There are two main categories of breast pumps, Hospital Grade Breast pumps that are rented and retail pumps that are usually purchased. Hospital Grade pumps are specifically designed to assist mothers and babies that are separated or having difficulties with breastfeeding in the first 6 weeks of life. Some mothers will continue to need to use a hospital grade pump beyond the first 6 weeks of life, but for many, they only need a hospital grade pump until their baby is successfully breastfeeding.
Retail Breast Pumps are for mothers who have an established milk supply and have successfully breastfed for the first 4-6 weeks of life. They are used for the mother returning to work or school or who will be separated from their baby for a few hours. Hospital Grade Breast Pumps can be rented from private companies or are provided by WIC to their participants free of charge.