Exclusively pumping is a daunting prospect, and there is a lot of gear to consider getting. It’s hard to know what you need and what you don’t need, but as someone who pumped exclusively (and successfully) for 11 months, here are my recommendations for must-have exclusively pumping products.
My Favorite Exclusively Pumping Products
Getting a pumping bra freed up my hands to do whatever I wanted while I pumped! Before, I’d been resorting to pumping one breast at a time to have a hand free, but getting a pumping bra made it so I could have both hands free and still finish my pumping session in half the time. I’d even go so far as to say my pumping bra saved my sanity during my 11 months of pumping. I used the Hands-Free Breast Pumping Bra by Simple Wishes, and I’d 100% recommend it to other pumping mamas.
Electric Breast Pump
Oftentimes your insurance will cover a breast pump for you, so make sure to check with them. If your insurance won’t cover a pump for you, or even if you want to choose your own pump, I recommend the Bellababy Double Electric Breast Pump. With high ratings on Amazon and a chargeable battery, it’s one of the strongest affordable choices out there.
Manual Breast Pump
A manual breast pump is great to have if you end up in a place where you can’t access an outlet (such as camping). Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump is lightweight, portable, and hygienic and, with its high ratings, is one of the best options on Amazon.
It will probably take some adjusting for your nipples to get used to pumping, and nipple cream is a lifesaver. I used Tender Care Lanolin nipple cream. It’s safe for both mother and baby, and my nipples thanked me.
Lactating boobs turn into massive, leaky monsters, and there’s nothing worse than having two nipple-shaped wet spots on your shirt in the middle of a party (speaking from experience). I tried using the cloth, reusable breast pads, but I just leaked right through those. I ended up going with Medela’s Safe & Dry disposable nursing pads. They worked like a charm to prevent leakage and were comfy as well. It barely felt like I was wearing nursing pads, and they were gentle to my sore nipples.
Breast Milk Storage Bags
Let me say this: storage bags > storage bottles for breastmilk. You can pump directly into the bags with an adapter, and bags take up wayyy less space in your freezer. Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags also come with an adapter, so it’s a convenient little two-in-one package.
This may sound weird, but burp cloths are great for mama as well as baby. They’re perfect for wiping up spillage and drippage during your pumping sessions and can even serve as a nursing cover in a pinch. These extra-absorbent Muslin Burp Cloths work great for moms and babies alike, and they’re so soft they feel like a hug (cheesy, I know, but what can I say; I love cheese).
A pumping bag is a must to keep all your parts and pieces in one spot when you travel. You can combine your pumping bag with your diaper bag if you want, but I found it easier to have a separate pumping bag for myself. The V-COOOL Breast Pump Backpack is made of waterproof fabric, has a cooler for storing milk, and to top things off, its design is too cute!
Extra Pump Parts
It pays to have an extra of each of your pump parts around in case one of them breaks on you. I learned this the hard way when one of my breast shields cracked, and I (stupidly) decided to try and use it anyway to save time. Needless to say, I ended up with a sore, bloody nipple, and I learned to always have backup parts lying around. No link here because the parts you get will depend on the pump you have.
Cleaning wipes made my life so much easier when I needed to clean my pumping parts but didn’t have time for an in-depth washing and sanitizing session. They can’t take the place of washing and sanitizing, but they’re amazing for a quick clean. Medela Quick Clean Wipes are safe to clean your pump and other surfaces that your baby uses.
If you’re shy about pumping without a cover, a nursing cover is nice to have when you have to pump in public. This roomy multi-use nursing cover can also be used as a car seat canopy or shopping cart cover, so it’s the jack-of-all-trades in the nursing cover world.
Which is Your Favorite of the Exclusively Pumping Products?
What’s your top choice of items on my list? Or is there something I didn’t include that you can’t live without? Let me know in the comments!
If you want more info on exclusively pumping, take a peek at my article on Exclusively Pumping: Tips, Tricks, & Myths.