10 Things Every Pumping Mama Needs
Hey pumping mama! Let’s talk about the gear you’ll need to set you up for success…
- A pump– Your doctor should be able to submit for a complimentary one for you through insurance.
- Extra pump parts– It’s ideal to have a few extra sets of pump parts so that if one set is in the process of drying, the other might be completely dry.
- Bottle brush– This will be a designated bottle brush you use for only pump parts. I suggest washing your pump parts immediately after using them. You don’t want breastmilk to sit in the pump parts for a long time. I wash the bottles in the hottest water my hands can tolerate so I can sanitize any bacteria that could be lingering.
- Drying rack– There are tons of great bottle racks out there. I had both an upstairs and downstairs bottle rack because it was more convenient.
- Extra bottles– It’s a good idea to get a variety of sizes of bottles. In the beginning the 5 ounce bottles should be big enough but 8 ounce bottles are nice to have as they get older.
- Milk storage bags– Make sure you remove all the excess air you can before sealing it shut. Then write the amount of ounces and date on the top of the pouch and lay it down flat to freeze. After they are frozen flat they are easier to store in a box or in a freezer drawer.
- Extra bottle nipples- Be mindful of the size you buy. The small size is perfect for 0-4 months, and the medium size has a wider opening and results in faster milk flow. Medium is perfect for 4 months and older, once baby is drinking faster and is a pro with bottles.
- Hands free pumping bra– It makes a huge difference to have both hands free while pumping. This bra was recommended to me by a fellow pumping mama. Not entirely necessary but nice to have!
- Breast milk cooler– Great for storing milk on the go.
- Car adapter– A nice backup to have in your car for pumping when you’re out.
Although I think soap and hot water does the trick, some moms also enjoy the convenience of a bottle sterilizer. You can always warm a bottle by dunking them in a half filled mug of warm (not scalding hot) water, some parents might want a bottle warmer.
Pumping can be incredibly intimidating at first. It’s brand new. Having a newborn you’re already doing SO many new things, sometimes the last thing you want to do is learn one more thing. I get it. I’ve been there too. So let’s talk about small steps to take that can help prepare you for pumping!
- Watch a YouTube video on *your* pump. So whichever brand you have, search “How to use my Medela pump.” And get started with a tutorial of your specific pump.
- Go over the manual. Have a partner who’s tech savvy? Super, do it together.
- Sanitize your pump parts the day before with soap and hot water using your designated bottles/pump parts only brush. **Partners, please step in and help with washing the pump parts whenever you can. Breastfeeding and pumping is a lot of work, we need some help.**
- After washed, set them to dry on your bottle drying rack.
- Follow a *consistent* pumping routine.
My suggested pumping schedule as well as all my tips for introducing the bottle/how frequently to give a bottle if you have the goal of maintaining breastfeeding while bottle feeding is in ‘Everything I Wish I Knew as a First Time Mom.’
From one mother to another, I hope this helps!