Pumpin’ ain’t easy.
From schlepping my pump to work or special events to finding the right time at which my session would be productive, but I didn’t need to nurse my baby right afterward, there were numerous challenges that made pumping an ordeal.
We surveyed our readers to get their best tips and favorite pumping products. Coupled with our own wisdom and lessons learned from working and going to weddings with babies in tow, here are some great ideas.
Checklist for pumping moms
- Invest in the right pump. Double electric is a must-have for daily pumpers; a hand pump might do the trick for occasional pumpers. You also might want to check out our favorite hands-free pumps. Know your lifestyle, then choose.
- Bottles & Flanges. The flange is the funny funnel-shaped thing that goes on your breasts; most allow you to pump milk right into bottles and/or storage bags. Count how many times per day you want to pump and purchase a few extras to allow for the dishwasher to run.
- Ziploc bag or wet bag. If you don’t want to wash your breast shields at work (I DONT!) it is best to have a bag to stick them in to contain the moisture until you get them home for a wash.
- Favorite a photo or video of your baby on your phone. Bonus points if it’s a picture of them nursing! This helps with letdown.
- Storage bags. You’ll want a bag to carry your pump and your milk bottles. Read on for a Rookie Mom Tested favorite! If you pump enough to store up a stash, freezer bags are also a must.
The Sarah Wells Abbey Bag- Rookie Mom Tested Favorite!
Here’s what our resident pumping mama had to say:
“As a mom who exclusively pumps, it can get tiring and overwhelming making sure you have all the correct parts and pieces needed when going out and about. Having multiple bags becomes too much, but that is why I love the Sarah Wells Abbey Bag. The Abbey bag holds both pumps that I use, the Medela pump in style and the Spectra S2 perfectly.
The Abbey bag is so convenient and doubles as a diaper bag and offers so much space for all pumping needs and baby needs. The inside side compartments are generously sized and fit everything from spare clothes, diapers, to bottles. There is even a compartment that fits a laptop. The Abbey bag truly offers style and convenience all in one.
I also recommend the Pumparoo pump parts wet/dry bag to keep all your different parts clean on the go. Along with the Sarah Wells Cold Gold bag, which is a stylish cooler bag!”
What to wear when you pump at work
- Tank tops paired with cardigans make life easy.Â Find one you like and get it in all the colors. (This criss cross cardigan looks ideal for that pumping life.)
- Consider keeping an extra layer at work in case you forget who you are for a day and have to strip down to pump because you’ve worn the wrong thing. Also? AÂ lap blanket is a good investment.
- Pumping bras: Favorites from readers include this beauty (for nursing and pumping both); this silk seamless one from Bravado; and this hands-free pumping bra from Rumina.
- Dresses are generally awkward for pumping, but if dresses are your workstyle, stock up on wrap dresses. Udderly Hot Mama makes one that comes in several colors via Nordstrom.
What else does a going-back-to-work mom need to know?