Do I Need a Multi-User Hospital-Grade Breast Pump?
Pamela K. Murphy, PhD, MS, APRN, FACHE
It can be challenging to figure out which breast pump may be right for you. There are so many choices out there. Deciding between a multi-user hospital-grade or a personal pump can help narrow down your pump options. So, how do you make this decision?
When deciding on what type of pump to use, consider the reasons why you need a breast pump. Start here, are youâ€¦?
1. Establishing your milk supply (your baby is less than 2 weeks old): Pumping to establish
your milk supply for a preterm or hospitalized baby until they can breastfeed.
2. Maintaining your milk supply (your baby is 2+ weeks old)
a. Your baby is unable to fully breastfeed due to prematurity or feeding issues.
b. You have decided to exclusively pump.
c. You are returning to work after fully breastfeeding.
d. You are occasionally separated from your exclusively breastfeeding baby.
If You Are Establishing a Milk Supply
- A multi-user breast pump is the best choice for you because you will be pumping 8-10 times a day, as often as your baby would be breastfeeding.
- Multi-user breast pumps are built to last and have research to back their effectiveness in establishing an adequate milk supply when used as instructed.
- They are durable and have strong motors that can provide consistent, gentle suction to help extract breast milk and stimulate your bodyâ€™s hormones to make an adequate milk supply when used at regular intervals.
- Both the suction and speed ranges are typically more varied and customizable, making milk extraction comfortable and effective. This is important as what your body needs to stimulate milk production may change over time, for example, as the colostrum phase changes to mature breast milk.
If You Are Maintaining Your Milk Supply
A multi-user pump or a personal pump can be used depending on your situation.
- A personal pump is usually adequate if you have a full milk supply, are substituting 1-2 breastfeeding sessions a day, and are otherwise exclusively breastfeeding your baby.
- A multi-user pump is highly recommended in cases when you are exclusively pumping or your baby is not able to get a full feeding at your breast. Your pump needs to be powerful, durable, and effective since you are relying on it to extract your breast milk and stimulate your hormones to continue to make an adequate supply of breast milk.
Multi-User Breast Pumps Check All the Boxes
- Comfortable â€“ multiple suction settings
- Effective â€“ typically backed by research
- Powerful â€“ multiple speed settings
- Easy to clean â€“ wipeable
- Quiet â€“ for private pumping
- Portable â€“ typically light enough to carry
- Durable â€“ strong motor, made for 8-10 pumping sessions a day for multiple years
- Closed system â€“ milk stays out of the tubing and the breast pump
Where Do I Find a Multi-User Breast Pump?
These types of pumps can be rented or purchased. They are typically more expensive, so renting can be the cost-effective option. In some cases, insurance will cover the cost of a rental pump so
check with your insurance company to see.
Ameda offers two multi-user options â€“ the NEW Pearl and the clinically-proven Platinum. Reach out to your local lactation consultant if you need help finding a multi-user hospital-grade breast pump. Ameda has an easy-to-use rental locator that can be found here.