Do I Need a Breast Pump?

Buying a breast pump may seem irrelevant if you are planning to exclusively nurse your baby. While we are here to support every mother’s breastfeeding journey, we acknowledge that breastfeeding can be an unpredictable and changing experience. Even with the most careful planning, there are always unexpected events that come up. Whether or not you need a breast pump is going to depend entirely on your breastfeeding experience.

If you are nursing exclusively, you will not rely on a breast pump as often as a mom who is exclusively pumping. In fact, many mothers who nurse exclusively choose not to pump. It is completely possible to have a breastfeeding journey that does not involve pumping. On the other hand, there are many situations where having a pump can be helpful and necessary.

Is Pumping Necessary?

Pumping may not be necessary for you on your breastfeeding journey. If your baby is eating well and there are no concerns around their weight gain, it is completely possible to never need a breast pump. However, we all know that life happens and things change. And in those situations, we prefer to err on the side of caution and suggest having a pump at least selected, if not readily available to you, prior to your baby being born.

If for any reason, you need to switch from nursing to pumping, it would be a much easier transition if you have already familiarized yourself with and have a pump ready to go.

Baby is Not Emptying Your Breasts

Even if you have established a solid feeding schedule with your little one, there may be times that they do not empty your breasts at a feeding. If you are still feeling full after a feeding, you will want and need to express your milk. While you can do this by hand expressing, a pump will make the job much easier. If you do not empty your breasts, you run the risk of becoming engorged and developing a clogged duct or even mastitis.

Missed Feedings

As your little one gets older and begins to sleep longer than normal, there may come a time when they sleep through a normal feeding. As long as there are no weight concerns, there is no need to wake your baby from their sleep, and who would want to?

While this bodes well for your sleep, you will still need to express the milk in order to maintain your supply and avoid any possible complications. This is where a breast pump would be particularly handy.

When Could a Pump Be Helpful?

While you may not need a pump if you are planning to nurse exclusively, there are situations where having a breast pump could prove to be helpful, or at least, easier than hand expressing!

Building a Freezer Stash

A freezer stash is a useful tool when you need to be away from home for several hours without your baby, especially in unexpected situations.

It is easy to envision having a giant freezer stash with hundreds of ounces stashed up for your baby, especially with all of the posts you may see about it on social media. We cannot stress enough that your focus should be to feed your baby, and not your freezer!

Maintain and Increase Milk Supply

Breast milk supply is established through a supply and demand system. The more your baby nurses or you effectively pump, the more your body is signaled to produce breast milk.

This supply and demand is not universal to your body - your milk supply is individual to each breast. Pumps can be a great tool for helping to maintain or increase your milk supply. If your baby frequently only nurses one breast at each feeding or has a strong breast preference, you can choose to pump the other breast to maintain the demand for milk.

An important note: If you are pumping incorrectly, that can negatively impact your milk supply. This is why it is so important to make sure your pump flanges are properly sized.

Choosing Your Pump

Choosing a breast pump is like choosing a car. You are going to get what you need based on your situation. If you are going to be using your pump for hours a day, you are going to want something that you know is going to be comfortable and reliable. We understand that selecting a pump may seem like too much of an investment when you are primarily focusing on nursing. That doesn’t mean that you should completely opt out of using a pump.

Instead of opting out of using a breast pump entirely, you may consider purchasing a manual pump instead of an electric pump. Manual pumps are significantly cheaper than electric pumps and provide an added level of convenience as they can be taken just about anywhere. These pumps are truly ideal for moms planning to express milk occasionally, as it does require physical effort on your part to pump the milk.

Find your perfect pump.

Find your perfect pump.

Flexibility. Convenience. Control. No matter which pump you pick.

Is Pumping Less Beneficial Than Breastfeeding?

First things first: pumping is breastfeeding!

There have been many conversations amongst mothers who pump and nurse surrounding this issue. Breastfeeding does not mean baby latches onto the breast - it means a baby receives breastmilk. Whether you are pumping by choice or necessity, know that you are still accomplishing your goal of breastfeeding your child!

Now, in terms of milk supply, pumping can pose more challenges than nursing. The primary issue that arises in pumping is flange fit. Similar to how a baby’s latch impacts their ability to remove milk from their mother’s breast, flange size impacts the pump’s ability to remove milk.

If your flange size is too big, your nipples are not being stimulated appropriately, which leads to your body thinking the demand for milk is lower than it really is. Similarly, if your flange size is too small, you risk highly irritating or harming your nipples, resulting in painful pumping and the possibility for low milk supply.

Both nursing and pumping must be done properly to ensure the best milk supply with the least amount of discomfort for you.

Keep It Flowin' with Willow Pump

When trying to decide on a breast pump, take your life into consideration. We know how busy you are and how valuable your time is. Instead of being attached to a pump, choose a pump that follows you! Our high quality wearable breast pumps are perfect for moms who want to keep their hands free for snuggles, playing, and hugs while they pump. If you don’t understand the hype of Willow Pump, check out what makes us different from all the other pumps here.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of medical professionals. It should not be used to diagnose or treat medical conditions or problems. Please contact your healthcare provider with questions or concerns.
Find your perfect pump.
Find your perfect pump.

Willow gives you options:

Find your perfect pump.

Find your perfect pump.

Willow gives you options:

Find your perfect pump.

Find your perfect pump.

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