Pumping can be tricky business. It’s hard enough to do it in the comfort of your home, so let’s make it even harder and do it at your least favorite place: WORK.
Here’s a checklist of things I take to work for pumping:
1. A small portable pump that’s easily chargeable.
Instead of packing up my Medela Pump I chose to purchase a less expensive portable pump. Not only does this keep you safe from breaking your only pump it also helps cut down on carrying germs back and forth from work to home. Along with my pump I leave a few sanitizing bags and cleaning wipes there as well. This pump was purchased on Amazon and I love it. It’s small ,lightweight, and can be charged with a USB cord meaning I can pump at work or in my car if need be. Another great thing about this pump is all the setting options. The suction on this little pump is amazing and it took me a while to get up to the highest level. I also really like that there’s a constant suction option. This helps my sessions go quicker. The timer on the LED screen is very helpful as well to. You can find this pump here.
2. A manual pump.
I highly suggest always having a manual pump with you wherever you go not just work. Normally at work I’m allowed to leave the room and pump in a quiet place but once in a while I have to work on my own and I don’t get the chance to leave the room so a manual pump is the best option for me. It’s good to have a manual pump to fall back on in case you don’t have access to power or you misplace your power cord. This manual pump goes with me in the diaper bag and in my pumping bag to work. Also another great thing about the manual pump is if you’re feeling a little sore the manual pump, at least to me, seems a bit gentler but still gets the same quantity if not more milk. You can find this brand of pump at Walmart, Target, or on Amazon. It’s super easy to use, clean, and takes up very little room.
This little hand pump has been a lifesaver for me. I have yet to master a pumping bra. It’s more of a personal issue rather than an ability issue. I just can’t find a pumping bra that fits right for my body so I pump one side at a time. To help save some of the milk that I would normally be losing I use this on the opposite side to catch any letdown. Many times I can get an extra half ounce to an ounce in this while I’m pumping the other side. The best place to purchase this is Walmart or Target online. They seem to have the best price around $14. You can also use this while baby is nursing you just have to be careful not to let them kick it. It’s very handy when they’re little but can be managed with some practice as they get bigger.
4. Refillable water bottle.
Hydration is a must. I always carry an extra refillable water bottle in my pumping bag. I make sure it’s full on the way to work and on the way home. I never want to get stuck without water for more than 1 hour. Drinking water while pumping can definitely increase your milk production! Stay hydrated!!
5. An awesome cooler bag!
This bag was one of those bonus purchases at the Disney Store many years ago for me. I’m so glad I bought it then not knowing what I would use it for now. Basically it’s a lightweight cooler on top with a zip open portion in the bottom. I keep my pump, my manual pump, milk bags, and other pump parts in the bottom. On the top I put my lunch and water bottle to take to work along with an ice pack and then on the way home I bring home the milk. It’s the perfect way to keep everything all in one place so it’s easy to pack in the mornings. I haven’t been able to find this bag new but I’m sure there are many more like it.
6. All the little odds & ends that depend on your pumping style & milk packing options.
Extra bra pads, hand sanitizer, sanitizing bags, milk bags, and an ice pack. I also took a warm blanket to work for the room I pump in, just in case. Ipod for music or your phone for some distraction to keep your mind relaxed.
Pumping anywhere other than at home can be difficult but with all the right stuff it can be successful. If you’d like more info on how to make the most of your pumping sessions check out my post 5 Ways to Boost Your Pumping Sessions.
Happy Pumping Mamas!!