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Pumping at work is a difficult, but oh-so-rewarding task. Hopefully your employer doesn’t give you a hard time about it, but if they do, read this article about your rights to pump at work by KellyMom. You are entitled to space and time to be able to pump milk to feed your little one!
Is this your first time pumping at work? Do you feel anxious or want to know more about what it takes to pump at work? Take The Ultimate Back to Work Pumping class by Milkology for only $19. This class has 13 short easy-to-watch lessons and downloadable resources to help you successfully transition back to work. Learn all you can, and keep a well-stocked pumping bag with the following items to make make your journey easier!
There are so many pumping bags you can purchase, but just like when you tag the word “wedding” or “baby” onto something, the price skyrockets when you’re looking for a pumping bag. You can truly use ANY bag that is large enough to store your pump, pump parts, cooler, and accessories. A tote bag or even a backpack do well. I ended up using a Medela brand one (which was amazing) because I had received it as a gift, however, if I were to purchase one myself, I would buy a more inexpensive option like this or this.
This is a no-brainer. You NEED to have a breast pump in your bag. There’s nothing worse than getting to work and finding out you left your pump at home. If you’re lucky and you have two, I recommend leaving one at work so this never happens.
And hand pumping is not fun to try to relieve the pressure.
Almost all insurances cover a breast pump, so make sure to get your free pump! My insurance only offered the Medela Pump In Style, which I used for all 3 of my boys, and it worked great. Many people prefer the Spectra to the Medela, however I was never able to actually try it out to give a comparison on the two.
Pump Parts (plus an extra set)
It is always good to have an extra set of pump parts in your bag, from the bottles to the valve and membrane, and even an extra set of tubing. For the times that you forget a set a home or if you don’t have time to clean your parts between pumping sessions, an extra makes your life easier.
Also make sure you have the right sized breast shields as this will make a HUGE difference in the milk you are able to pump. With my first, I was barely pumping an ounce at a time and it was so uncomfortable! I switched to the 21 mm shields, and my milk production jumped up to 4 ounces in a session within the first few weeks. Check out Medela’s guide here.
Having a car charger is really convenient if you’re on the go a lot. I only used it when we traveled, but it did come in handy a few days when my pump charger cord somehow didn’t make it into my work bag for the day… I was able to go out to my car to pump!
A pumping bra is an absolute must-have if you are pumping milk. Not only does it help to achieve a better latch, it allows you to multi-task when you pump. Whether you are at work and getting things done, or just relaxing on your couch, not having to hold the attachments really makes it easier to pump.
When it comes to pumping accessories, this starter pack is a must-have. This starter pack allows you to pump directly into and feed directly out of the pumping bags – less mess, less things to wash. The starter set has multiple adapters to fit with different pumps and even has different feeding attachments so you can attach different nipples onto it if your baby has a preference for a particular brand of nipple. I had great luck with the slow flow Kiinde nipples for my baby. I also had a stash of Lansinoh milk bags to store milk as backups!
The Medela Quick Clean Wipes are so easy to use and help to sanitize your bottles in a pinch. I keep them in my bag for when I’m unable to wash them out immediately after pumping. These wipes will allow me to clean my pump parts between pumping sessions at work or even when I’ve had to pump in the car on a road trip.
Depending on your situation at work, you may need to bring your own cooler bag with an ice pack. I received this Medela bag with an ice pack and it was a necessity in my pump bag. Easy to pack up, keep milk bottles and milk bags in as you need to refrigerate your milk immediately to keep it fresh for your little one!
There are thousands of other items out there that help make your nursing and pumping journey easier, but these are my absolute must-have items. Do you have any other must-have items that helped you in your journey?