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Essentials To Keep In Your Pumping Bag
Tips from an Exclusive Pumper
I’ve been exclusively pumping for about 6 months now. It’s a tiring and sometimes frustrating process. There is definitely a learning curve when you first start pumping, but I am glad I have stuck with it. Here are some of the essentials that I always keep in my pumping bag.
What kind of bra should I keep in my pump bag?
Simple Wishes Hands-Free Bra
When I first started exclusively pumping, I didn’t have a hands-free bra. I was pumping 7-8 times a day for about 20 minutes, all the while holding my pump parts. After about a month of this, I got on Amazon and ordered the Simple Wishes Hands-Free Bra.
This was a game changer! If you don’t have a hands-free bra, I totally suggest getting one. To be honest, this is the only one I have tried, but it has worked for me since my exclusive pumping journey began.
I was still pretty swollen and losing some baby weight in the beginning, and it has been able to adjust down to the size I need the whole time I’ve been pumping. It ranges from small to extra large, so you can use it at all stages.
Organic Nipple Balm
Nipple balm is a serious life saver for your poor little abused nipples. Whether you are breastfeeding or an exclusive pumper, we can all agree on this one. Right after my daughter was born, I started out using a breast pump to get my milk to come in. My lactation consultant handed me a tube of lanolin and told me to use it every time I pumped.
To this day, I’ve never really had any issues with dry or cracking nipples since I have always used a nipple balm. Balm! Baby organic nipple soother and bamboobies Organic boob ease are a couple I’ve used.
I like both and have found that they aren’t quite as thick as some of the other lanolin creams out there. The organic ones don’t seem to leave as much stuff on my pump parts as well.
What if I don’t have access to soap and water to clean my pumping parts?
Medela Cleaning wipes
When I am out and about or even at work, I don’t always have access to soap and water to clean my pump parts. These Medela sanitizing wipes are amazing for quickly cleaning pump parts until you get home. At work, I usually have access to a sink, but I still like using these wipes.
I like knowing when I get home that my pump parts will be ready to go when I need to pump. If I am out and about, like on a Saturday, and have to pump in the car, I will use them to clean my pump parts, especially because I don’t have any water.
Cooler with Ice Packs
I keep my cooler in my bag with my breast pump. It just makes it easier for me so that I don’t have to explain or have someone complain about me putting breast milk in the employee break room fridge. It doesn’t bother me personally, but some people get freaked out by it.
I use the Nordic Ice gel packs that will literally stay cold until late into the night. I typically take these freezer packs out around 6:45 in the morning and they stay cold and keep my milk cold until I get home and take them out around 6 pm.
What can I do while I pump?
If you are just pumping while you are work or you are an exclusive pumper, you will spend quite a bit of time hooked up to your pump. I pump for about 25 minutes at a time, so I have to have something to do so I don’t lose my mind from boredom.
Some of the things you can do include:
- My go-to is my phone, of course, to check the latest happenings on social media.
- Look on Pinterest for ideas for dinner
- Plan dinners for the week in my planner
- Pay bills if you do them online
- Baby wipes
Baby wipes are great for spills, especially when you are a super clutz like me! I use baby wipes to wipe off my pump parts if I don’t have any sanitizing wipes.
2. Bottle of water
Water is great for everyone. In general, everyone should drink at least half their body weight in ounces of water every day. It is especially important for breastfeeding and pumping mamas to keep up on their supply. I notice a big difference when I get my water in for the day.
3. Extension cord
You never know where an outlet will be!
Breast Milk Storage Bags or Storage Bottles
This seems like such a silly one, but seriously I’ve gotten stuck in a situation where I had to dump my milk because I ran out of storage bags. I am an overproducer, so I freeze most of my milk for later, so bags work better for me than bottles. If you use bottles for storage then don’t forget to pack them!
Now I know this sounds like a lot of stuff, but if you are anything like me, you have plenty of bags to choose from to fit everything. And some of it doesn’t take up much space.
The most important thing is to remember your breast pump because without this we wouldn’t need all this other stuff!
Happy pumping mamas!
Are you going back to work soon and need some extra advice on pumping at work? Stacey Stewart has created this awesome online Ultimate Back to Work Pumping Class (*affiliate link) that walks you through everything you need to know. I honestly wish I would have known about this course before I went back to work! Stacey is a Certified Lactation Consultant and the founder of Milkology.
I’m Lindsay, a wife, new mommy, and creative. I help moms with tips on exclusive pumping and new mom life. I create crochet patterns for beginners. I also help mom bloggers with photography.