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This year's best breast-pumping gear: Everything you need to  pump like a boss

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! ?

1. Spectra breast pumps

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.

2. Petunia Picklebottom Intermix Backpack

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.

3. Simple Wishes Signature Hands Free Pumping Bra

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.

4. Freemies

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.

5. PackIt Freezable Baby Bottle Bag

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.

6. Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags

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.

7. Kiinde Twist Breast Milk Storage System

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.

8. Yogi Women's Nursing Support Tea

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!

9. J. Crew Everyday button down shirt

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.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

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