If you are breast-feeding, you may wish to express your milk if you're going to be away from your baby for any length of time, so that your partner can take over feeding during the night, or simply to make yourself more comfortable.
There are two types of breast pump available:
A funnel or cup is placed over your breast and you manually pump the handle to create a vacuum. This mimics the sucking action of a baby and stimulates your milk flow. Milk is collected in the attached container for you to feed to your baby when required.
Manual breast pumps are a great option if you're on a tight budget. They're also extremely portable and ideal for when you're travelling around.
Electric breast pumps are fast and easy to use, as once the funnel or cup is in place over your breast, the work is done for you. Electric pumps usually offer a range of suction levels and speed settings, which can be adjusted to suit you.
Most electric pumps are mains-operated but battery-powered pumps are also available, ideal for travelling or when there is no electricity supply. Some models come with a double-pump, enabling you to express milk from both breasts at the same time.