Before returning to work I put a lot of thought into what I needed to continue on this breastfeeding journey. Pumping isn’t as pleasant as nursing, obviously, since you’re hooked up to what I like to call a Medieval torture device rather than your baby. But, it is a necessary activity to continue to provide milk for your baby, maintain supply (and avoid painful engorgement).
Here’s the breastfeeding mom’s pumping bag checklist for when you go back to work.
Breast Milk Pumping Bag Checklist when Returning to Work
- Breast pump and accessories. My workplace provides a hospital-grade pump, the Medela Symphony, so all I need are the attachments, breast shield flanges, and bottles. If this was not the case, I would have my Medela Pump In Style breast pump I got via insurance in the bag as well.
- Hands-free pumping bra. I used the Medela Easy Expression Hands-Free Bustier. It zips down the front and has holes so you can put the shields through it and attach to the rest of the pumping gear. Later I switched to the Beli Bea pumping bra so I didn’t have to change.
- Breast milk storage bottles. I take some home and bring some in the next day, but I also have a few extra storage bottles in the bag.
- Cooler and ice packs. Someplace to store the pumped milk bottles and for safe transport home.
- Nipple butter. Because pumping isn’t gentle.
- Drink and snacks. Because you gotta stay hydrated and fed, right?
- Bottle brush and dish soap. You’ll need to clean your supplies. At least at the end of the day. You can store everything in the refrigerator if there’s room between pumping sessions.
- Entertainment. I have my phone and my kindle. It helps not to focus on what I’m doing. Sometimes I have to bring the laptop and keep working but I try not to.
- Connection to Baby. I can check in on Baby H on the nanny cam app on my phone and that helps with pumping. some people suggest bringing a photo, or you can even record the sound of your baby (crying/giggling/making noises) if that helps.
And if you want some additional support and a chance to get ready for pumping before you go back to work, check out this fantastic pumping class!
Pumping Bag Checklist for Work