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3 Main Types of Breast Pumps


Breast pumps can be held in place using your hand, a breast pumping bra, a nursing bra, or a special band. The milk extraction process involves the creation of a seal around the nipple, after which suction is applied and released. Although some mothers may prefer to exclusively breastfeed, pumping is an excellent alternative, allowing you to increase and maintain your supply of milk, all while dealing with any potential obstacles that may arise. However, the wide variety of breast pumps out there can be overwhelming for some. Given that pumping is unique to every individual, it is important to choose the right breast pump to suit your needs. These are the three main types you can easily find. 

Manual Pumps

Manual pumps are a type of hand-operated breast pump. After placing the breast shield over the nipple and areola, a handle or lever is pressed to produce suction and express breast milk, which is subsequently collected in a container. Some manual pumps come with a tiny tube that is pumped into and out of a bigger tube, producing a vacuum that expresses and collects the milk. These pumps are generally more affordable and portable, being suitable for occasional or short-term pumping. However, they may not be suitable for frequent pumping or extracting large quantities of breast milk, as manual pumping can be an exhausting and time-consuming process.

Electric and Battery-Powered Pumps

Powered breast pumps are equipped with a tiny, motorized pump that generates suction in order to extract breast milk, and hence require the use of batteries or an electrical outlet. The suction level can be adjusted using a switch or dial on a control panel. Some breast pumps even come with a variety of suction patterns, allowing the user to select a specific setting that mimics her nursing infant.

Patient Solutions carries a double-electric Medela In Style Breast Pump that features 2-Phase Expression technology, which mimics a baby’s natural sucking movements. Babies suck quickly and in short bursts at the start of each feeding, but as the milk starts flowing, they suck slower and more forcefully. This breast pump was specifically conceptualized to replicate a baby’s feeding rhythm, which ultimately makes for a natural yet effective method of expressing.

Pumping Types

If you are feeding your infant a combination of breast milk and formula, a single breast pump will suffice. Most manual and battery-powered pumps are single pumps. If you pump on a more regular basis, you will benefit from a double breast pump that extracts milk from both breasts simultaneously. Double pumps are usually powered by electricity and allow you to spend a shorter amount of time expressing. They also generate more milk containing nutritious fat and calories per session (up to 18% more) as compared to a single breast pump. 

Purchase Breast Pumps from Patient Solutions

If you need breast pumps or any other products to kick start your journey of motherhood, visit Patient Solutions and browse through our online catalog. As the primary provider of products and services for active-duty military service members, veterans, and their dependents, we offer an extensive range of high-quality medical equipment for customers in the continental United States.