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The milk production in the breasts, much like so many

other things, work on the shear principal of supply

and demand.  The more breast milk your baby consumes,

the more your body will need to make.  

Breast pumps are generally used to insure continued

production of breast milk when you cannot feed your

baby - whether you are back to work, traveling, taking

medication, or just out of town.  

Basic types of pumps

Breast pumps can either be battery operated, hand

operated, semi automatic electric, or even self cycling

electric.

Hand pumps

Manual hand pumps are designed to use the strength

of your hand or arm muscles for pumping one breast at

a time.  You can also get pumps that will use the leg

and foot muscles for pumping both breasts at one 

time.  Mothers that with carpal tunnel syndrome may

want to consider using a pump designed for the arm

or leg muscles or even an automatic model.

Battery operated pumps

Pumps with battery operation are the best for women

who have an established supply of milk and want to

pump once or even twice a day.  These pumps use 

batteries to create suction, minimizing any type of

muscle fatigue.  Most battery type pumps are designed

for pumping one breast at a time and are recommended

for occasional usage.

Electric pumps

Even though electric pumps are more efficient than

hand or even battery operated pumps, they also tend

to be more expensive.  You can however, rent them if

you need to.  Electric pumps can normally plug

directly into an outlet and are designed for pumping

both breasts at a time and even frequent use.  Hospital

grade pumps are the most efficient for initiating and

maintaining milk supply, and are available for rent

or purchase.

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