Breast pump suction patterns that mimic the human infant during breastfeeding: greater milk output in less time spent pumping for breast pump-dependent mothers with premature infants

J Perinatol. 2012 Feb;32(2):103-10. doi: 10.1038/jp.2011.64. Epub 2011 Aug 4.


Objective: The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness, efficiency, comfort and convenience of newly designed breast pump suction patterns (BPSPs) that mimic sucking patterns of the breastfeeding human infant during the initiation and maintenance of lactation.

Study design: In total, 105 mothers of premature infants ≤34 weeks of gestation were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups within 24 h post-birth. Each group tested two BPSPs; an initiation BPSP was used until the onset of lactogenesis II (OOL-II) and a maintenance BPSP was used thereafter.

Result: Mothers who used the experimental initiation and the standard 2.0 maintenance BPSPs (EXP-STD group) demonstrated significantly greater daily and cumulative milk output, and greater milk output per minute spent pumping.

Conclusion: BPSPs that mimic the unique sucking patterns used by healthy-term breastfeeding infants during the initiation and maintenance of lactation are more effective, efficient, comfortable and convenient than other BPSPs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Bottle Feeding / methods
  • Breast Feeding / methods
  • Breast Milk Expression / instrumentation
  • Breast Milk Expression / methods*
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Male
  • Milk Ejection / physiology
  • Milk, Human*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reference Values
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Time Factors