12 pumping and breastfeeding must haves

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As mothers, I think we are all trying our best to find the most effective way to do things. Let’s be honest, our to-do lists are forever long, and we are constantly running from A to B, we need to make simple everyday tasks easy and as hassle-free as possible. Being a milk supplier for our little ones can take a lot of time up in our day. Here are 12 must-haves for pumping and breastfeeding that you will not want to be without.

Whether you are exclusively pumping or pumping alongside breastfeeding, there are certain pumping necessities you need to make pumping easy and less time-consuming.

pumping and breastfeeding guide

My pumping journey

I started out breastfeeding but due to my baby having a tongue and a lip tie we encountered some issues. I began pumping and offering the bottle and even though we got the ties revised we ended up just exclusively pumping.

To learn more about how to tell if your baby has a tongue or lip tie check this post out.

Pumping was not an easy feat, to say the least.

I had no trouble producing milk, but pumping took up a lot of time and I had to stick to a strict schedule and traveling was rough.

With all that being said, I quickly found some essential pumping must-haves that made the whole journey SO much easier!

Why you don’t want to be without these must-haves

Maybe you are already pumping, or you are still waiting for your little one to arrive, or maybe you are pumping for the second or third time and just want to make this go around easier than last time.

Whatever situation you may be in, these pumping and breastfeeding must-haves will really make your life so much more enjoyable.

I sometimes felt tied down to my pumping schedule and felt like I couldn’t go anywhere, which sometimes was true, but I was able to find some ways to alleviate my schedule a little bit.

Another thing I was able to master was making the actual process the quickest, most effective and mess-free. Sometimes there were some milk messes, but I did get pretty good at avoiding milk messes and spills.

12 pumping and breastfeeding supplies that will make your journey as pain-free as possible.

  1. Double Electric Pump
  2. Manual Pump or Hakka
  3. Hands-Free Pumping Bra
  4. Breastmilk Storage Bags
  5. Pumping Bag
  6. Car Power Inverter
  7. Breast Pads
  8. Water Bottle
  9. Small Wash Cloth and Paper Towels
  10. An Extra Set of Bottles and Flanges
  11. Pumping App
  12. Distractions

1. Double electric pump

Without this, I wouldn’t have been able to exclusively pump. A good electric pump is essential. Investing in a double electric pump really is imperative. Without the electric pump, there is no way I would have been able to manually pump 6 or 7 times daily.

medela breast pump

Although I am pretty sure the electric pump sound became old pretty dang quick, it was worth listening to that annoying pump sound because it made pumping so easy!

2. Manual pump or Haakaa

A manual pump is good to have if you need it. Thankfully I didn’t have to use my manual pump all too often, but it was helpful to have just in case.

It was super handy to have if for some reason I didn’t have power, or I needed to just quickly relieve some pressure from feeling full.

I wish I had tried out the Haakaa because I have heard endless good things about it.

The Haakaa is a silicone manual pump that is a super easy to use and is great for traveling or catching milk in the shower.

3. Hands-free pumping bra

I didn’t start out with a hands-free pumping bra, but once I got it, I couldn’t believe I had lived a couple of weeks without one.

Whether you have another child to take care of an occupy or maybe you need to finish up some last-minute emails or would just like your hands free, you need this bra!

It made pumping a thousand times better. I could get other stuff done while being stuck to the pump. It really helped the time pass by quicker and allowed my hands to be free.

4.Breastmilk storage bags

If you are pumping you are going to need storage bags to store all of that liquid gold. I tried a few different bags and to be honest my favorite were the Parents Choice.

Make sure to label your bags so you can easily rotate them and use the oldest pumped bags first. This also makes it easy if you decide to freeze them as well. If you are freezing your milk, be sure to lay them flat to freeze. This will save so much space. I like to find a small piece of old cardboard to lay it on. That way it didn’t freeze oddly shaped from laying unevenly in the freezer

5. Pumping bag

There are some great pumping bags out there to choose from. I ended up just using a medium-sized tote I already had but next time around I think I will definitely invest in a bag that is designed for your pump and accessories This makes being out and about and traveling easy and keep all of your pumping goodies in one place for easy access.

6. Car power inverter

You may not believe it but when you are a pumping woman you tend to pump just about anywhere. With that being said the car became quite a popular place for pumping.

We road tripped to Colorado while I was exclusively pumping so pumping on the way was needed. Thankfully I had a car power inverter that allowed me to plug my pump in and pump on the road.

7. Breast pads

These are pretty handy whether you are pumping or just breastfeeding. Lactating can be messy and result in some unavoidable leaks. It is just the way it is.

Wearing breast pads can help avoid any embarrassing leaks while you’re at a family party or friend’s house.

Even if you stick to a pretty rigid pumping schedule, there are times you are still going to leak. Plus, if there is a baby crying in Target and you hear it, you know what that means!

Just wear breast pads, you’ll save the hassle.

8. Water bottle

Staying hydrated is really key to good milk production. You have to think, all that milk output is going to require some good hydration going in.

I liked to always keep a water bottle at my “pumping station” or wherever I was pumping. I got myself into good habits of drinking plenty of water during each pumping session.

Drinking water to help pumping

9. Small washcloths or paper towels

This one may seem weird, but I always found it helpful to have a towel of some sort with me when I was pumping.

Pumping can be messy, especially when you are just getting the hang of things.

I would often find myself covered in milk drips when I was done and taking off the pumping flanges and taking the bra off.

Once I kept a towel handy, I could easily wipe any excess milk away and things stayed much cleaner. This is also super helpful if you are traveling too. You can never be too prepared.

10. An extra set of bottles and flanges

This is a game-changer. Having a double set of pumping bottles and flanges is so nice!

I had quite a few extra bottles because I used the Dr. Brown bottles and they were interchangeable with my pump parts but a few weeks into my pumping journey I decided to get another set of flanges and it was so helpful.

I was pumping anywhere from 4-7 times a day depending on how frequently my baby was drinking so I found it nice to be able to rotate the flanges.

Usually, I would wash the pumping parts after each time or put them in a Ziplock bag in the fridge but having a second pair was helpful if the other was dirty or drying from being washed.

11. Pumping app

I loved using a pumping app, it really helped me keep track of how much I was producing and how long my pump sessions were.

I used the My Medela app and found it very useful as I was able to keep track of other things regarding my baby such as how much he was eating, his diaper output and nap lengths.

12. Distraction

Pumping can be pretty monotonous; well it was for me at times.

Being tied to the pump (literally) wasn’t always my go-to activity, even though I did feel as though that was all I did! Being occupied by some sort of distraction helped pass the time a little more quickly while I would sit next to the pump.

Take those 20 minutes to catch up on a good book, maybe write your to-do list, or just have 20 or 30 minutes to yourself watching Netflix or surfing the internet.

Watching TV distracts you while pumping

I would often plan my pumps around my baby’s nap, so I use that time for myself to get a little break. If your little one is awake, that in of itself is a good distraction!

I have great admiration for those who pump. It is hard work and takes lots of dedication. Even though pumping isn’t all that easy, having essential must-haves really can make it the best experience possible.

What are your pumping must haves? How do deal with pumping and managing your baby?

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