Like all moms who breastfeed and pump for their babies, we do it because we can. And because, let’s face it, breast milk is free and in ready supply.
But as a new mom who recently returned to work, I can say with certainty that pumping really effing sucks. It’s time consuming, it’s impersonal, and it’s a hassle. But I find myself fortunate that I am able to so easily feed my baby where others have struggled. So with absolutely no room to complain, I schlep my pump bag to and from work each day. I assemble the parts, put on my pumping bra, strap everything in, and set to work. 20 minutes later the real fun begins when have to store the milk, disassemble and clean all the parts, and put it all away – just to return in 2 hours and do it all over again. And again. And again.
Ladies, we have enough on our plates as it is, so make this new part of your life a little easier on yourself with the items below.
1. A hospital-grade pump that will actually help you establish your milk supply, and pump quickly and efficiently.
The Spectra pump is closed circuit, meaning the milk goes directly into the bottle instead of through tubes, making it more hygienic for you and your baby. If you find it hard to get adequate let down without the hormones released during breastfeeding, “the pump will start in ‘massage mode’, a short, shallow mode designed to stimulate your body’s letdown reflex (start the milk flowing) just like how your baby tells your body to start milk flow. The pump will then switch to expression mode, a deeper, slower pattern of suction which mimics how your baby nurses when the milk is flowing.”
Get it here for $179.99
2. A hands-free pumping bra so you can multitask like the Supermom you are.
This handsfree bra is amazing for any mom who isn’t able to stop working to go and pump. Just undo your nursing bra and zip this bra up on top of it. The suction cups feed into the holes and are supported by the fabric so you can keep on plugging away while the pump does all the work for you.
Get it here for $32.99
3. Extra bottles for pumping directly into the ones you will end up giving your baby.
That way you can just pop a nipple on and call it good. Or you can screw on the toppers to store and transport your milk without it spilling or leaking.
Get it here for $16.50
4. A pump parts cleaning brush kit and drying rack set so you can get milk residue out of all those nooks and crannies.
Milk and condensation collect in every part of your pump, which is why you have to be extra diligent when cleaning it all daily. I use these little brushes to get into the suction cups, the backflow parts, the bottle collars, the
Get it here for $9.99
5. A collapsible sink basin for washing your pump parts and other baby feeding necessities.
You do not want to wash your parts directly in the sink, either at home or the office. Keep your feeding accessories clean and separate from the rest of your dishes by placing a bin in the sink for washing. Then just dry it, collapse it, and store it for next time!
Get it here for $12.47
6. A scrub brush for cleaning the multitudes of bottles that will start to accumulate on your countertop.
You always want to be sure you wash all parts before putting them in the dishwasher or sterilizer, and that you wash with soap and water with a brush that you do not use for cleaning your other dishes. This will ensure you do not contaminate your baby’s feeding utensils with any foreign bacteria. This one comes with a detachable detail cleaner for smaller pieces, like nipples and bottle collars.
Get it here for $4.99
7. Breastmilk storage bags to freeze excess milk in a sterile and convenient way.
Any milk you pump that your baby won’t drink in the next couple days can be frozen and thawed for later. Read more about how to safely store and prepare your breastmilk on the CDC’s website.
Get it here for $19.95
8. A stylish and discreet shoulder bag for both your pumping gear and work stuff.
Avoid having multiple bags for toting everything back and forth by investing in a pump bag that is also sizable enough for your laptop and any other personal items you need. Your pump fits into a side compartment, and there are separate pockets for your parts and other necessities.
Get it here for $99.99
9. A transport cooler to make sure your milk gets home without spilling or spoiling.
You’ve pumped your milk, now you’ve gotta store it somewhere until you can get it home and in the fridge. An insulated cooler is a must if you’ve gotta commute home and don’t want your milk to spoil before your baby can drink it the following day. Bonus, you can use the bag as a lunchbox when you’re done breastfeeding.
4 colors available here starting at $13.99
10. A wet/dry bag and staging mat for your bottles and parts to keep everything sanitary.
Ziploc bags are costly and wasteful, and really should not be used more than one time. This reusable bag holds your pumping parts, and comes with a mat to safely lay down your materials during sessions. No more wasted plastic bags and paper towels, just wash this bag with soap and water at the end of the day and turn inside out to air dry.
Get it here for $18.99
11. A sterilizer to get the bacteria off all those little pieces.
I avoided using the one I registered for for the longest time because I could just heat a pot of water on the stove and boil everything. But when you are doing this on a daily basis it starts to become a chore, and it takes more time to wait for the water to boil. It’s so much easier to just clean the parts, place them in a sterilizer, and pop the whole thing in the microwave for a couple minutes. Less fuss!
Get it here for $16.79
12. A water bottle to ensure you stay hydrated, because you can’t make milk without water.
This one actually encourages you to hit your water consumption goals by marking the time of day on each bottle. Genius!
Get 2 bottles here for $19.95
13. Supplements that help ensure your milk is flowing when you can’t be with your baby.
The breastmilk boosters in these natural supplements are said to increase your milk supply, aid in digestion, and calm fussy babies too.
Get it here for $14.24