Breast Pump Bag Must Haves: Ultimate list of pumping essentials to get you back to work!
Are you getting ready to go back to work?
I know, it’s hard enough to leave your little one but at least you are still able to pump and give them the milk they need while you are gone. It’s such a huge sacrifice and selfless act to breastfeed and continue to pump for your baby while you are at work!
So pat yourself on the back because you’re an amazing mama to do all this for your baby!
Pumping at work is no easy task!
It’s so important to make sure you pump at the right times and pack what you need in your pumping bag! Also, be sure to have a talk with your employer so they also know your pumping plan before you head back to work!
Breast Pump Bag Must Haves
There’s a lot of breast pumping essentials on the market today! I only give you a list of what I have personally loved and used and what many my friends rave over! Here is a list of what was in my breast pumping bag and what you should have to make your back-to-work journey a smooth transition for both you and your baby!
Every time I left my baby, I made sure my breast pump bag was packed with these pumping essentials. It made my pumping breaks go faster and the entire experience much smoother on me.
My employer was great at the time but for some reason, I always felt rushed when I pumped at work. I would pack these breast pump bag must haves to help move the process along as quick as possible because let’s face it, pumping for 20 min every few hours isn’t exactly thrilling!
I didn’t pack a million things in my bag so I’m giving you a list of your breast pump bag must haves that you can’t go without, no extra frills here!
A Great Breast Pump Bag
Okay, so this is obviously a given. But it’s really important to have a bag that’s convenient for your job and one that you really like. There are so many gorgeous pump bags out today that make it easy to go from work to dinner without looking like you’re carrying a breast pump!
Here are a few of my favorite breast pump bags!
I’m in love with the Ju-Ju Be Breast Pump Bag! Especially the color Queen of the Nile!! This bag can comfortably fit Medela and Spectra pumps! Look super stylish and fits everything you need!
A few other of my favorite bags from Ju-Ju Be, Sarah Wells, and a cute and more affordable option from Dr. Brown:
And a few breast pump backpacks! I personally carried a backpack because it was easier once I had more than one baby. I had a diaper bag in one arm and wore the pump backpack on my back!
Or you can always just be simple and go with a Medela or Spectra backpack or purse style that comes with everything you need all in one! No need to get a separate bag if you aren’t picky! This makes things so much easier on moms! Here area a few of my favorite bundles! 👇
Enough about the bags, now let’s talk about what pumping must haves to pack in your pump bag!
A Pumping Bra or Freemie Collection System
When I had my first daughter years ago, I didn’t even have enough time to attach my pumping bra, I’m not even kidding! I had to pump as quick as I could!
With my second daughter, I was able to use my pumping bra and it was the best thing I ever bought!! I also had to pump at home often because I had so much milk with my second daughter and it was so great to have both of my hands free!!
Here are a few awesome pumping bras below!
Have you heard about the Freemie collection system yet? This system is amazing! This makes pumping so much easier and comfortable!
All you have to do is attach the collection cups to your pump attachments and insert the collection cups inside your bra! Genius! No need to take off your shirt or wear a special pumping bra!
You can pump around others and not have to remove your shirt! This also makes pumping much more comfortable since you won’t have large bottles hanging from your bra and getting in the way of things! The best part is, this collection system attaches to many popular pump brands on the market! Brilliant! For more information on the Freemie collection system, click the photo below!
Breast Milk Bottles and Storage Bags
Don’t forget to pack your collection bottles! These might seem obvious but it can happen! I used to pack an extra set of bottles and leave them at work just in case I needed more or forgot one!
Depending on your pump type, get the bottles that go well with your pump and can also transfer to a feeding bottle if necessary! This will save you time and come in handy! You may not need to purchase these separately if you buy a breast pump bundle! Just make sure you pack these!
If you pump a lot of milk during the day and don’t have enough space to carry the extra bottles around, then I recommend pumping into breast milk storage bags and labeling them. I pumped so much milk with my second and third baby that I was able to freeze tons of these bags and my baby girl was eating cereal with this milk a year later! It was great! These bags are much easier to store in the fridge or freezer and don’t take up a lot of space if you have a small bag or storage cooler.
Extra Breast Pump Parts
You never know what could happen and I always say I’d rather be safe than sorry! If your job is far away from your house and one of the tubes are clogged or a membrane isn’t working properly, the last thing you need is to run home or go to the store during your pump break and buy more!
Pack these breast pump parts and get yourself an extra set to leave at work just so you’re prepared for anything!
Breast Pump Battery Pack or Car Charger
You may not think this is that important, but trust me, it is!! Most breast pump bundles give a battery adapter in the bundle so you won’t have to buy it separately. If you didn’t get the bundle, then this is a purchase you will want to make!
Always make sure this is packed in your pump bag! The power could go out at work or maybe an outlet isn’t working, you just never know. Having a car charger is also important in case you travel for work or ever get stuck in traffic! All you need to do is pull over and attach the car adaptor or use your battery pack and pump away!
Breast Milk Storage Cooler & Ice packs
Every work environment is different and if you have access to a cooler or refrigerator that’s great but most likely you’ll still want a cooler to easily put all your bottles in the cooler and place in the fridge.
If you travel and don’t have access to a refrigerator than this is a must have! Extra ice packs and a great milk storage cooler will keep your milk fresh and perfect for your commute! Again, many breast pump bundles include storage coolers so you may want to purchase a bundle to save you money!
Sanitizer Bags For Quick Cleaning!
I loved these sanitizer bags! These were so great and easy to use! If I pumped a lot while I was away from my baby, I would throw the tubing, bottles, pump parts, and even pacifiers if I was with her and throw it all in the bag and heat them for just a few minutes and everything was sterilized fast! If I didn’t have time to throw it all in a bag and sterilize it, I’d wipe the parts down with sanitizing wipes and clean what I can. It really depends on your preference and how many times you’ll need to pump while you’re away from your baby.
*** CLEANING TIP If you don’t have time to clean your bottles at work, throw them in a freezer bag and put them in the fridge until you leave. Once you get home you can place them all on the top rack of your dishwasher and put it on your antibacterial/sanitizing setting! Super easy!
I always kept an extra nursing cover in my pump bag just in case I needed it. You never know if there’s a situation where you have to meet with someone or someone accidentally opens the door on you.
It just made me comfortable knowing if I had to talk with people during my pumping break that at least I could cover up and they didn’t have to stare at my breast pump hooked onto me! Of course, if you invest in the Freemie breast milk collection, then you won’t need a cover because this discreetly hides under your bra and is much quieter than other pumps.
If you have sore nipples or your pump is causing some kind of friction or irritation, it’s always great to have a small bottle of nipple cream in your bag. I used a larger size at home but would carry a sample size or small jar of it in my pump bag especially if I was traveling.
When I had my first daughter, the hospital gave me lansinoh nipple cream but I hated it! It was too thick and I learned later on what ingredients were in it and it wasn’t something I wanted my baby to get on her mouth. I switched to Earth Mama’s nipple butter and it was amazing! Worked like a charm and it went on smooth and was all natural! Right up my ally! Below are my favorite nipple creams, these are all natural and will work like magic! Boob Ease makes a nipple cream especially for pumping mamas! Click the photos below for more info 😊
Snacks to Boost Milk Supply
If you are having trouble boosting your milk supply, keep a few lactation boosting snacks in your bag so you can eat these while you pump!
Here are a few of my favorites lactation teas you can sip on throughout the day and snacks to munch on!
If you don’t always have the space in your pump bag to bring an extra shirt from any leaks, keeping a few breast pads will do the trick! Plus, these won’t take up as much room in your pump bag!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to stop pumping before I was able to get enough milk out and had to quickly get back to work. Throwing a breast pad in my bra to hold up any leaks saved me from worrying about what my clothes looked like! 😳
If you don’t want to waste that extra milk (and we all know our milk is gold so who wouldn’t want to waste it?) then get some of these breast milk catchers! These breast shells are very discreet so if you only need to wear one on one side, it won’t make you look lopsided when you run back into work! Awesome, right?
This will collect any extra milk you are leaking and you can switch it out later once you are done. This obviously only works in ideal work situations if you are able to transfer the milk collected into a storage bag or bottle later. I personally loved this idea because sometimes it took me a while for my milk to come in and once it did, I had to cut my pumping time short because I was needed back at work! These are also great to use at home when nursing a baby on one side and your other side is letting down! Save that liquid gold and collect it! 👇
Gel Pads To Help With Let-Down
Some moms have to take breaks when the breaks are available and it may be difficult to pump milk at those moments when you normally don’t nurse your baby! So what do you do? You have to take advantage of the pumping break so here are a few options that can help with let-down.
- Be sure to pack your phone charger and watch some videos of your baby or look at his/her photos!
- Pack a water bottle if you travel and be sure to drink LOTS of water! This is soooo important for nursing moms! Water not only helps boost your milk supply but it keeps breastfeeding moms hydrated which they need from pumping/nursing all day!
- Pack a piece of your baby’s clothing and the scent of your baby can also help promote let-down.
- Heat can help promote let-down! Heat up these gel pads and apply them to your breasts and start pumping away! These should help boost your milk! The best part about these gel pads is you can use them during the first few weeks of nursing when your breasts are sore! Cooling these in the freezer and applying them to engorged breasts will feel like heaven! So be sure to keep these and pack them in your pump bag!
This is everything I packed in my breast pump bag! I hope this pump bag essential list helps other moms prepare for their first couple weeks back at work! If you know of any other pump bag essentials I forgot to add here, let me know in the comments! Feel free to share to your pumping mommy friends! ☺️
If you are unsure about how to pump while at work or have a million questions about storing milk, setting a schedule, knowing your pumping rights, here is an amazing pumping class that will answer any questions you have about pumping at work! You can even take this test in the comfort of your own home while on maternity leave and feel confident walking into work that first week prepared to pump!
Check out more about this class here or click the photo below!
For more of my favorite breastfeeding and baby must haves on Amazon, click the photos below!
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