I’m what you call an “Exclusive pumping mom.” I tried the breastfeeding route, but my lazy eater, a couple of nasty cases of thrush, while knowing I was going back to work quickly made for a short breastfeeding journey for us. I’ve spent a lot of time attached to my pump, but learned the most when it was time to go back to work.
Be sure to talk to your employer before going back to work to make sure they’ve made arrangements for you, and if necessary, know your rights as a pumping mom. When the day finally comes, bring along plenty of supplies. Here are 5 handy things you may not think to put in your pump bag that make the whole process much easier:
1. Extra tubing, membranes, and other small pump parts. Always have plenty of pump parts and other pieces, you never know when you’re going to have something crazy happen. I learned to carry extra tubing and other pieces around just in case.
2. Nipple Butter or some Coconut Oil make pumping a much more comfortable experience. Just put a little in your flanges before each pumping session to reduce friction.
3. A good water bottle, filled with whatever makes water best for you. Some moms like flavored water, others need tons of ice, still others want it filtered in a specific way. Whatever helps you get the most water into your body on a daily basis is the key here. Staying hydrated will not only help with milk production, but is also good for your general health and well-being.
4. If you don’t have one already, be sure to get a nice Nursing Cover. It never matters how many signs you put up, or that you lock the door, someone will find a key and cause the most awkward moment of their work day! That’s never an enjoyable experience, but it’s much less stressful when you’re covered.
5. Pacifier wipes. I use these to clean up the pump parts after I’m done pumping for the day. They’re much cheaper than other wipes, and food grade, so I feel safe using them around my baby’s milk.
Don’t stress out, the whole pumping process does get easier, and you’ll develop your own routine that works for you. Pump on, momma!
Jenny Ditch is a new mom of one little “pumpling” in Illinois who is thrilled to be finishing up her freezer stash!