Breast Pumps - the Good and the Bad

Many women start to use breast pumps immediately postpartum. Pumping can help with milk letdown and can stimulate production. Alternatively, milk can be pumped and then fed to the baby in a bottle, allowing for others to feed the baby, and also allowing the quantity of milk consumed to be monitored. Some women “pump ahead” and purposefully try to produce more milk than the baby needs so the extra can be stored. This is often done in preparation for returning to work. This is the good part, but there is also a negative aspect to using breast pumps.

Being in Sync with your newborn

Relying on breast pumps, even partly, can lead to breast milk overproduction and to lack of synchronization with the baby. What is synchronization? This is when a breast-feeding woman’s milk production and timing is closely related to the baby’s feeding cycles. Not every nursing mom achieves this but many come close. When the baby is breastfed exclusively on demand, and no pump is used, it is possible for the mother’s milk production to exactly match the baby’s needs. When the baby is hungry, the breasts are hard and full about the same time. At night, the mother might wake up because her breasts become hard and tender, and within moments may hear that the baby is waking up and is hungry.

If the pump is used too often, milk overproduction disrupts this timing. The breasts may become hard and full while the baby is asleep. Pumping will empty them, but then an hour later when the baby gets hungry, he/she will be fed with breast milk in a bottle because the breasts are empty of milk from the recent pumping, and this can keep on happening.

It can be very tiring to pump the breasts 6-8 times a day (about 10-20 minutes per session), and to bottle feed the baby 6-8 times per day as well. 

Free Breast Pumps Available

One of the provisions of "Obamacare" is the availability of free breast pumps. The easiest way to arrange one of these is to contact Edgepark Medical Supplies. They are contracted with most major health insurance plans.

How do I get a breast pump through a medical equipment supplier?

There are several available medical equipment suppliers, including Edgepark. When it comes to helping customers get their supplies, we try to make the experience as easy and hassle-free as possible. Here’s how the ordering process works:

  1. You call in at 800-321-0591 (Mon-Fri 8am-9pm, Sat 9am-3pm, EST) or visit Edgepark.com.
  2. A customer care specialist will ask for your health insurance plan information (policy number and insurance phone number) and your doctor’s information, including his or her name and phone number.
  3. Edgepark will then contact your health insurance plan provider and doctor on your behalf to confirm coverage and complete your order (if there are any questions with your order, Edgepark will call you). Be aware, many insurance companies won’t cover breast pumps until the baby is born.
  4. Your equipment is sent right to your door in 1-3 business days, after order processing (order processing can take up to 4 days for first-time orders, and 3 days for reorders).