As a new mother or mother-to-be, you have probably heard advice from every perspective imaginable. You may have gotten advice about breastfeeding and breast pumps. Before you make a decision, be sure to weigh the breast pump pros and cons. This will help you to make the decision that makes the most sense for you and your baby.
Breast pumps are wonderful for helping to reduce engorgement in those first few months. You may want to give your nipples a break, but you don’t want your breasts to become too full. A breast pump lets you produce and store that milk for later use.
The other parent of your child may want to be involved in the feeding process, but only you can provide the milk necessary for your child. By using a breast pump, you can give your spouse a chance to feed your little one using a bottle.
Breast pumps also come in handy if you are going to be away from your baby for a longer period of time. Not only can you pump and store milk that can be used while you are away, the pump also helps your body stay in the routine of producing milk. This way, your body won’t stop just because you haven’t gotten to nurse your child.
Some people choose not to use breast pumps because they don’t want to create nipple confusion. While bottle companies have tried to create nipples that are more like the mother’s breast, they still haven’t come close enough. When you pump milk, you can still give your child the nutrition he or she needs, but it becomes more difficult for the child to understand what is happening at feeding time. Drinking from a bottle is very different from latching on to a mother’s breast.
Breast pumps also have many different pieces that need to be washed and sterilized. The containers you store your milk in must also be cleaned properly and thoroughly. This is a lot more work than simply breastfeeding your child, which is another reason why some people don’t like the pumps.
Breastfeeding is more sanitary. Even with sterilizing all the equipment for your pump, there is still more of a chance that germs can be introduced in the milk supply than by nursing directly.
There is also something to be said for the skin-to-skin bonding that happens during nursing. While you may still be holding your child while you bottle feed, the experience is different than with nursing.
While there is no right or wrong answer to whether or not you should use a breast pump, reviewing these breast pump pros and cons may help you make the decision that makes you most comfortable.