CYCLES AND SUCTION SETTINGS
Cycles refer to the speed of baby at breast. This is often referred to as “CPM” or “Cycles Per Minute.” When a baby goes to breast to elicit the letdown of milk, the baby will suckle faster (more cycles per minute) to get the milk flowing. Once the milk lets down (releases from the breast), the baby will start to slow down (decreased cycles per minute) at breast.
Suction refers to the strength of baby at breast. This is often referred to as “Vacuum Strength.” The strength of suction level should mimic how strong the baby suckles but should always be kept at a comfortable level. Pumping should NEVER hurt!
Example Chart of Cycles and Suction Settings for S1 Plus & S2 Plus
||Cycles Per Minute (CPM)
SINGLE VERSUS SIMULTANEOUS (DOUBLE) PUMPING
Single pumping means expressing milk from one breast at a time. Simultaneous or Double pumping means expressing milk from both breasts at the same time. Double pumping is preferred by many moms as it saves time and increases breast stimulation.
PORTABILITY AND AVAILABILITY OF SPARE PARTS
When returning to work or school, when caring for other children, or when traveling, portability of breast pumps and the accessories used to express the breast milk is important for mothers.
The availability of these parts/accessories is vital in situations where spares are needed due to inability to clean parts in between use, parts are lost or forgotten at home, or even when parts malfunction.
CLEANING OF BREAST PUMPS
It’s very important to practice proper personal hygiene (such as washing your hands before and after pumping) to avoid spreading any germs onto your breast pump or accessories. The CDC has updated guidelines (PDF) for cleaning your breast pump and breast pump parts.
Prior to initial use, be sure to sterilize your pump parts as advised on our Blog: “How to Clean Your Spectra Accessories” (https://staging.spectrababyusa.com/cleaning-spectra-accessories/). After each use, it’s important to properly clean your pump and pumping kit, clean your pumping area, and store your breastmilk safely. To clean your pump, wipe down the pump with a damp cloth.
To clean your pumping kit, use non-antibacterial soap along with warm water. Scrub the pump parts with a dedicated pump brush. Rinse the parts under running water, or by submerging these parts into a separate basin. It is best to allow pump parts to air dry on an unused dish towel or paper towel. *NEVER wash or wet your tubing as it does not come into contact with breast milk. If condensation is observed, hang up to dry to prevent mold from forming. *
Avoid putting your pump parts in the dishwasher, sterilizers, microwave bags, or constant boiling to prevent warping and premature wear of parts.
BUYING BREAST PUMPS
When purchasing a breast pump, it’s important for a mother to discuss what she should be looking for with a healthcare professional, such as an IBCLC (Lactation Consultant).
Breast pump are available at most hospitals, baby supply stores, DMEs, retailers near you and even online!
Key elements to consider while buying a breast pump are:
- Insurance Coverage
- Out of Pocket Costs
- Accessibility of Spare Parts/Accessories
- Pump Features
Other factors that need to be considered when a mother is purchasing a breast pump: will you be returning to work or school? Will you be pumping full-time or part-time? Do you have a dedicated area to pump that is close to an electrical outlet? If not, should you to consider getting a breast pump that has an internal battery?
Prior to buying a breast pump, check the manufacturers website to review purchase policies, warranty policies, and instructions on using their pumps/accessories.
PRE-OWNED BREAST PUMPS
Because Spectra Baby USA is concerned for the health of our pumping mothers and their babies, we recommend that moms avoid purchasing or obtaining pre-owned breast pumps.
Unless the breast pump is FDA approved as a multi-user breast pump, such as a rental grade breast pump obtained at a hospital, we do not recommend the use of a pre-owned breast pump.
BREAST PUMPS AID BREAST MILK DONATION
A perk of breast pumps is that they allow for breast milk expression. This allows moms with excessive breast milk, or moms who no longer breast feed to donate expressed breast milk to babies in need. The CDC teaches that there are milk banks which accept donations for adopted children or those who are not able to get their mother’s milk.