Stay-at-home moms who plan on breastfeeding exclusively should consider this list of 5 important reasons to buy a breast pump.
1. Away from baby.
New moms need relaxation and time away from their babies. Most women breastfeed for one year. It is unrealistic to think that you will never need or want to be apart from your baby during the entire first year. Even if you don’t plan on recreational time away, emergencies can occur. Unless you are planning on using formula, you will need to leave breast milk for your baby when you are gone. Even if your baby isn’t due for a feeding while you are away, they could become hungry and difficult to soothe by the caregiver.
2. Bonding with other family members.
Occasional feedings from Dad, Grandma, or other family members can help to form a deeper bond between them and the baby. Family members love the opportunity to participate in feedings and strengthen their connection to your little one.
3. Overabundant milk supply.
Some women have an overabundance of milk and can become engorged. Engorgment is very uncomfortable and often painful. If your baby is sleeping or not overly hungry, they may be unable to nurse in this situation. A breast pump can be the biggest relief from engorgement.
4. Prevent breast infections.
Breast Pumping can actually help prevent breast infections. Breast infections can be caused by insufficient draining of milk from the breasts during feedings. Sometimes a baby may not want to nurse from both sides or may not empty the breast completely. This failure to drain the milk can lead to Mastitis. In this situation, you can use a breast pump to drain the remainder of milk from the breast that is still full.
5. Moms get sick.
Moms get sick and take medication for their illnesses. Often times a medication is unavoidable and unfortunately unsafe for the baby. In this case, it is best to stop breastfeeding during the course of medication. Breast pumping allows you to continue to maintain your milk supply during your illness. When you recover, you will still have an adequate milk supply to resume breastfeeding.
Based on this list, Yes, it is necessary to have a breast pump even if you plan on breastfeeding exclusively. However, a manual breast pump or a single electric breast pump should be sufficent. A more expensive double electric pump may be unnecessary for a stay-at-home mom who primarily breastfeeds.