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14 products that make life easier for pumping moms

14 products that make life easier for pumping moms

Pumping can be weird, awkward, painful, confusing and panic-inducing. Or it can be just another daily chore that lets you feel like making milk might just be your superpower. What makes the difference? So many things, but having a little knowledge and the right equipment can really help.

However, that knowledge and toolkit isn't easy to assemble. Know how I know? Because the our site Community Groups dedicated to pumping – Pumping Working Mammas, Exclusive Pumping and Pumping Moms – are some of the most highly-trafficked, most-read, most prolific and most passionate groups we have.

All day long, moms post questions about pumping. How often should I pump? How can I increase my supply? How can I make sure my baby is getting enough?

We can't help you answer those questions, besides directing you to our site Community resources like the Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions about Exclusively Pumping (and other tips!).

We can, however, help you find products and handy workarounds that can help. We asked our pumping mom friends, we hung out on pumping mom forums, we quizzed our coworkers. The result? A canonical list of products that can make pumping easier. If you're having a problem pumping, maybe there's something here that can help you.

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  • Super Shields by Pumpin' Pal

    Specially designed to be more comfortable for most women than traditional flanges, Super Shields make such a difference for many pumpers that they give them as gifts. The angled flanges allow pumpers to sit back instead of leaning forward while pumping, easier for most.

    Available at Pumpin' Pal starting at $39.95

  • Coconut oil

    Pumping can cause wear-and-tear on your breasts and nipples: use coconut oil, any brand, to lubricate the parts of the pump that rub against your breasts. Apply coconut oil to nipples and areolas, or the pump flanges; go easy or your flanges will slip and slide.

    Available at Amazon

  • Simple Wishes Signature Hands Free Pumping Bra

    Another product that exclusive pumpers are almost fanatical over, Simple Wishes fits a wide variety of bodies and makes it possible for pumpers to empty both breasts at once, hands-free.

    Available at Amazon

  • Elastic hair ties

    Many moms swear by something known as the "hair-tie method," which uses standard hair elastics and a nursing bra to create a MacGyver-esque hands-free pumping helper on the cheap.

    Here's how to do the hair-tie method.

    Available at Amazon

  • A water cup by every nursing station

    Pumping makes for a ferocious thirst. Keep a dedicated travel cup of water handy in every spot you pump – one at home, one at work, one in the car. Keep it cold with this double-walled MIRA water bottle, which keeps water chilly for hours and doesn't sweat at all. My kid takes her rose-gold MIRA bottle to school every day and comes home with cold water at the end of the day, and the papers in her backpack don't get wet.

    Available at Amazon

  • Extra pump membranes or diaphragms

    If you've been pumping for a while, and all of a sudden the amount you collect goes down, you might need to change out the membranes or diaphragm on your pump. This is a small plastic or silicone part that basically acts as a barrier between your milk and the tube, keeping any milk, air, or moisture from getting into the tubing. This is what makes your pump a "closed system," and membranes or diaphragms can wear out, which will make the suction suddenly drop. Most experts recommend that you change the membranes on your pump every 6 weeks to 3 months, but they may wear out sooner. It's a huge drag to have missing or damaged pump membranes in the middle of the night or when it's otherwise inconvenient to buy more: Have extras ready. Your breast pump's manual might (and should!) spell out what the membrane is, where it's located, how often you need to replace it, and what type to buy. Not all pumps have membranes or diaphragms, particularly those with "duckbill" valves. Confusing, isn't it? Pictured: Medela Pump in Style membranes (left), and Ameda diaphram.

    Available at Amazon

  • Refrigerator for pump parts

    Breast pump manuals frequently advise pumpers to wash pump parts between each use – that's a whole lot of exhausting washing. Instead, keep pump parts in your refrigerator in between uses to keep them sterile; give them a good wash/sterilize at the beginning or end of each day. If you don't have access to a refrigerator in your home or office, or for some reason find it inconvenient to put your parts there, you can buy a mini-fridge and keep it plugged in wherever you are. This teeny weeny AstroAI Mini Fridge does the job and won't take up a lot of space. It comes in white, pink, black, and blue.

    Available at Amazon

  • Alarm clock

    Carry a small, simple alarm clock to remind you it's time to start or end a pumping session. Note, however, that exclusive pumpers recommend pumping to empty rather than sticking to a strict 20-minutes-per-breast schedule. Here's more about pumping to empty.

    Available at Amazon

  • Cover-up sweater or wrap

    Even the most confident pumper has moments when she's rather not let the world in on what she's doing. Leave a an extra large sweater, wrap, or hoodie in your car, work cubicle, or wherever you pump so you can cover up when needed. This cashmere wool wrap is cozy but not sweaty.

    Available at Amazon

  • Car adapter

    Many pumping moms find the car to be an ideal place to pump when at work or out-and-about. Most breast pump manufacturers put out their own proprietary plug-ins to make car pumping possible. It should go without saying, but don't pump while you are driving. This adapter is for the Medela Pump in Style; your brand of pump will have its own type of adapter.

    Available at Amazon

  • Medela's Quick Clean Breastpump & Accessory Wipes

    Beloved by super-busy moms, these nifty wipes replace a soap-and-water washing in between breast pump part uses. Thrifty moms recommend buying pacifier wipes: similar, but cheaper.

    Available at Amazon

  • Microwave steam sterilizing bags

    Made by several brands (Medela, Munchkin, Dr. Brown's), these bags make sterilizing pump parts a cinch at work. Opinions as to the best brand vary, so just buy what's cheapest. Each bag can be reused up to 20 times. We like this brand because it's usually cheapest on Amazon.

    Available at Amazon

  • Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags

    Many companies, such as Medela and Dr. Brown's, make breastmilk storage bags. These are the our site mom favorites, though, because they're sturdy and easy to use.

    Available at Amazon

  • Boon Lawn Drying Rack

    Pumping moms love this drying rack because the blades of "grass" hold everything from flanges to teeny tiny valves securely.

    Available at Amazon


  • Watch the video: EXCLUSIVELY PUMPING. HOW I INCREASED MY SUPPLY. TIPS (December 2021).

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