The NICU mom’s preferred breast pump

NICU best breast pump
By Carey Haupt
Created: 6 July, 2022

Producing enough breast milk for a baby in Neo Natal intensive Care (NICU) is a major concern for a mom. In fact, sending milk to you baby is sometimes the only practical thing and first thing you can do to help you baby. Some mothers send milk to their baby before they are able to see their baby. Later skin-to-skin and holding the baby starts to play an important role, but breastmilk is continually needed and in increasing amounts.  


When a baby is born too soon it puts the mother’s breast milk making ability at a disadvantage. The disadvantage is that the mother may not herself be well after the delivery, she may need some time for recovery from surgery or illness. This time is also very stressful which can also affect her milk supply. However, a women’s body is so amazing, from the beginning of the pregnancy her body starts to prepare for making breast milk by increasing the number of ducts and glands in the breast. From the second trimester her body is already making colostrum, the first breast milk. When her baby is born too early the mother needs to start to stimulate her breasts and get her body making as much breast milk soon as possible.


She will need a breast pump that is strong enough to empty her breasts, be comfortable and coinvent to use- this helps significantly with milk production. Stimulation of her breasts at this early stage is critical. The sooner after birth the best, ideally within 1 – 6 hours. This stimulation helps the body to release the hormones necessary to increase and build her milk supply.


In the beginning the baby does not require large amounts of breast milk, but this can quickly increase as the baby grows and breast milk needs increase.  In order for the mother to reach her full milk supply she will need to pump between 8 to 12 times a day. The goal is to stimulate and empty her breast, which signals to her body that she needs to continue to increase her milk supply. The sooner the mother can reach her full milk supply of about 1 litre a day the better for her breast milk supply and it will help her once her baby starts to latch directly on her breasts.


This is where the quality and strength of the breast pump is highlighted. The best pump to exclusively pump with is a hospital grade pump- so that a mom can increase her milk supply and maintain it.  In order for the pump to effectively increase the mothers milk supply it needs to be able to drain the breast, this can only be done efficiently with a breast pump that has a high suction capacity of above -180 mmHg and below -250 mmHg. These levels are only found in hospital grade breast pumps like the Ameda Mya Joy. (


Most pumps that are bought online or off the shelf are not hospital grade pumps. These pumps need to be used in conjunction with a baby that has a effective latch, so that the breasts can be stimulated and drained correctly by the baby. This is because the baby is able to drain the breast when the pump is not able to. These pumps may also be the cause of a decreased supply of breast milk due to the incomplete draining of the breast.


Another important aspect for mothers that are pumping exclusively is to use a double breast pump. This means that you are able to stimulate and drain both breasts at the same time. Effectively cutting the mothers pumping time in half. The double expressing also results in increased release of hormones which helps to increase the milk supply. Dual phase pumping like that found in the Ameda Mya Joy is also essential in draining the breast well. Dual phase pumping has a stimulation and an expression phase which is able to mimic how a baby sucks. The stimulation phase is quick which helps with the let-down (release) of the milk in the breasts while the expression phase (longer higher suction) helps with draining deep within the breast. The combination of these phases being repeated about 3 to 4 times increase the number of let downs which effectively drains the breast.


The comfort of the breast pump is critical as no one wants to use breast pump that hurts you. An incorrect sized flange (the part that touches your breast), which is too small can cause friction and pain. If the flange is too big too much of the breast can be sucked into the flange and cause discomfort.  The Ameda Mya Joy has 7 different sized flanges. The different sized flanges helps the mother to be able to fit her pump comfortably which increased the amount of milk that is expressed from the mother. Another part of the comfort of a pump is how much noise it makes. The repetition of noise can be come very irritating and also prevent the mother from talking the phone or being able to multitask while she is pumping. The Ameda Mya Joy, the pump is very quiet and cannot be heard when a mother uses the phone. This makes it so easy to use the pump at your baby’s bedside, while watching T.V or at work without disturbing others. Portability and being able to use batteries is also so important with load shedding and being able to take your pump with you to the hospital. This way you never miss a pumping session. The Ameda Mya Joy even has a back clip that allows you to clip your pump to your belt and gives you the freedom to move around, while pumping.


All these benefits of the Ameda Mya Joy helps mothers to exclusively express and build their milk supply. These benefits are also available for mothers that are pumping at work as you can empty your breast quickly and quietly. This pump allows them to maintain their milk supply, and even build it up if they need to.


For more information on breast feeding and pumping, please follow @my_breastpumpsa on instagram. If you have any questions about pumping please reach out to us.