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If you are a breastfeeding and/or breastpumping mama then having the right gear can make all of the difference in your success. Whether you are pumping because you are going back to work (you might want to check out these 15 Tips For Successful Pumping At Work) or full-time exclusively pumping for baby, you’ll benefit from having these products handy to help you save loads of time and feel less stressed.
1. A Dedicated Breastpump Bag
I am currently exclusively pumping for my son and have found my Sarah Wells Breastpump Bags to be a necessity! Many women just carry their pump in a bag they already have or buy a regular tote bag. Then they must also carry a cooler, purse, etc. And if using a cheaper bag then there is not enough support to comfortably carry all of your pumping essentials. Enter the Sarah Wells bags! I could rave about these all day. I have both an Annie and a Lizzy bag, and absolutely adore them. They have really simplified my pumping experience by allowing me to carry my pump, all the parts, my purse essentials, and (most importantly!) my pumped milk which can be kept cool with ice packs in the insulated pockets. For business mamas, these bags can also fit your laptop! They are comfortable, fashionable, and great quality. I have also had the chance to get to know Sarah Wells through social media and she is such a wonderful woman who seriously cares about her product and her customers. I totally recommend this mom owned business!
2. Storage Bag for Pump Parts
So I raved about Sarah Wells (and her gorgeous breastpump bags) above and a few months ago she released a game changing product, the Pumparoo. This bag is a discreet, eco-friendly way to carry and store your pump parts when out of the house. No more storing parts in gallon plastic baggies between pumps. There is a wet and a dry pocket. The dry pocket can be used to store extra membranes/duckbills, tubing, bottle caps, etc. The wet pocket is of amazing quality. I’ve used many different brands of wet bags as a cloth diapering mama and the materials in this bag are super high quality (I wish Sarah would make a large hanging door wet bag for our diapers!). There is absolutely no leaking through so you can even store an ice pack in with your pump parts to keep them cold if you won’t be able to store them in a refrigerator between pumps.
3. Hands Free Pumping Bra
A hands free pumping bra is a MUST HAVE. Lets face it, pumping is boring so its a great time to catch up on some social media surfing on your phone, watching Netflix, or reading a book. You don’t want your hands tied down by having to hold the flanges so you’ll need a hands free breastpump bra to do all the work for you. The Simple Wishes Hands-Free Breastpump Bra is the most comfortable pumping bra that I’ve tried and I love the easily adjustable fit.
4. A Natural Nipple Cream
Dry, cracked nipples are sometimes just par for the course when breastfeeding and pumping. Earth Mama Angel Baby is one of my favorite brands of personal care products. Their Nipple Butter is made with completely natural and safe ingredients. It is great for painful nipples or to lube up before pumping for extra comfort. Most importantly, it is safe for baby so no need to wash off before breastfeeding or pumping.
5. A Wearable Hands-Free Pumping Bra
When I’m pumping out of the house I don’t want to have to carry a separate pumping bra especially if I’m going to need to be pumping in the car. It can get awkward sitting in the seat and trying to discreetly put on a pumping bra. I always wear my Arden Bra from The Dairy Fairy when I’m going to be pumping on the go. It has great support which, as I imagine most women would agree, is the #1 criteria in purchasing a bra. The design perfectly conceals the fabric flaps to insert pump flanges so there is no bulkiness on my chest. And if you nurse directly it can be easily pulled down for that purpose as well. I bought an additional Arden Bra after my second baby because I loved it so much with my first. Check out my past review of the Arden Bra to see how amazing it is!
6. Cleaning Wipes
Spills happen and cleanliness of pumping supplies is super important to help prevent thrush. These Medela Quick Clean Breast Pump and Accessory Wipes are so handy for pumping on the go. I always keep a pack in my pump bag. No water is necessary so you really can clean up your parts or pump anywhere without having to worry about what you will do with everything afterwards.
7. Small Pouch for Extra Pump Parts
A pumpers worst nightmare is to be out and about only to realize you’ve forgotten a crucial piece of pumping equipment.The Ju-Ju-Be Paci Pod is a little zippered pouch that is great for carrying extra duckbills/membranes and extra tubing.
8. Breastmilk Storage Bags
I’ve used multiple brands of breastmilk storage bags and I love how nice and flat the Lansinoh bags freeze. I can really maximize space in the deep freezer with them. Some women have reported leaks in this brand (and other brands too) so I’ll caution you to always thaw milk in a bowl or plastic baggie so you don’t lose any liquid gold. I’ve only ever had 1 bag leak when thawing but I also only fill them with 5oz each so they aren’t being stretched too much. I’ve used other bags which are thicker but they don’t freeze as flat as the Lansinoh brand.
9. Hand Pump
I always keep a hand pump in the car in case of emergencies. Maybe you can’t connect your pump to a power source, forgot extra batteries, or forgot an important part of the pump and find yourself stuck. Buying a hand pump can be a life saver and really takes up very little space. In case of emergency, knowing how to manually hand express is an important skill. I’ve never had luck with it since breastfeeding/breastpumping since 2013 so I always make sure my hand pump is in the car. Check out youtube for videos on how to properly hand express and hopefully you’ll have better luck with it than I have.
Breastpumping doesn’t have to be hard and can be a little more enjoyable with less stress and cute accessories. I’ve found all of the above products to be extremely helpful on my pumping journey and hope that you will too!