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The milk production in the breasts, much like so many other things, work on the shear principal of supplyand demand.  The more breast milk your baby consumes, the more your body will need to make.

Breast pumps are generally used to insure continued production of breast milk when you cannot feed your baby - whether you are back to work, traveling, taking medication, or just out of town.

Basic types of pumps
Breast pumps can either be battery operated, hand operated, semi automatic electric, or even self cycling electric.

Hand pumps
Manual hand pumps are designed to use the strength of your hand or arm muscles for pumping one breast at a time.  You can also get pumps that will use the leg and foot muscles for pumping both breasts at one time.  Mothers that with carpal tunnel syndrome may want to consider using a pump designed for the armor leg muscles or even an automatic model.

Battery operated pumps
Pumps with battery operation are the best for women who have an established supply of milk and want to pump once or even twice a day.  These pumps use batteries to create suction, minimizing any type of muscle fatigue.  Most battery type pumps are designed for pumping one breast at a time and are recommended for occasional usage.

Electric pumps
Even though electric pumps are more efficient than hand or even battery operated pumps, they also tend to be more expensive.  You can however, rent them if you need to.  Electric pumps can normally plug directly into an outlet and are designed for pumping both breasts at a time and even frequent use.  Hospital grade pumps are the most efficient for initiating and maintaining milk supply, and are available for rent or purchase.

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