Many types of pumps are available, each of which may be
appropriate in different situations. Pumps are generally
separated into different categories: electric piston driven
(full-service electric), small electric, battery operated
and hand-operated (manual). Also available are bulb-type
pumps which resemble bicycle horns. These are to be avoided.
They can damage the breast and are unable to be cleaned
A full-service electric breast pump is piston driven and
most closely imitates the rhythmic sucking action and
pressure of a nursing baby. In most women, it quickly
stimulates the let-down reflex, making the milk available
Full-service electric pumps are convenient and efficient and
are usually the best choice if breastfeeding must be delayed
after birth, if breastfeeding is suspended temporarily as
with a seriously ill hospitalized baby or mother or if a
mother will have regular, lengthy times away from her baby,
for example, if she is employed or a student. Although
electric pumps are expensive to purchase, they can be rented
for a reasonable fee.
A new hospital grade electric breast pump from Ameda/Egnell
offers mothers state-of-the-art features combined with the
effectiveness and reliability of the large pumps of the
past. Weighing less than six and one half pounds, the Egnell
elite breast pump offers infinite suction settings to
250mmHg, the ability to cycle the pump as quickly or as
slowly as the mother wants between 30 and 60 cycles per
minute, incorporates double bottle holders for helpful
convenience, and is available with an integrated battery
that can provide up to 60 minutes double pumping time at
maximum suction. The ultra-quiet sound of the piston motion
relaxes the mother and is not intrusive to pumping success.
Accessory kits are needed for use with hospital-grade pumps.
Some electric pump accessories allow the mother to pump both
breasts at once, cutting pumping time in half. Only the
Ameda/Egnell HygieniKit prevents milk back-up and provides
complete patient separation from the suction source. If milk
spills, pumping does not have to be interrupted to clean and
dry overflow devices or filters.
• The One-Hand Pump, with its unique design, introduces a
new generation of breast pump technology. Energy efficient
because only strong hand muscles are used for operation, if
offers comfort and effectiveness. Women are instantly able
to vary suction strength and length to match their own
baby’s sucking pattern. One-handed use allows pumping while
baby’s nursing and makes double pumping possible with the
use of two pumps. Its easy attachment to a milk storage bag
makes collection and storage of milk a simple process.
• A manual or hand-operated breast pump may be all that is
needed for pumping when a mother is separated from her baby
for shorter periods of time. Type and quality vary widely in
this category of pumps. The most commonly available are
pumps designed as a set of cylinders which cause suction as
they are pulled apart.
• Small electric pumps range from the good to the very bad.
Most are suction-only devices and the length of time needed
to reach adequate suction is excessive in post models. One
especially good model can also be converted to double
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