A pump is not essential if your baby can breastfeed well. If you want to express milk once in a while so someone else can feed the baby, you may find hand expression works just as well as pumping. Another choice is to use a manual hand pump. If you need to express milk for every feeding for a preterm or ill baby it may be easier to rent an electric pump. Waiting until your baby is born will help determine what you need. Click here for more information about pumping and hand expression.