5 Breastpumping Must-Haves (by an exclusive pumper)

Pumping is tough, it’s confusing and frustrating (especially getting started), and it’s exhausting. But those nutrients are the best thing f...

Pumping is tough, it’s confusing and frustrating (especially getting started), and it’s exhausting. But those nutrients are the best thing for small babes if momma’s able to produce. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to make enough milk for my little girl, but we haven’t had to use formula since the first week. 

Plus, the money we don’t have to spend to feed baby is incredible. 

That’s not to say that pumping is zero-cost. I paid premium to get my Spectra S1 pump (and not needing to stay plugged in is a lifesaver!), but I only paid $72 and insurance paid the rest (the plug-in only S2 would’ve been free with insurance). I also get replacement pump parts free via insurance every month or so. I did this through Aeroflow Breastpumps but check your insurance coverage for what’s available to you.

I have found some things that have made pumping a bit easier and less messy. 

Here are five of my must-haves for a seamless pumping experience:

1. Cloth diapers 

I know it sounds weird, but seriously. My MIL got us these Gerber cloth diapers to use as burp cloths, and we do, but they’re perfect for my pump set up, whether I’m in bed or at a table. It allows for a clean space to sit items on before and after pumping.

2. Flanges that fit

The breastfeeding consultant at the hospital helped me figure out the right size flange for me. Standard flanges are around 24-25 mm, but I need a 21 mm. I was so sore and in such pain before I purchased the appropriate flange size. I first bought silicone flange inserts to try out (around $6 for a set) and once I knew I liked those, I bought the right size flanges (these are around $20 for a set). I use both to alternate and not need to wash my parts every single time. I prefer the flanges because the inserts are just an extra piece to wash and install each time, but the inserts work great and are more affordable.

3. Pull-tab valves

These aren’t totally necessary but are totally worth it. They’re about $10 for 6 valves (which is great to have extra because one rolled under the fridge and it’s never coming back). These feel sturdy and I’m not afraid I’m going to rip the valve in half after each pump session. Highly HIGHLY recommend.

4. Breastmilk storage bags

Some folks use pitchers, some store in the bottles they pumped into, others use reusable storage bags. I prefer pre-sterilized single-use storage bags that are convenient and safe. After testing several, I’ve found Motif Medical to be my preferred brand. They’re the perfect size, stand up, a pre-sterilized, and affordable. Other options may work better for you. AND don’t forget a fine-point Sharpie marker to label your milk with the day, time, and amount stored. It helps me know when my milk needs to be thrown in the freezer.

5. Breastpump wipes

It took weeks for me to realize that breast pump wipes were a thing that existed. They’re like baby wipes made for cleaning pump parts. These are great for cleaning parts in the middle of the night when the last thing you even want to be doing is pumping. They’re also great for on-the-go and for cleaning bottles or pacifiers conveniently. There are multiple brands that offer this product, but I’ve been using these from Dapple Baby. Let me know if you have a favorite brand!

What’s made pumping easier for you? What are your go-to brands and products?

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