Lovely Baby: Pumping Essentials for the Working Mom

If you’re a mama or mama-to-be who’s getting ready to go back to work soon, your pump is about to become your new best friend… or maybe more like a frenemy.  Pumping at work is hard work and, honestly, sucks a lot of the time (no pun intended), but knowing you’re doing it for that sweet little baby of yours can make all the difference. Having been down this road twice now, I’ve learned a few tricks along the way and have come up with 5 of the most useful items any pumping working mom should have.


A good-quality pump – This is not one area to go cheap on. Getting a full-featured pump like the oh-so-popular Medela Pump in Style or a hospital-grade one like the Hygeia Enjoye is a total must if you’re working and pumping. I’ve owned both and they’re both great. Nowadays, many health insurance companies will pay for your pump too – the only caveat being that you  may not be able to choose which pump you get, which is kind of a big deal.

simple wishes

A hands-free pumping bra – Yes, these look totally ridiculous in the Amazon pictures, but after the pump itself, this is a must for me. I’ve used the Simple Wishes one and am now on my second, and it is hands-down worth the money Trust me on this ladies. You don’t want to be pumping with no hands free. Now you can be free to browse your iPhone, flip channels or even read a book if you really want. Or, if you’re a real trooper, keep on working while you pump.


Extra parts – Order an extra set of everything – tubing, valves, flanges, the works. You don’t want to be stuck at work when one of those parts tears or goes defective. ALWAYS have a back-up set.


Extra bottles – Unless you love washing millions of bottles and parts every night, I’d suggest getting an extra set of bottles to pump into so that if you are feeling lazy one night, it’s not the end of the world to not wash the day’s used bottles right away.


Cleaning cloths – These awesome Medela cleaning cloths are a lifesaver when you’re not near a sink or don’t want to wash your parts in the bathroom or in front of male (or female) coworkers. There’s no water required – and they get the job done.


Gallon-sized ziploc bags – The first time I went back to work and started pumping, a friend gave me this genius tip. Always bring a large plastic bag with you so that you can store all the parts inside of it between pumps WITHOUT having to wash them all every time. Since you’re sticking it in the fridge with your milk, there’s no cleaning required until after your last pump of the day. This is a HUGE time saver!

Working mamas, anything I missed that you consider an essential?



One thought on “Lovely Baby: Pumping Essentials for the Working Mom

  1. Right on! That Ziploc bag trick is genius – never heard of that one!

    I would add – get a big, giant, beautiful tote bag to carry your pump bag and lunch and purse and whatever else you need. Otherwise you’re carrying like 3 or 4 bags every day and you’re dragging around more bags than you would on vacation. It’s much more comfortable, convenient, and fashionable to have one beautiful bag to carry around.

    And here’s a trick for cheap mamas like me who didn’t want to pay up for a pumping bra. Cut the nipples out of an old sports bra, pop the flanges in there, and you’re hands-free, for free!

    Good post!

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