The first step in choosing a milk collection device is to understand how often you plan on using a milk bottle to feed your baby. If you plan on using a bottle to feed your baby more than twice a week, it is recommended that you use a milk collector that can extract milk from both sides of the breast simultaneously, as this is beneficial for ensuring milk production. If you plan on using a bottle to feed your baby less than twice a week, you can consider purchasing a single-sided milk collector and deciding whether to use a manual, electric, or battery-powered device.
Electric breast milk pump
Electric breast milk pumps have the maximum suction power and there are options for dual pumps. This saves nearly half the time needed for milk collection and stimulates milk production. If you are a working mother or would like to provide more breast milk to your baby, then an electric breast milk pump is definitely the best choice for you.
In fact, if you plan on feeding your baby more milk from a bottle than directly from the breast, you can consider buying a medical-grade electric breast milk pump. This will help you save more milk in the least amount of time. You can also invest in a set of milk collection bras that will free your hands and allow you to make calls or send emails while collecting milk. This way, you can multitask.
If you do not plan on collecting milk on time, the milk extracted by the electric breast milk pump may be more than you need. Additionally, electric milk collectors are more expensive than battery-powered or manual ones.
Battery-powered electric breast milk pumps
Battery-powered milk collectors are cheaper than their rechargeable counterparts and are convenient to carry around. Some designs can even be worn under clothing, which frees your hands while working or staying at home. If you only plan on using a milk collector occasionally (such as when you want to relax or when you have a night nanny), then a battery-powered milk collector is a good choice.
The time required for milk collection using a battery-powered milk collector is longer than that of an electric milk collector. You may use up many batteries and may encounter the problem of running out of power while collecting milk.
Manual milk collectors
Manual milk collectors require manual operation to generate suction through a flange and a manual operating lever and can only collect milk from one side of the breast at a time. They are lightweight and small in size and can be carried in a wallet or taken on overnight trips or vacations.
A good manual milk collector can extract the same amount of milk as an electric breast milk pump. It is suitable for mothers who need to collect milk fewer times when milk is more abundant.
For breast feeding mothers, even if you already have an electric breast milk pump, a manual milk collector is still a good companion. When your baby needs less milk, a manual milk collector is definitely a good helper for saving space when traveling or on business trips.
A manual milk collector allows you to control the frequency of milk collection, and many mothers feel that it is most similar to the feeling of directly breastfeeding their babies. It is the cheapest option, has no noise, and is more portable than the other two types of milk collectors. You can also feed your baby on one side while using the manual milk collector on the other.
Some mothers may keep a manual milk collector on hand for unexpected situations, such as times when they want to relax or when they want to collect all of the milk after feeding.
A manual milk collector takes a relatively long time to use and is not suitable for mothers who want to collect milk regularly or stimulate milk production. They require muscle strength and both hands, which can be tiring. The use of manual milk collectors is often loved and hated--some people enjoy the feeling of use, while others dislike their low productivity.
Breast pump single
Breast pump singles are generally cheaper than multi-user milk collectors and are less technically sophisticated. There are open and closed designs, and manually operated milk collectors are also a type of breast pump single.
An open milk collector has no partition between the milk pump head and milk storage bottle, which may pose a safety risk. Since suction is generated by air entering the pump head, if there is no partition, the milk collected will be exposed to dust particles, pollutants, bacteria, and viruses in the air.
In addition, in an open milk collector, the source of pollution may also come from the opposite direction. If the milk is to flow into the tube, make sure the tube is dry and clean before use.
Remember, do not buy or borrow someone else's used milk collector! Milk collectors are single-user products, much like toothbrushes. They are also classified by the Food and Drug Administration as single-user products. For safety reasons, do not share, resell, or rent milk collectors to others.