Breast or Pump?
Updated: Sep 30, 2019
Why is breastmilk better?
As most of us know, breastmilk compared to infant formula is better for your baby due to its heightened nutrient level, immunity benefits, and perfect composition for exclusive breastmilk feeding for the first 6 months of your baby's life.
Did you know? : There may be a difference between pumped breast milk and actual breastfeeding.
A study looked at the bacterial profile of breast milk after pumping and then compared it to breastmilk expressed and received at the breast. The make up of the breastmilk from both sources did indeed differ. This is thought to be due to the exchange of 'good' bacteria (that aids in a positive gut microbiome) between the mom and baby while the baby breastfeeds.
Risks of using a Breast Pump:
Breast pumps have the possibility of bringing external sources of 'bad' bacteria due to poor sterilization and pathogen exposure. That being said, breast pumping is still better than infant formula due to its nutrient content, however proceed with caution in regards to proper cleaning and sterilization of the actual breast pump.
What about 'Hand Expression'?
An alternate method to breast pumping is hand expression. If a mother is unable to breastfeed and would like to avoid the use of a breast pump, hand expression can be a cleaner and actually easier option to collect breastmilk. Hand expression reduces the amount of surface area the breastmilk is exposed to (reducing contamination) and no fancy/expensive equipment is required!
How do you 'Hand Express'?
Mamas Maternal Health Dietitians and Lactation Counselors can teach you how to hand express in an easy and effective manner--- if you would like to learn more, please find us at www.mamasmaternalhealth.com and set up an appointment. We would LOVE to hear from you.
If you are able to breastfeed at the breast--- please do! If you are transitioning back to a 'working' schedule and need a different way to express breastmilk--- think about hand expressing. It may be a better choice than breast pumping due to its lack of equipment and sterile nature. If these options do not seem to work for you-- or you are looking for support in making your decision--- click our website and again, we would love to hear from you.
Until next time Mamas Readers!
Cassie and Mikayla
Mamas Maternal Health Dietitians/Lactation Counselors
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