A breast pump is a great option for breastfeeding moms because they provide the opportunity for flexibility with feeding babies. While there are a few options to decide from, it might be helpful to discuss types of breast pumps with other breastfeeding mothers, your OB/GYN or a lactation specialist.

What are the types of breast pumps?

Types of breast pumps include a simple hand pump, an electric pump, a double breast pump or even a hospital-grade electric breast pump. You can find them at medical supply stores, drugstores and baby stores. A hospital-grade electric pump can usually be rented from a hospital or medical supply store.

  • A hand pump might be all you need if you only plan to use a breast pump occasionally. It works by placing the cone-shaped shield on your breast and then squeezing the handle to encourage the milk to be released into the container.
  • An electric pump might be the best option if you do plan to return to work full-time or be away from your baby for several hours at a time. A double breast pump helps stimulate the milk production in one breast while expressing milk from the other.
  • A hospital-grade electric pump is a great option for more full-time pumping – say if your baby is being hospitalized or if you choose to only feed expressed or pumped breast milk.  Most health insurance plans include the buying or rental of a breast pump.
  • A lightweight electric pump that comes with a carrying case as well as a space to store milk might be an option to consider if you will be carrying the pump with you to work or other places during the day.

How does a breast pump work?

You can expect to use a pump for 10 to 15 minutes per breast. The breast shield cones fit over your breast and have tubing attached that goes into the milk holder. Check with manufacturers if you think you might require larger or smaller breast shields than the standard size.

Contact your neighborhood Texas Health Care Obstetrics & Gynecology clinic in DFW if you need more information on breast pumps.