Although breast pumps allow mothers the convenience of feeding their babies breast milk even when they are not around, using breast pumps has certain side effects and disadvantages that new moms should know about. Here are some side effects of using breast pumps:
1. It Can Reduce Milk Supply
One of the side effects of pumping breast milk continuously is reduced milk supply. A breast pump’s mechanism is very different from a newborn latching on to your nipple and suckling. The latching of a baby is what stimulates more milk production in your body. If a baby is not allowed to latch on, the milk production reduces.
2. Freezing It Depletes Nutrients of Breast Milk
When the baby feeds directly from the mother, the baby gets all the nutrients needed for healthy growth. Freezing breast milk for more than three months, thawing, and reheating causes depletion of vital nutrients in the breast milk.
3. Breast Pumps Can Cause Nipple and Breast Tissue Damage
Breast pumps can damage the nipples and breast tissue. The wrong setting can cause excruciating pain while pumping. Manual pumps can cause pain in both the breasts and the mother’s hands, as pumping manually is laborious and tiring.
4. Feeding With Both Bottle and Breast Confuses Babies
If you constantly switch between the bottle and breastfeeding, it could confuse the baby. This is due to the difference in the suckling mechanism in both cases. The baby may suck harder on the mother’s nipples, as he does with the bottle. This could also lead to sore nipples in the mother. This could also happen because the baby may not latch on correctly while feeding directly because the baby has become used to feeding on a bottle with a rubber nipple.
5. It Can Cause Painful Engorgement and Excessive Let-down
One of the electric breast pump side effects is that mothers pump too much so that they can have a big supply stored for later use. This causes the release of too many hormones in the body, which make the breasts swell and fill with too much milk. This is called engorgement and can be very painful for the mother.
6. It Does Not Replace the Bonding Time that Direct Breastfeeding Provides
Direct breastfeeding causes a close bonding between the baby and the mother, which cannot be substituted by bottle feeding. Holding the baby in your arms and feeling her suckling from your breast causes an emotional bonding that bottle feeding does not.
7. It is a Repetitive Cycle of Washing and Sterilising Bottles
A disadvantage of using breast pumps is that all the parts of the pump, the feeding bottles, and nipples need to be thoroughly washed and sterilized before and after each use. Another problem is that mothers may not be able to find a private place to pump when they are outside their homes. They may also not be able to find a place to store the pumped breastmilk safely.
8. Danger of Contamination
No matter how well you clean and sterilize everything, there are hard-to-reach parts of the pump and valves that can accumulate mold and bacteria. The bacteria and fungus find nutrient-rich breast milk an ideal environment to grow and multiply. They can contaminate breast milk and make the baby fall ill.
9. Bottle-Feeding Causes Baby’s Teeth to Decay
Bottle feeding can cause the baby’s teeth to decay in the long run. When a baby breastfeeds, milk does not reach the baby’s teeth, as the mother’s nipple rests behind the baby’s teeth. While bottle feeding, the baby often falls asleep with the bottle in the mouth, causing the milk to cover the teeth. This can cause tooth decay on long-term exposure. If the decay has progressed, the tooth may have to be capped or removed by a dentist.
10. It Delays the Mother’s Recovery After Childbirth
When a mother directly breastfeeds her baby, the hormone oxytocin is released into her body. The oxytocin causes a contraction in the uterus, thus reducing postpartum bleeding Breastfeeding also helps the uterus size to become normal much faster. Studies have shown that the uterus of a breastfeeding mother returns to normal size, six weeks post-delivery, whereas it takes ten weeks for the uterus to return to normal size in a mother who does not breastfeed.