Breast Pump – How and When to Use One?

Usually women are considering using a breast pump to collect some milk for the baby when they aren’t around the little one. Another reason is to maintain the milk supply even when you aren’t with your baby. This is something important if you are thinking about going back to work and you want to continue nursing.

Breast Pump

How to use the pump for the breasts?

If you have an electric device of this kind, you should place the phalange on your nipple and then turn the machine on. It works by suction and it collects the milk into the attached container. The manual pumps use suction too, but in this case you have to operate the pump by a squeeze mechanism.

If you have a good electric pump it should take about 15 minutes to pump both of your breasts and it takes about 45 minutes to use a manual pump. Using good pumps feel like nursing and they shouldn’t cause any kind of pain. Make sure that the phalanges have the right size and that you place them properly so that they won’t irritate you.

Pumping bra

This is a good option for a hands free device. This way you won’t have to be holding the phalanges and you will be able to do something else while pumping, like reading a magazine. Sometimes women create their own pumping bras by adding rubber bands to regular nursing bras.


In order to be able to use the breast pump you have to be relaxed. If you are using an electric device you should start at the lowest level and then turn it up according to your needs. You shouldn’t experience any pain, but it is possible that at the beginning it will feel quite strange.

How to choose the breast pump?

The decision you make should depend on how often you will be using the device and how much time you want to spend pumping. If you are working and you don’t have too much time, you might want to consider getting fully automated pumps to be able to pump both breasts in the same time. However, if you only want a few ounces of milk, it is alright to get a manual pump.

Express milk by hand

If you need only a bit of milk from time to time, you could get the job done by hand. Nonetheless it may take some time to get used to it. Hand expressing milk can make plugged ducts and engorgement better. If you have cracked or sore nipples, you shouldn’t be using a breast pump, but express a bit of milk by hand and apply it on your nipples to soothe them.

As it has been mentioned before, hand expressing works only if you need small amounts of milk. Otherwise it is a must to get a pump for your breasts. These devices are usually used by the women who want to pump milk regularly.

Make sure that you clean your breast pump after each use.


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