Do I Really Need a Breast Pump?

woman holding New Beginnings Breast Pump

Do I really need a breast pump? All of your questions answered! 

Breast pumps - whether manual, electric, single or double, can be one of the best purchases you ever make as a new mum.

Not only are they great for producing and storing breast milk, but they can also help in a number of other ways:

Breast pumps help you produce more milk.

The truth of the matter is, you will never know how your breasts will handle breastfeeding and milk production until it happens. Even if this isn’t your first baby, every birth is different. So if you’re finding you’re not producing enough milk, a breast pump can help stimulate your breasts and nipples to move things along.

Breast pumps save your breasts from engorgement.

Breast pumps can be used to help manage oversupply by removing excess milk from the breasts.

Breast pumps help prevent mastitis.

Oversupply can increase the risk of developing mastitis, an infection of the breast tissue that is incredibly painful. Regularly emptying the breasts using a pump can help avoid this.

Breast pumps give you back some time!

The best part about breast pumps is you can express your milk and store it for future use, meaning you can actually share the feeding and get yourself out of the house for some much needed ‘me’ time.

How do you know if you should buy a breast pump?

Some mums prefer to wait until after giving birth to see how breastfeeding goes before investing in a breast pump, while others like to have a pump on hand in case they need it. Whether you’re from column A or column B, you’ll still want to choose a pump that’s right for you, so let’s take a look at what’s out there.

There are three main types of breast pumps on the market: manual, electric and new to the category, wearable breast pumps. Each serves a purpose and works well for different people in different situations. Let’s take a closer look…

Manual breast pumps

Manual breast pumps are the simplest and most affordable option. They are operated by hand, usually with a lever or handle that you can squeeze to create suction.

The New Beginnings Silicone Manual Breast Pump is perfect for mums on the go. Made from 100% food-grade silicone, this queen of manual pumps is soft, silent and dishwasher-safe. What more could a gal ask for?!

Electric breast pumps

Electric breast pumps use an electric motor to create suction and extract milk from the breast. They are typically more powerful and efficient than manual pumps, and are a good choice for mums who need to pump regularly or for extended periods of time.

Electric pumps can be bought as either single or double. Single electric pumps extract milk from one breast at a time, while double electric pumps can extract milk from both breasts simultaneously.

Double electric pumps are generally faster and more efficient than single pumps, making them a good choice for mums who need to pump frequently or for twins or multiples. The New Beginnings double electric pump has micro computer technology embedded within the motor to ensure it provides the perfect suction which dramatically reduces breastfeeding time by up to 50%!

Check out our breast pump shopping guide for more tips on how to choose the best breast pump.

What will happen if I don’t pump my breasts? 

Long story short, if you don’t use a pump it’s not the end of the world, but you could experience engorgement and mastitis if you produce a lot of milk, and you won’t have the flexibility of sharing the responsibility of feeding bub. 

Will I lose my supply if I don’t pump?

If you're not pumping or breastfeeding regularly, you may experience a decrease in milk supply over time. Milk production is a supply-and-demand process, so if milk is not regularly removed from the breast, the body may produce less milk.

What's the longest I can go without breast pumping?

This depends on a few factors, such as your individual milk supply, how long it has been since you last pumped or breastfed, and how often you usually pump or breastfeed. 

In general, it's recommended that you empty your breasts at least 8-12 times in a 24-hour period to maintain your milk supply. However, this can vary from person to person, and some women may be able to go longer between pumping or breastfeeding sessions without experiencing a decrease in milk supply.

Do I need to sterilise my breast pump?

Yes, yes and yes! It's important to sterilise your breast pump regularly to ensure that it's clean and free from harmful bacteria. This is especially important if you're using a breast pump to collect milk for a newborn or a baby with a weakened immune system.

And while there’s so many reasons to invest in one of these nifty breast pumps, remember that you should always consult with your doctor or talk to a lactation nurse if you’re having any issues with your breasts or supply.

Ready to take the plunge and buy your breast pump? Shop our full breast pump range.

Finding yourself Googling everything from boobs and bums to bubs and bibs? Visit New Beginnings, where you’ll find a range of helpful articles, products and tips for navigating this new chapter of your life - mummahood.