Pumping can be challenging. I love breastfeeding, but I admit that I was not a fan of pumping. I pumped a good amount with both of my babies, and became familiar with many of the tips and tricks that can make it easier.
While you do not need all of these supplies in order to pump, there are some essentials that will make the transition to pumping at work a little smoother. It's especially hard to go back to work and pump while separated from our baby. Consider this list of pumping essentials to make pumping at work easier. I have tried and tested most of these items personally.
A double electric breast pump
Yes, this one is obvious. Luckily most pumps are covered by insurance these days. This was not the case when I had my first baby and I bought myself a double electric pump, I chose Ameda due to it being a closed system pump. You can find out more about my personal pump here. It has been discontinued, but I believe this Ameda Purely Yours is the closest follow up to the one I had:
The Medela Pump In Style is another popular pump loved by working moms.
A manual pump
Okay, a manual pump is not actually an essential for pumping at work, but I cannot tell you how useful my manual pump has been. For those times you are in a pinch this can be a life saver, and it surprisingly can get a lot of output. I love that this pump breaks down and can be fit into small spaces. If I was pumping at work regularly I would keep one of these in the car as a backup. I've had friends forget a crucial piece of their pumping supplies at work, or something happened and they needed to pump on the road and could not for some reason. This manual pump makes a great backup to keep with you.
Pumping spare parts
It always handy to have spare parts around before you need them.
Bottles for when you are separated from baby
If you are pumping at work you will most likely need bottles to leave behind with your baby. While this a personal choice, and sometimes several bottles need to be tried to find one your baby will take, I cover several different bottle types I have tried here. My personal favorite was the Lansinoh mOmma:
Breastmilk storage bags
Breast milk storage bags a pumping essential. I loved Lansinoh breast milk storage bags. I have also used Medela, but I did not prefer them. A tip for storing in the freezer, put a few bags into a larger zip lock bag. This way if anything cracks or leaks the milk is caught in the second bag.
An easy way to sterilize pump parts
For on the go sterilizing at work these bags are great:
An easy way to clean pump parts
If you do not have time to sterilize, these Medela wipes for cleaning in between pumping sessions are a great option:
I was happy to learn about and collaborate with Oat Mama for this post. Oat Mama makes delicious lactation teas and lactation bars for breastfeeding moms. When you are pumping at work it’s great to have a healthy snack to fight off the hunger pains and bonus… they support your milk supply.
Every breastfeeding journey is unique. We believe your lactation tea should be too. That is why we created a refreshing, energizing tea blended with the very best organic herbs to support your milk supply and keep you hydrated. Made with organic hibiscus flower, organic fennel seed, organic raspberry leaf, organic alfalfa leaf, organic nettle, and natural fruit flavors, our lactation tea is safe for nursing and pregnancy. Our tea has 100% active ingredients for supporting a healthy milk supply, zero calories, and an amazing list of benefits for your postpartum body, not to mention, it's delicious. Feed with love. Sip with purpose.
A cover if it makes you comfortable
You certainly do not need a cover to pump but some women feel more comfortable using them in the work environment. I love nursing scarves, but they may not work as well for pumping. The Boppy nursing cover was my favorite back when I used a cover. I also love how it folds into itself as a tiny bag for transport.
A hands free pumping bra
My favorite hands free pumping bra from Simple Wishes. If you need your hands free and don't mind putting this on it's worth it. I hated having to hold my bottles and flanges up and just site for 10 to 15 minutes. Hands free and you can read or work or do whatever you need while pumping. You can read my full review of this bra here as well.
A breast pump bag
If you want much more style and function than a typical breast pump bag check out the "Lizzy" breast pump bag from Sarah Wells. Rumor has it this gorgeous bag is going to be coming out in new colors soon. A good breast pump bag can serve as your laptop case, purse and hold your pump and pumped milk. This is a great investment for pumping at work every day. I have a round up of several other stylish breast pump bags here.
If your bag does not have a cooler, or you just need a separate one for the fridge or freezer to hold your bottles, a basic one like this will work well. I have this Medela cooler as well as a couple of backups.
While you certainly do not need all of these items to pump breast milk, they can definitely make it easier! I hope you will find this list helpful. Any of these items would make a great baby shower gift for a mother who is planning to pump as well.