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. 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.
- Storage bags. You’ll want a bag to carry your pump and your milk bottles. Many of the nicer pumps include such carrying totes, but an insulated lunchbox will also do the trick. If you pump enough to store up a stash, freezer bags are a good choice.
- 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.
- Flag a photo or video of baby, maybe even nursing. Use the smartness of your phone to favorite the image so that you can get right to it. It helps with letdown.
What to wear when you pump at work
- Tank tops paired with cardigans make life easy. 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? A 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?