Heading back to work, messenger bag on one shoulder, breastpump bag on the other? There’s a surprising amount of extras to pack to make pumping at work more efficient. What’s handy to have packed in your bag?
Here are some suggestions. Comment below to add to the list: what other things have you found helpful to have at work while pumping?
What to pack in your pumping bag
- Hands Free Pumping Bra: the Simple Wishes Hands-Free Bustier is truly a must have for those who pump regularly. Watch 5 Tricks for Better Pumping to learn the benefits of hands-free, hands-on, double pumping.
- Hand Sanitizer
- Medela Quick Clean Wipes – an easy way to clean pump parts between use, may also be used to wipe down a desk or table before expressing milk.
- Enough milk storage bottles for the day (typically six are needed – one pair of bottles for each of three pumping sessions during a full work day) plus extra zip seal milk storage bags.
- Lids. For some reason, moms often pack the bottles but forget the caps. Milk storage bottles don’t work so well without the lids!
- Baby’s receiving blanket: Drape this over your lap when pumping to protect your clothing from drips, and to serve as a tactile reminder of your sweet baby.
- Bebe au Lait or nursing cover-up for semi-private pumping locations (your cube, staff room, car in parking lot…).
- Alternate Power Source: Extension cord or vehicle lighter adapter – Pumps that use AA batteries quickly begin to lose cycling speed and efficiency as the batteries drain down. It’s better to plug directly into the wall, or use the car battery (not while driving!) instead of an external battery pack, when possible. Pack spare batteries just in case. Pumps with internal lithium-ion batteries, like the Medela Freestyle, have the clear advantage here.
- Non-perishable snacks or protein bars. Keep your bag stocked with high-protein snacks easy to eat with one hand.
- Olive oil in a tiny Ziploc bag. Dip your clean finger in and lubricate the flange to reduce friction.
- Large cooler to hold your milk and pump parts. Use several frozen water bottles as your ice packs – you can sip the ice water as it slowly melts throughout the day, while pumping.
- Headset or earphones so you can make phone calls, listen to music, or participate in webinars (like our weekly breastfeeding chat!) while pumping.
- Packing List: Tape a printed checklist of everything YOU like to pack in your pumping bag, to take a quick audit when packing your bag for work each day – much less chance of forgetting something!
- Your keys or bus/train pass: store these in your cooler bag so that you cannot leave work without your day’s milk!
Check out our Pinterest Board, “Pumping at Work: Be Prepared!” or blost post, “5 Tips for Pumping at Work” for more tips and resources!
Just getting started? Watch “Expressing, Storing and Feeding” webinar for detailed pumping information.
What did you pack in your pumping bag that you found helpful?