A breast pump will become your “breast” friend if you’re planning to head back to work or even plan on getting a date night out with your husband during the first year and beyond with a baby! Here are my tips and thoughts when it comes to all things pumping-related!
Your pump may be free!
For each of my babies, I was lucky to have my health insurance cover a new breast pump for each baby. This was extremely helpful because pump motors do wear out over time and having a new one will ensure you maximize your time and milk production. So before purchasing one or registering for one be sure to check with your health insurance provider to see if it is a covered medical device.
What to do with the old pump? I liked keeping my new one in the spot I pumped most regularly, but I kept my old ones in the car if I had to pump in a pinch and/or at a family member’s home you may frequent a lot as a backup.
Medela Pump InStyle
She’s my old faithful because with my first 3 kids this was the pump I would order through insurance. I choose Medela because it was a very well-known brand with many of my friends who already had babies recommending it. I found this pump to be very effective and I loved that parts and bottles could be easily found at Target or Walmart.
Medela Pump InStyle with Max Flow
With the arrival of my little man, I was pleased to find out that my old faithful had received an upgrade. I love the makeover this pump received and how much more compact and portable it is. The parts are also a bit different but are still easy to clean. See below for a helpful cleaning tip for work or home!
Willow Go Wearable Breast Pump
If insurance didn’t cover my breast pumps then I would probably have gone with a very discrete option like the Willow wearable breast pump because I love the idea that you could pump at work, on the go, or even at home while multitasking without the wires! I would love to hear if anyone has used the Willow or other similar portable breast pumps and thoughts on those.
This is another new addition since welcoming my little man and I have to say I am sold on this manual type of pump. I’ve used it two ways so far, one to collect milk on one breast while feeding baby from the other, and two to pump just enough milk to add to oatmeal cereal or other baby foods when you begin introducing solids. Having something so easy to pop on and clean is just magical. I truly wished I had discovered this with my firstborn.
Accessories I love for pumping and nursing:
Boppy, but make it a double!
The best advice is to have one in the main living area of your home and one in your bedroom or the nursery! This will save you so many steps and will avoid you running through the house in those early days when nursing with a Boppy is essential. I received one for my first daughter at our baby shower and then sourced the other one from a friend who was no longer using it! I feel safe using used Boppy’s because you can easily wash the covers!
Caden Lane Robe
In those early days, you will honestly be feeding or pumping every two to three hours so I loved this robe to stay comfy and allow for easy access. Remember that providing milk for your little one is not an easy task so be sure to take care of yourself by feeling and even looking your best!
Quick Clean Bag
I used this bag religiously to sterilize my pump parts while pumping at work! At home you have more flexibility to boil or sterilize parts in the dishwasher, but this allowed me peace of mind that my parts were clean while on the go.
Hands-free Pumping Bra
This was a lifesaver when I was pumping at work or at home! I could easily get set up and then respond to emails while still pumping!
Hot and cold breast pads
This is a lifesaver if you feel a blocked duct coming on!
Mother’s Milk tea
If my supply ever dipped, I would simply make a cup of this tea at night and add some honey with lemon! I would wake up with an increased supply for pumping. I loved this routine as a soothing way to both wind down and ensure I kept up with my little one’s milk supply when I transitioned back to work and having them at the onsite Montessori school.
What other products helped you achieve your feeding goals with baby? Remember a fed baby is best and there is no “right” way when it comes to providing nutrition for your baby. Whether exclusively breastfeeding, exclusively pumping, exclusively formula feeding or doing any combination of these are all acceptable and help contribute to a happy baby and family!