Women’s health and neonatal healthcare professionals all have a role to play in supporting a mother’s breastfeeding journey. Her success in this journey offers health benefits not only for her, but especially for her infant. This is true particularly if her infant is born preterm or has other health difficulties. In these cases, the right technology can make a vast difference in breast milk feeding experiences.
First, let’s look at the breast pump technology options for mothers:
Hospital Grade Breast Pump
Hospital grade pumps are typically referred for use by a hospital or physician, based on the needs of the mother and infant. Medela offers a hospital grade breast pump, the Symphony, which is also available with Preemie+ Initiation Technology designed to help mothers initiate during those first few important days.
Personal Use Pumps
Personal use pumps are commercially available breast pumps in which moms can select the functionality which works best for them. Medela offers several options for personal use pumps, with single and double-electric capabilities as well as a manual pump.
Second, let’s consider a technology decision. There are times in a mother’s breast milk feeding journey when it is not always clear which type of pump technology will benefit her more. As a healthcare professional, you might be asking: which technology is best for both mom AND baby?
When considering a breast pump for a breastfeeding mother, it is important to ask two questions:
1. Which mom is this breast pump for?
This question refers to breastfeeding capabilities for both mom and baby.
- Successful breastfeeding: Mom has no problems with initiation and the infant gets to breast ideally within the first hour
- Initiation help: Mom or baby experience breastfeeding challenges, or mom needs help initiating her milk supply
- Pump dependent: Health issues separate mom and baby, or the infant is unable to breastfeed
2. Which stage are mother and baby in after birth?
This refers to a twelve month time span and is broken into three stages: Initiate, build and maintain.
- Days 1 through 7 are to initiate breast milk production
- Days 8 through 30 are to build breast milk supply
- Months 2 through 12 are to maintain breast milk supply
To help identify which breast pump technology is the right decision for a mom in your care, consider both the timing stage and which mom profile applies. Then use the infographic below to decide the right breast pump technology for her optimal success.
Learn more about Medela’s Symphony hospital grade pump here
Learn more about Medela’s personal use pumps here