump fits into your bra so if you are looking for discretion, you should pick one that follows the natural contours of your body. Some wearable breast pumps can be quite round or too conical which can give your bust an unnatural appearance. The size of the motor is also important because a chunky motor is much less discreet in public settings. 

Most health insurance policies do not cover wearable breast pumps although some private health insurance policies may cover part of the cost. Coverage varies widely which is why it is important to check directly with your insurance provider to find out if wearable breast pumps are covered in your policy and whether there are any procedures that are required to obtain coverage.

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