Explaining the Parts of a Breast Pump

A breast pump has several components. You may wonder what these breast pump bits are and how they come together when you receive your breast pump. That is exactly what this post will explain!

Breast Pump

The breast pump is the device that provides a mild suction and hoover. It enables you to extract milk without actually breastfeeding your baby. Breast pumps can be either electric or manual.

Instead of an electronic motor, manual breast pumps use a lever that you pull to produce suction. This gives you control over how rapidly the milk is expressed.

Breast Shields (as well as Flanges)

The breast shield is the cone-shaped item included with your breast pump accessory package. A flange is another name for it.

This funnel-shaped item is worn on your breast. The tunnel is where the pump’s vacuum and suction draw in your nipple.

Typically, the breast shield is composed of hard plastic. Breast shields made from softer, more flexible silicone are also available from some firms.

It is critical that this item be appropriately proportioned. The shield’s size is measured in millimetres and is determined by the diameter of your nipple.

If you are pumping with a too-small or too-wide breast shield, it might create a variety of difficulties, including:

  • a reduction in the volume of milk expressed
  • pain during pumping
  • nipples with cracks
  • nipple pain
  • milk duct obstruction

Membranes, Valves, and Duckbill Valves

The valves are the components that attach to the flanges. They’re usually constructed of durable plastic. They are perforated to allow milk to flow from the flange into the milk collecting bottle.

The little, round components that fit onto the valves are known as membranes. They are pliable and open and close with the suction of the pump.

Duckbill valves are a subset of pumping valves. These are composed of flexible silicone and have a “beak” like a duck. The suction from the pump causes the beak to open and close. As the duckbill valve’s “beak” opens, milk can trickle from the flange into the milk collection bottle.

If you have a suction problem with your pump, be sure you change the valves and membranes or duckbill valves. Over time, they grow loose, stretched out, and worn out.

Replace the membranes, valves, and duckbill valves every 2 to 4 weeks to ensure your pump works correctly.

Breast Pump Tube

The transparent plastic tubing that connects the flange to the breast pump is known as the breast pump tubing. Maintaining this tubing as dry as possible is critical to prevent mould formation.

You may leave the motor running with the tubing still attached when you’re done pumping.

Bottles for Milk Collection

The flanges are connected to the milk-collecting bottles. Depending on your pump configuration, they will either screw directly into the flanges or onto connections. There are also those with pumping cups instead of a bottle for milk collection.

Moreover, some pumps will instead have pumps have one of the following:

  • Milk collection bottles with narrow mouth holes
  • Milk collection bottles with large mouths

Because the bottles have conventional bottle holes, they are interchangeable. This is quite beneficial since you can pump into the same bottles you use to feed your child!