Is there really still a place for manual breast pumps? Perhaps a question that is rarely asked in this age of electronic pumps getting sleeker, smaller and stronger (suction-wise). When it comes to buying a breast pump, most new mothers will have a top-of-the-line electric breast pump in mind. While there is no doubt that this would be a best buy, you might still want to have a manual pump on the side.
Here are a handful of reasons why:
#1: Manual means hyper-portable
Granted, there are some really miniscule electric pumps out there. Our own Hegen PCTO Double Electric pump is no slouch in the looks and (tiny) size department. But we have a soft spot for our manual breast pump module too!
Being a simple addition to your Hegen system, this flange and handle is all you need to turn any existing Hegen bottle into a breast pump! So on days when all you want is to go lightweight on a quick outing, just pop this into your bag for a no-fuss pumping experience.
#2: Manual means no electric source needed
Imagine this scenario: you’re sitting on the couch and baby’s already drained your left boob but no amount of nudging will coax them to take your right. They’re sleeping soundly and you’d like to get some decent shuteye too but first you’d need to empty the other breast without waking baby up! Enter the manual pump to the rescue.
Because you don’t have to bother with cords, wires and being close to a wall outlet, you can remain on the couch and quickly express, in time to join baby in dreamland. And when you both wake up, there’s a bottle ready for a feed!
The manual pump also makes it a great solution if you’re out on the go and need to quickly express milk at the park or beach. You won’t have to look for a nursing room or somewhere with an electric point; just whip out your manual pump and nursing cover and you’re on your way!
#3: Manual mean less pressure
If you’ve never used an electric breastpump before, it may take a while to get used to it. Especially for Mummies with sensitive breasts or a difficult birth, the pressure of an electric pump may be overwhelming at first.
So a manual pump is a great way to ease into the whole pumping experience, especially in the first few days at the hospital when your breast milk is being established. If you’ve tried an electric pump and find the suction too strong, try decreasing the pressure. Otherwise, a manual pump may be a better bet for you.
#4: Manual means quiet
An electric breastpump will definitely emit a “buzz-buzz” sound no matter how low the volume, though technology in recent years has made this a less noisy experience and more acceptable in places where you don’t have to be uber-quiet. But what if you have a baby that startles easily? Or stuck in a two-hour conference call? If being super quiet while pumping is a necessity, then the manual pump definitely trounces an electric one in this department.
#5: Manual can draw out that extra bit of milk
If you think your breasts have been fully drained after a latch or pump, think again. There’s actually more milk you can express out with a manual pump, and it shouldn’t take more than another 10 minutes to extract it all out. We know of Mummies who actually prefer manual pumps over electric ones because they can subtly vary their arm strength to achieve a good suction and flow - which actually helps with their overall supply. While one hand is expressing, the other can massage the boob to draw out that extra bit of milk. This hack is one way to boost your breastmilk supply!