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Baby Feeding Options for the Working Mother

Aug 17, 2007
Significant events in the 20th century resulted in changes in family dynamics. War, technological advances, and shifts in economics caused women to work outside of the home. Women traditionally stayed at home to take care of the home and the needs of the children. While initially many people scoffed at the idea of a woman leaving her children while she worked, it served the purpose of additional money coming into the household. Nowadays, people seldom give the idea of women working outside the home a second thought. There are, however, some issues that working mothers still need to handle when they make this choice.

With the addition of labor-related laws, it is now possible for women to bear children and return to work. However, managing common bonding activities such as breastfeeding can often take creative strategies. A woman could easily start her baby on formula and return to work without any hassles. However, there are many advantages of breastfeeding. The mother is able to pass on essential nutrients to her baby, it creates a bond between the mother and baby, the mother can lose the extra weight she gained during pregnancy, and it's inexpensive. When a woman works outside the home, she has to contemplate how she intends her baby to be fed. At one time the only choice for working mothers was to feed the baby formula. The introduction of breast pumps has made it possible for mothers to experience the benefits associated with breastfeeding while continuing to work.

There are essentially two types of breast pumps: manual and electrical/battery-operated. The difference between the two breast pumps is in how the mother's milk is extracted. Breast pumps are designed to extract milk from a mother's breast using the same cycle of motion as when the baby is feeding. A manual breast pump involves the mother using some type of control to dictate the cycles. A breast pump that operates on electrical or battery power performs the cycles automatically, however, the mother is typically able to specify the speed of the suction cycle. Determining the best breast pump is a matter of the mother considering her personal situation. It is a good idea to use factors such as cost, the availability of an electrical outlet, and portability to determine the best breast pump for your situation.

When choosing to buy a breast pump, you will discover there are numerous manufacturers. Medela is by far the most recognized name in breast pumps. This company, which originates from Switzerland, brought to the forefront the issue of working mothers being able to provide milk for their babies when they were away from home. Like most products, Medela offers a full line of products that feature product options for different situations. For example, the Medela classic offers breast pumps for situations when a mother requires frequent or infrequent pumping. With more than 10 product offerings, you should have no problem finding the breast pump for your particular situation.

Other reputable companies that provide breast pumps and other breastfeeding products include Ameda, Whittlestone, Whisper Wear, and Avent.
About the Author
More detailed information about breast pumps and the advantages offered by feeding baby breast milk are available at breast-pump.info.
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