Hospital Grade Breast Pumps

What are hospital grade breast pumps?

The term “hospital grade” is not a fixed term and can be used by manufacturers in different ways. Also, this term is not recognized by the FDA, and there might be more definitions than one. This pump has stronger motors for efficient suction and pumping compared to the personal-use pumps.

A hospital grade breast pump is an electrically powered breast pump. They are considered to be the most durable and strongest breast pumps that are available for moms to own. These pumps are also the most accurate when it comes to imitating your baby’s sucking. And this feature can significantly improve milk flow.

One noticeable difference between a hospital grade pump and a personal use pump is that the former may be shared. They may be divided provided that each of the users has their kit. The latter, as the name implies, can be used by only one breastfeeding mom and is not safe for sharing.

Hospital grade breast pumps are of the highest quality, most efficient and can be a bit pricey. But if you are a mother who plans to share your shoe with your breastfeeding relatives. Or have it rented by your friends, then a hospital grade pump will work for you. Furthermore, they are beneficial for mothers who have breastfeeding problems. Also for those who do not have a steady milk flow or those who are breastfeeding twins. These type of pumps efficiently stimulate the breasts for adequate milk production.

When is it ideal to invest in a hospital grade breast pump?

Hospital grade breast pumps are often suggested by physicians to be used by breastfeeding mothers who pump daily and frequently, and if you are a mom who needs help in establishing and maintaining a sufficient breast milk supply. When it comes to increasing breast milk supply, moms will get the most when using a hospital grade breast pump.

It is essential to start using a hospital grade breast pump soon after labor to bring in their milk supply and maintain it. Since hospital grade breast pumps have stronger suction and pumping, they tend to be recommended for use under exceptional circumstances. Like when you are a mother who is pumping:

Twins or multiple children

Premature or sick infants

Babies who are not able to latch after birth

Breastfeeding mothers who have certain medical conditions

When you are planning to donate breast milk

To increase milk supply and induce lactation

Working mothers who tend to be away from their babies for extended periods will also benefit from hospital grade pumps. Lactation consultants and physicians will also refer moms to use a hospital grade breast milk pump if the supply is meager. The strength of this kind of pumps will be beneficial to keep their breast milk supply flowing. Frequent breastfeeding is the key to established milk supply. So, it is essential to pump milk even when away from baby to maintain a good amount of liquid gold.

Best hospital grade breast pumps

Medela Symphony

hospital grade breast pumpsWith its two-phase expression technology, this Medela Symphony breast pump is designed to mimic a baby’s natural nursing pattern. Although this breast pump is high-end and very pricey, this one gets the work done. It offers convenience, allowing mothers to switch between single or double pumping. This first-class breast pump also comes with a let-down button that helps mom in quickly returning to stimulation. The Symphony is also proven to reduce pumping time. It works with a faster let-down and milk flow and removes as much milk as a breastfeeding baby.

The Medela Symphony is the most efficient hospital grade breast pump on the market today. However, this powerful breast pump is also the most expensive one. This sturdy and robust breast pump is best for every day use and will not falter, not even a single bit. This is also usually the pump recommended to mothers who have trouble with their milk supply. This pump is suitable for initiating and maintaining milk supply.

Despite the many features that this pump can boast, this is a problem when it comes to portability. Mothers who are always on the go and who will not be able to pump mostly at home will probably have a hard time making use of this pump. Furthermore, the Symphony has to be plugged into work and is pretty heavy.

What to love:

Closed system and very hygienic

Available to use as an efficient single or double pump

Contributes to a noticeable improvement in milk supply

One of the most comfortable and practical hospital grade breast pump

Perfect for daily use

Quickly expresses milk

Double/single pumping

Spectra Baby USA S1

spectra s web

The S1 delivers so many great features and is made to meet the needs of most mothers.  This hospital grade portable electric breast pump is built in with a rechargeable battery. It has separate modes for suction strength and suction speed. This makes it able to adjust to the mothers’ preferences and easier to use than other breast pumps. This breast pump provides efficiency, power, and performance of a hospital strength breast pump without compromising on portability.

Like other Spectra pumps, S1 has a pair of backflow protectors making it a closed system pump. It has a physical barrier between the milk and the pump. This makes it more hygienic and ensures motor performance. The backflow protection helps protect breast milk and baby from bacteria, molds, and viruses. It keeps tubing dry by preventing air flow between expressed milk and pump tubing while pumping. Therefore, you will no longer need to clean the narrow tubing.

Since this breast pump has a promising suction limit and strength, it is sturdy enough for maintaining milk supply. And, this pump also works best for those mothers with low milk supply issue. This is also is a super quiet pump; you get a powerful pump but with a tranquil operating sound. It also comes with a rechargeable battery and a nightlight. Also, a timer which comes in very handy for late night pumping sessions. The pump’s ability to be used as a single or double pump is indeed a plus too!

What to love:

Portable with a rechargeable battery

Quiet pumping

Closed system and very hygienic

Efficient milk expression with very little to no discomfort

Separate speed and suction adjustment

High maximum suction

Comes with a night light

Very light and compact

Easy to operate touch button digital controls

Double/single pumping

Affordable

Spectra Baby USA S2

spectra s web

It is known as an innovative and extremely efficient breast pump. This pump is nearly identical to the Spectra S1 Plus. Only that this model does not come with a rechargeable battery and needs to be plugged into a power supply. So this might not work for moms who are always on the go. But if you are a mom that can consistently stay at home with good power supply. And does not need a portable pump, then this one will work well for you.

The S2 is a hospital grade breast pump with highly adjustable settings. Despite its power, it is known to be incredibly quiet and gentle too. The S2 is also hygienic and has a pair of backflow protectors making it a closed system pump. The backflow protection helps protect breast milk and baby from bacteria, molds, and viruses. Like other hospital grade pumps, it may be suitable for sharing between moms provided that each one has their collection kit.

This breast pump is exceptionally flexible and adjustable to a let-down mode and expression mode. With the touch button and digital controls, it would be easy for all moms out there to set the pumping strength, speed, and rhythm.  The pump’s ability to be used as a single or double pump is a great feature too. Since this breast pump has a promising suction limit and strength, it is sturdy enough for maintaining and building up milk supply.

What to love:

Quiet pumping

Closed system and very hygienic

Efficient milk expression with very little to no discomfort

Separate speed and suction adjustment

High maximum suction

Comes with a night light

Very light and compact

Easy to operate touch button digital controls

Double/single pumping

Affordable

Ameda Elite

If you are planning to pump long term or most of the time, then the Ameda Elite will be very worth the price. Although the Ameda Elite is not as expensive as Medela Symphony, it is still pricey. The Ameda Elite breast pump is a hospital grade breast pump which is designed for long-term and frequent use.

This breast pump offers two separate adjustment dials. One for speed or cycles, and one for vacuum strength, giving you more levels to choose from. It is one stand out feature of this pump that its suction and speed control that can be adjusted separately. This is done to ensure every user is left comfortable while pumping.

Portability is also not an issue. Despite the strength and capability of this pump, it is relatively lightweight. Therefore, it is very convenient and easy to use if you are on the go. The pump comes with built-in bottle holders that ensure no spills take place and proper storage in the freezer is allowed. Like all other hospital grade breast pumps, this one is also safe for sharing provided that each mom has their kit. This pump is also easy to clean.

What to love:

Independent suction and cycle speed controls

Compact and lightweight

Easy to clean and use

Double/single pumping

Proven airlock protection

Long-term and frequent use

Quiet operation

Hygiea EnJoye

Hygiea is one of the lesser known breast pumps on the market. But it is fast gaining a strong foothold in a very competitive market. The company is very eco-friendly and lives with the slogan “No Pumps in Dumps.” When a Hygeia consumer no longer needs her breast pump, it can be re-used by a friend or family member when each mother has her accessory set. Or, the pump can be sent to us to be recycled or reused. This means fewer pumps in the landfills.

In addition to fewer pumps in the dumps, the Hygeia EnJoye breast pump features a reusable lithium-ion battery. This rechargeable battery will last for up to four hours of use with each charge. Hygeia is committed to the environment and making the earth a cleaner place for new parents and babies. The Hygiea EnJoye is a closed system pump and may be rented or shared between moms who have their pumping kits.

There are two different models of the Hygeia Enjoye:

  1. Enjoye
  2. Enjoye Cordless

“The Enjoye has the same features as the Enjoye Cordless except it does not have a rechargeable battery. You can purchase an external battery pack, however, but it would take AA batteries. The Enjoye Cordless can run on an AC Adapter or on its internal battery pack that lasts up to 4 hours.”

Another difference between the Enjoye and the Enjoye Cordless is that the Enjoye Cordless does not come with a tote bag.

What to love:

Closed system and hygienic

Lightweight and portable

Independent speed and suction controls

Prerecorded and recordable buttons to record baby to assist with let down

Ideal for daily pumping, working moms, and exclusive pumping

Strong pump to help in improving milk supply

Provides cordless option

Affordable

Nibble Dual Motorized Breast Pump

The Nibble Dual Motorized breast pump is a hospital grade pump that is one of the most advanced pumps out there. It comes with a rechargeable battery for on the go pumping. This can also function as a single or a double breast pump. Like all other hospital grade pumps, this also operates with a closed system.

This system has backflow protection so that no pumped milk flows back into the machine. The pump has a night light, a timer, let-down mode, and an adjustable program that will best suit each mothers’ unique needs. The super quiet pump is ideal for double pumping and has double collection kit.

This hospital grade breast pump is very easy to use with ten levels of vacuum strength setting. The setting this pump offers lets mothers adjust the suction setting freely according to their preference. The optimum amount of strength this pump has helps mothers maintain their milk supply. An LCD provides information on time spent pumping, strength, and speed. The pump can be powered using batteries, or a wall mounted plug.

This pump is also sophisticated made with super silent dual air pumps that produce very minimal noise. Making it perfect to use when pumping at work or pumping late at night.

What to love:

Single/double pumping

Portable

Large LCD with backlight

Comfortable suction cups

Ten levels of suction strength for versatility and ultimate comfort

Can be battery operated

Hygienic, closed system

Quiet pumping

Helpful safety notes when it comes to breast pumps

Source: BabyCenter Expert Advice

When using only one side of a double pump, seal the other side

Not doing so reduces the pump’s suction and makes it less efficient.

Don’t get a used pump

Although it may be tempting to share or borrow someone else’s breast pump or buy a used one. “The Food and Drug Administration and breastfeeding experts caution against it. Breast milk can carry bacteria and viruses that can contaminate these pumps and pass an infection to you and your baby. And since droplets of milk can get into the internal parts, using your collection kit doesn’t necessarily make them safe to use.”

Also, hand-me-down pumps may not be as effective because motors lose their strength and the seals deteriorate over time, problems that may lead to a loss of suction.

Pumps designed for multiple users, like hospital grade pumps, are designed to prevent breast milk from getting inside the pump. As long as you use one with your collection kit, they’re safe—but check the packaging or call the manufacturer.

Choose the right-size breast shields

The wrong size will result in discomfort and discoloration on your nipples. The shields that come with the pump may not be the right size for you. Watch and observe your nipple while pumping. If your nipple turns white or red, rubbing painfully against the sides of the tube, and an excessive amount of your areola getting sucked in. You may need to get another size of breast shield. A shield that is too small can contribute to sore or damaged nipples.

Clean pump parts after each use

It is important to review your breast pump’s manual and instructions when it comes to cleaning. You don’t have to sterilize them, washing them with soap and warm water will be enough. Then rinse with hot water for 10 to 15 seconds and allow to air dry on a clean paper towel and with a clean and safe environment.

Don’t clean the tubing unless breast milk gets into it

You may see small water drops in the tubing after you pump. If that happens, just turn the pump back on for a few minutes to dry the tubes out. If you see milk in the tubing, check the manual for cleaning instructions and let it air dry before reattaching to your breast pump.

 

Why use a hospital breast pump

Source: Nursing Angel 

Providing breast milk when away at feeding time

Hospital grade pumps are very efficient when it comes to expressing milk. Expressed milk can be stored in the fridge and freezer, allowing you to prepare in advance for other caregivers to feed a baby. Be sure to use breast milk storage bags that are specifically designed to retain breastmilk nutritional properties and that made with safe materials for storing breast milk. Many mothers also like to freeze breast milk for emergency situations or stocking before returning to work.

To increase breast milk supply

Frequent use of a breast pump, in addition to breastfeeding where possible, can be used to stimulate milk production and increase milk supply. Breast pumps can also help in re-establishing milk supply, particularly if used within several weeks of weaning

Helpful to maintain milk supply when unable to exclusively breastfeed

Sometimes breastfeeding may not be possible for some mothers due to a variety of reasons. Examples are illness, medication, suckling difficulties, nipple pain, mastitis and others. Using a breast pump enables you to maintain adequate milk supply and provide breast milk for the baby until nursing can be properly re-established.

Oversupply or weaning

If your milk supply exceeds demand, painful engorgement can occur. This is common after birth and when weaning. Discomfort can be relieved some way including by removing a small amount of breast milk with a breast pump. This also helps prevent plugged ducts and mastitis.

Flat or inverted nipples or to help with let-down

A breast pump can help draw out flat or inverted nipples before breastfeeding. Using an efficient hospital grade breast pump immediately before or during breastfeeding can also help with stimulating the let-down reflex.

Uncertain about breastfeeding

If you’ve experienced difficulties with breastfeeding and plan to stop it is important to seek the advice of your healthcare professional before finalizing your decision. Many problems can “be solved with the right advice and support. If you have decided to stop breastfeeding, consider using a breast pump before weaning altogether. This ensures your baby will still receive” breast milk for as long as possible.

It also gives you options: a surprising number of mothers stop breastfeeding and start weaning, only to have a sudden change of heart. Using a breast pump keeps your body producing milk so going back to breastfeeding is much easier compared to re-establishing enough milk supply after weaning.

Personal choice

For different reasons, some mothers choose to combine breastfeeding and bottle feeding or decide not to breastfeed at all. There are wonderful baby formulas, but some mothers prefer the better breast milk. Using a breast pump means baby can still receive all the unique benefits of breast milk regardless of your decision.

If you are planning to combine breastfeeding and bottle feeding, it is recommended that breastfeeding is well established before introducing a teat. Nipple confusion in young babies is a common problem and can interfere with breastfeeding 

Talk to your lactation consultant about your hospital grade pump purchase and ask for recommendations based on how you intend to use the pump.

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