Must-Have Items That Every Exclusive Pumping Mom Needs
Choosing how to feed your baby can be a difficult decision. Exclusively pumping—which means you feed your baby pumped breast milk instead of feeding directly from the breast—is truly a labor of love. Statistically, it’s not that common: about 5 percent of moms claim they exclusively pump. Moms might choose this method because they want to provide their baby with breast milk but need to pump due to medical necessity or simply personal preference. These items are a must for anyone considering to exclusively pump; not only will they make the process easier, but they’ll also save precious time.
10 Storage Bottles
After pumping breast milk at home, it’s usually placed into plastic freezer bags or put directly into a bottle to feed baby. When you’re on the go, you’ll need adequate containers for storing or transporting the milk back home. What To Expect recommends storing in small batches, about 2 to 4 ounces, to prevent any from going to waste. Sterile glass or plastic bottles that are hard BPA-free are the best options, as long as they have tightly fitting lids.
Once breast milk is pumped and bottled, it’ll need to be placed somewhere cool for safekeeping. An insulated cooler bag can keep it safe for consumption and allow for easy transport. There are so many options to choose from—small and discreet, ideal for refrigeration at work, larger backpack styles to store other things, or larger quantities of milk–not to mention a variety of stylish patterns.
8 Hands-Free Options
Anyone that decides to exclusively pump will find themselves pumping multiple times a day. With newborns, it’s usually 8 to 10 times per day, then decreasing to 5 or 6 as baby grows. These sessions don’t need to all occur strapped to a pump that’s plugged into the wall, though. There are amazing hands-free options that exist. Hands-free pumps are designed to fit into your bra and do their thing cord-free. Or, there are hands-free pumping bras if you already have an electric-powered pump. It holds a pump in place to give you some comfort and allow you to free your hands.
7 Car Charger/Adapter
Pumping can take a great deal of time, which means you’ll want to take advantage of the pockets of time wherever you can get them. Some moms choose to pump in the car if they are going on a road trip or want to utilize their commute to work. If your pump requires electricity, there are adapters you can buy that allow your pump to be plugged in. All you need to do is safely set the pump in place before driving, then be on your way.
6 Spare Pump Parts
If you take nothing else away from this list, make sure it’s this tip: you’ll want to have spare parts on hand. Extras can be purchased on Amazon or through companies that work with your health insurance. In the event that something breaks or goes missing, you won’t want to wait days for a replacement. Having them available can save a headache and cause you to not have any lapses in your pump schedule.
Not all moms want others to be privy to the fact that they’re pumping. A nursing cover can help a pumping mom maintain discretion while still getting it done. The fabric can be large enough to wrap around moms’ shoulders and provide coverage around the front of their body.
4 Hand Sanitizer Spray
It’s important to have clean hands before handling any pump parts or breast milk. Bacteria from dirty hands can unintentionally contaminate the milk. On the occasion that you aren’t near a sink with soap or if you happen to be on the go, keeping some hand sanitizer accessible can help you eliminate this worry.
3 Quick Clean Pump Wipes
Another necessity for busy or working moms is sanitizing wipes for your breast pump. Just as it’s important to keep hands clean, pump parts need to stay bacteria-free, too. A major portion of an exclusively pumping mom’s day is washing pump parts that are exposed to breast milk. Wipes that can effectively disinfect are a real-time saver.
2 Manual Pump
Hands-free pumps may run on batteries or electric charge, and traditional pumps need to be plugged in, but a manual pump is one that can express and pump breast milk into a plastic bottle by hand-squeezing. This is smart to keep handy in case of power loss, missing batteries, or when traveling. Some moms even prefer the ability to control the speed with a manual pump. It’s convenient knowing the pump itself is all you need.
1 Designated Large Bag
Exclusively pumping moms will undoubtedly have a comfortable area set up at home with all necessary items handy. When on the go, having a bag large enough for all the things will make life so much easier. Knowing everything is packed inside and ready to go makes it simpler to get out the door.
Exclusively pumping can be time-consuming and has its own set of challenges, but it can also be so worth it. The health benefits for mom and baby are unequivocal. These items will make life just a little bit easier and moms more successful on this journey.