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HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT BREAST PUMP TO BUY IN NIGERIA

Are you about to start shopping for a breast pump but need some hard facts to help you decide on which type to buy? When there are many types and brands of breast pumps to choose from in any market including Nigeria, it’s easy to get confused about the one to buy. And when you remember that you’ll be spending lots of time with any breast pump you buy, you can’t gamble to buy just any one – what if you discover that it does not feel comfortable and you don’t like it? What if the breast pump doesn't even pump as well as you expect?

In this post, you will discover everything you need to know in order to choose the best breast pump in Nigeria – from choosing between an electric and a manual breast pump and more. Continue reading.

 Facts to Know Before Buying a Breast Pump

Once you have decided to purchase a breast pump, here are things you need to know before shopping:
  • Some breast pumps pump better than others;
  • Some poor quality breast pumps are uncomfortable (may be a bit painful) when using them
  • Using an inefficient breast pump takes longer, above 20 minutes and as long as 30 minutes;
  • Using a good-quality electric pump, you can finish pumping both breasts between 15 and 20   minutes, including cleaning time, while a manual hand pump will take up to 45 minutes.
  • Using a double breast pump, you can pump both breasts at the same time, in even less time
  • Most good quality breast pumps are more expensive than the not-so-good ones, but most         nursing mothers agree that the time they save you and how comfortable they are, justify their      high price. However, note that there are some not-so-expensive breast pumps that are among the best in the market.

TYPES OF BREAST PUMPS

It’s easy to get confused about the type of breast pump to buy, as there are a lot of choices in the Nigerian market. Choosing the wrong breast pump can make you unable to pump enough milk for your baby.

Generally, there are two main types of breast pumps, based on how they're operated:
  • Electric pumps: uses electricity or battery
  • Manual pumps: Hand-operated

Meaning of Single and Double Breast Pump?

Every breast pump, whether manual or electric, has a collection kit. Some come with a single collection kit (single breast pump) and some have double collection kits (double breast pump). A double breast pump will enable you to pump both breasts at the same time, and so it pumps twice faster than the single breast pumps.

So, Which Breast Pump Type is Better?

  • Single vs Double: Most nursing mothers prefer the double breast pump because it saves time - no one likes to sit for long pumping.
  • Manual vs Electric: Some women use both types, but others simply rely on only one type of breast pump. Those that have both manual and electric breast pumps use one as their main pumping machine, and the other as a backup.
As a breast-feeding mom, when shopping for a breast pump, some of the questions that the shop attendants will ask you include – should you buy an electric or manual breast pump? Should you buy a single or double breast pump? So, it’s important that you know the answers before heading out to the market.

The fact is that a breast pump that is right for your friend may not be the right one for you – there are a couple of reasons why, depending on your specific needs. 


WHAT TYPE OF BREAST PUMP SHOULD YOU BUY

When deciding on the best breast pump for you, first ask yourself the following questions:
  1. How often will you use the breast pump?
  2. How long are you likely to spend on pumping daily? How much free time are you likely to have per pumping session?
  3. How much you can spend on a breast pump
In order to decide on which breast pump type and brand that is suitable for you, you need to look at your options. Below is a 5-step guide to help you narrow down to the type of breast pump that is right for you. 


1. CHOOSING A BREAST-PUMP BASED ON FREQUENCY OF USE
Double electric breast pumps (top end): Electric pumps are best for women who are regularly             not with their baby daily, either due to a busy job or business.  
Buy a top-end double breast pump if you plan to pump more than once daily – for example if you are a busy working-class woman and plan to pump a couple of times daily, during a few short breaks. 

This sort of breast pumps are fully automatic, pump faster, have adjustable suction levels that prevent nipple discomfort and have two collection kits. They are more expensive than single pumps but will save you lots of time – with it, you can quickly and efficiently pump both breasts at the same   time, in between work hours or while at home. Best option if you have a demanding job or if you are on maternity leave and would soon resume work.

Most of these type of breast pumps come with built-in battery packs, for pumping when you have electricity outage or are outdoors.

Single, electric breast pumps (mid-range): This type of breast pump, as the name implies, pumps only one breast at a time, and so takes twice the time (a double electric pump uses) to pump. Some of these types of breast pumps are battery-operated.
  • Manual, hand-operated breast pumps (low end): Manual breast pumps are operated by the hand, and can pump only one breast at a time. These are best for nursing mothers who plan to pump once-in-a-while.  If you’re on a low budget and plan to pump occasionally, this type of affordable breast pump could be right for you. 
2. DECIDING BASED ON AVAILABLE TIME TO PUMP
Don’t expect that you’ll get a big water bottle size of milk from only one pumping. Expect to pump several times a day in order to increase your daily milk storage for your baby. A typical pumping session should last between 20 and 30 minutes for both breasts. Some breast pumps pump faster than the others, as you will find out below.

  • If you cannot squeeze out up to 30 minutes per pumping session, out of your busy schedule, then you should buy a double electric pump so that you can pump both breasts simultaneously, thereby cutting the pumping time by half.
  • If you’ll be able to make out good enough time for your pumping sessions, then a single electric breast pump or a manual one would serve you okay. And they’re cheaper than the double electric breast pump.
3. CHOOSING  A PUMP BASED ON EASE OF PACKING
  • Some breast pumps are difficult to pack up or clean, and that can be really annoying and even make some women lose interest in using the breast pump. So, before you purchase any breast pump, find a good pump that you can quickly and easily clean up and pack in a few minutes. Also, the pump should be easy to put apart every time you want to use it.
  • Some good breast pumps come with cute, insulated light-weight carrying cases that don’t give away what’s inside. If you plan to use your breast pump at the office, in between work hours, ensure to choose a breast pump that has a carrying case.
4. CHOOSING  A PUMP WITH ADJUSTABLE SUCTION LEVELS
  • When you start using a breast pump for the first time, you need to set the suction on a low level and gradually increase it as you get used to it. So, choose a breast pump that has adjustable suction control which would help you prevent nipple discomfort.
5. CHOOSING  A PUMP WITH YOUR SIZE OF BREAST SHIELD
  • All breast pumps come with a set of breast shields in standard sizes. Ensure to buy a breast pump that has a breast shield in your size. In the event that the included breast shields are smaller than your breasts, you may want to buy the correct size breast shield sold separately at the market. If you plan to buy a double breast pump, ensure that the pump comes with 2 breast shields.

The Best Time to Buy a Breast Pump

If you’re about to return to work or about to travel out for a few days/ weeks, a breast pump can help you store up enough breast milk for your baby, to be fed by a caregiver while you’re out. 


So, when is the best time to buy a breast pump?

The best time to buy a breast pump is not a few days before you resume work; it is not the week that you’re travelling out. Purchase a breast pump several weeks before you need to use it – so that you will have enough time to learn how to use it to express milk, and also for you and your baby to adjust to the new feeding plan. More importantly, there’s no way for you to start pumping today and get enough milk stored up for several days’ use – you need many days of pumping to store up enough. So, plan ahead and start early and start using stored breast milk..

When Buying a Breast Pump May Not Be Right For You

The truth is that not everyone needs to buy a breast pump. A breast pump may not be for you if:
  • You don’t have regular electric power supply at your house – breast milk needs to be stored in a cool place (a fridge or freezer) in order to be hygienically safe for a baby. Anything other than that, the expressed milk would ferment and grow harmful bacteria;
  • You are always in the same place with your baby – no need for you to express and store your milk.

Related: HOW TO STORE AND PRESERVE BREAST MILK SAFELY FOR LATER USE: (Guide for Nursing Mothers in Nigeria)

CONCLUSION: CHOOSING THE BEST BREAST PUMP IN NIGERIA

The choice is plenty when it comes to choosing the best breast pump, and you’re sure to find the one in Nigerian markets that can meet your specific needs, using our guide above.

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