In the wide world of parenting topics I don’t consider myself to be an “expert” (using the term very loosely) at much, but breastfeeding/pumping/working, well I’ve pretty much mastered! Having nursed my daughter for a little over a year, mostly while working almost full-time, and now doing the same with my son, I’ve developed my own list of essential items that every pumping momma needs when away from baby.
- A great, electric double breast pump. Yea, they are costly but at a price tag cheaper than formula it’s worth every penny. Great news, many health insurance plans are now covering the cost of breast pumps! Your pump will be your best friend for many months, and when you are finally free of toting it with you everyday you may feel lost for a few weeks (or joyous in the freedom!).
- A bag that can carry all the belongings you need to pump in one place. There is nothing worse than getting all set up to pump at work only to be missing a necessary item. My pump came in a tote bag, but I must admit at times I could use a bit more room.
- A BIG, sturdy water bottle with a very secure top. Because breastfeeding and pumping make you just as thirsty as hiking through the Sahara and you don’t want to spill water all over your important work documents (been there, done that).
- A hands-free pumping bra that is easy to get on/off. I didn’t have one of these when nursing my daughter but was given one by a dear friend this go-round and it has changed my life! Not to mention, probably keeping me from developing full blown carpal tunnel syndrome.
- A nursing cover-for privacy when you must pump in a not-so-private place. You can often find a coupon to get a cover for free (just pay shipping) in many pregnancy and parenting magazines.
- A car adaptor to run your pump in your car. With a car adaptor you can pump ANYWHERE, ANYTIME (enter hands free bra and nursing cover).
- LOTS of bottles to attach to pump and an extra set of flanges to keep you from washing parts so often. Seriously, if you’re in it for the long haul spend the money to purchase an extra set of flanges; they will make your life as a pumping mommy better!
- Easy to eat, healthy, hand held snacks. Supporting another human life makes you STARVING. Take the time to refuel with a snack while pumping.
- A small cooler bag and ice pack to keep milk cool all day long in one nice neat place. I have one that is made especially for carrying bottles that was included with my Medela pump, but it is also sold separately and it works great for keeping milk cool all day.
Mommas, if you are pumping and working…I feel your pain and your sense of accomplishment! You are doing the most amazing thing for your baby. Keep up the great work! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!