Published on 10th November 2021

To pump or not to pump, that is the question. And it’s one that Shakespeare most certainly can’t answer. Every mom will have an entirely unique experience when it comes to breastfeeding and breast pumping, and the decision is always theirs to make. And that’s if they’re even able to breastfeed at all. So whether you choose to breastfeed and pump, exclusively breastfeed, or even exclusively pump, here are some things to consider before making that decision. 

Is breastfeeding the right way? 

There’s no right or wrong way when it comes to feeding your little one, but breastfeeding does have lots of benefits for both you and your baby. 

The good bits for mom

  • Breastfeeding is technically free and formula can be expensive. But let’s not discount the time it takes mama. Because our time is certainly not free. 

  • You can have between 300-500 extra calories a day when you’re breastfeeding. That’s a lot of pizza. 

  • It’s convenient and hygienic – there’ll be no waiting for breastmilk to heat up or waiting for it to cool down, it’s ready to go when baby needs it. 

  • Skin to skin contact can help establish an emotional connection between you and your little one. 

The good bits for baby

  • We don’t call it magic milk for nothing – it literally passes antibodies to your baby and builds their immune system. 

  • It’s easily digestible, so there’s a lower chance of your baby experiencing constipation and diarrhoea. This is also good for mom because you know who’s changing those diapers. 

  • Whatever mom eats, the baby will get a little taste of it too. So research has shown that it can make your baby less fussy when it comes to trying solid foods. 

Pump, pump, pump it up

So you’ve decided to breastfeed and might have even established a routine. So the next thing you’ll probably be thinking about is whether to use a breast pump? 

In the pumping vs breastfeeding debate, one of the biggest positives of using a breast pump is it will allow your partner to do some of the night feeds. If you’ve built up a store throughout the day, and your baby is happy to take the bottle, then you might get a few blissful extra hours in bed. This can be an absolute lifeline. It also means you can get some of your independence back. You can leave your little one with your partner while you go out for lunch with friends and don’t need to worry about them going hungry. 

Breast pumping is also very helpful to avoid engorgement as this can be really painful. If you’re back at work or on a night out without your baby, you will need to pump to avoid your breasts becoming too full. 

Because of the outdated technology associated with breast pumping, lots of mothers still see it as a real drag. You need to take time out of your day to find a private space where you won’t be interrupted. But that’s no longer the case. Fast forward to 2021 and Elvie Pump allows you to seamlessly carry on with your day. It’s wireless, quiet, and wearable. So you can literally pump as you go. 

The mother pumping negatives

We’re pretty pro pumping here at Elvie (go figure) and think that it’s easy to fit into your life with the right technology. But there are a few reasons you might not want to do it. 

  • Nipple confusion. Yep, you read that right. Nipple confusion is when the baby might take the bottle then not want to go back to the nipple and vice versa. 

  • The more you pump, the more you produce, so if you pump often, it can lead to more frequent engorgement. 

  • Breastfeeding helps with a mother’s recovery after birth, contracting the uterus back to normal size and reducing excessive postpartum bleeding. This is reliant on a hormone released whilst breastfeeding which can’t be replicated by pumping. 

Hey mama, every journey is different

It’s important to remember that some moms won’t even have the opportunity to breastfeed, let alone pump. Up to 5% of mothers are unable to breastfeed and it’s usually because of insufficient milk supply or that their baby simply will not latch on. No journey is the same, and every mom is different. 

Pump vs breast 

We don’t see it as a one or the other thing. If you’re lucky enough to be able to breastfeed, it’s recommended you do this exclusively for the first few weeks, before introducing a bottle, using milk from pumping. You can do both.