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15 Best Products for Pumping Moms

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You’ve got through all the breastfeeding hurdles by using the essential products for breastfeeding. Now there’s just one more hurdle to tackle. You’ll be returning to work soon, but you still want to keep supplying your baby with the best nutrition. What’s a working mom to do? Pump, pump, pump! Here are the best products for pumping moms.

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How many breast pumps do you need?

There are all sorts of pumps out there. I used three different types of pumps while I was working: a haakaa for the letdown, a manual pump, and a double electric pump. One pump is usually covered by your insurance, so make sure to check that out. A second pump could be covered by your HSA, if you have one. If that is an option for you, I would suggest getting two electric pumps – one for work and one for home, along with the haakaa and the manual pump. Get a pump with its own bag for your work pump and just a basic pump for your home pump.

best products for pumping moms

Lansinoh Haakaa

If you’re in the situation that you need to pump, make sure you get one of Lansinoh Haakaa! You attach it while you’re breastfeeding, and it collects the letdown on the opposite breast. I love this one, in particular, because of the neck strap. Your little one will find many ways to get it to come off. The strap keeps you from losing that hard-earned liquid gold.

Before I used this product, I couldn’t imagine that it would work. But once I used it, I was hooked! Start using the haakaa before you return to work to build up your freezer stash. I was able to get 3-4 ounces per side during each nursing session.

Tip I got from the hospital nurses: Get two and use them when you get out of the shower, since the hot water can cause a let-down.

best products for pumping moms

Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump

I used this manual pump before I purchased my electric pump. Not knowing if my milk would come in, I didn’t want to purchase all the pumping accessories ahead of time. I actually used this in the hospital to be certain my little one was getting something when he nursed. This is also nice to have to pump after a nursing session to completely empty the breast.

best products for pumping moms

Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump

A double electric breast pump is a must for moms on the go. You may have been using a manual pump up until now, but time is your most important commodity when you’re pumping away from home. A double pump allows you to pump in half the time.

This pump comes in a backpack or purse style. I opted for the backpack, as I was already carrying my purse, my laptop, and lunch/snacks (a pumping momma is a hungry momma). It allows for enough room for all the pump parts, cleaning wipes and bags, and milk storage. It comes with two shields, two connectors, two valves and membranes, a set of tubing, a cooler bag, an ice pack, and four collection bottles. It also has an AC adapter and a battery pack.

best products for pumping moms

Medela Easy Expressions Hands Free Pumping Bra

Get a hands-free pumping bra, so you’re not holding the breast shields for 20 minutes during each pumping session. This is the best way to secure the breast shields to allow you to do other things (or to just relax for a bit).

best products for pumping moms

Nursing Cover

You may not always be guaranteed absolute privacy when you need to pump. You may end up pumping in the car or have to share the pump room with another pumping momma. Get a nursing cover and just throw it in your pump bag.

Do you need extra pump parts?

You can get by with one set of pump parts, but you will be cleaning them each night. I recommend getting an extra set just to give yourself a break from all that washing. Also, if you should happen to lose a piece, you’ll have a backup and won’t be stuck until you can get it replaced. Another option is to get an extra set and leave them in your desk or car. You don’t want to get to work and realize you have forgotten something (ugh, mom brain).

best products for pumping moms

Extra Pump Parts 

Pump parts need washed daily, so it is best to have an extra set of shields, connectors and valves. The membranes are tiny and slippery when coated with breastmilk. They can be easily lost in the sink, on the floor, or in the garbage. Extras are a must. Also, make sure when buying a replacement set that the shields are separate from the connectors; otherwise, they won’t fit through your hands-free pumping bra.

best products for pumping moms

Storage Bags for Pump Parts

You’ll want to keep your shields, connector, and valves clean and within easy reach in your pump bag. I just used Ziploc bags, cause I didn’t think about it before my first day of pumping, and they were something in the house I could quickly grab. If you’re looking for something that actually serves this purpose and you can reuse, try these wet/dry bags.

products for pumping moms: woman breastfeeding her baby outside
best products for pumping moms

Extra Collection Bottles

Freshly expressed milk cannot be poured into a container that has been chilled, so if you are pumping more than two times throughout your work day, you’re going to need more collection bottles. This is also another case of having to wash the bottles every night after work. Get more bottles, so you have to wash less often.

best products for pumping moms

Extra Cooler Bag and Ice Pack

If you are pumping more than twice a day and need to keep more than four bottles of milk cold, you are going to need an extra cooler bag and ice pack. It’s also nice to have an extra set on hand to keep with your diaper bag, if you need to take pumped milk with you.

Can you just rinse your pump parts?

Any part of the pump that breastmilk touches should be cleaned with soap and water between each session. Unfortunately, that’s not always an option. I always rinsed my parts thoroughly with hot water and used the Medela Quick Clean Wipes after each pumping session. Wash your parts with soap and water at home, then use the Medela Sanitizing Bags.

best products for pumping moms

Medela Quick Clean Wipes

The Medela Quick Clean Wipes allow you to wipe down all the parts while you’re on the go. They’re perfect if you don’t have access to soap and water. I also used them to wipe down the counter before spreading out my pump parts. They are also great for cleaning high chairs, toys, and changing tables, when you are on-the-go.

best products for pumping moms

Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Sanitizing Bags

It is best to sterilize all the pieces after each wash. One pump set will fit in the bag, add some water, and sterilize using the microwave. These Sanitizing Bags are great for sterilizing anything small. I used them for pacifiers and nipple shields.

How long does breastmilk last in the fridge?

Breastmilk only lasts in the fridge for four days. All that time you spent using that haakaa and all this work you’re doing collecting milk while at work needs to be stored in the freezer for long-term use.

best products for pumping moms

Medela Freezer Bags

Once you bring that milk home, you want to store it in the freezer. These bags let you store up to 6 ounces. Tip: Use one of the breast shields to pour the milk from the collection bottle into the freezer bag, so as not to lose any. Storing more than 6 ounces, can cause the bag to leak. But if you’re worried about leaking bags, four or five bags of milk can be stored in a Ziploc freezer bag.

What can you do to ease nipple pain?

If you’ve been nursing for a while, your nipples are probably no longer sore or cracked. However, I found that towards the end of my pumping sessions, the breast shields would start to chafe.

best products for pumping moms

Lansinoh Nipple Cream

You may have been using nipple cream since you began your breastfeeding journey. Just be sure to throw some in your pump bag in case those sore nipples flare up again.

best products for pumping moms

Lansinoh Therapearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy

I loved these therapy packs for two reasons. One, you can freeze them and they’ll ease your sore nipples. Two, if you heat them, they’ll wrap around the breast shield to stimulate a let-down. They are also great if you are engorged or have a mild case of mastitis.

Are nursing pads really necessary?

I can’t tell you how many times I woke up and my breast pads were soaked, or my clothes rubbed the wrong way and my breast started leaking. If you’ve been breastfeeding for a while, you know they can start up even thinking about your baby, so breast pads are a must when going back to work to avoid any possible embarrassing moments.

best products for pumping moms
best products for pumping moms

Breast Pads

I’ve used both Medela and Lansinoh Disposable Breast Pads, and they both work well. I felt like disposable breast pads were best to use away from home, as they should be changed once they get wet, and I didn’t want to carry around the wet ones to take home and wash. Just remember to bring extras.

Conclusion

There you have it. The best products for pumping moms. It’s going to be different your first day back to work, so give yourself some grace and try to relax a little. It will make your pumping journey so much easier. Is there any product you used when you were pumping that you absolutely loved? Let us know in the comments.

products for pumping moms: mom kissing her baby's cheek

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