Mom’s Guide: How To Use A Breast Pump Effectively (Steps w/ Videos)

  • We teach you how to effectively, successfully use a breast pump 
  • Learn the difference between a manual and electric breast pump 
  • Read some important things to remember before you start pumping 
  • Discover how a great breast pump can make breastfeeding better

Are you pregnant or have just had a new baby and want to know how to use a breast pump?

Have you got a breast pump but are not sure about how to use it?

Or are you still contemplating buying a breast pump and are looking for more information that can help you decide?

If you have any queries related to a breast pump, about how to use it and how it can help both the mother and the newborn baby, then you can find a lot of the related information right here in this article. We will discuss about the manual as well as the handheld breast pumps as well as the electric ones, and try to give an idea whether one is better than the other, or if it is just a personal choice. We will also share a detailed step by step tutorial about how you can use a breast pump in the most effective way, so that it is easy for both the mother as well as for the baby.

Is there a big difference between a manual or handheld breast pump and an electric one?

First, let’s take a look at what a manual or handheld breast pump can do and what an electric breast pump can do and if there is really much of a difference.

how to use breast pump

A manual or handheld breast pump

  • In a manual or handheld breast pump, you have to first place the breast shield in place so that it covers the nipple as well as the areola.
  • It comes with a small tube which has to be pumped manually into a bigger tube, and create a sort of vacuum. This will help to express the milk which will then get collected in a container that is attached to the pump.

An electric breast pump

  • In an electric breast pump, you will have a small motorized pump that will help to create the suction instead of you having to pump the tube manually.
  • The biggest difference between a manual or handheld breast pump and an electric breast pump is in the way that the suction is created to express the milk. There is absolutely no way to say which one is better and which will suit you the best, because this is a very personal choice and one that will depend entirely on your preference.

Here are a few additional pointers that may help you decide which type of breast pump can help you and your baby in the breastfeeding journey:

  • For how long are you going to use the breast pump? If it is for a temporary time, for just a few weeks, you may opt for a handheld or manual breast pump, but if it is for a long-term use, where you want to regularly use the breast pump on a daily basis, then you may want to go in for an electric breast pump.
  • You should also take into consideration the fact that the type of breast pump you use will also depend on who will be using it the most. If you are the main user of the breast pump, you can go for the manual or handheld type if that suits you. However, if you are not well, and someone else has to help you use it most of the time, you may consider going in for an electric breast pump, as it will make the process faster and easier for both of you.
how to use a breast pump

How to use a manual breast pump and an electric breast pump:

Check out these two easy to follow tutorials with step by step instructions that will help you to understand how you can use a manual as well as an electric breast pump.

Things to remember before pumping:

how to use manual breast pump
  • Before you use it for the first time, it is best to read the cleaning instructions and boil the pump. Also read the instructions to see if you can wash them by hand or if they are safe to be used in the dishwasher.
  • To make the process smoother, you can use some nipple balm or nipple cream so that the area is well lubricated and will not cause any pain or discomfort during the pumping process.
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    While you are using the pump on one breast, make sure to wear a nipple shield on the other one so that you can prevent any milk from leaking.
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    Both types of pumps come with the option of mimicking a letdown and regular sucking so that it’s easier for the milk to come out.

How to use a manual or handheld breast pump:

  • Place the shield on the breast in such a way that it covers the areola as well as the nipple completely.
  • Once it is in place, start pressing on the clutch kind of handle and keep doing it so that the milk comes out. The milk will collect in the attached bottle.

How to use an electric breast pump:

  • Place the shield on the breast in such a way that it covers the areola as well as the nipple completely.
  • Connect the pump to the electric cord and start the pump. You can choose from a range of options that range between slow and fast pumping.
  • The milk will collect in the attached bottle.

How can using a breast pump help make a mom’s breastfeeding journey more successful?

One of the biggest and most important benefits of a breast pump is that your baby can still enjoy the nutrition and goodness of your milk, even when you are not in immediate proximity to the baby. This is especially true if you are planning to go out of the house a lot and your baby is still breastfeeding.

how to use manual breast pump avent

A breast pump can also help both your baby and you if your baby is still not able to latch on in the proper way. Some babies can start to latch on pretty well, right from the start, while some can take longer and learn in their own time. Using a breast pump during this time will help you breast feed your baby, even if your baby is still in the learning phase.

In some cases, a new mother faces the problem of breast engorgement, especially if there is an excessive amount of breast milk being produced that is more than the baby will consume. In this case, if you do not empty your breasts, there are risks of the milk forming clots that can soon turn into hard and painful lumps, and these can also increase the risk of an infection. This, along with the pain, can make it extremely difficult for the new mother to breast feed the baby. In such a situation, if you do have excess milk production, you can always use a breast pump to pump out the milk and store it, so that you don’t have to waste the precious milk but be able to give it to your baby instead.