Although for exclusive breastfeeding you do not need a breastpump, our modern lifestyle almost suggests that we cannot do without. For mothers who do not need to pump on a regular basis, there is no need to purchase a pump. When a mother needs to express her milk just a few times, she can either handexpress her milk or use a rental pump. For the latter, you need to purchase a personal pump kit that remains yours after return of the pump. Most pump kits can serve as a handpump.
Mothers who need to pump for their hospitalized babies and who need to build up a good milk supply, most hospitals and lactation consultants have hospital grade rental pumps.
The choice of the pump depends on your purpose. A mother who needs to pump her milk while at work, is best served by a fully automatic, double sided breastpump. Examples are the Pump in Style from Medela or the Purely Yours from Ameda. Although these pumps are a big investment, they are worth the price. Just think of the amount of money you would spend if you had to buy about half your supply of milk in artificial baby milk. Even an expensive pump will cost far less.
A mother who wants to pump occasionally may only need a handheld small electric pump or a mechanical pump. Pumps from Medela and Avent are used a lot by mothers with good results. The choice of such a pump is personal, but you may want to hear the sound that these smaller pumps make while running, or try how they fit in your hand when manually operated. Ask other mothers for their experience, for instance on a breastfeeding forum.
Many department stores and baby stores sell breastpumps of several brands. Pumps are also sold on the internet, but be aware that you miss the personal explanation about how the pump works and how to properly pump and store your milk. If you have to make an appointment with a lactation consultant after you bought your pump on the internet, you may end up paying more than the few saved dollars from you pump purchase. Improper use of the pump may even harm your nipples. Most lactation consultants also offer breast pumps from reliable brands. When buying or renting a pump with a lactation consultant, you will get proper advice about the right pump for you and a good explanation of the use of the pump. She may also offer spare parts for your pump.
For Ameda and Medela pump dealers, see links below. Mothers in Orange County can also contact Nanny directly for an appointment for pump rentals and sales and for spare parts.