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Do I need to bring a breast pump to the hospital?

As you prepare for a new baby, there are many decisions to make.   Where will baby sleep?   How will I bathe him?   Most importantly, what will baby eat?   Congratulations on your wonderful decision to breastfeed.    You are providing you baby nature’s best nutrition and development.   Breastfeeding will also bring benefits to your own health and wellbeing as well.  Now is the time to find your local lactation professional and take a breastfeeding class.   Many hospitals that have maternity services will offer these classes.

When thinking about what you will need to begin breastfeeding, you may wonder if you need to obtain a breast pump prior to your baby’s birth.  Unless baby is born prematurely or is diagnosed with a feeding anomaly,   your body and some patience is all you initially need.   Breastfeeding is a learned art, so give yourself some time before initiating pumping.    Pumping can later be for convenience, (date night or “me” time) or need, like the return to work or school.    


In the hospital, ask for breastfeeding help early and often.    Most hospitals will now have a board certified lactation consultant on staff.    You can also find a local board certified lactation consultant by visiting  (International Lactation Consultant Association) or (La Leche League). 

Many Lactation Consultants advise to wait before pumping for about two weeks unless there is a special need.   
 When it is advised by an IBCLC to begin pumping in the hospital or birth center, you can ask for a pump to be brought to your room.   For home use, contact your insurance company to learn about your plan’s breast pump coverage.    


Courtesy, M Lynch