So you are pumping! For whatever reason; going back to work, to get a stash for a date night away from baby, because breastfeeding did not work out, or just because you want to! Either way, Exclusively Pumping is HARD work! I EP-ed with DD2 until she was 4 months due to let down and latch issues. I ultimately stopped due to supply problems (despite medications, supplements, and lots of power pumping)! Below are items (in no particular order) that I could not have lived without during that time!
- A Double Electric Breast Pump- I rented a Medela Symphony from Babies R Us and it helped tremendously with my supply issues and was more comfortable than the Pump in Style that I got from my insurance. The Symphony was also more quiet than my PIS or my Swing that I used with DD1 for the short time I pumped. You can purchase at most baby speciality stores( BRU, Buy Buy Baby) or on Medela’s website: http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/ I plan to try out the Spectra in the future as I have heard wonderful things about it. I have a cousin who just had a baby and the pump is so quiet, I did not realize she turned it on! Spectra’s website is here:
- Extra Pump Parts- Oh my gosh this was HUGE for me as an EP mom. When you EP- you not only are washing bottles but you are washing pump parts 8-12 times a day in the beginning and who wants to wash pump parts at 2 am? Not me. I had three sets that I rotated and then washed before bed each night. In between pumps I put them in a Zip-loc bag, lined with paper towel and put them in the fridge (it prevents bacteria from forming). This ensured that I had a set in my pump bag, at home, and a spare at work. Extra parts for any pump can always be ordered from the supplier (Medela is also carried at baby speciality stores( BRU, Buy Buy Baby) or on Medela’s website: http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/ )
- Coconut Oil- Seems strange, I know! However, Coconut oil has antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. I ended up with thrush while bf/pumping and using the coconut oil helped it to go away quickly and once I switched, it never came back. It is not as sticky as Lanolin. In addition, when I was switching between
pumping and bf-ing, DD2 would not latch if I had put Lanolin on, but never had any problems with the coconut oil. We also used it for diaper rash 🙂 We have the spectrum brand (a big bottle since I use it for cooking from time to time) and I just scooped some out into an old face cream jar and tossed it in my pump bag!
- Lansinoh Milk Storage Bags- When you are EP-ing most women make enough to have somewhat of a supply (I struggled with mine but did manage to put away 2-3 oz a day). Therefore, you will need storage bags. I started out with the Medela brand, because some came with my pump and I received some at a shower but quickly discovered they did not freeze flat and were a pain to get to open to fill (they also hold more than the Medela bags do and are cheaper). I searched a few blog and review sites and found the Lansinoh brand. LOVE them! Cannot recommend them enough! These bags freeze nearly flat and then can be stored back to back to back in a container in your freezer! The only problem I ever had was you cannot pump directly into the bag, however, I did not direct bag pump anyways, so it did not effect me. I bought mine from Target or Amazon
- Simple Wishes Handsfree Bra- If you have other children or ever plan to multitask while pumping… You NEED a hands-free bra. Let’s just say I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and Farmville while pumping at 4 am. No one wants to sit while pumping and hold both flanges to themselves for 20-40 minutes. I preferred Simple Wishes because I could just pull down my top and wrap/zip it over my nursing bra to pump. It held the flanges close enough and fit well. They have a clasp version and the wrap tie, which I found easier when pumping at work (as well as it did not loosen after 1-2 uses like my Medela bra). I bought mine off of Amazon and advise getting two so one can be clean while the other gets washed!
- Lansinoh Breast Pads- Leaking occurs in nearly all breastfeeding/pumping mothers. At least for some frame of time. I found I leaked until around 2.5/3 months postpartum. However, when I was I did not want to just keep trashing my bras and clothing. I preferred the Lansinoh over Medela because they were softer, stuck better to my bra, and the crease in them was most of the time unnoticeable through my clothing (unless wearing a thin bra), important once I went back to work. I bought mine from Target!
- A Manual Pump- I used the Harmony by Medela as my manual pump and loved it! It was super easy to use and clean despite the many parts of a pump. I ordered it off of Amazon as it was cheaper than through Medela. In the beginning, I did not see the point of having a manual pump if i had my double electric. However, not every place has a cord or if you have a battery pump and it runs out. Also, its more quiet! We went out to lunch once and I needed to pump so I used my manual since I could not find and outlet and did not want to disturb others.
- Cooler Bag- There are all kinds of cooler bags out there, however, I used DD1’s lunch box. I found it fit better in my tote bag and fit more bottles and I could even put my flanges and other parts in there. The one I used is similar to the picture, and found here. Medela has their own that includes freezer packs but we had a ton in our freezer anyways. You’ll need to cooler to safely transport pumped milk back to home and into the fridge/bottles for feeding. Below are the guidelines for safely storing milk if you need them:
- A Breastfeeding/Pumping App- Yes there is an App
for that 🙂 Actually,there are several. I used Medela’s app when I was breastfeeding and switched over to Pump Log. The best part of the Pump Log app is that you can calculate (based on when you want to stop) how much of a stash you need and at your rate of pumping when I can stop. The app is great because you can track when and how long you pumped for and if anything specific happens (like an extreme drop in supply) you could attempt to back track and find the cause. The other feature which I used a TON was the reminder alarm. At night I struggled with getting up to pump and the app reminded me to pump so I could keep my supply as high as possible. Get the App here
- Lastly, a bag to put everything in! With DD2 I used a cute tote bag I picked up from walmart-yes I took the lunch box cooler with me to make sure it would fit and I
would still have room for the pump 😛 However, I do have the one picture on my dream list. As long as the bag holds everything and I found some pockets helpful that is what you absolutely NEED as far as a bag goes. So do not feel like you have to run out and spend $100 on a bag. This bag, is close to what I had from Walmart, if you are interested. Here is the link for the dream bag to left.
Thank you so much for reading and if you have any questions feel free to comment!