A hospital grade breast pump can be a new mother’s best friend. With the ability for double collection and a sucking action that most closely mimics that of a newborn, the hospital grade pump is the most efficient one available. For a newly nursing mother, these pumps are a great way to help your milk come in and establish a supply for feedings and freezing. For a nursing mother of multiples, it is a breast feeding lifesaver. Despite the time savings and efficiency, hospital grade pumps are often not even considered by many pregnant women.
Hospital grade pumps are the powerhouses of breast pumps. Because of their “industrial” nature, they are typically rented from the hospital or a medical supply store. Most hospitals will provide a pump free during your admission and the machine can be rented upon discharge. Averaging $50 per month, the pump is very cost effective for the early stages of nursing and for any woman not planning to breastfeed longer than 6 months.
It is not dirty or unsanitary. Your milk will not be contaminated by using a rented pump. Hospital grade pumps are designed, with FDA approval, to last for years and have multiple users. Each new mother is given (or purchases) their own collection kit (breast shields, tubing, bottles). During use, the milk only comes in contact with the pieces of the collection kit.
The biggest downside to a hospital grade pump is the lack of portability. The machine is heavier and larger than those you may find at a baby store. It does not run on batteries and must be plugged in to use. The inability to easily move around can leave you feeling tethered to one spot for pumping. The size also means that it is impractical for taking to work or for travel.
One Cincinnati mom says; “When my older daughter was born I didn’t know there was such a pump. I didn’t ask and it wasn’t offered. I went through multiple mid-price pumps over the course of six months. When my second daughter was born, the nurses brought me a hospital grade pump. It was as if the breastfeeding heavens opened up. The difference in time and quantity put away was tremendous. Sure, I looked like a cow with both breasts hooked up but when you’re sleep deprived every second gained for rest is important.”
The following are several links to learn more about your hospital’s pumping resources: