Women decide to pump for a variety of reasons from wanting to have their partner involved in feedings and needing to go back to work...
There are many devices out there from handheld to electric pumps. The optimal pump depends on your need and how frequently you pump.
Remember to contact your insurance company because you will often be able to get a free pump or one significantly discounted through them!
Whatever pump you use, make sure you thoroughly clean between and before each use. This is extremely important because bacteria can be grown rapidly in your expressed breast milk which you do not want to give to baby!
Find a good storage solution for your milk and label your bags with dates. Remember breastmilk can be stored out on a countertop for a couple of hours, in a fridge for 3-5 days, in a freezer for up to 6 months and in a deep freezer for up to a year
How often you should pump is dependent on the schedule you and your baby are on. You should continue to pump in around the same intervals your baby is feeding so your supply does not drop
This is only a brief overview and there is so much more to breastfeeding. The most important thing to remember is that breastfeeding is a very individualized and it is a plan you make between yourself, your partner, doctor and/or lactation consultant.
DON'T be hard on yourself if you cannot breastfeed. There are many reasons why someone cannot breastfeed or require supplementation with formula or they just choose not to breastfeed. All that matters is a baby that is fed, happy and healthy!