How to Use an Electric Brea...

For mothers who need to express milk, the correct use of an electric breast pump can improve user experience. This article will show you how to use an electric breast pump to help mothers express milk safely and effectively.

What Is an Electric Breast Pump?

An electric breast pump is a device used by lactating women to express milk. It is powered by electricity. It can be used to suck one or both breasts at the same time. Electric breast pumps have adjustable suction and various milk-extraction modes. They can also imitate the baby's natural breastfeeding rhythm to improve comfort and efficiency. Electric breast pumps are very suitable for mothers who need to express milk frequently, such as those returning to work or mothers with multiple births. It provides a convenient and effective device for maintaining milk supply.

What Types of Electric Breast Pumps Are There?

There are many different types of electric breast pumps, each to suit different needs and preferences. Here are some of the main types of electric breast pumps:

  1. Single electric breast pump: Single electric breast pumps are designed to extract milk from one breast at a time. They are also lighter, more compact, and cheaper than Double electric breast pumps. They are suitable for mothers who occasionally need to express milk or usually suckle one breast while the other.

  2. Double electric breast pump: Double electric breast pumps can extract milk from both breasts at the same time, which can save time and release higher levels of prolactin, which can help increase overall milk production. Double electric breast pumps are suitable for mothers who often express milk, such as working mothers or mothers who pump full-time.

  3. Hospital-grade electric breast pump: This is a high-end model designed for users, with a durable motor, longer life, and more efficient operation. Hospital-grade breast pumps are very powerful and can provide stronger suction and more settings. Therefore, they are suitable for mothers with milk problems, premature babies, or in situations where breast pumps need to be shared, such as in hospitals.

  4. Hands-free electric breast pump: This breast pump is relatively new and can be operated without hands, making it convenient for mothers to express milk without holding the breast pump flange. This breast pump generally comes in a compact, wearable design that fits directly into your bra, providing greater mobility and flexibility.

Each electric breast pump type has its different advantages, and their selection is determined by the mother's specific needs, lifestyle, and frequency of use.

Electric Breast Pumps

How to Use an Electric Breast Pump?

There are several steps to using an electric breast pump effectively, and following these steps will ensure comfortable and efficient use. Here are some general guidelines on how to use an electric breast pump:

  1. Assemble the breast pump: Start by assembling the electric breast pump according to the manufacturer's instructions. Make sure all parts of the breast pump are clean and connected correctly.

  2. Choose a comfortable position: Find a quiet and comfortable place to relax. Relaxation can help your milk flow.

  3. Position the breast shield: Place the breast shield (flange) just over your nipple. The fit should be snug, not too tight, and allow your nipple to move freely.

  4. Start the breast pump: Turn on the breast pump and start with a low suction setting. Most electric breast pumps have a stage that mimics a baby's natural sucking rhythm to stimulate milk flow.

  5. Adjust the suction level: Once your milk starts to flow, adjust the suction level for comfort and efficiency. The setting should be effective and not cause discomfort.

  6. Storing your milk: After using the breast pump, it is recommended that you store your expressed milk in sterilized bottles or bags, labeled with the date and time.

  7. Clean your breast pump: After each use, clean all parts that came into contact with your breast milk. Follow the manufacturer's cleaning guidelines.

These steps can help you use your electric breast pump effectively, comfortably, and hygienically.

Electric Breast Pump

How to Clean and Maintain an Electric Breast Pump?

Keeping your electric breast pump clean and maintained will ensure your baby gets safe milk and extend the life of the breast pump. Here are the basic steps to clean and maintain your electric breast pump:

  1. Disassembly and rinsing: After each use, the parts of the pump that come into contact with breast milk can be disassembled. Then rinse the pump parts with cold water. This will remove any breast milk residue.

  2. Soap and scrubbing: After rinsing these parts with cold water, wash all parts thoroughly with warm soapy water. Use a special bottle brush or sponge to clean hard-to-reach areas and remove scale buildup.

  3. Sterilization: It is recommended to sterilize the pump parts every day, especially for newborns, using a steam sterilizer, a dishwasher with a sterilization cycle, or boiling in water for about 5 minutes.

  4. Air drying: Place all parts on a clean towel or drying rack to air dry completely. Make sure they are dry before reassembling or storing them to prevent mold and bacteria from growing.

  5. Check for damage: Regularly check all parts for signs of wear or damage, such as cracks or discoloration. It is recommended to replace damaged parts.

  6. Clean the motor unit: Wipe the motor unit with a clean, damp cloth. Be careful not to immerse the motor in water. Just make sure there is no dust around the air inlet.

  7. Reassembly and storage: Once everything is clean and dry, reassemble the pump. Store it in a clean, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Following these simple steps will help ensure your breast pump remains clean, and sanitary and functions properly with every use.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When can I start using an electric breast pump?

You can start using an electric breast pump as soon as you feel you are ready after giving birth, but it is generally recommended to wait until breastfeeding is established, which is about 3-4 weeks. This ensures that your baby is breastfeeding effectively and your milk supply is stable. Alternatively, if you are having problems separating from your baby or need to increase your milk supply, you can start expressing yourself with the advice of a lactation consultant.

2. How many minutes should I use an electric breast pump?

The length of time you use an electric breast pump will depend on your milk production and the efficiency of the pump, but generally, 15-20 minutes at a time is sufficient. This can increase milk production and can also help prevent problems such as breast engorgement and mastitis. In addition, some women may need to adjust their pumping time depending on their specific needs and responses.

3. Is it too late to increase milk supply by 2 months?

It is not too late to increase your milk supply after 2 months. Many mothers have success increasing their milk supply at this stage by nursing or expressing themselves frequently, ensuring proper hydration and nutrition, and using galactagogues (substances that stimulate milk production) under the guidance of a doctor. This keeps the breasts empty, which signals the body to produce more milk.


In summary, mastering the use of an electric breast pump includes correct setup, effective use, and regular maintenance to keep it in good working order. By following these guidelines, mothers can express milk effectively and safely, making the process of using an electric breast pump an easy and rewarding part of the breastfeeding experience.

In addition, if you are looking to learn about or purchase an electric breast pump now, we recommend you to learn about MomMed's products, which offer a double wearable breast pump to free your hands, or use our efficient electric silicone bottle brush to keep your feeding tools clean. For simpler needs, our durable bottle brush can effectively clean every corner. Trust MomMed's quality and reliability in baby care. Learn more now!

Related Reading: How to Use a Breast Pump?

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