If you are interested in breastfeeding and returning to work, you will need a good, reliable pump. Even if you are not going back to work, but want Daddy to be involved, Daddy’s can start giving the baby a bottle 2 weeks after he/she is born. I would consider checking out your health insurance to see if they cover the breast pumps, some do but you will require a doctor’s note. Good breast pumps cost between $250 -$370.
Medela Pump In Style Advance is what I have and I love it. It takes me about 5-10 minutes to pump fully. Here is the full write-up on the pump provided by Buy Buy Baby.
The Medela® Pump In Style® Advanced in a stylish black microfiber shoulder bag has breakthrough 2-Phase Expression pumping for maximum milk flow which mimics a baby’s nursing rhythm by pumping in two distinct modes – stimulation and expression. Adjustable speed and vacuum control PersonalFit™ breastshields give you the flexibility to customize pumping according to your comfort level. The portable battery pack and stylish bag with everything you need lets you pump anywhere, anytime. Power is supplied by 9-volt AC adapter, battery pack (8-AA batteries not included) or 9-volt Vehicle Lighter Adapter (sold separately). Includes a removable cooler carrier, four collection containers with lids, two 24-millimeter PersonalFit™ breastshields, two valves, four membranes and Breastfeeding Information Guide. All parts that come into contact with breastmilk are BPA/DEHP Free. Measures 11 1/2″ H x 14 1/8″ W x 7″ D. One-year warranty. UL listed. Model 57027.
If you want something to cover yourself when breast feeding, you can get an Udder Covers that retails at $32 online at their website for free by using a discount code. The discount codes come out often; you might consider looking on Retail Me Not for a discount prior to purchasing. You will have to pay shipping and handling, which cost about $8. Well worth the $8 though.
When pumping your breasts it takes about the same time as breastfeeding, but with practice and a good pump, you can pump your breasts in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. While you are at work, try to pump as often as your baby usually feeds or for about 15 minutes every few hours. To keep up your milk supply, give your baby extra feedings when you are together. You can also pump right after your baby feeds, which will help your breasts make more milk.