What do I need to feed my newborn baby?
There's nothing more important than giving your baby the nutrients that they need to grow and develop in their first stages of infancy.
Using a breast pump enables a mother to express milk that can then be consumed by their child at a time that's convenient for both mom and baby.
Breast pumps also give fathers the chance to do some feeding too which means that not only is baby happy but mom gets some well earned rest thrown in for god measure.
Choosing the right sort of breast pump allows you to feel confident about giving your baby exactly what they need as well as keeping your milk production high and the risk of infection low.
Getting your baby used to a bottle as part of your breast feeding routine is essential for helping them make the switch from one method to another and it's recommended that you introduce expressed milk in a bottle within the first few days of feeding.
Below details what you need to get started and if you're hoping to get back to work or share your baby's feeding schedule with your partner then read on for more information.
What type of breast pump should I use?
The short answer is: whichever one works best for you. There are lots of different styles and brands on the market with everything from hand operated to battery powered providing the means of expressing a mother's milk.
If you're not getting on very well with breast feeding then an electric pump that you'd find in a hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is probably best for you. These types of breast pump are considered to be top quality and can actually be rented rather than purchasing if preferred.
A double breast pump is also another piece of equipment that you'll usually find in a hospital baby unit and ensures that you're getting the most milk possible whilst effectively cutting down the time it takes by 50%.
If you find that you need to pump more than once per day then it's probably best to blend the quality of a hospital standard model with an automatic version that runs on either batteries or through electricity. These sorts of pumps are ideal for changing suction to suit your body and are also designed to copy your own infant's sucking pattern.
Any moms which find they need to express just once a day should certainly consider getting a manual or battery operated pump which can be used whenever required rather than as a constant source of milk. These sorts of pumps do take longer to pump milk. However, they are more affordable, less heavy and more portable than other types of high end hospital grade models.
Whichever breast pump you opt for the choice is yours and although there are many different types on the market it's essential to find a style that suits you and your young family.
One thing is for sure, whichever breast pump you decide upon, kitting yourself out with a range of accessories before you start the process is a great idea. Nipple creams, spare teats, sticky labels and storage bags will all become important pieces of kit so best advice is to stock up in advance before things start to get interesting.
Finally, it's essential that you find out what sort of breast feeding pump is covered within your insurance policy. Some insurance companies also pay for expert medical advice and healthcare consultations.
If you would like us to help you decipher your insurance benefits, just fill out this form.