After breastfeeding was well established, I chose to combination feed (breastfeed and express to feed) my baby for a while. I didn’t know anything about breast pumps until I started to read up about them, and as with everything else on my baby checklist, I soon discovered there were lots of different types and brands to choose from. To help simplify things, here is a breakdown of the four main types of breast pumps:
Manual: hand operated, discreet and portable, ideal for occasional use, cheaper, but more time consuming and labour intensive than electric pumps.
Single electric: battery or mains operated, portable, ideal for occasional use, and allows you to express and breastfeed at the same time (as a single electric breast pump draws milk from one breast only).
Double electric: battery or mains operated, portable, ideal for regular use, and reduces the amount of time needed to pump (as a double electric breast pump draws milk from both breasts simultaneously).
Hospital-grade: multi-use pumps available for hire only, more efficient pumping, ideal for frequent use, or if you are relying on a breast pump to initiate and build your milk supply.
I decided to buy the Medela Swing single electric breast pump. It’s lightweight, compact and very easy to set up and use. It has different suction levels so you can set it to the one that’s most comfortable for you. It also comes with a handy storage bag and is easy to clean. I also purchased extra Medela bottles to store my expressed milk.
However, it did end up taking me around 30 to 45 minutes to express at least one full feed. As I began to express more, this started to feel quite tedious and I found myself wishing I had invested in the Medela Swing double electric pump instead.