While some moms are home more than ever, it will be interesting to know that if in the time of COVID-19, how many mothers solely breastfed. For now, while coronavirus is still a factor in our day to day lives, moms are working remotely, some back at the office, many home watching the kids, and others that physically need to be at their job. Meaning, yup, they are pretty busy, and the benefits of pumping are still huge.
First, we asked Ashley Georgakopoulos, IBCLC, and Motif Medical Lactation Director for some helpful tips on COVID-19 Precautions While Pumping:
Ashley says, “We are professionals at juggling the many facets of motherhood, including feeding, pumping, and career goals, so taking a curveball like Covid-19 is not impossible. All we need are the right tools and resources to navigate how to continue with life’s responsibilities and goals as safely and cleanly as possible.”
- Find a clean space to pump — this means NOT a bathroom. Somewhere that allows fresh, circulated airflow is preferable, like your office with the window open, a quiet park bench, or the car with the windows down. This is especially doable with battery-powered pumps to eliminate the need for finding and handling an outlet!
- Wear a mask if inside or around others, minimizing the risk of water vapor germ transfer to your clean pump parts and milk.
- Keep hands washed with warm water and soap, especially before handling the pump and its parts, as well as when handling milk for storage or use.
- Keep parts that come in contact with yourself and/or your milk in a refrigerator or well-insulated cooler for in-between use if sanitizing and washing are not an option until home.
- Manually wash/scrub pump parts (except tubing) followed by sanitizing (i.e., dishwasher, microwave bags, boiling) at least once a day.
Now the Breast Pump Lingo and What it Means:
Single: Extracts from one breast at a time
Double: Option to extract both breasts at the same time
Manual pump: Non-electric
Closed system: A breast pump with a milk barrier is known as a closed system as it’s “closed off” from the milk. The barrier prevents the milk from overflowing and leaking into the pump mechanism and helps ensure your expressed milk travels through a hygienic route. (Medela)
Open system: An open-system breast pump doesn’t have a milk barrier — but bear in mind that the risks of contamination are minimal even if you do have this type of breast pump. (Medela)
Let-Down phase: The let-down reflex means your milk is ready to flow. It makes breastfeeding easier for you and your baby. (familydoctor.org)
Flange: The breast flange is the funnel-shaped piece that fits on your breast over your nipple and areola. (motherschoice.com)
If you know you are going to be pumping, then a breast pump is an essential item you need to consider when preparing for baby. A breast pump is a baby gear item that you know you have to tackle, yet it can feel a bit overwhelming on deciding what pump is going to fit your needs.
Keep in mind if you are back at the office that New York City law states that space must be provided with reasonable break times for lactation extraction for up to 3 years after birth.
Also, under the Affordable Care Act, your health insurance must cover the cost of a breast pump. Each insurance works differently, but it is worth checking to see if your health insurance might cover the pump you are eyeing. This means more mothers are finding it easier and more comfortable to pump wherever they need to pump.
We know that choosing a breast pump isn’t a small task, which is why we have done the research, some we even used when we pumped, and we narrowed them down to our top seven favorites for NYC moms.
Best Hands-Free: Motif Luna Breast Pump
Many breastfeeding moms may not be in an office this year, most likely be working remotely. Whether it’s sitting at the home desk getting work done or need your hands free, this popular pump is battery operated. Battery life works for around 2 hours between use with 2.5 hours to recharge. The pump can be switched from massage to expression easily, choose a light level for nighttime pumping. $229, amazon.com
Best Hospital Strength Breast Pump: Spectra S1 Plus Electric Breast Pump Hospital Strength
If searching for a high tech pump such as the type you may find in a hospital maternity ward, this is the gadget for you. There are two versions of the Spectra. The S1 and the S2 are both popular in their own right. City moms seem to prefer The S1 since the battery is built-in wherewith the S2 the battery is not; this is pretty much the difference between the two. The pump powers at 250mmHg and features a closed system. Many moms love that the suction is not painful at the nipple area, which if you are sensitive in this area, this is pretty important. No one wants their nipples to hurt! Also, the suction can be adjusted in strength for a short or long length of period. On a personal note, there are many parts to this pump, which can be annoying — I would not deem it a travel pump. However, it is super efficient, and while all the pieces can be irritating, it is not a deal-breaker as it is a great breast pump. $199. buybuybaby.com
Best Wearable Pump: Willow Wearable Breast Pump
When the willow first came out, many moms seemed to love the idea of the pump, yet the price felt steep. Perhaps it’s that now more than ever, many moms are finding themselves either working at home or schooling kids or both! Meaning the price is paying for itself in this Zoom age. While we believe that wearable pumps still have a bit to go design-wise — the Willow Wearable pump has approved its pump with this third-generation hand-free pump. Pumping is now slower and pumps 20 percent more milk. $499, shop.williow.com
Best Manual Breast Pump: Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump with SuctionA manual breast pump is a must for every mother. It is a no-nonsense form of pumping that is perfect for all facets of mothers pumping regime. TheHaakaa Silicone is our pick for we have personally used it and it is a game-changer when traveling on a plane, in a car and just that emergency tool you keep in your bag when you must pump and pump at that moment. Made of 100% Food Grade Silicone, it is BPA PVC and Phthalate Free. If using this pump for work or travel, you’ll need to provide ice packs and cooler bag. Worth it since this pump is rarely ever over $20. $12.99, walmart.com
Best Single Electric Breast Pump: Philips Avent Single Electric Comfort Breast Pump
Many mothers opt for a single pump for different reasons. Some may pump while simultaneously breastfeeding. Single breast pumps tend to be lightweight, which helps if you are tooling around with your pump daily. Also, some mothers just do not like double pumping. The Philips Avent Single Electric Comfort Breast Pumpcomes with few parts, a beautiful thing for many breastfeeding moms, as anyone who has pumped knows that when you are using a pump a few times a day, the cleaning of the parts frankly is a pain in the arse. The neck of the pump is at an angle. This angle allows for the milk to flow naturally to the bottle, and you can stay put (and comfortable), not having to crouch into the pump. After starting in the gentle stimulation mode, there are 3 expression settings, low, medium, and high. $162.98, amazon.com
Best Double Breast Pump: Medela Pump In Style Double Electric Breast Pump with Backpack
The advantage of this double pump is that it features 2-Phase Expression Technology with a one-touch let-down button. What the heck in a mother does this mean? It means that it is a cool techy thing that makes the pump work hard to get as much milk as possible. How the 2-Phase Expression operates is that it is built to mimic how a baby nurses, most babies nurse in two phases — fast and then slow. Depending on how milk is flowing, a mother can use the let-down button to pump slower or faster. We all know that breast milk is gold. The more fluid that can be drawn is essential. If your partner is sharing feeding shifts and bottle feeding – or you are back at work and need as much milk in the freezer for the sitter — gear such as this is essential. At a little over 7 pounds, the pump is built into a compact backpack with room for an ice pack (included) and four milk bottles. This is an excellent pump for home as well as for pumping at work. $199, target.com
Best : Evenflo Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump
If searching for a hospital-grade pump minus the high costs, this Evenflo Advanced Double Electric Hospital-Strength Breast Pump is available at around $111. The Pump is designed with angles flange for comfort, is 50 percent quieter than the older version with single and double pumping modes, as well as a closed system to prevent back up. $99 to $111, target.com