Last week marked my last week of pumping at work [yay!]. My daughter turned 1 a few weeks ago [still in disbelief that I have a toddler] and decided that she no longer wanted her milk at daycare. I have been pumping at work for 10 months, since I returned from 12 weeks of maternity leave last June. A lot of full-time working mamas give up their breastfeeding journey because, let’s be honest, pumping at work is a full-time job in itself! But I survived! And now we will continue our nursing journey into toddlerhood at home in the morning + evenings + weekends.
I wanted to share how I made my pumping experience as easy as possible so that I was able to exclusively provide breast milk for my daughter!
[side-note//any way you choose to feed your child is wonderful! this is just what I wanted to do and I feel blessed to be able to]
If you have to pump, get you a pumping bra mama! Serious game changer! I found out about them before I returned to work thankfully and ordered one on Amazon! I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been to pump 3 x /day without it! Well, actually I can imagine because the times I left it at home were awful! I was able to read, check my phone, etc. so it made taking those breaks a lot easier.
For me, pumping directly into the bags I’d store my milk in saved me a lot of time. I used the Kiinde twist system and loved it! It came with adapters to connect to my pump and direct pump into their bags. Then, all I had to do was label them with the date, store them in the Kiinde cooler during my work day and drop all the bags off at daycare in the evening when I picked Maddie up. So much easier for me then having to clean bottles at the end of the day.
minimize stuff to travel with//
When I first started pumping I was overwhelmed with how much I had to carry to work in the mornings. This won’t work for everyone because some people pump at home, but I only pumped at work so I started leaving my pump there and it made things a lot easier for me. No more lugging a heavy book bag into work in the mornings! Instead, I would just bring my clean pump kit in with me and toss it in my book bag that held my pump that I kept under my desk.
store pump parts in fridge//
If you have a small baby, chances are you have to pump 3 x in order to have enough milk to send to daycare the next day. At first, I was buying those expensive pump cleaning wipes and cleaning my pump between each session which took a lot of time [which was limited]. But then I found out from one of my breastfeeding groups on FB that I could simply store the entire kit in the fridge and just clean it in the evening. Saved me money + time.
good electric double pump//
Last but not least, make sure you have a good electric double pump! Some people will respond better to manual pumps but I think it’s safe to say that for most, an electric pump is the quickest way to pump at work. I started out with a Medela Pump in Style but after hearing people rave about the Spectra I was able to find a brand new S2 for a low price and switched over [love it!]. So do your research on what you can get with your insurance, closed system vs open system, etc.
So there you have it! I wish you much success on your journey and if you have questions leave a comment and I’d love to answer!