The first time I ever heard of expressing breast milk was when my own children were babies. Back then I was awe struck by my friend N’s tales of her American friend from the ashram who had so much milk that she would express her milk and freeze it in packets to give to other nursing mothers who had difficulty in producing their own breast milk. I was not only gobsmacked by the thought of this ‘Mother Dairy’ but frankly quite aghast. When formula was so easily available why bother with breast milk?
Obviously my knowledge was faulty because today breast milk is not only considered the best but also almost mandatory for the first six months. And expressing milk has become the norm rather than the exception with so many mothers going back to work. In fact my daughter tells me that her friend who was traveling for work in Korea had left behind a freezer full of breast milk for her baby and was expressing her milk every day and throwing it out simply to keep up the supply.
To express the milk she needed a pump which she carried with her whenever she travelled – a Medela Breast pump.
There are all kinds of pumps available in the market – to suit every pocket and requirement but should you buy an electric pump you should be careful about the voltage adapter. The voltage in the U.S. is different from the voltage in India and the minute the adapter is plugged into our electric socket you will find a sizzling sound that renders your pump useless. We found this out one morning when we tried to use the pump. But we also found that there are adapters available in India that can avoid / overcome this problem:
Of course we had to sizzle our adapter before we found the replacement.- there are all kinds of adapters available out there but we found an ELEGANT BRAND 9 v adapter at SHREE ELECTRONICS at that Mecca of electronic equipment and spares in Mumbai – Lamington Road ( now Dr. Bhadkamkar Road) in Girgaon.
But in my experience a manual pump is the best so that you can avoid all issues of electricity and more importantly, use the pump when there’s no electricity at all!