Mother and babyWhen you can’t be there, your breast milk still can. Any new mom will tell you that a good breast pump is essential to keep up your milk supply when you need to be apart from your baby or if your baby is too premature or sick to breastfeed.

Reasons to use a breast pump

Here are a few reasons why mothers may need to use a breast pump


  1. Your baby is too premature or sick to breastfeed now, but you want to provide your breast milk for her feedings until she can breastfeed. Some babies are too premature or ill to breastfeed well. When this happens, you can pump. Your milk is like medicine for your baby. Babies who receive mother’s milk are less likely to become sick and are more likely to feed by mouth sooner, which may help them come home from the hospital earlier.
  2. You will be apart from your baby for some of her feedings due to work, school or other reasons.

Pumping when you are apart from your baby helps you to be able to give breast milk to your baby and avoid the expense and health risks of feeding formula. Using a breast pump allows you the flexibility to get back to work or school without your baby having to miss out on your milk.


  1. You are having breast fullness making it difficult for your baby to latch on. Sometimes a mother’s breast becomes too full for her baby to latch on easily. Pumping for a few minutes softens your breast, areola and nipple enough so the baby can latch on a little easier.
  2. You are having latch-on issues due to nipple shape. If you have flat or inverted nipples, it may be more difficult for your baby to latch on. Using a breast pump for a few minutes will help pull out your nipples, which may make it easier for your baby to take the breast.
  3. You are having difficulty breastfeeding your baby and need to use a breast pump to develop and maintain your milk supply while you work with a lactation professional to help your baby breastfeed.


  1. You need additional breast stimulation to increase your milk supply. If you’re having trouble making enough milk, using a breast pump, in addition to breastfeeding, may help you increase your milk production. Pumping to drain your breasts of milk more fully more times each day helps you make milk faster. Contact a lactation consultant if you are concerned about your milk supply.


This is general information and does not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. If you have a problem you cannot solve quickly, seek help right away. Every baby is different. If in doubt, contact your physician or healthcare provider.