Breastfeeding is considered the best way to give newborns and infants the nutrients they need. Doctors and experts recommend exclusive breastfeeding from first hour of birth and until a baby is six months old. It’s World Breastfeeding Week starting on August 1 and WHO is with UNICEF and other partners this year to raise awareness about breastfeeding newborns within the crucial first hour of birth.

It’s an established fact that mother’s milk helps improve the health of newborns around the world and make their immunity system stronger, and no mother would want to deprive her child of the human nectar.

Breastfeeding, however, is not always feasible for all the mothers all the time. Child not latching, sore engorged nipples, health issues, women having to join back work after end of maternity leave — there are plenty of reasons that may come in the way of women exclusively breastfeeding babies for six full months.

A breast pump is most helpful in such a situation. It allows mothers to store milk for use in their absence and avoid supplementing feedings with formula milk. Pumping at a time of their convenience also gives women the flexibility to relax as even as the baby has her feed ready. Besides, a pump also provides breast stimulation to increase and maintain adequate supply of milk.

The mothers and caregivers, however, must ensure the expressed milk is refrigerated all the time, and heated only by way of water bath before it is given to the child. Freshly expressed breast-milk can be stored in fridge for a day.

Here are some of the brands that you can consider if you plan to buy a breast pump.

Chicco: The ‘Natural Feeling’ range designed by the Italian brand gives new mothers a variety of breast pumps, both manual and electric or battery operated, to choose from. The company says practical features of the pumps make expressing easy. Most pumps come with a storing device. Key features include an ergonomic handle that ensures easy grip, and an extra soft silicone cup that is gentle on the breasts.

Medela: The Swiss company too has a range of breast pumps that covers most requirements of a breastfeeding mum. The products include the highest-standard, hospital-grade breast pumps, high-performance manual pumps, and double side pump electric sets. The company says most of its pumps mimic babies’ natural sucking rhythms.

Philips: The range of breast pumps offered by Philips Avent include double electric breast pumps, single electric pumps and manual pumps. The electric breast pumps are designed in a way they can be converted into a manual pump. Also, one can sit up straight as she expresses. The breast shells feel warm and soft on the skin, making the experience comfortable for a fatigues lactating mother.

Pigeon: The Japanese firm that has been producing feeding bottles since 1957 came out with breast pumps several years ago. The range includes standard manual pumps to professional portable sets to electric models. The pumps are simple to use with adjustable suction levels and speed, and easy to clean thanks to non-complicated design and fewer parts for assembly.

MeeMee: This Indian company has been in the baby and maternity products market for a long time now, Among other products, MeeMee has a range of breast pumps too, both manual and electric. The manual pump comes with soft silicone shield helps and a ‘squeeze & hold’ function that makes pumping easy and natural. The premium electric varieties have been designed to use technology to express milk faster and in a more convenient manner.