15 Reasons to Use A Breast Pump
Wondering if you’ll need a breast pump when your baby arrives?
A pump can be a very useful tool for a new mother to have even
if she intends to exclusively breastfeed her child. We’ve compiled
a list of the 15 most common reasons why mothers use breast pumps.
- Avoid supplementing feedings with infant formula. By expressing her own breastmilk, a mother can continue to feed her child only breastmilk even when they must be apart during baby’s meal times.
- Need to return to work. For many new mothers, returning to work shortly after giving birth is a reality, but by pumping and storing milk while at work a mother can continue to provide her baby with breastmilk as long as she would like.
- Allow dad or other family members to feed baby. When mom expresses breastmilk for later feedings, dad and older siblings can give feedings to help mom and bond with the new baby.
- Give mom a chance to relax. Breastfeeding on demand can easily wear any mother out occasionally. Having a bottle of expressed milk available allows mom to take some much needed time for herself while someone else takes care of baby.
- Premature or sick infant is unable to nurse properly. In order to provide breastmilk for a premature baby that is too weak to breastfeed a mother can use a hospital grade pump to express milk for feedings. A pump will also provide breast stimulation to increase and maintain a sufficient supply of milk.
- Induce lactation for an adopted baby. A breast pump can be used to stimulate a mother’s breast to induce milk production to breastfeed an adopted baby. Breastfeeding a great way for a mother and her adopted child to bond.
- Create an emergency supply. A mom can pump and store an emergency supply of breastmilk in her freezer to use for feedings in case she becomes sick or needs to take medication
- Relieve pain from engorgement. When a mother’s breasts are overly full and engorged with breastmilk, she can use a breast pump to express enough milk to provide relief from pain.
- Draw out flat or inverted nipples. Mothers with flat or inverted nipples can have trouble when trying to get baby to latch on properly. By pumping a few minutes before breastfeeding, a mother can draw out her nipple so that baby can nurse more easily.
- Provide milk for children of a multiple birth. Breastfeeding one child can be very demanding on a mother and feeding twins or other multiples only increases the demand and challenge for a mother. By pumping milk, a mother of multiples can provide her children with breastmilk without having to nurse around the clock.
- Maintain your milk supply. By using a breast pump to stimulate milk production a mother can keep her supply up so that she can breastfeed her baby when they are together.
- Baby has difficulty latching-on. If a mother’s breasts are very full, pumping some milk out can make it easier for her baby to latch-on and nurse properly. For other infants who are unable to latch-on because of a birth defect like a clip lip or palate, expressing milk is the only way for them to receive breastmilk for feedings.
- Donate extra milk to a milk bank. While some mothers may have difficulties producing a sufficient amount of milk for their babies, other mothers seem to produce an abundance of milk and choose to donate this surplus to infants that may not have access to breastmilk.
- Mom prefers to feed baby from bottle. Some mothers feel that breastfeeding just isn’t for them and choose to exclusively pump breastmilk for all of their baby’s feedings.
- Supplement first foods with breastmilk while weaning baby from the breast. Although a mother may want to wean her baby from the breast, she can continue to supplement her infant’s diet with breastmilk if she expresses and stores her milk.
If you plan to pump breastmilk then you will need to decide which best pump will work best for you. You can begin your breast pump research by reading the articles under Finding the Right Breast Pump.
Return to: Breast Pumping Basics