Pump It Up!
Plan to pump at work? Supplement with bottles? Here, a new mom's best bets
by Kim Hays
Serving expressed breast milk in a bottle allows a mom to give her baby the best nourishment possible even when she's not around. (Think going back to work, girls' night out or a quick trip to the gym.) It also gives dad and grandma a feeding role-and can help mom snag some zzzzzs while dad picks up those 3 a.m. feedings. Luckily, there's a pump for just about every mom.
If you're not sure how long you'll breastfeed You might want to start by renting a hospital-grade electric double breast pump (around $1 to $3 a day and up to $60 for your own collection kit), especially if your baby is unable to nurse. Hospital-grade pumps are the most efficient because they closely mimic the natural suck and release cycle of a baby. Best bet: To find out about rentals, call your hospital or local La Leche League International (illi.org).
If you're going back to work You won't want to lug a heavy hospital pump into the office. You'll need something more portable. Machines that allow you to pump both breasts simultaneously, hands-free, work the hardest and the fastest. Best bets: the Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump ($280; target.com) or the Philips Avent Isis iQ Duo Twin Electronic Breast Pump ($250; amazon.com" target="_blank">amazon.com). Both can pump both breasts at the same time and come with an insulated milk-storage bag and a carrying case. Attach nipples to the storage bottles and they're ready for baby.
If you don't plan on pumping much A single pump operated by hand will do the trick at a low cost. Best bets: the Simplisse Manual Breastfeeding Companion ($40; amazon.com) or the Ameda One-Hand Breast Pump with Flexishield ($34; amazon.com).
If you plan to store milk Expressed breast milk should be kept chilled, so if you're pumping at work, for example, you'll need access to a refrigerator or cooler, an insulated bag and a cold pack for transport home. The AAP recommends storing your milk in hard plastic cups with tight caps or heavy-duty bags that fit directly into a baby bottle. Best bet: Playtex Nursing Necessities One Step Breast Milk Storage Kit ($8; kmart.com). For more on safe storage of breast milk, visit the AAP's website, healthychildren.org.
What would happen if everybody breastfed?
If 90 percent of mothers breastfed exclusively for the first six months of their infants' lives, the United States could save $13 billion in health-care costs as well 911 babies' each year.
-- According to a recent study in Pediatrics, the journal published by the AAP, on how breastfeeding could promote a healthy bottom line for society at large. (Megan Aquilina)