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Like so many moms, I have pumped outside the home to feed my baby while I’m away. I also have way too much to carry every single day so packing my pumping bag perfectly is pretty important.
Maybe you’re a working mama and this is your daily gig. Or maybe you have some travel planned and have no idea what you’ll need.
With pumping, it’s best to be as efficient with your time as possible which is why packing your pumping bag just right can be critical to success.
I successfully pumped while working for over a year. I was fortunate to be able to leave my pump at work during the week in my locked desk but I always took it home on the weekend.
While I’m currently a stay at home mom, I still apply everything I did while pumping outside the home to inside the comfort of my own home. I have my pumping corner with my supplies ready to go.
We give our infant daughter one bottle a day – typically at night before sleep. I’ll pump during this time to keep my supply going and use that milk for the next night’s bottle.
What To Pack In Your Pumping Bag
1. Pump and Pumping Bottles/Nozzles
Well. Duh. You need your double electric breast pump and the bottle attachments to go with it. Plain and simple!
I love my Medela Pump In Style Advanced!
2. Extra Membranes
Did you know those little flaps on your pump need to be changed every one to two months? Make sure you’re never without an extra set of membranes!
You’ll know just how important they are when suddenly your output has dropped for seemingly no reason. Check them often, while cleaning to make sure there are no tears.
Pro Pumping Tip: You’ll probably be taking monthly photos of your little one. Make it a point to change the membranes on your pump on the same day if possible. If not, set a reminder to go off monthly!
With constant use, you may need to change these more often. They’re super small and don’t take up a lot of space in your bag.
3. Bottles or Bags for Storage
If you’re freezing the milk for a later time, the storage bags are going to be your go-to. I personally loved these breast milk storage bags because I was able to lay my milk flat in the freezer to freeze.
If you’re using bottles for storage you’ll need to bring:
- A bottle to fill for each pumping session
- Lids for each bottle
4. Cooler and Ice Pack
You’ll need a cooler and ice pack for transportation or to keep at your desk if you don’t have access to a fridge or might feel uncomfortable leaving it in general population.
The freezer at work rarely got any use so I made it a point to just freeze immediately using my storage bags and cooler. I’d grab my milk at the end of the day before leaving.
My cooler was given to us at the hospital with formula samples.
5. Cleaning Wipes
These cleaning wipes are excellent for keeping your pump parts clean between uses at work.
6. Hands Free Pumping Bra
You want a hands free pumping bra.
You need a hands free pumping bra.
Pumping is not the most exciting or fun activity so you’ll probably want your hands free to do work (if you clock out, do NOT work), eat, play on your phone, read, or whatever it is you might want to do. Your hands free pumping bra gives you back some freedom while pumping.
I always say “We need to eat to feed.” I prepared healthy dairy free snacks daily to eat while pumping.
8. Reusable Bag
You can use a wet-dry bag too! I used the bag for transporting my used equipment to and from home for deep cleaning instead of letting it get mixed in with whatever else was in my purse.
9. Water Bottle
You know you need to drink water. Use this time to catch up on your water intake. I’d refill my water bottle before and after a pumping session.
Things You May Also Want To Pack In Your Pumping Bag
- Cover – Let’s be honest. Some of us have to pump in places without a proper lock. Sure, it’s “private” but I bet that sign hanging on the door does absolutely nothing. I know mine sure didn’t. Having something to cover made me feel a little better if Gary from IT needed to see what the Lactation Room looked like for some odd reason while I was in there. While I have no problem breastfeeding in public without a cover, pumping was a different story. Also, why is every place we’re given to pump the coldest room on Earth? Bring the cover for warmth if the room is cold.
- Cleaning Supplies – If you have access to a sink, you can bring your bottle brush and soap for the office! I had access to a sink and I honestly just left everything at work in my desk and didn’t bring back and forth.
- Breast Pads – Leaks happen. Leave some extra breast pads in your bag or at your desk/locker at work.
Did you pump at work or outside of the home? Leave your experiences below!
You may also like:
- How To Increase Your Milk Supply
- Pumping At Work: What You Really Need To Know
- Pumping Tips and Tricks