Hygeia is a breast pump company that features all personal-use electric breast pumps that are hospital grade. They are endorsed by the La Leche League International and supported by the World Health Organization.
Babies also do a thing called “cycling” while at the breast. That is, they coordinate sucking, swallowing and breathing. When actively feeding at the breast, a baby nursing well will achieve a cycling rate of between 50 and 60 cycles per minute. So, an effective pump will be able to reach and maintain this cycling rate over the course of a pumping session. Once again, hospital grade rental pumps will do this while a personal-use pump may not. Sadly, you are not likely to see this feature marketed on a breast pump retail box either. That’s where the pump geeks at Lactation Care and our handy-dandy stopwatch come into play. We’ve measured the cycling rates of all the pumps we sell.
Babies suckle, applying negative pressure or vacuum. The vacuum pressure created by a baby nursing well has been measured by scientists. A highly functional breast pump will be able to achieve and maintain this vacuum level, generally accepted to be approximately 240 mm Hg. Better pumps will allow the user to adjust the pressure to their comfort level, allowing them to gradually work toward the optimal pressure. All hospital grade rental pumps will meet this standard. But what about a personal use purchase pump? Unfortunately, there is a great deal of variability from one brand to another and even within a brand. To further muddle the issue for the consumer is that you are unlikely to see this feature mentioned or printed on the retail cartons of a personal use pump. So how is one to know? We’re here to help. We’re pump geeks at Lactation Care, so we use pressure gauges to measure this functional aspect of all the pumps we sell.
While many mothers breastfeed, some prefer to have the baby drink straight from the breast rather than pump milk into the bottle. Mothers who primarily feed from the breasts may only need to use a breast pump occasionally. These customers can use a manual pump or single electric pump because it doesn't need to work as efficiently.