Hi Everyone! Today, I am going to be talking specifically about (ready for it…) ‘pumping’. I will be sharing with you my top essential items needed for pumping at home AND on the go! This post is a continuation of my previous topic, Breastfeeding Essentials for the New Mom. Don’t worry, if you missed it, you can catch up here.
When it comes to the idea of pumping, many people are misinformed or automatically get scared away by the thought of it. Why would I want to be hooked up to some device- it’s so unnatural? Well, you’re not the only one to think this. I am here to tell you that it is NOT as bad as you are thinking. In fact, it’s the most unnatural, natural, thing- and… it’s really kind of easy.
When Landon was first born, I didn’t plan to start pumping until we were around a month into our breastfeeding routine. I wanted to get a hand of breastfeeding first and then worry about pumping later. I did know however, that I wanted to start pumping early on- in order to secure a hefty ‘back up’ supply of milk for my freezer stash. To my surprise however, I actually started pumping on the first day Landon came home from the hospital.
No one forewarned me what ‘getting your milk supply in’ really meant…
I mean, maybe I should have had an idea of what would happen- but to be honest, my mind was in so many other places that I wasn’t waiting looking at the clock for my colostrum to turn into real breast milk. I woke up the second morning after being home, to find my breasts fully engorged (I’m talking— HUGE) and leaking all over my shirt [TMI? Sorry- this is a breastfeeding post hehe]. I wasn’t sure what to do. It was my first time going through all of this ‘first time momma’ stuff. Because Landon had recently eaten and it wasn’t time to feed him again, TJ suggested that I try pumping. Way to go hubby! Good suggestion.
- A trustworthy pump. I use the Medela in Style Advanced Pump and have been very happy with it. Check with your insurance and see what hands-free pump they will cover, so that you don’t have to pay a dime. Yes, finally something free.
- Pumping phalanges. Any good pump will come with all of the things that you need. With your pump you should receive phalanges, tubing, at least 2 bottles for milk collection, and a wall adapter for charging.
- A good handsfree pumping bra. I could never sit there manually pumping one side at time. Make it easy and get one of these.
- Milk supply bags for easy, fast, freezer storage. I have been through 3 different milk storage brands and my favorite is definitely the Up and Up bags from Target. They have a double zip and most importantly can freeze flat.
Now, let’s talk about pumping ON THE GO…
One of my all time favorite pumping items EVER is my hands-free Freemie pump. I still thank the nurse who recommended these to me. They are lifesavers for the working mom! With your Freemie you can pump in public- without anyone knowing! Yes, I am serious. Because I am a full-time Registered Nurse, it has always been challenging finding the time to pump. With this hands-free pump it is SO EASY. All I do is insert the cups into my bra and hook up the tubing to my Medela pump and pump away! I use it, conveniently, when I am charting at work. I have so many co-workers tell me that they had no idea I was pumping. It’s so quiet and you can maneuver the tubing to go under your shirt, so you literally don’t see a thing. The best part about the Freemie is that you can keep your shirt on and remain completely covered and concealed while pumping.
What Essentials you will need…
1. Freemie Collection Cups. You can purchase the entire kit and caboodle (cups and pump together) or the cups individually. Just make sure the freemie is compatible with your current pump.
2. Car adapter & portable (battery-operated) charger. If you chose to pump in the car on your way to work, you will need the car adapter to be able to run your pump while driving. I also purchased the battery operated charger in case the electricity goes out or I have to pump in a place where I don’t have easy access to an outlet.
3. Pumping bag- preferably one with a shoulder strap. I keep my pumping supplies in this black bag. It looks like a normal pocketbook and is lightweight and fits my pump perfectly. I have the Medela bag, found here.
4. Nursing scarf. I keep mine in my purse so it is handy for any time I may need it. I usually only end up using it when baby is with me and needs to eat, but it gives you some privacy for anytime you feel appropriate.
5. Insulated Cooler Bag. You can find a similar version here. I like this on the go bag, because I can store my pumped milk in the fridge at work- without anyone having to see it (or freaking out all of the men at work). It keeps the milk cold and is perfect if you transfer the milk into bottles or bags, for easy storage.
I hope that you all found this post to be helpful. I wish I had an article like this before I started out. Feel free to leave me any comments or questions below. I would love to hear your thoughts! PS- Feel free to share this post with any Momma that you think may need this advice!