While everyone agrees that the benefits of nursing directly from the breast cannot be replaced, everyone must also agree that the breast milk itself is irreplaceable. Whenever a mother is faced with a choice of breast milk or not, it should be the former regardless of the method in which it is given.
So, if you’re to go to work and you still want your baby to reap the benefits of breast milk, then pumping is the way to go. If thinking about pumping at work is making you feel very anxious, then fear not mama! There are plenty of pumping gears that can make your task of pumping at work easier. So, here’s a list of 10 must-have items for pumping at work that can make your job of pumping at work manageable.
1). A good quality double electric breast pump
This is one of the most important must-have items for pumping at work. Having a busy work schedule and pumping every two hours with a normal breast pump can take out a lot from your precious time. That’s why investing in a good quality double electric breast pump is very important for a working mother. Though it’s expensive, your insurance can cover most of its costs. If you don’t have any insurance, then you can try buying a used one or borrow from your close family and friends. There are a lot of benefits to it. It can allow you to pump from both breasts at the same time. It also yields more milk than a manual pump and it can save your time by a long margin.
2). Hands-free pumping bra
Pumping can get time-consuming and you may want to do something else in your free time instead of pumping. So, invest in good quality pumping bras as they can allow you to pump while being hands-free. In this way, you can continue doing your work as you won’t have to hold the flanges with hands and you’ll be free to do whatever you wish to. If you are short on money, you can also convert your old sports bra into a pumping bra by cutting holes.
3). A nursing cover
A nursing cover will let you pump in privacy. A nursing cover will help you cover up, so, you can pump on the plane, in your car, and at your office desk as well without getting lots of stares. These days a lot of multi-purpose nursing covers are available that can turn into a shopping cart cover, car seat cover, scarf, or a high chair cover. So, you can also reap benefits from it even after you’ve weaned your baby from your breast milk.
4). A pumping bag
A good pumping bag is a necessity for every working and pumping mother. It should be able to store all of your pumping equipment and some other things you may need so you don’t have to bring dozens of bags to work with you. A good pumping bag should be durable and it should have multiple compartments for breast pump and cooler bag. There should be enough space to store all of your pump’s parts and they all should be easily accessible. It should also have some area to store a manual pump in case your electric one stops working, and also some space to store other things you might need.
5). Quick clean wipes
These wipes can help you in cleaning the pump parts after you’re done with them without using soap and water. These wipes will clean your pump parts without the need for rinsing. After cleaning it, you can store the parts in a ziplock bag and they will be good to go until your next session. You don’t need to sterilize your equipment for every use.
6). A cooler bag
Some workplaces don’t have fridges or some mothers don’t feel comfortable storing their expressed breast milk in a shared office fridge. If you’re one of these moms, then a cooler bag is a must-have item for your pumping journey. It will keep your precious milk from getting spoiled until you can go home and store it in your freezer.
A working mother is often short on time. So, to save this precious asset, most moms sterilize their equipment once a day and then just clean the equipment after each use without having to sterilize it. So, to save your time you may also need a big sterilizer that can fit all of your pumping gear so you don’t have to take several turns to sterilize each part along with your pumping and feeding bottles.
8). Breast Pads
You can never predict when your breast milk might leak. So, to save yourself from an embarrassing situation or to prevent your shirt or dress from getting stained, wear breast pads and if you’re one of those moms who leak a lot, then you can try wearing a milk catcher. This will save your precious milk from wasting. Also, if you want to consider an environmentally friendly option and don’t want to use disposable pads, then you can buy the ones you can wash and reuse.
9). A water bottle and some snacks
A nursing mom should remain well hydrated throughout the day. It’s recommended to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water daily. With a water bottle, you can stay hydrated and also keep track of how much water you’re consuming daily. Pumping can not only make you thirsty, but ravenous as well. So, keep some snacks in your pumping bag to get rid of those hunger pangs.
10). A manual breast pump
This is one of the most portable must-have items for pumping at work. It’s good for a backup for a rainy day. In case you’ve forgotten to charge your electric pump, left some pump parts at home or your electric pump has suddenly stopped working, then a manual pump can help you save the day. Though it will take some time, it will get the work done when your electric pump is out of order.
With the help of these must-have items for pumping at work, your life as a working and pumping mom will seem a lot more manageable than before. So, stop stressing over it. Although it is not easy and it will require lots of effort but with a little patience and perseverance, you will get the hang of it and before you know it, you’ll be a pro at pumping at work. Happy pumping!