The breast pump: a love-hate relationship if there ever was one.
For some moms, pumping offers a reprieve from nursing or an opportunity for a night out away from baby. For others, though—preemie moms, working moms, and even mamas of full-term infants who struggle with feeding from the breast—pumping is a necessity if they feel strongly about providing breast milk for their little one.
We've pulled together the best of the best of 2017 when it comes to pumping gear that will help you save time and stay organized. Less hassle, more milk—pump on, mamas! ?
A powerful, efficient and portable breast pump is an absolute must for any new breastfeeding mama. We love Spectra pumps for all of these reasons and more. The hospital-grade technology of these pumps mimic a suckling motion rather than a sucking one, and feature options like rechargeable batteries for easy portability, timers, night lights, and completely adjustable suction settings. We've also noticed they're much quieter than other brands, which we love!
Pro tip: Most insurance plans now cover breast pumps, so be sure to check with yours to see if you qualify for a free pump.
Ok so full disclosure, the Intermix (to die for) backpack is not technically a breast pump bag. But we love it so much, it has so much space, so many pockets, and so much style that it would be wrong of us to not tell our pumping mamas all about it. We suggest using the main pocket to tote your pump and the rest of the pockets to hold pump parts, bottles, and other necessities.
Pro tip: When your pumping days are behind you, you can still get lots of miles out of this bag as a work bag (it fits a laptop), diaper bag, or just an all around cute backpack.
A certain author of a certain MotherlyLoves guide, who may exclusively pumped for an entire year for her adorable-yet-finicky preemie, assures you that if you buy one pumping accessory, it should be the Simple Wishes Signature Hands Free Pumping Bra. It's easy to get on and off, holds its shape after dozens of washes, easily adjusts to fit your changing body, and keeps your breast shields firmly in place so you can free up your hands while you pump.
Pro tip: Save time by unclipping the flaps of your nursing bra and zipping the hands free bra directly over it to pump.
Freemies is the pumping mama's secret weapon. Instead of needing to buy a special pumping bra to awkwardly attach those pump bottles, these breast pumping cups slip into an existing bra and collect your milk easily. The resulting chest plate makes you feel more like breastfeeding Wonder Woman than awkward woman. We're big fans.
Pro tip: You can refrigerate your Freemie cups between pumps in a single day—less time cleaning, more time milking.
PackIt bags are one of those products that we just don't know how we ever lived without. No more bulky, heavy ice packs to worry about when you're schlepping around bottles of breast milk—PackIt bags have freezable gel packed right into the walls of the bag. Just fold the bag, place it in the freezer overnight, and it's chilled and ready to use by morning. Genius!
Pro tip: Post-breastfeeding, these bags are perfect to tote baby food, snacks, or anything else you may need to keep cool.
Storing your milk properly is just about as important as pumping it. Lansinoh's Breastmilk Storage bags have reinforced side seams and a double locking top seal to ensure you won't waste a drop of liquid gold. And now with the new adapter, you can pump directly into the bags using most standard size pumps.
Pro tip: If you're freezing your bags for later use, be sure to lay them flat; they'll take up way less room and will be much easier to organize and store. We also ? this genius freezer storage hack.
If you're looking to bump your pumping game to the next level—and really, who isn't?—you need to check out Kiinde. This innovative system allows you to not only pump directly into storage bags but also to label, organize, refrigerate or freeze, warm, and feed from the same pouch. Um, yes please.
Pro tip: In the early days of pumping, only freeze two ounces per bag. You can't re-freeze thawed milk, so if your babe doesn't finish you'll have to toss the rest, which we can't even think about without audibly gasping.
As if we need another reason to love tea? Yogi's nursing tea not only tastes great, but also contains fennel and anise, two ingredients traditionally used to boost milk supply. It's also caffeine free, so you don't have to worry about it keeping you awake all night; that's what babies are for, silly! ?
Pro tip: Not a fan of hot tea? Make a big batch, put it in the fridge, and enjoy some iced tea while also boosting your supply!
A button down shirt is a wardrobe staple for any nursing and pumping mama. The Everyday button down from J. Crew is dressy enough to wear to work but relaxed enough for Sunday brunch. The buttons make it easy access for nursing or pumping, and the cotton fabric means it's completely machine washable.
Pro tip: Throw a nursing tank on under this shirt for a little extra privacy in case you need to nurse or pump while you're out and about.
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