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3 very good reasons to consider a manual breast pump

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There are lots of reasons why mums need to express their milk. Whatever the reason, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which pump to use.

And if you’ve started your breast pump research, you may have come across a manual breast pump. 

We’ve put together a handy guide to help decide if a manual breast pump is right for you. Plus, some handy tips on how to actually use one. 

Sponsored by Medela

Which breast pump is right for you?

When deciding on a breast pump, the most important thing you need to work out is how often you plan on expressing. This will help you determine the type of pump that best suits your needs. 

You can try this online pump selector to help you pick the right pump for your circumstances.  

A manual breast pump is perfect for mums who want to occasionally express breastmilk for one feed a day or less, or if you plan on expressing for less than four weeks. 

Medela has just launched their improved Harmony™ breast hand pump, completing their new Flex technology range (Freestyle Flex, Swing Maxi Flex and Swing Flex). Now fitted with the research-based, state of the art PersonalFit Flex™ breast shield, the Harmony™ breast hand pump puts less pressure on your milk ducts than traditional breast shields, and is clinically proven to give more comfort for mum, and more milk for baby.1 The 2-phase Expression technology also helps you mimic your baby’s natural suckling rhythm.

Read Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump reviews.

3 reasons why mums love a manual breast pump

Manual breast pumps are gaining in popularity – and for good reason. 

1. Many mums say they love how compact, portable and discreet manual breast pumps are, which is especially great if you need something for when you’re on the go. Just throw it in your bag and have it on hand when needed – plus, there’s no power cord or batteries to worry about. 

2. Manual pumps can also help with blocked milk ducts. Some breastfeeding mums say they find it easier to control the pump pressure when pumping manually, making it more helpful if a blocked milk duct arises. 

3. Cleaning is easier too! There’s no complicated parts that need to be taken apart and cleaned, making it hassle free.

How to use a manual breast pump

When expressing milk with a manual breast pump, the first step – like with all expressing – is to make sure you are comfortable and relaxed. 

Here’s what happens next:

  • Place the breast shield over your nipple so that it is positioned in the middle.
  • Slowly squeeze the pump handle. At first, there might only be a few drops, but that should increase to a spray once your letdown happens. 
  • Keep pumping until your milk stops flowing.
  • Switch sides.

A few tips 

The beauty of breastfeeding is that when it comes down to it, you don’t need much *stuff* to feed your baby. But there are a few things that can make the experience more comfortable and easier for you. 

  • Nursing pillow – this might be useful to help support your arms and back once your baby latches on. 
  • Comfy chair – sitting in a comfortable position is important when nursing.
  • Purelan – Medela’s improved Purelan™ Lanolin cream gives safe, ethical and soothing relief for mums, 100 percent natural, single-ingredient pure lanolin (wool wax).
  • Bottles and teats – when collecting your breast milk, you’ll need products that suit your baby’s age/development stage to store it safely. 
  • Correct breast shield – make sure you’re using the correct breast shield for your nipple size. The wrong size can impact milk output. Medela has a breast shield sizing guide here.

1. Clinical studies by Medela’s Medical Research Department Research of PersonalFit Flex, as compared to PersonalFit data on file (NCT02496429, NCT02492139, NCT02719548, NCT03091985).


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