Choosing the Right Breast Pump

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Breast pumps are classified as medical equipment under the Affordable Care Act. Many health insurance are required to cover the cost of a new breast pump. Contact your health insurance plan to find out what kind of breast pump you have access to, and what portion of the cost -if any- you will be required to pay. You may be required to provide a prescription from your physician.

Breast pumps are classified as either single user or multi user.   A multi-user breast pump is one that can be safely cleaned for use by more than one mother, and may also be referred to as hospital grade.   Hospital grade only means multi-user and is not necessarily a statement regarding quality. If you are considering accepting a used pump from a friend or relative, make sure it is a multiuser pump.

The breast pump that is right for you should be comfortable, quiet, and effective.  Some pumps are for occasional use, others are suitable for every day pumping. Depending upon your needs, you may choose a manual or an electric, single or double breast pump. A good manual pump is a better choice that a poor electric pump. The best breast pumps have adjustable suction and speed, offer a variety of breast flange sizes, and cycle smoothly and quietly.  One good rule of thumb in breast pump selection is to choose a pump made by a breast pump company, not by a company that manufactures breast pumps as a side business.   It’s also important to select a breast pump that you can easily obtain replacement parts for. A good quality double electric breast pump can last through several babies. It’s always best to purchase all new parts, including tubings, for each baby.

There is no official rating system for breast pumps in the US. Online reviews written by breastfeeding mothers can be a great resource, and a Lactation Consultant can help you to choose the right pump for your needs.

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