Frequently Asked Questions on Pumping

Q: Why rent a hospital grade pump?

A: Milk supply is established by breastfeeding early and often. The early weeks of breastfeeding are critical for helping to establish a milk supply. A newborn breastfeeds 8-12 times a day. In the event an infant is not able to breastfeed often or well, milk production decreases. Professional grade pumps do not help establish a supply, but rather to assist in maintaining a well established supply. Renting a hospital grade pump helps establish, and maintain supply, without the high cost of owning a hospital grade pump.

Q: What is the difference in a hospital grade pump, a professional grade pump, and hand pump?

A: Professional grade pumps are often given by insurances, and are designed to be used by moms who have a well-established milk supply, which occurs around 1.5 months postpartum. They are a great resource for mothers looking to return to the work force, or any regularly scheduled separation. Examples of professional grade pumps are Medela Pump in Style and Ameda Purely yours.

Hand pumps are made for use by those mothers who have a well-established milk supply and need to go out on occasion. The Marmet Method of Hand Expression also works well, in these situations.

Hospital grade pumps establish, and maintain a healthy milk supply by closely mimicking the sucking motions of a baby. They are a go to tool for parents who have preemies, babies with difficulty latching, and those seeking to increase their supply.

Q: Can I use my friend's/family member's pump?

A: For safety and sanitation purposes, professional grade and hand pumps should not be shared. Milk can travel through the tubing and accumulate inside the motor, exposing moms to bacteria from previous pump users. Hospital grade pumps have a closed system and do not allow for such accumulation.

Q: Where can I find parts for my pump?

A: We have pump kits in stock, and ready for purchase. Buy Buy Baby and Amazon also carry some pump kits. Once used, pump parts are not returnable, please inquire if the parts fit the pump you are renting, before purchasing them at a store. You can be sized for pump flanges during a lactation consultation.

Q: How do speed and vacuum affect my pumping experience?

A: Adjustable vacuum protects mothers from excessive or prolonged suction. A faster pump speed is more comfortable than slower speed.

Q: How often should I pump?

A: How often a mother needs to pump varies depending on how often her baby is able to nurse at the breast and how long she needs to leave her baby. Many moms who plan on returning to work find it helpful to use a double pump for 10-15 minutes rest for 10-15 mins, then pump again for 10-15 minutes. Doing this 1-2 times daily can help create a supply of milk that can be used to feed baby, while she is away. Pumping time also varies if there is a latching issue for baby, supply is low or other health issues exist.

Q: What kind of pumping pain is normal?

A: Pumping should never cause pain! If you feel pain, you may want to change the size of your breast shield flanges.